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

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out of pride have seemed to contemn ill reports when they have found
they could not avoid them, but none out of strength of reason, though
many have pretended to it. No, not my Lady Newcastle with all her
philosophy, therefore you must not expect it from me. I shall never be
ashamed to own that I have a particular value for you above any other,
but 'tis not the greatest merit of person will excuse a want of fortune;
in some degree I think it will, at least with the most rational part of
the world, and, as far as that will read, I desire it should. I would
not have the world believe I married out of interest and to please my
friends; I had much rather they should know I chose the person, and took
his fortune, because 'twas necessary, and that I prefer a competency
with one I esteem infinitely before a vast estate in other hands. 'Tis
much easier, sure, to get a good fortune than a good husband; but
whosoever marries without any consideration of fortune shall never be
allowed to do it, but of so reasonable an apprehension the whole world
(without any reserve) shall pronounce they did it merely to satisfy
their giddy humour.

Besides, though you imagine 'twere a great argument of my kindness to
consider nothing but you, in earnest I believe 'twould be an injury to
you. I do not see that it puts any value upon men when women marry them
for love (as they term it); 'tis not their merit, but our folly that is
always presumed to cause it; and would it be any advantage to you to
have your wife thought an indiscreet person? All this I can say to you;
but when my brother disputes it with me I have other arguments for him,
and I drove him up so close t'other night that for want of a better gap
to get out at he was fain to say that he feared as much your having a
fortune as your having none, for he saw you held my Lord L't's [?
Lieutenant's] principles. That religion and honour were things you did
not consider at all, and that he was confident you would take any
engagement, serve in employment, or do anything to advance yourself. I
had no patience for this. To say you were a beggar, your father not
worth L4000 in the whole world, was nothing in comparison of having no
religion nor no honour. I forgot all my disguise, and we talked
ourselves weary; he renounced me, and I defied him, but both in as civil
language as it would permit, and parted in great anger with the usual
ceremony of a leg and a courtesy, that you would have died with laughing
to have seen us.

The next day I, not being at dinner, saw him not till night; then he
came into my chamber, where I supped but he did not. Afterwards Mr.
Gibson and he and I talked of indifferent things till all but we two
went to bed. Then he sat half-an-hour and said not one word, nor I to
him. At last, in a pitiful tone, "Sister," says he, "I have heard you
say that when anything troubles you, of all things you apprehend going
to bed, because there it increases upon you, and you lie at the mercy of
all your sad thought, which the silence and darkness of the night adds a
horror to; I am at that pass now. I vow to God I would not endure
another night like the last to gain a crown." I, who resolved to take no
notice what ailed him, said 'twas a knowledge I had raised from my
spleen only, and so fell into a discourse of melancholy and the causes,
and from that (I know not how) into religion; and we talked so long of
it, and so devoutly, that it laid all our anger. We grew to a calm and
peace with all the world. Two hermits conversing in a cell they equally
inhabit, ne'er expressed more humble, charitable kindness, one towards
another, than we. He asked my pardon and I his, and he has promised me
never to speak of it to me whilst he lives, but leave the event to God
Almighty; until he sees it done, he will always be the same to me that
he is; then he shall leave me, he says, not out of want of kindness to
me, but because he cannot see the ruin of a person that he loves so
passionately, and in whose happiness he has laid up all his. These are
the terms we are at, and I am confident he will keep his word with me,
so that you have no reason to fear him in any respect; for though he
should break his promise, he should never make me break mine. No, let me
assure you this rival, nor any other, shall ever alter me, therefore
spare your jealousy, or turn it all into kindness.

I will write every week, and no miss of letters shall give us any doubts
of one another. Time nor accidents shall not prevail upon our hearts,
and, if God Almighty please to bless us, we will meet the same we are,
or happier. I will do all you bid me. I will pray, and wish, and hope,
but you must do so too, then, and be so careful of yourself that I may
have nothing to reproach you with when you come back.

That vile wench lets you see all my scribbles, I believe; how do you
know I took care your hair should not be spoiled? 'Tis more than e'er
you did, I think, you are so negligent on't, and keep it so ill, 'tis
pity you should have it. May you have better luck in the cutting it than
I had with mine. I cut it two or three years agone, and it never grew
since. Look to it; if I keep the lock you give me better than you do all
the rest, I shall not spare you; expect to be soundly chidden. What do
you mean to do with all my letters? Leave them behind you? If you do, it
must be in safe hands, some of them concern you, and me, and other
people besides us very much, and they will almost load a horse to carry.

