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The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-54

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But what an age 'tis since we first met, and how great a change it has
wrought in both of us; if there had been as great a one in my face, it
could be either very handsome or very ugly. For God's sake, when we
meet, let us design one day to remember old stories in, to ask one
another by what degrees our friendship grew to this height 'tis at. In
earnest, I am lost sometimes with thinking on't; and though I can never
repent the share you have in my heart, I know not whether I gave it you
willingly or not at first. No, to speak ingenuously, I think you got an
interest there a good while before I thought you had any, and it grew so
insensibly, and yet so fast, that all the traverses it has met with
since has served rather to discover it to me than at all to hinder it.
By this confession you will see I am past all disguise with you, and
that you have reason to be satisfied with knowing as much of my heart as
I do myself. Will the kindness of this letter excuse the shortness on't?
For I have twenty more, I think, to write, and the hopes I had of
receiving one from you last night kept me writing this when I had more
time; or if all this will not satisfy, make your own conditions, so you
do not return it me by the shortness of yours. Your servant kisses your
hands, and I am

Your faithful.

_Letter 35._--This is written on the back of a letter of Sir Thomas
Peyton to Dorothy, and is probably a postscript to _Letter 34_. Sir
Thomas's letter is a good example of the stilted letter-writing in vogue
at that time, which Dorothy tells us was so much admired. The affairs
that are troubling him are legal matters in connection with his
brother-in-law Henry Oxenden's estate. There is a multitude of letters
in the MSS. in the British Museum referring to this business; but we are
not greatly concerned with Oxenden's financial difficulties. Sir Edward
Hales was a gentleman of noble family in Kent. There is one of the same
name who in 1688 declares himself openly to be a Papist, and is tried
under the Test Act. He is concerned in the same year in the escape of
King James, providing him with a fishing-boat to carry him into France.
This is in all probability the Sir Edward Hales referred to by Sir
Thomas Peyton, unless it be a son of the same name. Here is the

"Good sister,--I am very sorry to hear the loss of our good brother,
whose short time gives us a sad example of our frail condition. But I
will not say the loss, knowing whom I write to, whose religion and
wisdom is a present stay to support in all worldly accidents.

"'Tis long since we resolved to have given you a visit, and have
relieved you of my daughter. But I have had the following of a most
laborious affair, which hath cost me the travelling, though in our own
country style, fifty ...; and I have been less at home than elsewhere
ever since I came from London; which hath vext me the more in regard I
have been detained from the desire I had of being with you before this
time. Such entertainment, however, must all those have that have to do
with such a purse-proud and wilful person as Sir Edward Hales. This next
week being Michaelmas week, we shall end all and I be at liberty, I
hope, to consider my own contentments. In the meantime I know not what
excuses to make for the trouble I have put you to already, of which I
grow to be ashamed; and I should much more be so if I did not know you
to be as good as you are fair. In both which regards I have a great
honour to be esteemed,

"My good sister,

"Your faithful brother and servant,


"KNOWLTON, _Sept. 22, 1653_."

_On the other side of Sir T. Peyton's Letter._

Nothing that is paper can 'scape me when I have time to write, and 'tis
to you. But that I am not willing to excite your envy, I would tell you
how many letters I have despatched since I ended yours; and if I could
show them you 'twould be a certain cure for it, for they are all very
short ones, and most of them merely compliments, which I am sure you
care not for.

I had forgot in my other to tell you what Jane requires for the
satisfaction of what you confess you owe her. You must promise her to be
merry, and not to take cold when you are at the tennis court, for there
she hears you are found.

Because you mention my Lord Broghill and his wit, I have sent you some
of his verses. My brother urged them against me one day in a dispute,
where he would needs make me confess that no passion could be long
lived, and that such as were most in love forgot that ever they had been
so within a twelvemonth after they were married; and, in earnest, the
want of examples to bring for the contrary puzzled me a little, so that
I was fain to bring out those pitiful verses of my Lord Biron to his
wife, which was so poor an argument that I was e'en ashamed on't myself,
and he quickly laughed me out of countenance with saying they were just
such as a married man's flame would produce and a wife inspire. I send
you a love letter, too; which, simple as you see, it was sent me in very
good earnest, and by a person of quality, as I was told. If you read it
when you go to bed, 'twill certainly make your sleep approved.

I am yours.

_Letter 36._--My Lady Carlisle was, as Dorothy says, "an extraordinary
person." She was the daughter of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland,
and at the age of eighteen, against her father's will and under somewhat
romantic circumstances, married James Hay, Earl of Carlisle. Her sister
married the Earl of Leicester, and she is therefore aunt to Lady
Sunderland and Algernon Sydney. She was a favourite attendant of Queen
Henrietta, and there are evil rumours connecting her name with that of
Strafford. On Strafford's death, it is asserted that she transferred her
affections to Pym, to whom she is said to have betrayed the secrets of
the Court. There seems little doubt that it was she who gave notice to
Pym of the King's coming to the House to seize the five members. In 1648
she appears, however, to have assisted the Royalists with money for the
purpose of raising a fleet to attack England, and at the Restoration she
was received at Court, and employed herself in intriguing for the return
of Queen Henrietta to England, which was opposed at the time by
Clarendon and others. Soon after this, and in the year of the
Restoration, she died suddenly. Poets of all grades, from Waller
downwards, have sung of her beauty, vivacity, and wit; and Sir Toby
Matthew speaks of her as "too lofty and dignified to be capable of
friendship, and having too great a heart to be susceptible of
love,"--an extravagance of compliment hardly satisfactory in this plain

My Lord Paget, at whose house at Marlow Mr. Lely was staying, was a
prominent loyalist both in camp and council chamber. He married Frances,
the eldest daughter of the Earl of Holland, my Lady Diana's sister.

Whether or not Dorothy really assisted young Sir Harry Yelverton in his
suit for the hand of fair Lady Ruthin we cannot say, but they were
undoubtedly married. Sir Harry Yelverton seems to have been a man of
superior accomplishments and serious learning. He was at this time
twenty years of age, and had been educated at St. Paul's School, London,
and afterwards at Wadham College, Oxford, under the tutorship of Dr.
Wilkins, Cromwell's brother-in-law, a learned and philosophical
mathematician. He was admitted gentleman commoner in 1650, and it is
said "made great proficiency in several branches of learning, being as
exact a Latin and Grecian as any in the university of his age or time."
He succeeded to his father's title soon after coming of age, and took a
leading part in the politics of the day, becoming Knight of the Shire of
Northampton in the Restoration Parliament. He was a high Tory, and a
great defender of the Church and its ejected ministers, one of whom, Dr.
Thomas Morton, the learned theologian, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield,
died in his house in 1659. He wrote a discourse on the "Truth and
Reasonableness of the Religion delivered by Jesus Christ," a Preface to
Dr. Morton's work on Episcopacy, and a vindication of the Church of
England against the attacks of the famous Edward Bagshawe.

In this letter Dorothy describes some husbands whom she could _not_
marry. See what she expects in a lover! Have we not here some local
squires hit off to the life? Could George Eliot herself have done more
for us in like space?

SIR,--Why are you so sullen, and why am I the cause? Can you believe
that I do willingly defer my journey? I know you do not. Why, then,
should my absence now be less supportable to you than heretofore? Nay,
it shall not be long (if I can help it), and I shall break through all
inconveniences rather than deny you anything that lies in my power to
grant. But by your own rules, then, may I not expect the same from you?
Is it possible that all I have said cannot oblige you to a care of
yourself? What a pleasant distinction you make when you say that 'tis
not melancholy makes you do these things, but a careless forgetfulness.
Did ever anybody forget themselves to that degree that was not
melancholy in extremity? Good God! how you are altered; and what is it
that has done it? I have known you when of all the things in the world
you would not have been taken for a discontent; you were, as I thought,
perfectly pleased with your condition; what has made it so much worse
since? I know nothing you have lost, and am sure you have gained a
friend that is capable of the highest degree of friendship you can
propound, that has already given an entire heart for that which she
received, and 'tis no more in her will than in her power ever to recall
it or divide it; if this be not enough to satisfy you, tell me what I
can do more?

There are a great many ingredients must go to the making me happy in a
husband. First, as my cousin Franklin says, our humours must agree; and
to do that he must have that kind of breeding that I have had, and used
that kind of company. That is, he must not be so much a country
gentleman as to understand nothing but hawks and dogs, and be fonder of
either than his wife; nor of the next sort of them whose aim reaches no
further than to be Justice of the Peace, and once in his life High
Sheriff, who reads no book but statutes, and studies nothing but how to
make a speech interlarded with Latin that may amaze his disagreeing poor
neighbours, and fright them rather than persuade them into quietness. He
must not be a thing that began the world in a free school, was sent from
thence to the university, and is at his furthest when he reaches the
Inns of Court, has no acquaintance but those of his form in these
places, speaks the French he has picked out of old laws, and admires
nothing but the stories he has heard of the revels that were kept there
before his time. He must not be a town gallant neither, that lives in a
tavern and an ordinary, that cannot imagine how an hour should be spent
without company unless it be in sleeping, that makes court to all the
women he sees, thinks they believe him, and laughs and is laughed at
equally. Nor a travelled Monsieur whose head is all feather inside and
outside, that can talk of nothing but dances and duets, and has courage
enough to wear slashes when every one else dies with cold to see him. He
must not be a fool of no sort, nor peevish, nor ill-natured, nor proud,
nor covetous; and to all this must be added, that he must love me and I
him as much as we are capable of loving. Without all this, his fortune,
though never so great, would not satisfy me; and with it, a very
moderate one would keep me from ever repenting my disposal.

I have been as large and as particular in my descriptions as my cousin
Molle is in his of Moor Park,--but that you know the place so well I
would send it you,--nothing can come near his patience in writing it,
but my reading on't. Would you had sent me your father's letter, it
would not have been less welcome to me than to you; and you may safely
believe that I am equally concerned with you in anything. I should be
pleased to see something of my Lady Carlisle's writing, because she is
so extraordinary a person. I have been thinking of sending you my
picture till I could come myself; but a picture is but dull company, and
that you need not; besides, I cannot tell whether it be very like me or
not, though 'tis the best I ever had drawn for me, and Mr. Lilly [Lely]
will have it that he never took more pains to make a good one in his
life, and that was it I think that spoiled it. He was condemned for
making the first he drew for me a little worse than I, and in making
this better he has made it as unlike as t'other. He is now, I think, at
my Lord Pagett's at Marloe [Marlow], where I am promised he shall draw a
picture of my Lady for me,--she gives it me, she says, as the greatest
testimony of her friendship to me, for by her own rule she is past the
time of having pictures taken of her. After eighteen, she says, there is
no face but decays apparently; I would fain have had her excepted such
as had never been beauties, for my comfort, but she would not.

When you see your friend Mr. Heningham, you may tell him in his ear
there is a willow garland coming towards him. He might have sped better
in his suit if he had made court to me, as well as to my Lady Ruthin.
She has been my wife this seven years, and whosoever pretends there must
ask my leave. I have now given my consent that she shall marry a very
pretty little gentleman, Sir Christopher Yelverton's son, and I think we
shall have a wedding ere it be long. My Lady her mother, in great
kindness, would have recommended Heningham to me, and told me in a
compliment that I was fitter for him than her daughter, who was younger,
and therefore did not understand the world so well; that she was certain
if he knew me he would be extremely taken, for I would make just that
kind of wife he looked for. I humbly thanked her, but said I was certain
he would not make that kind of husband I looked for,--and so it went no

I expect my eldest brother here shortly, whose fortune is well mended by
my other brother's death, so as if he were satisfied himself with what
he has done, I know no reason why he might not be very happy; but I am
afraid he is not. I have not seen my sister since I knew she was so;
but, sure, she can have lost no beauty, for I never saw any that she
had, but good black eyes, which cannot alter. He loves her, I think, at
the ordinary rate of husbands, but not enough, I believe, to marry her
so much to his disadvantage if it were to do again; and that would kill
me were I as she, for I could be infinitely better satisfied with a
husband that had never loved me in hopes he might, than with one that
began to love me less than he had done.

I am yours.

