Page:Hannah More (1887 Charlotte Mary Yonge British).djvu/67

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THE BAS BLEU AND THE BAS BLANC.

55

touching is the next sentence in the letter announcing the event to the sisters. "The Dean of Christchurch has just been in to say that in a quarter of a hour the great bell is to toll. I have told her (the wife) of it, and she is now looking out a book for me to read during that time."

Thirty years of Dr. Kennicott's life had been spent in collating the Hebrew Bible, and he had only finished a year before his death. When he presented his work to the King, George III. asked him what, on the whole, had been the result of his laborious and learned investigations. His reply was "that he had found some grammatical errors, and many variations in the different texts, but not one which, in the smallest degree, affected any article of faith or practice."

After helping the widow in the preparations for her removal from her home at Christchurch, Hannah returned to Bristol. There she occupied herself with writing a poetical description of that delightful society over which Mrs. Vesey and Mrs. Montagu were, in a manner, the presidents. It had come to be known as the Bas Bleu, or Blue Stocking Club, because it was said Dr. Stillingfleet used to come to these parties in blue ribbed hose; and as the salon bleu of the Hotel Rambouillet had in some manner already associated the colour with feminine learning, the name was not unwillingly adopted, though just as the Précieuses of the divine Arthénice became in time