Does not my cousin at Moor Park mistrust us a little? I have a great
belief they do. I am sure Robin C---- told my brother of it since I was
last in town. Of all things, I admire my cousin Molle has not got it by
the end, he that frequents that family so much, and is at this instant
at Kimbolton. If he has, and conceals it, he is very discreet; I could
never discern by anything that he knew it. I shall endeavour to accustom
myself to the noise on't, and make it as easy to me as I can, though I
had much rather it were not talked of till there were an absolute
necessity of discovering it, and you can oblige me in nothing more than
in concealing it. I take it very kindly that you promise to use all your
interest in your father to persuade him to endeavour our happiness, and
he appears so confident of his power that it gives me great hopes.

Dear! shall we ever be so happy, think you? Ah! I dare not hope it. Yet
'tis not want of love gives me these fears. No, in earnest, I think
(nay, I'm sure) I love you more than ever, and 'tis that only gives me
these despairing thoughts; when I consider how small a proportion of
happiness is allowed in this world, and how great mine would be in a
person for whom I have a passionate kindness, and who has the same for
me. As it is infinitely above what I can deserve, and more than God
Almighty usually allots to the best people, I can find nothing in reason
but seems to be against me; and, methinks, 'tis as vain in me to expect
it as 'twould be to hope I might be a queen (if that were really as
desirable a thing as 'tis thought to be); and it is just it should be

We complain of this world, and the variety of crosses and afflictions it
abounds in, and yet for all this who is weary on't (more than in
discourse), who thinks with pleasure of leaving it, or preparing for the
next? We see old folks, who have outlived all the comforts of life,
desire to continue in it, and nothing can wean us from the folly of
preferring a mortal being, subject to great infirmity and unavoidable
decays, before an immortal one, and all the glories that are promised
with it. Is this not very like preaching? Well, 'tis too good for you;
you shall have no more on't. I am afraid you are not mortified enough
for such discourse to work upon (though I am not of my brother's
opinion, neither, that you have no religion in you). In earnest, I never
took anything he ever said half so ill, as nothing, sure, is so great an
injury. It must suppose one to be a devil in human shape. Oh, me! now I
am speaking of religion, let me ask you is not his name Bagshawe that
you say rails on love and women? Because I heard one t'other day
speaking of him, and commending his wit, but withal, said he was a
perfect atheist. If so, I can allow him to hate us, and love, which,
sure, has something of divine in it, since God requires it of us. I am
coming into my preaching vein again. What think you, were it not a good
way of preferment as the times are? If you'll advise me to it I'll
venture. The woman at Somerset House was cried up mightily. Think on't.

Dear, I am yours.

_Letter 54._--Temple has really started on his journey, and is now past
Brickhill, far away in the north of England. The journey to Ireland was
made _via_ Holyhead in those days as it is now. It was a four days'
journey to Chester, and no good road after. The great route through
Wales to Holyhead was in such a state that in 1685 the Viceroy going to
Ireland was five hours in travelling the fourteen miles from St. Asaph
to Conway; between Conway and Beaumaris he walked; and his lady was
carried in a litter. A carriage was often taken to pieces at Conway, and
carried to the Menai Straits on the peasants' shoulders round the
dangerous cliff of Penmaenmawr. Mr. B. and Mr. D. remain mysterious
symbolic initials of gossip and scandalmongering. St. Gregory's near St.
Paul's, was a church entirely destroyed by the great fire.

Sir John Tufton of "The Mote," near Maidstone, married Mary, the third
daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Lord Wotton.

For your Master [seal with coat-of-arms],
when your Mistress pleases.