_Letter 37._

SIR,--You say I abuse you; and Jane says you abuse me when you say you
are not melancholy: which is to be believed? Neither, I think; for I
could not have said so positively (as it seems she did) that I should
not be in town till my brother came back: he was not gone when she writ,
nor is not yet; and if my brother Peyton had come before his going, I
had spoiled her prediction. But now it cannot be; he goes on Monday or
Tuesday at farthest. I hope you did truly with me, too, in saying that
you are not melancholy (though she does not believe it). I am thought
so, many times, when I am not at all guilty on't. How often do I sit in
company a whole day, and when they are gone am not able to give an
account of six words that was said, and many times could be so much
better pleased with the entertainment my own thoughts give me, that 'tis
all I can do to be so civil as not to let them see they trouble me. This
may be your disease. However, remember you have promised me to be
careful of yourself, and that if I secure what you have entrusted me
with, you will answer for the rest. Be this our bargain then; and look
that you give me as good an account of one as I shall give you of
t'other. In earnest, I was strangely vexed to see myself forced to
disappoint you so, and felt your trouble and my own too. How often I
have wished myself with you, though but for a day, for an hour: I would
have given all the time I am to spend here for it with all my heart.

You could not but have laughed if you had seen me last night. My brother
and Mr. Gibson were talking by the fire; and I sat by, but as no part of
the company. Amongst other things (which I did not at all mind), they
fell into a discourse of flying; and both agreed it was very possible to
find out a way that people might fly like birds, and despatch their
journeys: so I, that had not said a word all night, started up at that,
and desired they would say a little more on't, for I had not marked the
beginning; but instead of that, they both fell into so violent a
laughing, that I should appear so much concerned in such an art; but
they little knew of what use it might have been to me. Yet I saw you
last night, but 'twas in a dream; and before I could say a word to you,
or you to me, the disorder my joy to see you had put me into awakened
me. Just now I was interrupted, too, and called away to entertain two
dumb gentlemen;--you may imagine whether I was pleased to leave my
writing to you for their company;--they have made such a tedious visit,
too; and I am so tired with making of signs and tokens for everything I
had to say. Good God! how do those that live with them always? They are
brothers; and the eldest is a baronet, has a good estate, a wife and
three or four children. He was my servant heretofore, and comes to see
me still for old love's sake; but if he could have made me mistress of
the world I could not have had him; and yet I'll swear he has nothing to
be disliked in him but his want of tongue, which in a woman might have
been a virtue.

I sent you a part of _Cyrus_ last week, where you will meet with one
Doralise in the story of Abradah and Panthee. The whole story is very
good; but the humour makes the best part of it. I am of her opinion in
most things that she says in her character of "_L'honnest homme_" that
she is in search of, and her resolution of receiving no heart that had
been offered to anybody else. Pray, tell me how you like her, and what
fault you find in my Lady Carlisle's letter? Methinks the hand and the
style both show her a great person, and 'tis writ in the way that's now
affected by all that pretend to wit and good breeding; only, I am a
little scandalized to confess that she uses that word faithful,--she
that never knew how to be so in her life.

I have sent you my picture because you wished for it; but, pray, let it
not presume to disturb my Lady Sunderland's. Put it in some corner where
no eyes may find it out but yours, to whom it is only intended. 'Tis not
a very good one, but the best I shall ever have drawn of me; for, as my
Lady says, my time for pictures is past, and therefore I have always
refused to part with this, because I was sure the next would be a worse.
There is a beauty in youth that every one has once in their lives; and I
remember my mother used to say there was never anybody (that was not
deformed) but were handsome, to some reasonable degree, once between
fourteen and twenty. It must hang with the light on the left hand of it;
and you may keep it if you please till I bring you the original. But
then I must borrow it (for 'tis no more mine, if you like it), because
my brother is often bringing people into my closet where it hangs, to
show them other pictures that are there; and if he miss this long
thence, 'twould trouble his jealous head.

You are not the first that has told me I knew better what quality I
would not have in a husband than what I would; but it was more
pardonable in them. I thought you had understood better what kind of
person I liked than anybody else could possibly have done, and therefore
did not think it necessary to make you that description too. Those that
I reckoned up were only such as I could not be persuaded to have upon no
terms, though I had never seen such a person in my life as Mr. Temple:
not but that all those may make very good husbands to some women; but
they are so different from my humour that 'tis not possible we should
ever agree; for though it might be reasonably enough expected that I
should conform mine to theirs (to my shame be it spoken), I could never
do it. And I have lived so long in the world, and so much at my own
liberty, that whosoever has me must be content to take me as they find
me, without hope of ever making me other than I am. I cannot so much as
disguise my humour. When it was designed that I should have had Sir
Jus., my brother used to tell he was confident that, with all his
wisdom, any woman that had wit and discretion might make an ass of him,
and govern him as she pleased. I could not deny that possibly it might
be so, but 'twas that I was sure I could never do; and though 'tis
likely I should have forced myself to so much compliance as was
necessary for a reasonable wife, yet farther than that no design could
ever have carried me; and I could not have flattered him into a belief
that I admired him, to gain more than he and all his generation are

'Tis such an ease (as you say) not to be solicitous to please others: in
earnest, I am no more concerned whether people think me handsome or
ill-favoured, whether they think I have wit or that I have none, than I
am whether they think my name Elizabeth or Dorothy. I would do nobody no
injury; but I should never design to please above one; and that one I
must love too, or else I should think it a trouble, and consequently not
do it. I have made a general confession to you; will you give me
absolution? Methinks you should; for you are not much better by your own
relation; therefore 'tis easiest to forgive one another. When you hear
anything from your father, remember that I am his humble servant, and
much concerned in his good health.

I am yours.

_Letter 38._--Lady Isabella is Lady Isabella Rich, my Lady Diana's
eldest sister. She married Sir James Thynne. Many years ago she had an
intrigue with the Duke of Ormond, by whom she had a son, but Dorothy
speaks, I think, of some later scandal than this.

My Lady Pembroke was the daughter of the Earl of Cumberland. She first
married Richard Earl of Dorset, and afterwards the Earl of Pembroke. She
is described as a woman whose mind was endowed by nature with very
extraordinary attributes. Lord Pembroke, on the other hand, according to
Clarendon, pretended to no other qualification "than to understand
horses and dogs very well, and to be believed honest and generous." His
stables vied with palaces, and his falconry was furnished at immense
expense; but in his private life he was characterized by gross
ignorance and vice, and his public character was marked by ingratitude
and instability. The life of Lady Pembroke was embittered by this man
for near twenty years, and she was at length compelled to separate from
him. She lived alone, until her husband's death, which took place in
January 1650. One can understand that they were entirely unsuited to
each other, when Lady Pembroke in her Memorials is found to write thus
of her husband: "He was no scholar, having passed but three or four
months at Oxford, when he was taken thence after his father's death. He
was of quick apprehension, sharp understanding, very crafty withal; of a
discerning spirit, but a choleric nature, increased by the office he
held of Chamberlain to the King." Why, then, did the accomplished Lady
Anne Clifford unite herself to so worthless a person? Does she not
answer this question for us when she writes that he was "the greatest
nobleman in England"?

It is of some interest to us to remember that Francis Osborne, Dorothy's
uncle (her father's youngest brother), was Master of the Horse to this
great nobleman.

Whether Lord and Lady Leicester were, as Dorothy says, "in great
disorder" at this time, it is impossible to say. Lady Leicester is said
to have been of a warm and irritable temper, and Lord Leicester is
described by Clarendon as "staggering and irresolute in his nature."
However, nothing is said of their quarrels; but, on the other hand,
there is a very pathetic account in Lord Leicester's journal of his
wife's death in 1659, which shows that, whatever this "disorder" may
have been, a complete reconciliation was afterwards effected.

SIR,--You would have me say something of my coming. Alas! how fain I
would have something to say, but I know no more than you saw in that
letter I sent you. How willingly would I tell you anything that I
thought would please you; but I confess I do not like to give uncertain
hopes, because I do not care to receive them. And I thought there was no
need of saying I would be sure to take the first occasion, and that I
waited with impatience for it, because I hoped you had believed all that
already; and so you do, I am sure. Say what you will, you cannot but
know my heart enough to be assured that I wish myself with you, for my
own sake as well as yours. 'Tis rather that you love to hear me say it
often, than that you doubt it; for I am no dissembler. I could not cry
for a husband that were indifferent to me (like your cousin); no, nor
for a husband that I loved neither. I think 'twould break my heart
sooner than make me shed a tear. 'Tis ordinary griefs that make me weep.
In earnest, you cannot imagine how often I have been told that I had too
much _franchise_ in my humour, and that 'twas a point of good breeding
to disguise handsomely; but I answered still for myself, that 'twas not
to be expected I should be exactly bred, that had never seen a Court
since I was capable of anything. Yet I know so much,--that my Lady
Carlisle would take it very ill if you should not let her get the point
of honour; 'tis all she aims at, to go beyond everybody in compliment.
But are you not afraid of giving me a strong vanity with telling me I
write better than the most extraordinary person in the world? If I had
not the sense to understand that the reason why you like my letters
better is only because they are kinder than hers, such a word might have
undone me.

But my Lady Isabella, that speaks, and looks, and sings, and plays, and
all so prettily, why cannot I say that she is free from faults as her
sister believes her? No; I am afraid she is not, and sorry that those
she has are so generally known. My brother did not bring them for an
example; but I did, and made him confess she had better have married a
beggar than that beast with all his estate. She cannot be excused; but
certainly they run a strange hazard that have such husbands as makes
them think they cannot be more undone, whatever course they take. Oh,
'tis ten thousand pities! I remember she was the first woman that ever I
took notice of for extremely handsome; and, in earnest, she was then the
loveliest lady that could be looked on, I think. But what should she do
with beauty now? Were I as she, I should hide myself from all the world;
I should think all people that looked on me read it in my face and
despised me in their hearts; and at the same time they made me a leg, or
spoke civilly to me, I should believe they did not think I deserved
their respect. I'll tell you who he urged for an example though, my Lord
Pembroke and my Lady, who, they say, are upon parting after all his
passion for her, and his marrying her against the consent of all his
friends; but to that I answered, that though he pretended great kindness
he had for her, I never heard of much she had for him, and knew she
married him merely for advantage. Nor is she a woman of that discretion
as to do all that might become her, when she must do it rather as things
fit to be done than as things she inclined to. Besides that, what with a
spleenatick side and a chemical head, he is but an odd body himself.

But is it possible what they say, that my Lord Leicester and my Lady are
in great disorder, and that after forty years' patience he has now taken
up the cudgels and resolved to venture for the mastery? Methinks he
wakes out of his long sleep like a froward child, that wrangles and
fights with all that comes near it. They say he has turned away almost
every servant in the house, and left her at Penshurst to digest it as
she can.

What an age do we live in, where 'tis a miracle if in ten couples that
are married, two of them live so as not to publish to the world that
they cannot agree. I begin to be of your opinion of him that (when the
Roman Church first propounded whether it were not convenient for priests
not to marry) said that it might be convenient enough, but sure it was
not our Saviour's intention, for He commanded that all should take up
their cross and follow Him; and for his part, he was confident there was
no such cross as a wife. This is an ill doctrine for me to preach; but
to my friends I cannot but confess that I am afraid much of the fault
lies in us; for I have observed that formerly, in great families, the
men seldom disagree, but the women are always scolding; and 'tis most
certain, that let the husband be what he will, if the wife have but
patience (which, sure, becomes her best), the disorder cannot be great
enough to make a noise; his anger alone, when it meets with nothing that
resists it, cannot be loud enough to disturb the neighbours. And such a
wife may be said to do as a kinswoman of ours that had a husband who was
not always himself; and when he was otherwise, his humour was to rise in
the night, and with two bedstaves labour on the table an hour together.
She took care every night to lay a great cushion upon the table for him
to strike on, that nobody might hear him, and so discover his madness.
But 'tis a sad thing when all one's happiness is only that the world
does not know you are miserable.

For my part, I think it were very convenient that all such as intend to
marry should live together in the same house some years of probation;
and if, in all that time, they never disagreed, they should then be
permitted to marry if they please; but how few would do it then! I do
not remember that I ever saw or heard of any couple that were bred up so
together (as many you know are, that are designed for one another from
children), but they always disliked one another extremely; parted, if it
were left in their choice. If people proceeded with this caution, the
world would end sooner than is expected, I believe; and because, with
all my wariness, 'tis not impossible but I may be caught, nor likely
that I should be wiser than anybody else, 'twere best, I think, that I
said no more on this point.