SIR,--You bid me write every week, and I am doing it without considering
how it will come to you. Let Nan look to that, with whom, I suppose, you
have left the orders of conveyance. I have your last letter; but Jane,
to whom you refer me, is not yet come down. On Tuesday I expect her; and
if she be not engaged, I shall give her no cause hereafter to believe
that she is a burden to me, though I have no employment for her but that
of talking to me when I am in the humour of saying nothing. Your dog is
come too, and I have received him with all the kindness that is due to
anything you send. I have defended him from the envy and malice of a
troop of greyhounds that used to be in favour with me; and he is so
sensible of my care over him, that he is pleased with nobody else, and
follows me as if we had been of long acquaintance. 'Tis well you are
gone past my recovery. My heart has failed me twenty times since you
went, and, had you been within my call, I had brought you back as often,
though I know thirty miles' distance and three hundred are the same
thing. You will be so kind, I am sure, as to write back by the coach and
tell me what the success of your journey so far has been. After that, I
expect no more (unless you stay for a wind) till you arrive at Dublin. I
pity your sister in earnest; a sea voyage is welcome to no lady; but you
are beaten to it, and 'twill become you, now you are a conductor, to
show your valour and keep your company in heart. When do you think of
coming back again? I am asking that before you are at your journey's
end. You will not take it ill that I desire it should be soon. In the
meantime, I'll practise all the rules you give me. Who told you I go to
bed late? In earnest, they do me wrong: I have been faulty in that point
heretofore, I confess, but 'tis a good while since I gave it over with
my reading o' nights; but in the daytime I cannot live without it, and
'tis all my diversion, and infinitely more pleasing to me than any
company but yours. And yet I am not given to it in any excess now; I
have been very much more. 'Tis Jane, I know, tells all these tales of
me. I shall be even with her some time or other, but for the present I
long for her with some impatience, that she may tell me all you have
told her.

Never trust me if I had not a suspicion from the first that 'twas that
ill-looked fellow B---- who made that story Mr. D---- told you. That
which gave me the first inclination to that belief was the circumstance
you told me of their seeing me at St. Gregory's. For I remembered to
have seen B---- there, and had occasion to look up into the gallery
where he sat, to answer a very civil salute given me from thence by Mr.
Freeman, and saw B---- in a great whisper with another that sat next
him, and pointing to me. If Mr. D---- had not been so nice in
discovering his name, you would quickly have been cured of your
jealousy. Never believe I have a servant that I do not tell you of as
soon as I know it myself. As, for example, my brother Peyton has sent to
me, for a countryman of his, Sir John Tufton,--he married one of my Lady
Wotton's heirs, who is lately dead,--and to invite me to think of it.
Besides his person and his fortune, without exception, he tells me what
an excellent husband he was to this lady that's dead, who was but a
crooked, ill-favoured woman, only she brought him L1500 a year. I tell
him I believe, Sir John Tufton could be content, I were so too upon the
same terms. But his loving his first wife can be no argument to persuade
me; for if he had loved her as he ought to do, I cannot hope he should
love another so well as I expect anybody should that has me; and if he
did not love her, I have less to expect he should me. I do not care for
a divided heart; I must have all or none, at least the first place in
it. Poor James, I have broke his. He says 'twould pity you to hear what
sad complaints he makes; and, but that he has not the heart to hang
himself, he would be very well contented to be out of the world.

That house of your cousin R---- is fatal to physicians. Dr. Smith that
took it is dead already; but maybe this was before you went, and so is
no news to you. I shall be sending you all I hear; which, though it
cannot be much, living as I do, yet it may be more than ventures into
Ireland. I would have you diverted, whilst you are there, as much as
possible; but not enough to tempt you to stay one minute longer than
your father and your business obliges you. Alas! I have already repented
all my share in your journey, and begin to find I am not half so valiant
as I sometimes take myself to be. The knowledge that our interests are
the same, and that I shall be happy or unfortunate in your person as
much or more than in my own, does not give me that confidence you speak
of. It rather increases my doubts, and I durst trust your fortune alone,
rather than now that mine is joined with it. Yet I will hope yours may
be so good as to overcome the ill of mine, and shall endeavour to mend
my own all I can by striving to deserve it, maybe, better. My dearest,
will you pardon me that I am forced to leave you so soon? The next shall
be longer, though I can never be more than I am


_Letter 55._--This sad letter, fully dated 18th March 1654, was written
after Sir Peter Osborne was buried in Campton Church. Even as Dorothy
wrote this, the stone-mason might be slowly carving words that may be
read to this day: "The maintainer of divine exercises, the friend to the
poor." Her father is no longer living, and she is now even more lonely
than before. To depend upon kindred that are not friends, to be under
the protection of a brother who is her lover's avowed enemy, this is her
lot in life, unless Temple can release her from it. Alas! poor Dorothy,
who will now forbear to pity you?

_March the 18th, 1654._

How true it is that a misfortune never comes single; we live in
expectation of some one happiness that we propose to ourselves, an age
almost, and perhaps miss it at the last; but sad accidents have wings to
overtake us, and come in flocks like ill-boding ravens. You were no
sooner gone but (as if that had not been enough) I lost the best father
in the world; and though, as to himself, it was an infinite mercy in God
Almighty to take him out of a world that can be pleasing to none, and
was made more uneasy to him by many infirmities that were upon him, yet
to me it is an affliction much greater than people judge it. Besides all
that is due to nature and the memory of many (more than ordinary)
kindnesses received from him, besides what he was to all that knew him,
and what he was to me in particular, I am left by his death in the
condition (which of all others) is the most unsupportable to my nature,
to depend upon kindred that are not friends, and that, though I pay as
much as I should do to a stranger, yet think they do me a courtesy. I
expect my eldest brother to-day; if he comes, I shall be able to tell
you before I seal this up where you are likely to find me. If he offers
me to stay here, this hole will be more agreeable to my humour than any
place that is more in the world. I take it kindly that you used art to
conceal our story and satisfy my nice apprehensions, but I'll not impose
that constraint upon you any longer, for I find my kind brother
publishes it with more earnestness than ever I strove to conceal it; and
with more disadvantage than anybody else would. Now he has tried all
ways to do what he desires, and finds it is in vain, he resolves to
revenge himself upon me, by representing this action in such colours as
will amaze all people that know me, and do not know him enough to
discern his malice to me; he is not able to forbear showing it now, when
my condition deserves pity from all the world, I think, and that he
himself has newly lost a father, as well as I; but takes this time to
torment me, which appears (at least to me) so barbarous a cruelty, that
though I thank God I have charity enough perfectly to forgive all the
injury he can do me, yet I am afraid I shall never look upon him as a
brother more. And now do you judge whether I am not very unhappy, and
whether that sadness in my face you used to complain of was not suited
to my fortune. You must confess it; and that my kindness for you is
beyond example, all these troubles are persecutions that make me weary
of the world before my time, and lessen the concernment I have for you,
and instead of being persuaded as they would have me by their malicious
stories, methinks I am obliged to love you more in recompense of all the
injuries they have done you upon my score. I shall need nothing but my
own heart to fortify me in this resolution, and desire nothing in return
of it but that your care of yourself may answer to that which I shall
always have for your interests.

I received your letter of the 10th of this month; and I hope this will
find you at your journey's end. In earnest, I have pitied your sister
extremely, and can easily apprehend how troublesome this voyage must
needs be to her, by knowing what others have been to me; yet, pray
assure her I would not scruple at undertaking it myself to gain such an
acquaintance, and would go much farther than where (I hope) she now is
to serve her. I am afraid she will not think me a fit person to choose
for a friend, that cannot agree with my own brother; but I must trust
you to tell my story for me, and will hope for a better character from
you than he gives me; who, lest I should complain, resolves to prevent
me, and possess my friends first that he is the injured party. I never
magnified my patience to you, but I begin to have a good opinion on't
since this trial; yet, perhaps, I have no reason, and it may be as well
a want of sense in me as of passion; however, you will not be displeased
to know that I can endure all that he or anybody else can say, and that
setting aside my father's death and your absence, I make nothing an
affliction to me, though I am sorry, I confess, to see myself forc'd to
keep such distances with one of his relations, because religion and
nature and the custom of world teaches otherwise. I see I shall not be
able to satisfy you in this how I shall dispose of myself, for my
brother is not come; the next will certainly tell you. In the meantime,
I expect with great impatience to hear of your safe arrival. 'Twas a
disappointment that you missed those fair winds. I pleased myself
extremely with a belief that they had made your voyage rather a
diversion than a trouble, either to you or your company, but I hope your
passage was as happy, if not as sudden, as you expected it; let me hear
often from you, and long letters. I do not count this so. Have no
apprehensions from me, but all the care of yourself that you please. My
melancholy has no anger in it; and I believe the accidents of my life
would work more upon any other than they do upon me, whose humour is
always more prepared for them than that of gayer persons. I hear nothing
that is worth your knowing; when I do, you shall know it. Tell me if
there's anything I can do for you, and assure yourself I am perfectly


_Letter 56._--Temple has reached Dublin at last, and begins to write
from there. This letter also is dated, and from this time forth there is
less trouble in arranging the letters in order of date, as many of them
have, at least, the day of the month, if nothing more.