What would I give to know that sister of yours that is so good at
discovering; sure she is excellent company; she has reason to laugh at
you when you would have persuaded her the "moss was sweet." I remember
Jane brought some of it to me, to ask me if I thought it had no ill
smell, and whether she might venture to put it in the box or not. I told
her as I thought, she could not put a more innocent thing there, for I
did not find it had any smell at all; besides, I was willing it should
do me some service in requital for the pains I had taken for it. My
niece and I wandered through some eight hundred acres of wood in search
of it, to make rocks and strange things that her head is full of, and
she admires it more than you did. If she had known I had consented it
should have been used to fill up a box, she would have condemned me
extremely. I told Jane that you liked her present, and she, I find, is
resolved to spoil your compliment, and make you confess at last that
they are not worth the eating; she threatens to send you more, but you
would forgive her if you saw how she baits me every day to go to London;
all that I can say will not satisfy her. When I urge (as 'tis true) that
there is a necessity of my stay here, she grows furious, cries you will
die with melancholy, and confounds me so with stories of your
ill-humour, that I'll swear I think I should go merely to be at quiet,
if it were possible, though there were no other reason for it. But I
hope 'tis not so ill as she would have me believe it, though I know your
humour is strangely altered from what it was, and am sorry to see it.
Melancholy must needs do you more hurt than to another to whom it may be
natural, as I think it is to me; therefore if you loved me you would
take heed on't. Can you believe that you are dearer to me than the whole
world beside, and yet neglect yourself? If you do not, you wrong a
perfect friendship; and if you do, you must consider my interest in you,
and preserve yourself to make me happy. Promise me this, or I shall
haunt you worse than she does me. Scribble how you please, so you make
your letter long enough; you see I give you good example; besides, I can
assure you we do perfectly agree if you receive not satisfaction but
from my letters, I have none but what yours give me.

_Letter 39._--Dorothy has been in London since her last letter, but
unfortunately she has either not met with Temple, or he has left town
suddenly whilst she was there, on some unexplained errand. This would
therefore seem a natural place to begin a new chapter; but as we have
very shortly to come to a series of unhappy letters, quite distinct in
their character from these, I have thought fit to place in this long
chapter yet a few more letters after Dorothy's autumn visit to London.

Stephen Marshall was, like Hugh Peters, one of those preachers who was
able to exchange the obscurity of a country parish for the public fame
of a London pulpit, by reason of a certain gift of rhetorical power,
the value of which it is impossible to estimate to-day. Such of his
sermons as are still extant are prosy, long-winded, dogmatic
absurdities, overloaded with periphrastic illustrations in scriptural
language. They are meaningless to a degree, which would make one wonder
at the docility and patience of a seventeenth century congregation, if
one had not witnessed a similar spirit in congregations of to-day.

There is no honest biography of Stephen Marshall. In the news-books and
tracts of the day we find references to sermons preached by him, by
command, before the Army of the Parliament, and we have reprints of some
of these. I have searched in vain to find the sermon which Dorothy
heard, but it was probably not a sermon given on any great occasion, and
we may believe it was never printed. There is an amusing scandalous
tract, called the _Life and Death of Stephen Marshall_, which is so full
of "evil speaking, lying, and slandering," as to be quite unworthy of
quotation. From this we may take it, however, that he was born at
Gormanchester, in Cromwell's county, was educated at Emmanuel College,
Cambridge, and that before he came to London his chief cure of souls was
at Finchingfield in Essex. These, and the records of his London
preaching, are the only facts in his life's history which have come to
my notice.

My Lord Whitelocke did go to Sweden, as Dorothy surmises; setting sail
from Plymouth with one hundred honest men, on October 26, 1653, or very
soon afterwards, as one may read in his journal of the progress of the
Embassy. That he should fill this office, appears to have been proposed
to him by Cromwell in September of this year.

An Act of Parliament to abolish the Chancery was indeed passed in the
August of this year. Well may Lord Keble sore lament, and the rest of
the world rejoice, at such news. Joseph Keble was a well-known law
reporter, a son of Serjeant Richard Keble. He was a Fellow of All Souls,
and a Bencher of Gray's Inn; and, furthermore, was one of the Lords
Commissioners of the Great Seal from 1648-1654. There was "some debate,"
says Whitelocke, "whether they should be styled 'Commissioners' or
'Lords Commissioners,'" and though the word _Lords_ was far less
acceptable at this time than formerly, yet that they might not seem to
lessen their own authority, nor the honour of their office constituted
by them, they voted the title to be "Lords Commissioners."

SIR,--If want of kindness were the only crime I exempted from pardon,
'twas not that I had the least apprehension you could be guilty of it;
but to show you (by excepting only an impossible thing) that I excepted
nothing. No, in earnest, I can fancy no such thing of you, or if I
could, the quarrel would be to myself; I should never forgive my own
folly that let me to choose a friend that could be false. But I'll leave
this (which is not much to the purpose) and tell you how, with my usual
impatience, I expected your letter, and how cold it went to my heart to
see it so short a one. 'Twas so great a pain to me that I am resolv'd
you shall not feel it; nor can I in justice punish you for a fault
unwillingly committed. If I were your enemy, I could not use you ill
when I saw Fortune do it too, and in gallantry and good nature both, I
should think myself rather obliged to protect you from her injury (if it
lay in my power) than double them upon you. These things considered, I
believe this letter will be longer than ordinary,--kinder I think it
cannot be. I always speak my heart to you; and that is so much your
friend, it never furnishes me with anything to your disadvantage. I am
glad you are an admirer of Telesile as well as I; in my opinion 'tis a
fine Lady, but I know you will pity poor Amestris strongly when you have
read her story. I'll swear I cried for her when I read it first, though
she were but an imaginary person; and, sure, if anything of that kind
can deserve it, her misfortunes may.

God forgive me, I was as near laughing yesterday where I should not.
Would you believe that I had the grace to go hear a sermon upon a week
day? In earnest, 'tis true; a Mr. Marshall was the man that preached,
but never anybody was so defeated. He is so famed that I expected rare
things of him, and seriously I listened to him as if he had been St.
Paul; and what do you think he told us? Why, that if there were no
kings, no queens, no lords, no ladies, nor gentlemen, nor gentlewomen,
in the world, 'twould be no loss to God Almighty at all. This we had
over some forty times, which made me remember it whether I would or not.
The rest was much at this rate, interlarded with the prettiest odd
phrases, that I had the most ado to look soberly enough for the place I
was in that ever I had in my life. He does not preach so always, sure?
If he does, I cannot believe his sermons will do much towards bringing
anybody to heaven more than by exercising their patience. Yet, I'll say
that for him, he stood stoutly for tithes, though, in my opinion, few
deserve them less than he; and it may be he would be better without

Yet you are not convinced, you say, that to be miserable is the way to
be good; to some natures I think it is not, but there are many of so
careless and vain a temper, that the least breath of good fortune swells
them with so much pride, that if they were not put in mind sometimes by
a sound cross or two that they are mortal, they would hardly think it
possible; and though 'tis a sign of a servile nature when fear produces
more of reverence in us than love, yet there is more danger of
forgetting oneself in a prosperous fortune than in the contrary, and
affliction may be the surest (though not the pleasantest) guide to
heaven. What think you, might not I preach with Mr. Marshall for a
wager? But you could fancy a perfect happiness here, you say; that is
not much, many people do so; but I never heard of anybody that ever had
it more than in fancy, so that will not be strange if you should miss
on't. One may be happy to a good degree, I think, in a faithful friend,
a moderate fortune, and a retired life; further than this I know nothing
to wish; but if there be anything beyond it, I wish it you.

You did not tell me what carried you out of town in such haste. I hope
the occasion was good, you must account to me for all that I lost by it.
I shall expect a whole packet next week. Oh, me! I have forgot this once
or twice to tell you, that if it be no inconvenience to you, I could
wish you would change the place of direction for my letters. Certainly
that Jones knows my name, I bespoke a saddle of him once, and though it
be a good while agone, yet I was so often with him about it,--having
much ado to make him understand how I would have it, it being of a
fashion he had never seen, though, sure, it be common,--that I am
confident he has not forgot me. Besides that, upon it he got my
brother's custom; and I cannot tell whether he does not use the shop
still. Jane presents her humble service to you, and has sent you
something in a box; 'tis hard to imagine what she can find here to
present you withal, and I am much in doubt whether you will not pay too
dear for it if you discharge the carriage. 'Tis a pretty freedom she
takes, but you may thank yourself; she thinks because you call her
fellow-servant, she may use you accordingly. I bred her better, but you
have spoiled her.

Is it true that my Lord Whitlocke goes Ambassador where my Lord Lisle
should have gone? I know not how he may appear in a Swedish Court, but
he was never meant for a courtier at home, I believe. Yet 'tis a
gracious Prince; he is often in this country, and always does us the
favour to send for his fruit hither. He was making a purchase of one of
the best houses in the county. I know not whether he goes on with it;
but 'tis such a one as will not become anything less than a lord. And
there is a talk as if the Chancery were going down; if so, his title
goes with it, I think. 'Twill be sad news for my Lord Keble's son; he
will have nothing left to say when "my Lord, my father," is taken from
him. Were it not better that I had nothing to say neither, than that I
should entertain you with such senseless things. I hope I am half
asleep, nothing else can excuse me; if I were quite asleep, I should say
fine things to you; I often dream I do; but perhaps if I could remember
them they are no wiser than my wakening discourses. Good-night.

_Letter 40._--A letter has been lost; whether Harrold or Collins, the
two carriers, were either or both of them guilty of carelessness in the
delivery of these letters, it is quite impossible to say now. Dorothy
seems to think Harrold delivered the letter, and it was mislaid in
London. Perhaps it was this letter, and what was written about it, that
caused all those latent feelings of despair and discontent to awaken in
the breasts of the two lovers. Was this the spark that loneliness and
absence fanned into flame? You shall judge for yourself, reader, in the
next chapter.

SIR,--That you may be at more certainty hereafter what to think, let me
tell you that nothing could hinder me from writing to you (as well for
my own satisfaction as yours) but an impossibility of doing it; nothing
but death or a dead palsy in my hands, or something that had the same
effect. I did write it, and gave it Harrold, but by an accident his
horse fell lame, so that he could not set out on Monday; but on Tuesday
he did come to town; on Wednesday, carried the letter himself (as he
tells me) where 'twas directed, which was to Mr. Copyn in Fleet Street.
'Twas the first time I made use of that direction; no matter and I had
not done it then, since it proves no better. Harrold came late home on
Thursday night with such an account as your boy gave you: that coming
out of town the same day he came in, he had been at Fleet Street again,
but there was no letter for him. I was sorry, but I did not much wonder
at it because he gave so little time, and resolved to make my best of
that I had by Collins. I read it over often enough to make it equal with
the longest letter that ever was writ, and pleased myself, in earnest
(as much as it was possible for me in the humour I was in), to think how
by that time you had asked me pardon for the little reproaches you had
made me, and that the kindness and length of my letter had made you
amends for the trouble it had given you in expecting it. But I am not a
little annoyed to find you had it not. I am very confident it was
delivered, and therefore you must search where the fault lies.

Were it not that you had suffered too much already, I would complain a
little of you. Why should you think me so careless of anything that you
were concerned in, as to doubt that I had writ? Though I had received
none from you, I should not have taken that occasion to revenge myself.
Nay, I should have concluded you innocent, and have imagined a thousand
ways how it might happen, rather than have suspected your want of
kindness. Why should not you be as just to me? But I will not chide, it
may be (as long as we have been friends) you do not know me so well yet
as to make an absolute judgment of me; but if I know myself at all, if I
am capable of being anything, 'tis a perfect friend. Yet I must chide
too. Why did you get such a cold? Good God! how careless you are of a
life that (by your own confession) I have told you makes all the
happiness of mine. 'Tis unkindly done. What is left for me to say, when
that will not prevail with you; or how can you persuade me to a cure of
myself, when you refuse to give me the example? I have nothing in the
world that gives me the least desire of preserving myself, but the
opinion I have you would not be willing to lose me; and yet, if you saw
with what caution I live (at least to what I did before), you would
reproach it to yourself sometimes, and might grant, perhaps, that you
have not got the advantage of me in friendship so much as you imagine.
What (besides your consideration) could oblige me to live and lose all
the rest of my friends thus one after another? Sure I am not insensible
nor very ill-natured, and yet I'll swear I think I do not afflict myself
half so much as another would do that had my losses. I pay nothing of
sadness to the memory of my poor brother, but I presently disperse it
with thinking what I owe in thankfulness that 'tis not you I mourn for.