The Marquis of Hertford was the Duke of Somerset's great-grandson. He
married Lady Arabella Stuart, daughter of Charles Stuart, Earl of
Lennox, uncle of King James I, for which matrimonial adventure he was
imprisoned in the Tower. His second wife was Frances, daughter of
Robert, Earl of Essex, and sister to the great general of the
Parliamentary Army. She was the mother of young Lord Beauchamp, whose
death Dorothy deplores. He was twenty-eight years of age when he died.
He married Mary, daughter of Lord Capel of Hadham, who afterwards
married the Duke of Beaufort.

Baptist Noel, Viscount Camden, was a noted loyalist. After the
Restoration we find him appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland. Of his
duel with Mr. Stafford there seems to be no account. It did not carry
him into the King's Bench Court, like Lord Chandos' duel, so history is
silent about it.

_April the 2nd, 1654._

SIR,--There was never any lady more surprised than I was with your last.
I read it so coldly, and was so troubled to find that you were so
forward on your journey; but when I came to the last, and saw Dublin at
the date, I could scarce believe my eyes. In earnest, it transported me
so that I could not forbear expressing my joy in such a manner as had
anybody been by to have observed me they would have suspected me no very
sober person.

You are safe arrived, you say, and pleased with the place already, only
because you meet with a letter of mine there. In your next I expect some
other commendation on't, or else I shall hardly make such haste to it as
people here believe I will.

All the servants have been to take their leaves on me, and say how sorry
they are to hear I am going out of the land; some beggar at the door has
made so ill a report of Ireland to them that they pity me extremely, but
you are pleased, I hope, to hear I am coming to you; the next fair wind
expect me. 'Tis not to be imagined the ridiculous stories they have
made, nor how J.B. cries out on me for refusing him and choosing his
chamber-fellow; yet he pities me too, and swears I am condemned to be
the miserablest person upon earth. With all his quarrel to me, he does
not wish me so ill as to be married to the proudest, imperious,
insulting, ill-natured man that ever was; one that before he has had me
a week shall use me with contempt, and believe that the favour was of
his side. Is not this very comfortable? But, pray, make it no quarrel; I
make it none, I assure you. And though he knew you before I did, I do
not think he knows you so well; besides that, his testimony is not of
much value.

I am to spend this next week in taking leave of this country, and all
the company in't, perhaps never to see it more. From hence I must go
into Northamptonshire to my Lady Ruthin, and so to London, where I shall
find my aunt and my brother Peyton, betwixt whom I think to divide this

Nothing has happened since you went worth your knowledge. My Lord
Marquis Hertford has lost his son, my Lord Beauchamp, who has left a
fine young widow. In earnest, 'tis great pity; at the rate of our young
nobility he was an extraordinary person, and remarkable for an excellent
husband. My Lord Cambden, too, has fought with Mr. Stafford, but there's
no harm done. You may discern the haste I'm in by my writing. There will
come a time for a long letter again, but there will never come any
wherein I shall not be


[Sealed with black wax, and directed]
For Mr. William Temple,
at Sir John Temple's home
in Damask Street,

Thus Dorothy leaves Chicksands, her last words from her old home to
Temple breathing her love and affection for him. It is no great sorrow
at the moment to leave Chicksands, for its latest memories are scenes
of sickness, grief, and death. And now the only home on earth for
Dorothy lies in the future; it is not a particular spot on earth, but to
be by his side, wherever that may be.



This chapter opens with a portion of a letter written by Sir William
Temple to his mistress, dated Ireland, May 18, 1654. It is the only
letter, or rather scrap of letter which we have of his, and by some good
chance it has survived with the rest of Dorothy's letters. It will, I
think, throw great light on his character as a lover, showing him to
have been ardent and ecstatic in his suit, making quite clear Dorothy's
wisdom in insisting, as she often does, on the necessity of some more
material marriage portion than mere love and hope. His reference to the
"unhappy differences" strengthens my view that the letters of the former
chapter belong all to one date.

_Letter 57._--Letter of Sir William Temple.