Well, give me no more occasions to complain of you, you know not what
may follow. Here was Mr. Freeman yesterday that made me a very kind
visit, and said so many fine things to me, that I was confounded with
his civilities, and had nothing to say for myself. I could have wished
then that he had considered me less and my niece more; but if you
continue to use me thus, in earnest, I'll not be so much her friend
hereafter. Methinks I see you laugh at all my threatenings; and not
without reason. Mr. Freeman, you believe, is designed for somebody that
deserves him better. I think so too, and am not sorry for it; and you
have reason to believe I never can be other than

Your faithful friend.



This chapter of letters is a sad note, sounding out from among its
fellows with mournful clearness. There had seemed a doubt whether all
these letters must be regarded as of one series, or whether, more
correctly, it was to be assumed that Dorothy and Temple had their
lovers' quarrels, for the well-understood pleasure of kissing friends
again. But you will agree that these lovers were not altogether as other
lovers are, that their troubles were too real and too many for their
love to need the stimulus of constant April shower quarrels; and these
letters are very serious in their sadness, imprinting themselves in the
mind after constant reading as landmarks clearly defining the course and
progress of an unusual event in these lovers' history--a

The letters are written at Christmastide, 1653. Dorothy had returned
from London to Chicksands, and either had not seen Temple or he had left
London hurriedly whilst she was there. There is a letter lost. Dorothy's
youngest brother is lately dead; her niece has left her; her companion
Jane is sick; her father, growing daily weaker and weaker, was sinking
into his grave before her eyes. No bright chance seemed to open before
her, and their marriage seemed an impossibility. For a moment she loses
faith, not in Temple, but in fortune; faith once gone, hope, missing her
comrade, flies away in search of her. She is alone in the old house with
her dying father, and with her brother pouring his unkind gossip into
her unwilling ear, whilst the sad long year draws slowly to its close,
and there is no sign of better fortune for the lovers; can we wonder,
then, that Dorothy, lonely and unaided, pacing in the damp garden
beneath the bare trees, with all the bright summer changed into decay,
lost faith and hope?

Temple, when Dorothy's thoughts reach him, must have replied with some
impatience. There are stories, too, set about concerning her good name
by one Mr. B., to disturb Temple. Temple can hardly have given credence
to these, but he may have complained of them to Dorothy, who is led to
declare, "I am the most unfortunate woman breathing, but I was never
false," though she forgives her lover "all those strange thoughts he has
had" of her. Whatever were the causes of the quarrel, or rather the
despondency, we shall never know accurately. Dorothy was not the woman
to vapour for months about "an early and a quiet grave." When she writes
this it is written in the deepest earnest of despair; when this mood is
over it is over for ever, and we emerge into a clear atmosphere of hope
and content. The despondency has been agonizing, but the agony is sharp
and rapid, and gives place to the wisdom of hope.

Temple now comes to Chicksands at an early date. There is a new
interchange of vows. Never again will their faith be shaken by fretting
and despair; and these vows are never broken, but remain with the lovers
until they are set aside by others, taken under the solemn sanction of
the law, and the old troubles vanish in new responsibilities and a new

_Letter 41._--Lady Anne Blunt was a daughter of the Earl of Newport. Her
mother had turned Catholic in 1637, which had led to an estrangement
between her and her husband, and we may conclude poor Lady Anne had by
no means a happy home. There are two scandals connected with her name.
She appears to have run away with one William Blunt,--the "Mr. Blunt"
mentioned by Dorothy in her next letter; and on April 18, 1654, she
petitioned the Protector to issue a special commission upon her whole
case. Mr. Blunt pretended that she was contracted to him for the sake,
it is said, of gaining money thereby. There being no Bishop's Court at
this time, there are legal difficulties in the way, and we never hear
the result of the petition. Again, in February 1655, one Mr. Porter
finds himself committed to Lambeth House for carrying away the Lady Anne
Blunt, and endeavouring to marry her without her father's consent.

SIR,--Having tired myself with thinking, I mean to weary you with
reading, and revenge myself that way for all the unquiet thoughts you
have given me. But I intended this a sober letter, and therefore, _sans
raillerie_, let me tell you, I have seriously considered all our
misfortunes, and can see no end of them but by submitting to that which
we cannot avoid, and by yielding to it break the force of a blow which
if resisted brings a certain ruin. I think I need not tell you how dear
you have been to me, nor that in your kindness I placed all the
satisfaction of my life; 'twas the only happiness I proposed to myself,
and had set my heart so much upon it that it was therefore made my
punishment, to let me see that, how innocent soever I thought my
affection, it was guilty in being greater than is allowable for things
of this world. 'Tis not a melancholy humour gives me these apprehensions
and inclinations, nor the persuasions of others; 'tis the result of a
long strife with myself, before my reason could overcome my passion, or
bring me to a perfect resignation to whatsoever is allotted for me. 'Tis
now done, I hope, and I have nothing left but to persuade you to that,
which I assure myself your own judgment will approve in the end, and
your reason has often prevailed with you to offer; that which you would
have done then out of kindness to me and point of honour, I would have
you do now out of wisdom and kindness to yourself. Not that I would
disclaim my part in it or lessen my obligation to you, no, I am your
friend as much as ever I was in my life, I think more, and I am sure I
shall never be less. I have known you long enough to discern that you
have all the qualities that make an excellent friend, and I shall
endeavour to deserve that you may be so to me; but I would have you do
this upon the justest grounds, and such as may conduce most to your
quiet and future satisfaction. When we have tried all ways to happiness,
there is no such thing to be found but in a mind conformed to one's
condition, whatever it be, and in not aiming at anything that is either
impossible or improbable; all the rest is but vanity and vexation of
spirit, and I durst pronounce it so from that little knowledge I have
had of the world, though I had not Scripture for my warrant. The
shepherd that bragged to the traveller, who asked him, "What weather it
was like to be?" that it should be what weather pleased him, and made it
good by saying it should be what weather pleased God, and what pleased
God should please him, said an excellent thing in such language, and
knew enough to make him the happiest person in the world if he made a
right use on't. There can be no pleasure in a struggling life, and that
folly which we condemn in an ambitious man, that's ever labouring for
that which is hardly got and more uncertainly kept, is seen in all
according to their several humours; in some 'tis covetousness, in others
pride, in some stubbornness of nature that chooses always to go against
the tide, and in others an unfortunate fancy to things that are in
themselves innocent till we make them otherwise by desiring them too
much. Of this sort you and I are, I think; we have lived hitherto upon
hopes so airy that I have often wondered how they could support the
weight of our misfortunes; but passion gives a strength above nature, we
see it in mad people; and, not to flatter ourselves, ours is but a
refined degree of madness. What can it be else to be lost to all things
in the world but that single object that takes up one's fancy, to lose
all the quiet and repose of one's life in hunting after it, when there
is so little likelihood of ever gaining it, and so many more probable
accidents that will infallibly make us miss on't? And which is more than
all, 'tis being mastered by that which reason and religion teaches us to
govern, and in that only gives us a pre-eminence over beasts. This,
soberly consider'd, is enough to let us see our error, and consequently
to persuade us to redeem it. To another person, I should justify myself
that 'tis not a lightness in my nature, nor any interest that is not
common to us both, that has wrought this change in me. To you that know
my heart, and from whom I shall never hide it, to whom a thousand
testimonies of my kindness can witness the reality of it, and whose
friendship is not built upon common grounds, I have no more to say but
that I impose not my opinions upon you, and that I had rather you took
them up as your own choice than upon my entreaty. But if, as we have not
differed in anything else, we could agree in this too, and resolve upon
a friendship that will be much the perfecter for having nothing of
passion in it, how happy might we be without so much as a fear of the
change that any accident could bring. We might defy all that fortune
could do, and putting off all disguise and constraint, with that which
only made it necessary, make our lives as easy to us as the condition of
this world will permit. I may own you as a person that I extremely value
and esteem, and for whom I have a particular friendship, and you may
consider me as one that will always be

Your faithful.

This was written when I expected a letter from you, how came I to miss
it? I thought at first it might be the carrier's fault in changing his
time without giving notice, but he assures me he did, to Nan. My
brother's groom came down to-day, too, and saw her, he tells me, but
brings me nothing from her; if nothing of ill be the cause, I am
contented. You hear the noise my Lady Anne Blunt has made with her
marrying? I am so weary with meeting it in all places where I go; from
what is she fallen! they talked but the week before that she should have
my Lord of Strafford. Did you not intend to write to me when you writ to
Jane? That bit of paper did me great service; without it I should have
had strange apprehension, and my sad dreams, and the several frights I
have waked in, would have run so in my head that I should have concluded
something of very ill from your silence. Poor Jane is sick, but she will
write, she says, if she can. Did you send the last part of _Cyrus_ to
Mr. Hollingsworth?

_Letter 42._

SIR,--I am extremely sorry that your letter miscarried, but I am
confident my brother has it not. As cunning as he is, he could not hide
from me, but that I should discover it some way or other. No; he was
here, and both his men, when this letter should have come, and not one
of them stirred out that day; indeed, the next day they went all to
London. The note you writ to Jane came in one of Nan's, by Collins, but
nothing else; it must be lost by the porter that was sent with it, and
'twas very unhappy that there should be anything in it of more
consequence than ordinary; it may be numbered amongst the rest of our
misfortunes, all which an inconsiderate passion has occasioned. You must
pardon me I cannot be reconciled to it, it has been the ruin of us both.
'Tis true that nobody must imagine to themselves ever to be absolute
master on't, but there is great difference betwixt that and yielding to
it, between striving with it and soothing it up till it grows too strong
for one. Can I remember how ignorantly and innocently I suffered it to
steal upon me by degrees; how under a mask of friendship I cozened
myself into that which, had it appeared to me at first in its true
shape, I had feared and shunned? Can I discern that it has made the
trouble of your life, and cast a cloud upon mine, that will help to
cover me in my grave? Can I know that it wrought so upon us both as to
make neither of us friends to one another, but agree in running wildly
to our own destruction, and that perhaps of some innocent persons who
might live to curse our folly that gave them so miserable a being? Ah!
if you love yourself or me, you must confess that I have reason to
condemn this senseless passion; that wheresoe'er it comes destroys all
that entertain it; nothing of judgment or discretion can live with it,
and it puts everything else out of order before it can find a place for
itself. What has it brought my poor Lady Anne Blunt to? She is the talk
of all the footmen and boys in the street, and will be company for them
shortly, and yet is so blinded by her passion as not at all to perceive
the misery she has brought herself to; and this fond love of hers has so
rooted all sense of nature out of her heart, that, they say, she is no
more moved than a statue with the affliction of a father and mother that
doted on her, and had placed the comfort of their lives in her
preferment. With all this is it not manifest to the whole world that Mr.
Blunt could not consider anything in this action but his own interest,
and that he makes her a very ill return for all her kindness; if he had
loved her truly he would have died rather than have been the occasion of
this misfortune to her. My cousin Franklin (as you observe very well)
may say fine things now she is warm in Moor Park, but she is very much
altered in her opinions since her marriage, if these be her own. She
left a gentleman, that I could name, whom she had much more of kindness
for than ever she had for Mr. Franklin, because his estate was less; and
upon the discovery of some letters that her mother intercepted, suffered
herself to be persuaded that twenty-three hundred pound a year was
better than twelve hundred, though with a person she loved; and has
recovered it so well, that you see she confesses there is nothing in her
condition she desires to alter at the charge of a wish. She's happier by
much than I shall ever be, but I do not envy her; may she long enjoy it,
and I an early and a quiet grave, free from the trouble of this busy
world, where all with passion pursue their own interests at their
neighbour's charges; where nobody is pleased but somebody complains
on't; and where 'tis impossible to be without giving and receiving

You would know what I would be at, and how I intend to dispose of
myself. Alas! were I in my own disposal, you should come to my grave to
be resolved; but grief alone will not kill. All that I can say, then, is
that I resolve on nothing but to arm myself with patience, to resist
nothing that is laid upon me, nor struggle for what I have no hope to
get. I have no ends nor no designs, nor will my heart ever be capable of
any; but like a country wasted by a civil war, where two opposing
parties have disputed their right so long till they have made it worth
neither of their conquests, 'tis ruined and desolated by the long strife
within it to that degree as 'twill be useful to none,--nobody that knows
the condition 'tis in will think it worth the gaining, and I shall not
trouble anybody with it. No, really, if I may be permitted to desire
anything, it shall be only that I may injure nobody but myself,--I can
bear anything that reflects only upon me; or, if I cannot, I can die;
but I would fain die innocent, that I might hope to be happy in the next
world, though never in this. I take it a little ill that you should
conjure me by anything, with a belief that 'tis more powerful with me
than your kindness. No, assure yourself what that alone cannot gain will
be denied to all the world. You would see me, you say? You may do so if
you please, though I know not to what end. You deceive yourself if you
think it would prevail upon me to alter my intentions; besides, I can
make no contrivances; it must be here, and I must endure the noise it
will make, and undergo the censures of a people that choose ever to give
the worst interpretation that anything will bear. Yet if it can be any
ease to you to make me more miserable than I am, never spare me;
consider yourself only, and not me at all,--'tis no more than I deserve
for not accepting what you offered me whilst 'twas in your power to make
it good, as you say it then was. You were prepared, it seems, but I was
surprised, I confess. 'Twas a kind fault though; and you may pardon it
with more reason than I have to forgive it myself. And let me tell you
this, too, as lost and as wretched as I am, I have still some sense of
my reputation left in me,--I find that to my cost,--I shall attempt to
preserve it as clear as I can; and to do that, I must, if you see me
thus, make it the last of our interviews. What can excuse me if I should
entertain any person that is known to pretend to me, when I can have no
hope of ever marrying him? And what hope can I have of that when the
fortune that can only make it possible to me depends upon a thousand
accidents and contingencies, the uncertainty of the place 'tis in, and
the government it may fall under, your father's life or his success, his
disposal of himself and of his fortune, besides the time that must
necessarily be required to produce all this, and the changes that may
probably bring with it, which 'tis impossible for us to foresee? All
this considered, what have I to say for myself when people shall ask,
what 'tis I expect? Can there be anything vainer than such a hope upon
such grounds? You must needs see the folly on't yourself, and therefore
examine your own heart what 'tis fit for me to do, and what you can do
for a person you love, and that deserves your compassion if nothing
else,--a person that will always have an inviolable friendship for you,
a friendship that shall take up all the room my passion held in my
heart, and govern there as master, till death come and take possession
and turn it out.

Why should you make an impossibility where there is none? A thousand
accidents might have taken me from you, and you must have borne it. Why
would not your own resolution work as much upon you as necessity and
time does infallibly upon people? Your father would take it very ill, I
believe, if you should pretend to love me better than he did my Lady,
yet she is dead and he lives, and perhaps may do to love again. There is
a gentlewoman in this country that loved so passionately for six or
seven years that her friends, who kept her from marrying, fearing her
death, consented to it; and within half a year her husband died, which
afflicted her so strongly nobody thought she would have lived. She saw
no light but candles in three years, nor came abroad in five; and now
that 'tis some nine years past, she is passionately taken again with
another, and how long she has been so nobody knows but herself. This is
to let you see 'tis not impossible what I ask, nor unreasonable. Think
on't, and attempt it at least; but do it sincerely, and do not help your
passion to master you. As you have ever loved me do this.

The carrier shall bring your letters to Suffolk House to Jones. I shall
long to hear from you; but if you should deny the only hope that's left
me, I must beg you will defer it till Christmas Day be past; for, to
deal freely with you, I have some devotions to perform then, which must
not be disturbed with anything, and nothing is like to do it as so
sensible an affliction. Adieu.

_Letter 43._

SIR,--I can say little more than I did,--I am convinced of the vileness
of the world and all that's in it, and that I deceived myself extremely
when I expected anything of comfort from it. No, I have no more to do
in't but to grow every day more and more weary of it, if it be possible
that I have not yet reached the highest degree of hatred for it. But I
thank God I hate nothing else but the base world, and the vices that
make a part of it. I am in perfect charity with my enemies, and have
compassion for all people's misfortunes as well as for my own,
especially for those I may have caused; and I may truly say I bear my
share of such. But as nothing obliges me to relieve a person that is in
extreme want till I change conditions with him and come to be where he
began, and that I may be thought compassionate if I do all that I can
without prejudicing myself too much, so let me tell you, that if I could
help it, I would not love you, and that as long as I live I shall strive
against it as against that which had been my ruin, and was certainly
sent me as a punishment for my sin. But I shall always have a sense of
your misfortunes, equal, if not above, my own. I shall pray that you may
obtain a quiet I never hope for but in my grave, and I shall never
change my condition but with my life. Yet let not this give you a hope.
Nothing ever can persuade me to enter the world again. I shall, in a
short time, have disengaged myself of all my little affairs in it, and
settled myself in a condition to apprehend nothing but too long a life,
therefore I wish you would forget me; and to induce you to it, let me
tell you freely that I deserve you should. If I remember anybody, 'tis
against my will. I am possessed with that strange insensibility that my
nearest relations have no tie upon me, and I find myself no more
concerned in those that I have heretofore had great tenderness of
affection for, than in my kindred that died long before I was born.
Leave me to this, and seek a better fortune. I beg it of you as heartily
as I forgive you all those strange thoughts you have had of me. Think me
so still if that will do anything towards it. For God's sake do take any
course that may make you happy; or, if that cannot be, less unfortunate
at least than

Your friend and humble servant,


I can hear nothing of that letter, but I hear from all people that I
know, part of my unhappy story, and from some that I do not know. A
lady, whose face I never saw, sent it me as news she had out of Ireland.

_Letter 44._

SIR,--If you have ever loved me, do not refuse the last request I shall
ever make you; 'tis to preserve yourself from the violence of your
passion. Vent it all upon me; call me and think me what you please; make
me, if it be possible, more wretched than I am. I'll bear it all without
the least murmur. Nay, I deserve it all, for had you never seen me you
had certainly been happy. 'Tis my misfortunes only that have that
infectious quality as to strike at the same time me and all that's dear
to me. I am the most unfortunate woman breathing, but I was never false.
No; I call heaven to witness that if my life could satisfy for the least
injury my fortune has done you (I cannot say 'twas I that did them you),
I would lay it down with greater joy than any person ever received a
crown; and if I ever forget what I owe you, or ever entertained a
thought of kindness for any person in the world besides, may I live a
long and miserable life. 'Tis the greatest curse I can invent; if there
be a greater, may I feel it. This is all I can say. Tell me if it be
possible I can do anything for you, and tell me how I may deserve your
pardon for all the trouble I have given you. I would not die without it.

[Directed.] For Mr. Temple.

_Letter 45._

SIR,--'Tis most true what you say, that few have what they merit; if it
were otherwise, you would be happy, I think, but then I should be so
too, and that must not be,--a false and an inconstant person cannot
merit it, I am sure. You are kind in your good wishes, but I aim at no
friends nor no princes, the honour would be lost upon me; I should
become a crown so ill, there would be no striving for it after me, and,
sure, I should not wear it long. Your letter was a much greater loss to
me than that of Henry Cromwell, and, therefore, 'tis that with all my
care and diligence I cannot inquire it out. You will not complain, I
believe, of the shortness of my last, whatever else you dislike in it,
and if I spare you at any time 'tis because I cannot but imagine, since
I am so wearisome to myself, that I must needs be so to everybody else,
though, at present, I have other occasions that will not permit this to
be a long one. I am sorry it should be only in my power to make a friend
miserable, and that where I have so great a kindness I should do so
great injuries; but 'tis my fortune, and I must bear it; 'twill be none
to you, I hope, to pray for you, nor to desire that you would (all
passion laid aside) freely tell me my faults, that I may, at least, ask
your forgiveness where 'tis not in my power to make you better
satisfaction. I would fain make even with all the world, and be out of
danger of dying in anybody's debt; then I have nothing more to do in it
but to expect when I shall be so happy as to leave it, and always to
remember that my misfortune makes all my faults towards you, and that my
faults to God make all my misfortunes.

Your unhappy.

_Letter 46._

SIR,--That which I writ by your boy was in so much haste and distraction
as I cannot be satisfied with it, nor believe it has expressed my
thoughts as I meant them. No, I find it is not easily done at more
leisure, and I am yet to seek what to say that is not too little nor too
much. I would fain let you see that I am extremely sensible of your
affliction, that I would lay down my life to redeem you from it, but
that's a mean expression; my life is of so little value that I will not
mention it. No, let it be rather what, in earnest, if I can tell
anything I have left that is considerable enough to expose for it, it
must be that small reputation I have amongst my friends, that's all my
wealth, and that I could part with to restore you to that quiet you
lived in when I first knew you. But, on the other side, I would not give
you hopes of that I cannot do. If I loved you less I would allow you to
be the same person to me, and I would be the same to you as heretofore.
But to deal freely with you, that were to betray myself, and I find that
my passion would quickly be my master again if I gave it any liberty. I
am not secure that it would not make me do the most extravagant things
in the world, and I shall be forced to keep a continual war alive with
it as long as there are any remainders of it left;--I think I might as
well have said as long as I lived. Why should you give yourself over so
unreasonably to it? Good God! no woman breathing can deserve half the
trouble you give yourself. If I were yours from this minute I could not
recompense what you have suffered from the violence of your passion,
though I were all that you can imagine me, when, God knows, I am an
inconsiderable person, born to a thousand misfortunes, which have taken
away all sense of anything else from me, and left me a walking misery
only. I do from my soul forgive you all the injuries your passion has
done me, though, let me tell you, I was much more at my ease whilst I
was angry. Scorn and despite would have cured me in some reasonable
time, which I despair of now. However, I am not displeased with it, and,
if it may be of any advantage to you, I shall not consider myself in it;
but let me beg, then, that you will leave off those dismal thoughts. I
tremble at the desperate things you say in your letter; for the love of
God, consider seriously with yourself what can enter into comparison
with the safety of your soul. Are a thousand women, or ten thousand
worlds, worth it? No, you cannot have so little reason left as you
pretend, nor so little religion. For God's sake let us not neglect what
can only make us happy for trifles. If God had seen it fit to have
satisfied our desires we should have had them, and everything would not
have conspired thus to have crossed them. Since He has decreed it
otherwise (at least as far as we are able to judge by events), we must
submit, and not by striving make an innocent passion a sin, and show a
childish stubbornness.

I could say a thousand things more to this purpose if I were not in
haste to send this away,--that it may come to you, at least, as soon as
the other. Adieu.

I cannot imagine who this should be that Mr. Dr. meant, and am inclined
to believe 'twas a story meant to disturb you, though perhaps not by

_Letter 47._

SIR,--'Tis never my humour to do injuries, nor was this meant as any to
you. No, in earnest, if I could have persuaded you to have quitted a
passion that injures you, I had done an act of real friendship, and you
might have lived to thank me for it; but since it cannot be, I will
attempt it no more. I have laid before you the inconveniences it brings
along, how certain the trouble is, and how uncertain the reward; how
many accidents may hinder us from ever being happy, and how few there
are (and those so unlikely) to make up our desire. All this makes no
impression on you; you are still resolved to follow your blind guide,
and I to pity where I cannot help. It will not be amiss though to let
you see that what I did was merely in consideration of your interest,
and not at all of my own, that you may judge of me accordingly; and, to
do that, I must tell you that, unless it were after the receipt of those
letters that made me angry, I never had the least hope of wearing out my
passion, nor, to say truth, much desire. For to what purpose should I
have strived against it? 'Twas innocent enough in me that resolved never
to marry, and would have kept me company in this solitary place as long
as I lived, without being a trouble to myself or anybody else. Nay, in
earnest, if I could have hoped you would be so much your own friend as
to seek out a happiness in some other person, nothing under heaven could
have satisfied me like entertaining myself with the thought of having
done you service in diverting you from a troublesome pursuit of what is
so uncertain, and by that giving you the occasion of a better fortune.
Otherwise, whether you loved me still, or whether you did not, was
equally the same to me, your interest set aside. I will not reproach you
how ill an interpretation you made of this, because we will have no more
quarrels. On the contrary, because I see 'tis in vain to think of curing
you, I'll study only to give you what ease I can, and leave the rest to
better physicians,--to time and fortune. Here, then, I declare that you
have still the same power in my heart that I gave you at our last
parting; that I will never marry any other; and that if ever our
fortunes will allow us to marry, you shall dispose of me as you please;
but this, to deal freely with you, I do not hope for. No; 'tis too great
a happiness, and I, that know myself best, must acknowledge I deserve
crosses and afflictions, but can never merit such a blessing. You know
'tis not a fear of want that frights me. I thank God I never distrusted
His providence, nor I hope never shall, and without attributing anything
to myself, I may acknowledge He has given me a mind that can be
satisfied with as narrow a compass as that of any person living of my
rank. But I confess that I have an humour will not suffer me to expose
myself to people's scorn. The name of love is grown so contemptible by
the folly of such as have falsely pretended to it, and so many giddy
people have married upon that score and repented so shamefully
afterwards, that nobody can do anything that tends towards it without
being esteemed a ridiculous person. Now, as my young Lady Holland says,
I never pretended to wit in my life, but I cannot be satisfied that the
world should think me a fool, so that all I can do for you will be to
preserve a constant kindness for you, which nothing shall ever alter or
diminish; I'll never give you any more alarms, by going about to
persuade you against that you have for me; but from this hour we'll live
quietly, no more fears, no more jealousies; the wealth of the whole
world, by the grace of God, shall not tempt me to break my word with
you, nor the importunity of all my friends I have. Keep this as a
testimony against me if ever I do, and make me a reproach to them by it;
therefore be secure, and rest satisfied with what I can do for you.

You should come hither but that I expect my brother every day; not but
that he designed a longer stay when he went, but since he keeps his
horses with him 'tis an infallible token that he is coming. We cannot
miss fitter times than this twenty in a year, and I shall be as ready to
give you notice of such as you can be to desire it, only you would do me
a great pleasure if you could forbear writing, unless it were sometimes
on great occasions. This is a strange request for me to make, that have
been fonder of your letters than my Lady Protector is of her new honour,
and, in earnest, would be so still but there are a thousand
inconveniences in't that I could tell you. Tell me what you can do; in
the meantime think of some employment for yourself this summer. Who
knows what a year may produce? If nothing, we are but where we were, and
nothing can hinder us from being, at least, perfect friends. Adieu.
There's nothing so terrible in my other letter but you may venture to
read it. Have not you forgot my Lady's book?



The quarrel is over, happily over, and Dorothy and Temple are more than
reconciled again. Temple has been down to Chicksands to see her, and
some more definite arrangement has been come to between them. Dorothy
has urged Temple to go to Ireland and join his father, who has once
again taken possession of his office of Master of the Rolls. As soon as
an appointment can be found for Temple they are to be married--that is,
as far as one can gather, the state of affairs between them; but it
would seem as if nothing of this was as yet to be known to the outer
world, not even to Dorothy's brother.

_Letter 48._

SIR,--'Tis but an hour since you went, and I am writing to you already;
is not this kind? How do you after your journey; are you not weary; do
you not repent that you took it to so little purpose? Well, God forgive
me, and you too, you made me tell a great lie. I was fain to say you
came only to take your leave before you went abroad; and all this not
only to keep quiet, but to keep him from playing the madman; for when he
has the least suspicion, he carries it so strangely that all the world
takes notice on't, and so often guess at the reason, or else he tells
it. Now, do but you judge whether if by mischance he should discover the
truth, whether he would not rail most sweetly at me (and with some
reason) for abusing him. Yet you helped to do it; a sadness that he
discovered at your going away inclined him to believe you were ill
satisfied, and made him credit what I said. He is kind now in extremity,
and I would be glad to keep him so till a discovery is absolutely
necessary. Your going abroad will confirm him much in his belief, and I
shall have nothing to torment me in this place but my own doubts and
fears. Here I shall find all the repose I am capable of, and nothing
will disturb my prayers and wishes for your happiness which only can
make mine. Your journey cannot be to your disadvantage neither; you must
needs be pleased to visit a place you are so much concerned in, and to
be a witness yourself of your hopes, though I will believe you need no
other inducements to this voyage than my desiring it. I know you love
me, and you have no reason to doubt my kindness. Let us both have
patience to wait what time and fortune will do for us; they cannot
hinder our being perfect friends.

Lord, there were a thousand things I remembered after you were gone that
I should have said, and now I am to write not one of them will come into
my head. Sure as I live it is not settled yet! Good God! the fears and
surprises, the crosses and disorders of that day, 'twas confused enough
to be a dream, and I am apt to think sometimes it was no more. But no, I
saw you; when I shall do it again, God only knows! Can there be a
romancer story than ours would make if the conclusion prove happy? Ah! I
dare not hope it; something that I cannot describe draws a cloud over
all the light my fancy discovers sometimes, and leaves me so in the dark
with all my fears about me that I tremble to think on't. But no more of
this sad talk.

Who was that, Mr. Dr. told you I should marry? I cannot imagine for my
life; tell me, or I shall think you made it to excuse yourself. Did not
you say once you knew where good French tweezers were to be had? Pray
send me a pair; they shall cut no love. Before you go I must have a ring
from you, too, a plain gold one; if I ever marry it shall be my wedding
ring; when I die I'll give it you again. What a dismal story this is you
sent me; but who could expect better from a love begun upon such
grounds? I cannot pity neither of them, they were both so guilty. Yes,
they are the more to be pitied for that.

Here is a note comes to me just now, will you do this service for a fine
lady that is my friend; have not I taught her well, she writes better
than her mistress? How merry and pleased she is with her marrying
because there is a plentiful fortune; otherwise she would not value the
man at all. This is the world; would you and I were out of it: for,
sure, we were not made to live in it. Do you remember Arme and the
little house there? Shall we go thither? that's next to being out of the
world. There we might live like Baucis and Philemon, grow old together
in our little cottage, and for our charity to some shipwrecked strangers
obtain the blessing of dying both at the same time. How idly I talk;
'tis because the story pleases me--none in Ovid so much. I remember I
cried when I read it. Methought they were the perfectest characters of a
contented marriage, where piety and love were all their wealth, and in
their poverty feasted the gods when rich men shut them out. I am called

Your faithful.

_Letter 49._--The beginning of this letter is lost, and with it,
perhaps, the name of Dorothy's lover who had written some verses on her
beauty. However, we have the "tag" of them, with which we must rest

... 'Tis pity I cannot show you what his wit could do upon so ill a
subject, but my Lady Ruthin keeps them to abuse me withal, and has put a
tune to them that I may hear them all manner of ways; and yet I do
protest I remember nothing more of them than this lame piece,--

A stately and majestic brow,
Of force to make Protectors bow.

Indeed, if I have any stately looks I think he has seen them, but yet it
seems they could not keep him from playing the fool. My Lady Grey told
me that one day talking of me to her (as he would find ways to bring in
that discourse by the head and shoulders, whatsoever anybody else could
interpose), he said he wondered I did not marry. She (that understood
him well enough, but would not seem to do so) said she knew not, unless
it were that I liked my present condition so well that I did not care to
change it; which she was apt to believe, because to her knowledge I had
refused very good fortunes, and named some so far beyond his reach, that
she thought she had dashed all his hopes. But he, confident still, said
'twas perhaps that I had no fancy to their persons (as if his own were
so taking), that I was to be looked upon as one that had it in my power
to please myself, and that perhaps in a person I liked would bate
something of fortune. To this my Lady answered again for me, that 'twas
not impossible but I might do so, but in that point she thought me nice
and curious enough. And still to dishearten him the more, she took
occasion (upon his naming some gentlemen of the county that had been
talked of heretofore as of my servants, and are since disposed of) to
say (very plainly) that 'twas true they had some of them pretended, but
there was an end of my Bedfordshire servants she was sure there were no
more that could be admitted into the number. After all this (which would
have satisfied an ordinary young man) did I this last Thursday receive a
letter from him by Collins, which he sent first to London that it might
come thence to me. I threw it into the fire; and do you but keep my
counsel, nobody shall ever know that I had it; and my gentleman shall be
kept at such a distance as I hope to hear no more of him. Yet I'll swear
of late I have used him so near to rudely that there is little left for
me to do. Fye! what a deal of paper I have spent upon this idle fellow;
if I had thought his story would have proved so long you should have
missed on't, and the loss would not have been great.

I have not thanked you yet for my tweezers and essences; they are both
very good. I kept one of the little glasses myself; remember my ring,
and in return, if I go to London whilst you are in Ireland, I'll have my
picture taken in little and send it you. The sooner you despatch away
will be the better, I think, since I have no hopes of seeing you before
you go; there lies all your business, your father and fortune must do
all the rest. I cannot be more yours than I am. You are mistaken if you
think I stand in awe of my brother. No, I fear nobody's anger. I am
proof against all violence; but when people haunt me with reasoning and
entreaties, when they look sadly and pretend kindness, when they beg
upon that score, 'tis a strange pain to me to deny. When he rants and
renounces me, I can despise him; but when he asks my pardon, with tears
pleads to me the long and constant friendship between us, and calls
heaven to witness that nothing upon earth is dear to him in comparison
of me, then, I confess, I feel a stronger unquietness within me, and I
would do anything to evade his importunity. Nothing is so great a
violence to me as that which moves my compassion. I can resist with ease
any sort of people but beggars. If this be a fault in me, 'tis at least
a well-natured one; and therefore I hope you will forgive it me, you
that can forgive me anything, you say, and be displeased with nothing
whilst I love you; may I never be pleased with anything when I do not.
Yet I could beat you for writing this last strange letter; was there
ever anything said like? If I had but a vanity that the world should
admire me, I would not care what they talked of me. In earnest, I
believe there is nobody displeased that people speak well of them, and
reputation is esteemed by all of much greater value than life itself.
Yet let me tell you soberly, that with all my vanity I could be very
well contented nobody should blame me or any action of mine, to quit all
my part of the praises and admiration of the world; and if I might be
allowed to choose, my happiest part of it should consist in concealment,
there should not be above two persons in the world know that there was
such a one in it as your faithful.

Stay! I have not done yet. Here's another good side, I find; here, then,
I'll tell you that I am not angry for all this. No, I allow it to your
ill-humour, and that to the crosses that have been common to us; but now
that is cleared up, I should expect you should say finer things to me.
Yet take heed of being like my neighbour's servant, he is so transported
to find no rubs in his way that he knows not whether he stands on his
head or his feet. 'Tis the most troublesome, busy talking little thing
that ever was born; his tongue goes like the clack of a mill, but to
much less purpose, though if it were all oracle, my head would ache to
hear that perpetual noise. I admire at her patience and her resolution
that can laugh at his fooleries and love his fortune. You would wonder
to see how tired she is with his impertinences, and yet how pleased to
think she shall have a great estate with him. But this is the world, and
she makes a part of it betimes. Two or three great glistening jewels
have bribed her to wink at all his faults, and she hears him as unmoved
and unconcerned as if another were to marry him.

What think you, have I not done fair for once, would you wish a longer
letter? See how kind I grow at parting; who would not go into Ireland to
have such another? In earnest now, go as soon as you can, 'twill be the
better, I think, who am your faithful friend.

_Letter 50._--Wrest, in Bedfordshire, where Dorothy met her importunate
lover, was the seat of Anthony Grey, Earl of Kent. There is said to be a
picture there of Sir William Temple,--a copy of Lely's picture. Wrest
Park is only a few miles from Chicksands.

SIR,--Who would be kind to one that reproaches one so cruelly? Do you
think, in earnest, I could be satisfied the world should think me a
dissembler, full of avarice or ambition? No, you are mistaken; but I'll
tell you what I could suffer, that they should say I married where I had
no inclination, because my friends thought it fit, rather than that I
had run wilfully to my own ruin in pursuit of a fond passion of my own.
To marry for love were no reproachful thing if we did not see that of
the thousand couples that do it, hardly one can be brought for an
example that it may be done and not repented afterwards. Is there
anything thought so indiscreet, or that makes one more contemptible?
'Tis true that I do firmly believe we should be, as you say, _toujours
les mesmes_; but if (as you confess) 'tis that which hardly happens once
in two ages, we are not to expect the world should discern we were not
like the rest. I'll tell you stories another time, you return them so
handsomely upon me. Well, the next servant I tell you of shall not be
called a whelp, if 'twere not to give you a stick to beat myself with. I
would confess that I looked upon the impudence of this fellow as a
punishment upon me for my over care in avoiding the talk of the world;
yet the case is very different, and no woman shall ever be blamed that
an inconsolable person pretends to her when she gives no allowance to
it, whereas none shall 'scape that owns a passion, though in return of a
person much above her. The little tailor that loved Queen Elizabeth was
suffered to talk out, and none of her Council thought it necessary to
stop his mouth; but the Queen of Sweden's kind letter to the King of
Scots was intercepted by her own ambassador, because he thought it was
not for his mistress's honour (at least that was his pretended reason),
and thought justifiable enough. But to come to my Beagle again. I have
heard no more of him, though I have seen him since; we met at Wrest
again. I do not doubt but I shall be better able to resist his
importunity than his tutor was; but what do you think it is that gives
him his encouragement? He was told I had thought of marrying a gentleman
that had not above two hundred pound a year, only out of my liking to
his person. And upon that score his vanity allows him to think he may
pretend as far as another. Thus you see 'tis not altogether without
reason that I apprehend the noise of the world, since 'tis so much to my

Is it in earnest that you say your being there keeps me from the town?
If so, 'tis very unkind. No, if I had gone, it had been to have waited
on my neighbour, who has now altered her resolution and goes not
herself. I have no business there, and am so little taken with the place
that I could sit here seven years without so much as thinking once of
going to it. 'Tis not likely, as you say, that you should much persuade
your father to what you do not desire he should do; but it is hard if
all the testimonies of my kindness are not enough to satisfy without my
publishing to the world that I can forget my friends and all my interest
to follow my passion; though, perhaps, it will admit of a good sense,
'tis that which nobody but you or I will give it, and we that are
concerned in't can only say 'twas an act of great kindness and something
romance, but must confess it had nothing of prudence, discretion, nor
sober counsel in't. 'Tis not that I expect, by all your father's offers,
to bring my friends to approve it. I don't deceive myself thus far, but
I would not give them occasion to say that I hid myself from them in the
doing it; nor of making my action appear more indiscreet than it is. It
will concern me that all the world should know what fortune you have,
and upon what terms I marry you, that both may not be made to appear ten
times worse than they are. 'Tis the general custom of all people to make
those that are rich to have more mines of gold than are in the Indies,
and such as have small fortunes to be beggars. If an action take a
little in the world, it shall be magnified and brought into comparison
with what the heroes or senators of Rome performed; but, on the
contrary, if it be once condemned, nothing can be found ill enough to
compare it with; and people are in pain till they find out some
extravagant expression to represent the folly on't. Only there is this
difference, that as all are more forcibly inclined to ill than good,
they are much apter to exceed in detraction than in praises. Have I not
reason then to desire this from you; and may not my friendship have
deserved it? I know not; 'tis as you think; but if I be denied it, you
will teach me to consider myself. 'Tis well the side ended here. If I
had not had occasion to stop there, I might have gone too far, and
showed that I had more passions than one. Yet 'tis fit you should know
all my faults, lest you should repent your bargain when 'twill not be in
your power to release yourself; besides, I may own my ill-humour to you
that cause it; 'tis the discontent my crosses in this business have
given me makes me thus peevish. Though I say it myself, before I knew
you I was thought as well an humoured young person as most in England;
nothing displeased, nothing troubled me. When I came out of France,
nobody knew me again. I was so altered, from a cheerful humour that was
always alike, never over merry but always pleased, I was grown heavy and
sullen, froward and discomposed; and that country which usually gives
people a jolliness and gaiety that is natural to the climate, had
wrought in me so contrary effects that I was as new a thing to them as
my clothes. If you find all this to be sad truth hereafter, remember
that I gave you fair warning.

Here is a ring: it must not be at all wider than this, which is rather
too big for me than otherwise; but that is a good fault, and counted
lucky by superstitious people. I am not so, though: 'tis indifferent
whether there be any word in't or not; only 'tis as well without, and
will make my wearing it the less observed. You must give Nan leave to
cut a lock of your hair for me, too. Oh, my heart! what a sigh was
there! I will not tell you how many this journey causes; nor the fear
and apprehensions I have for you. No, I long to be rid of you, am afraid
you will not go soon enough: do not you believe this? No, my dearest, I
know you do not, whate'er you say, you cannot doubt that I am yours.

_Letter 51._--Lady Newport was the wife of the Earl of Newport, and
mother of Lady Anne Blunt of whom we heard something in former letters.
She is mentioned as a prominent leader of London society. In March 1652
she is granted a pass to leave the country, on condition that she gives
security to do nothing prejudicial to the State; from which we may draw
the inference that she was a political notability.

My Lady Devonshire was Christian, daughter of Lord Bruce of Kinloss. She
married William Cavendish, second Earl of Devonshire. Her daughter Anne
married Lord Rich, and died suddenly in 1638. Pomfret, Godolphin, and
Falkland celebrated her virtues in verse, and Waller wrote her funeral
hymn, which is still known to some of us,--

The Lady Rich is dead.
Heartrending news! and dreadful to those few
Who her resemble and her steps pursue,
That Death should license have to range among
The fair, the wise, the virtuous, and the young.

It was the only son of Lady Rich who married Frances Cromwell.

Lord Warwick was the father of Robert, Lord Rich, and we may gather from
this letter that, at Lady Devonshire's instigation, he had interfered in
a proposed second marriage between his son and some fair unknown.

_Parthenissa_ is only just out. It is the latest thing in literary
circles. We find it advertised in _Mercurius Politicus_, 19th January
1654:--"_Parthenissa_, that most famous romance, composed by the Lord
Broghill, and dedicated to the Lady Northumberland." It is a romance of
the style of _Cleopatre_ and _Cyrus_, to enjoy which in the nineteenth
century would require a curious and acquired taste. _L'illustre Bassa_
was a romance of Scuderi; and the passage in the epistle to which
Dorothy refers,--we quote it from a translation by one Henry Cogan,
1652,--runs as follows: "And if you see not my hero persecuted with love
by women, it is not because he was not amiable, and that he could not be
loved, but because it would clash with civility in the persons of
ladies, and with true resemblance in that of men, who rarely show
themselves cruel unto them, nor in doing it could have any good grace."

SIR,--The lady was in the right. You are a very pretty gentleman and a
modest; were there ever such stories as these you tell? The best on't
is, I believe none of them unless it be that of my Lady Newport, which I
must confess is so like her that if it be not true 'twas at least
excellently well fancied. But my Lord Rich was not caught, tho' he was
near it. My Lady Devonshire, whose daughter his first wife was, has
engaged my Lord Warwick to put a stop to the business. Otherwise, I
think his present want of fortune, and the little sense of honour he
has, might have been prevailed on to marry her.

'Tis strange to see the folly that possesses the young people of this
age, and the liberty they take to themselves. I have the charity to
believe they appear very much worse than they are, and that the want of
a Court to govern themselves by is in great part the cause of their
ruin; though that was no perfect school of virtue, yet Vice there wore
her mask, and appeared so unlike herself that she gave no scandal. Such
as were really discreet as they seemed to be gave good example, and the
eminency of their condition made others strive to imitate them, or at
least they durst not own a contrary course. All who had good principles
and inclinations were encouraged in them, and such as had neither were
forced to put on a handsome disguise that they might not be out of
countenance at themselves. 'Tis certain (what you say) that where divine
or human laws are not positive we may be our own judges; nobody can
hinder us, nor is it in itself to be blamed. But, sure, it is not safe
to take all liberty that is allowed us,--there are not many that are
sober enough to be trusted with the government of themselves; and
because others judge us with more severity than our indulgence to
ourselves will permit, it must necessarily follow that 'tis safer being
ruled by their opinions than by our own. I am disputing again, though
you told me my fault so plainly.

I'll give it over, and tell you that _Parthenissa_ is now my company. My
brother sent it down, and I have almost read it. 'Tis handsome language;
you would know it to be writ by a person of good quality though you were
not told it; but, on the whole, I am not very much taken with it. All
the stories have too near a resemblance with those of other romances,
there is nothing new or _surprenant_ in them; the ladies are all so kind
they make no sport, and I meet only with one that took me by doing a
handsome thing of the kind. She was in a besieged town, and persuaded
all those of her sex to go out with her to the enemy (which were a
barbarous people) and die by their swords, that the provisions of the
town might last the longer for such as were able to do service in
defending it. But how angry was I to see him spoil this again by
bringing out a letter this woman left behind her for the governor of the
town, where she discovers a passion for him, and makes _that_ the reason
why she did it. I confess I have no patience for our _faiseurs de
Romance_ when they make a woman court. It will never enter into my head
that 'tis possible any woman can love where she is not first loved, and
much less that if they should do that, they could have the face to own
it. Methinks he that writes _L'illustre Bassa_ says well in his epistle
that we are not to imagine his hero to be less taking than those of
other romances because the ladies do not fall in love with him whether
he will or not. 'Twould be an injury to the ladies to suppose they could
do so, and a greater to his hero's civility if he should put him upon
being cruel to them, since he was to love but one. Another fault I find,
too, in the style--'tis affected. _Ambitioned_ is a great word with him,
and _ignore_; _my concern_, or of _great concern_, is, it seems, properer
than _concernment_: and though he makes his people say fine handsome
things to one another, yet they are not easy and _naive_ like the
French, and there is a little harshness in most of the discourse that
one would take to be the fault of a translator rather than of an author.
But perhaps I like it the worse for having a piece of _Cyrus_ by me that
I am hugely pleased with, and that I would fain have you read: I'll send
it you. At least read one story that I'll mark you down, if you have
time for no more. I am glad you stay to wait on your sister. I would
have my gallant civil to all, much more when it is so due, and kindness

I have the cabinet, and 'tis in earnest a pretty one; though you will
not own it for a present, I'll keep it as one, and 'tis like to be yours
no more but as 'tis mine. I'll warrant you would ne'er have thought of
making me a present of charcoal as my servant James would have done, to
warm my heart I think he meant it. But the truth is, I had been
inquiring for some (as 'tis a commodity scarce enough in this country),
and he hearing it, told the baily [bailiff?] he would give him some if
'twere for me. But this is not all. I cannot forbear telling you the
other day he made me a visit, and I, to prevent his making discourse to
me, made Mrs. Goldsmith and Jane sit by all the while. But he came
better provided than I could have imagined. He brought a letter with
him, and gave it me as one he had met with directed to me, he thought it
came out of Northamptonshire. I was upon my guard, and suspecting all he
said, examined him so strictly where he had it before I would open it,
that he was hugely confounded, and I confirmed that 'twas his. I laid it
by and wished that they would have left us, that I might have taken
notice on't to him. But I had forbid it them so strictly before, that
they offered not to stir farther than to look out of window, as not
thinking there was any necessity of giving us their eyes as well as
their ears; but he that saw himself discovered took that time to confess
to me (in a whispering voice that I could hardly hear myself) that the
letter (as my Lord Broghill says) was of _great concern_ to him, and
begged I would read it, and give him my answer. I took it up presently,
as if I had meant it, but threw it, sealed as it was, into the fire, and
told him (as softly as he had spoke to me) I thought that the quickest
and best way of answering it. He sat awhile in great disorder, without
speaking a word, and so ris and took his leave. Now what think you,
shall I ever hear of him more?

You do not thank me for using your rival so scurvily nor are not jealous
of him, though your father thinks my intentions were not handsome
towards you, which methinks is another argument that one is not to be
one's own judge; for I am very confident they were, and with his favour
shall never believe otherwise. I am sure I have no ends to serve of my
own in what I did,--it could be no advantage to me that had firmly
resolved not to marry; but I thought it might be an injury to you to
keep you in expectation of what was never likely to be, as I
apprehended. Why do I enter into this wrangling discourse? Let your
father think me what he pleases, if he ever comes to know me, the rest
of my actions shall justify me in this; if he does not, I'll begin to
practise on him (what you so often preached to me) to neglect the report
of the world, and satisfy myself in my own innocency.

'Twill be pleasinger to you, I am sure, to tell you how fond I am of
your lock. Well, in earnest now, and setting aside all compliments, I
never saw finer hair, nor of a better colour; but cut no more on't, I
would not have it spoiled for the world. If you love me, be careful
on't. I am combing, and curling, and kissing this lock all day, and
dreaming on't all night. The ring, too, is very well, only a little of
the biggest. Send me a tortoise one that is a little less than that I
sent for a pattern. I would not have the rule so absolutely true without
exception that hard hairs be ill-natured, for then I should be so. But I
can allow that all soft hairs are good, and so are you, or I am deceived
as much as you are if you think I do not love you enough. Tell me, my
dearest, am I? You will not be if you think I am


_Letter 52._--It is interesting to find Dorothy reading the good Jeremy
Taylor's _Holy Living_, a book too little known in this day. For amidst
its old-fashioned piety there are many sentiments of practical goodness,
expressed with clear insistence, combined with a quaint grace of
literary style which we have long ago cast aside in the pursuit of other
things. Dorothy loved this book, and knew it well. Compare the following
extract from the chapter on Christian Justice with what Dorothy has
written in this letter. Has she been recently reading this passage?
Perhaps she has; but more probably it is the recollection of what is
well known that she is reproducing from a memory not unstored with such
learning. Thus writes Dr. Taylor: "There is very great peace and
immunity from sin in resigning our wills up to the command of others:
for, provided our duty to God be secured, their commands are warrants to
us in all things else; and the case of conscience is determined, if the
command be evident and pressing: and it is certain, the action that is
but indifferent and without reward, if done only upon our own choice, is
an action of duty and of religion, and rewardable by the grace and
favour of God, if done in obedience to the command of our superiors."

Little and Great Brickhill, where Temple is to receive a letter from
Dorothy, kindly favoured by Mr. Gibson, stand due west of Chicksands
some seventeen miles, and about forty-six miles along the high-road from
London to Chester. Temple would probably arrange to stay there, receive
Dorothy's letter, and send one in return.

Dorothy has apparently tired of Calprenede and Scuderi, of _Cleopatre_
and _Cyrus_, and has turned to travels to amuse her. Fernando Mendez
Pinto did, I believe, actually visit China, and is said to have landed
in the Gulf of Pekin. What he writes of China seems to bear some
resemblance to what later writers have said. It is hard to say how and
where his conversations with the Chinese were carried on, as he himself
admits that he did not understand one word of the language.

Lady Grey's sister, Mrs. Pooley, is unknown to history. Of Mr. Fish we
know, as has already been said, nothing more than that he was Dorothy's
lover, and a native of Bedfordshire, probably her near neighbour. James
B---- must be another lover, and he is altogether untraceable. Mrs.
Goldsmith is, as you will remember, wife of the Vicar of Campton. The
Valentine stories will date this letter for us as written in the latter
half of February.

SIR,--They say you gave order for this waste-paper; how do you think I
could ever fill it, or with what? I am not always in the humour to
wrangle and dispute. For example now, I had rather agree to what you
say, than tell you that Dr. Taylor (whose devote you must know I am)
says there is a great advantage to be gained in resigning up one's will
to the command of another, because the same action which in itself is
wholly indifferent, if done upon our own choice, becomes an act of duty
and religion if done in obedience to the command of any person whom
nature, the laws, or ourselves have given a power over us; so that
though in an action already done we can only be our own judges, because
we only know with what intentions it was done, yet in any we intend,
'tis safest, sure, to take the advice of another. Let me practise this
towards you as well as preach it to you, and I'll lay a wager you will
approve on't. But I am chiefly of your opinion that contentment (which
the Spanish proverb says is the best paint) gives the lustre to all
one's enjoyment, puts a beauty upon things which without it would have
none, increases it extremely where 'tis already in some degree, and
without it, all that we call happiness besides loses its property. What
is contentment, must be left to every particular person to judge for
themselves, since they only know what is so to them which differs in all
according to their several humours. Only you and I agree 'tis to be
found by us in a true friend, a moderate fortune, and a retired life;
the last I thank God I have in perfection. My cell is almost finished,
and when you come back you'll find me in it, and bring me both the rest
I hope.

I find it much easier to talk of your coming back than your going. You
shall never persuade me I send you this journey. No, pray let it be your
father's commands, or a necessity your fortune puts upon you. 'Twas
unkindly said to tell me I banish you; your heart never told it you, I
dare swear; nor mine ne'er thought it. No, my dear, this is our last
misfortune, let's bear it nobly. Nothing shows we deserve a punishment
so much as our murmuring at it; and the way to lessen those we feel, and
to 'scape those we fear, is to suffer patiently what is imposed, making
a virtue of necessity. 'Tis not that I have less kindness or more
courage than you, but that mistrusting myself more (as I have more
reason), I have armed myself all that is possible against this occasion.
I have thought that there is not much difference between your being at
Dublin or at London, as our affairs stand. You can write and hear from
the first, and I should not see you sooner if you continued still at the

Besides, I hope this journey will be of advantage to us; when your
father pressed your coming over he told you, you needed not doubt either
his power or his will. Have I done anything since that deserves he
should alter his intentions towards us? Or has any accident lessened his
power? If neither, we may hope to be happy, and the sooner for this
journey. I dare not send my boy to meet you at Brickhill nor any other
of the servants, they are all too talkative. But I can get Mr. Gibson,
if you will, to bring you a letter. 'Tis a civil, well-natured man as
can be, of excellent principles and exact honesty. I durst make him my
confessor, though he is not obliged by his orders to conceal anything
that is told him. But you must tell me then which Brickhill it is you
stop at, Little or Great; they are neither of them far from us. If you
stay there you will write back by him, will you not, a long letter? I
shall need it; besides that, you owe it me for the last being so short.
Would you saw what letters my brother writes me; you are not half so
kind. Well, he is always in the extremes; since our last quarrel he has
courted me more than ever he did in his life, and made me more presents,
which, considering his humour, is as great a testimony of his kindness
as 'twas of Mr. Smith's to my Lady Sunderland when he presented Mrs.
Camilla. He sent me one this week which, in earnest, is as pretty a
thing as I have seen, a China trunk, and the finest of the kind that
e'er I saw. By the way (this puts me in mind on't), have you read the
story of China written by a Portuguese, Fernando Mendez Pinto, I think
his name is? If you have not, take it with you, 'tis as diverting a book
of the kind as ever I read, and is as handsomely written. You must allow
him the privilege of a traveller, and he does not abuse it. His lies are
as pleasant harmless ones, as lies can be, and in no great number
considering the scope he has for them. There is one in Dublin now, that
ne'er saw much farther, has told me twice as many (I dare swear) of
Ireland. If I should ever live to see that country and be in't, I should
make excellent sport with them. 'Tis a sister of my Lady Grey's, her
name is Pooley; her husband lives there too, but I am afraid in no very
good condition. They were but poor, and she lived here with her sisters
when I knew her; 'tis not half a year since she went, I think. If you
hear of her, send me word how she makes a shift there.

And hark you, can you tell me whether the gentleman that lost a crystal
box the 1st of February in St. James' Park or Old Spring Gardens has
found it again or not, I have strong curiosity to know? Tell me, and
I'll tell you something that you don't know, which is, that I am your
Valentine and you are mine. I did not think of drawing any, but Mrs.
Goldsmith and Jane would need make me some for them and myself; so I
writ down our three names, and for men Mr. Fish, James B., and you. I
cut them all equal and made them up myself before them, and because I
would owe it wholly to my good fortune if I were pleased. I made both
them choose first that had never seen what was in them, and they left me
you. Then I made them choose again for theirs, and my name was left. You
cannot imagine how I was delighted with this little accident, but by
taking notice that I cannot forbear telling you it. I was not half so
pleased with my encounter next morning. I was up early, but with no
design of getting another Valentine, and going out to walk in my
night-cloak and night-gown, I met Mr. Fish going a hunting, I think he
was; but he stayed to tell me I was his Valentine; and I should not have
been rid on him quickly, if he had not thought himself a little too
_negligee_; his hair was not powdered, and his clothes were but
ordinary; to say truth, he looked then methought like other mortal
people. Yet he was as handsome as your Valentine. I'll swear you wanted
one when you took her, and had very ill fortune that nobody met you
before her. Oh, if I had not terrified my little gentleman when he
brought me his own letter, now sure I had had him for my Valentine!

On my conscience, I shall follow your counsel if e'er he comes again,
but I am persuaded he will not. I writ my brother that story for want of
something else, and he says I did very well, there was no other way to
be rid on him; and he makes a remark upon't that I can be severe enough
when I please, and wishes I would practise it somewhere else as well as
there. Can you tell where that is? I never understand anybody that does
not speak plain English, and he never uses that to me of late, but tells
me the finest stories (I may apply them how I please) of people that
have married when they thought there was great kindness, and how
miserably they have found themselves deceived; how despicable they have
made themselves by it, and how sadly they have repented on't. He reckons
more inconveniency than you do that follows good nature, says it makes
one credulous, apt to be abused, betrays one to the cunning of people
that make advantage on't, and a thousand such things which I hear half
asleep and half awake, and take little notice of, unless it be sometimes
to say that with all these faults I would not be without it. No, in
earnest, nor I could not love any person that I thought had it not to a
good degree. 'Twas the first thing I liked in you, and without it I
should never have liked anything. I know 'tis counted simple, but I
cannot imagine why. 'Tis true some people have it that have not wit, but
there are at least as many foolish people I have ever observed to be
fullest of tricks, little ugly plots and designs, unnecessary disguises,
and mean cunnings, which are the basest qualities in the world, and
makes one the most contemptible, I think; when I once discover them they
lose their credit with me for ever. Some will say they are cunning only
in their own defence, and that there is no living in this world without
it; but I cannot understand how anything more is necessary to one's own
safety besides a prudent caution; that I now think is, though I can
remember when nobody could have persuaded me that anybody meant ill when
it did not appear by their words and actions. I remember my mother (who,
if it may be allowed me to say it) was counted as wise a woman as most
in England,--when she seemed to distrust anybody, and saw I took notice
on't, would ask if I did not think her too jealous and a little
ill-natured. "Come, I know you do," says she, "if you would confess it,
and I cannot blame you. When I was young as you are, I thought my
father-in-law (who was a wise man) the most unreasonably suspicious man
that ever was, and disliked him for it hugely; but I have lived to see
it is almost impossible to think people worse than they are, and so will
you." I did not believe her, and less, that I should have more to say to
you than this paper would hold. It shall never be said I began another
at this time of night, though I have spent this idly, that should have
told you with a little more circumstance how perfectly

I am yours.

_Letter 53._--Dorothy's brother seems to have got hold of a new weapon
of attack in Temple's religious opinions, which might have led to a
strategic success in more skilful hands. He only manages to exasperate
Dorothy with himself, not with Temple. As for Temple, he has not
altogether escaped the censure of the orthodox. Gossiping Bishop Burnet,
in one of his more ill-natured passages, tells us that Temple was an
Epicurean, thinking religion to be fit only for the mob, and a corrupter
of all that came near him. Unkind words these, with just, perhaps, those
dregs of truth in them which make gossip so hard to bear patiently. Was
it true, as Courtenay thinks, that jealousy of King William's attachment
to Temple disturbed the episcopal equipoise of soul, rendering his
Lordship slanderous, even a backbiter?

Robin C. is probably one of the Cheeke family.

Bagshawe is Edward Bagshawe the Elder, B.A. of Brasenose, Oxford, and of
the Middle Temple, barrister-at-law. In the early part of the century he
had been a Puritan among Puritans, and in the old hall of the Middle
Temple had delivered two lectures to show that bishops may not meddle in
civil affairs, and that a Parliament may be held without bishops;
questions still unsettled. Laud appears to have prohibited these
lectures. Bagshawe in after life joined the King at Oxford, and suffered
imprisonment at the hands of his former friends in the King's Bench
Prison from 1644 to 1646. Young Sir Harry Yelverton, Lady Ruthin's
husband, broke a theological lance with his son, the younger Edward
Bagshawe, to vindicate the cause of the Church of England. The elder
Bagshawe died in 1662, and was buried at Morton Pinckney, in
Northamptonshire. How and why he railed at love and marriage it is
impossible now to know. Edward Bagshawe the younger published in 1671 an
_Antidote against Mr. Baxter's Treatise of Love and Marriage_.

The preaching woman at Somerset House was, in all probability, Mrs.
Hannah Trupnel. She, that in April of this year is spoken of, in an old
news-book, as having "lately acted her part in a trance so many days at
Whitehall." She appears to have been full of mystical, anti-Puritan
prophecies, and was indicted in Cornwall as a rogue and vagabond,
convicted and bound over in recognizances to behave herself in future.
After this she abandoned her design of passing from county to county
disaffecting the people with her prophecies, and we hear no more of her.

SIR,--'Tis well you have given over your reproaches; I can allow you to
tell me of my faults kindly and like a friend. Possibly it is a weakness
in me to aim at the world's esteem, as if I could not be happy without
it; but there are certain things that custom has made almost of absolute
necessity, and reputation I take to be one of these. If one could be
invisible I should choose that; but since all people are seen or known,
and shall be talked of in spite of their teeth, who is it that does not
desire, at least, that nothing of ill may be said of them, whether
justly or otherwise? I never knew any so satisfied with their own
innocence as to be content that the world should think them guilty. Some

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