_May 18th, 1654._

... I am called upon for my letter, but must have leave first to
remember you of yours. For God's sake write constantly while I am here,
or I am undone past all recovery. I have lived upon them ever since I
came, but had thrived much better had they been longer. Unless you use
to give me better measure, I shall not be in case to undertake a journey
to England. The despair I was in at not hearing from you last week, and
the belief that all my letters had miscarried (by some treachery among
my good friends who, I am sorry, have the name of yours), made me press
my father by all means imaginable to give me leave to go presently if I
heard not from you this post. But he would never yield to that, because,
he said, upon your silence he should suspect all was not likely to be
well between us, and then he was sure I should not be in condition to be
alone. He remembered too well the letters I writ upon our last unhappy
differences, and would not trust me from him in such another occasion.
But, withal, he told me he would never give me occasion of any
discontent which he could remedy; that if you desired my coming over,
and I could not be content without, he would not hinder me, though he
very much desired my company a month or two longer, and that in that
time 'twas very likely I might have his as well.

Now, in very good earnest, do you think 'tis time for me to come or no?
Would you be very glad to see me there, and could you do it in less
disorder, and with less surprise, than you did at Chicksands?

I ask you these questions very seriously; but yet how willingly would I
venture all to be with you. I know you love me still; you promised me,
and that's all the security I can have in this world. 'Tis that which
makes all things else seem nothing to it, so high it sets me; and so
high, indeed, that should I ever fall 'twould dash me all to pieces.
Methinks your very charity should make you love me more now than ever,
by seeing me so much more unhappy than I used, by being so much farther
from you, for that is all the measure can be taken of my good or ill
condition. Justice, I am sure, will oblige you to it, since you have no
other means left in the world of rewarding such a passion as mine,
which, sure, is of a much richer value than anything in the world
besides. Should you save my life again, should you make me absolute
master of your fortune and your person too, I should accept none of all
this in any part of payment, but look upon you as one behindhand with me
still. 'Tis no vanity this, but a true sense of how pure and how refined
a nature my passion is, which none can ever know except my own heart,
unless you find it out by being there.

How hard it is to think of ending when I am writing to you; but it must
be so, and I must ever be subject to other people's occasions, and so
never, I think, master of my own. This is too true, both in respect of
this fellow's post that is bawling at me for my letter, and of my
father's delays. They kill me; but patience,--would anybody but I were
here! Yet you may command me ever at one minute's warning. Had I not
heard from you by this last, in earnest I had resolved to have gone with
this, and given my father the slip for all his caution. He tells me
still of a little time; but, alas! who knows not what mischances and how
great changes have often happened in a little time?

For God's sake let me hear of all your motions, when and where I may
hope to see you. Let us but hope this cloud, this absence that has
overcast all my contentment, may pass away, and I am confident there's a
clear sky attends us. My dearest dear, adieu.


Pray, where is your lodging? Have a care of all the despatch and
security that can be in our intelligence. Remember my fellow-servant;
sure, by the next I shall write some learned epistle to her, I have been
so long about it.

_Letter 58._--Dorothy is now in London, staying probably with that aunt
whom she mentioned before as one who was always ready to find her a
husband other than Temple. Of the plot against the Protector in which my
Lord of Dorchester is said to be engaged, an account is given in
connection with _Letter 59_; that is, presuming it to be the same plot,
and that Lord Dorchester is one of the many persons arrested under
suspicion of being concerned in it. I cannot find anything which
identifies him with a special plot.

Lady Sandis [Sandys], who seems so fond of race meetings and other less
harmless amusements, was the wife of William Lord Sandys, and daughter
of the Earl of Salisbury. Lord Sandys' country house was Motesfont or
Mottisfont Priory, in Hampshire, "which the King had given him in
exchange for Chelsea, in Westminster." So says Leland, the antiquary and
scholar, in his _Itinerary_; but it is a little puzzling to the modern
mind with preconceived notions of Chelsea, to hear it spoken of as a
seat or estate in Westminster. Colonel Tom Paunton is to me merely a
name; and J. Morton is nothing more, unless we may believe him to be Sir
John Morton, Bart. of Milbourne, St. Andrew, in Nottinghamshire. This
addition of a local habitation and a name gives us no further knowledge,
however, of the scandal to which Dorothy alludes.

Mistress Stanley and Mistress Witherington have left no trace of their
identity that I can find, but Mistress Philadelphia Carey is not wholly
unknown. She was the second daughter of Thomas Carey, one of the Earl of
Monmouth's sons, and readers may be pleased to know that she did marry
Sir Henry Littleton.

Of the scandal concerning Lord Rich I am not sorry to know nothing.

_May 25th_ [1654].

This world is composed of nothing but contrarieties and sudden
accidents, only the proportions are not at all equal; for to a great
measure of trouble it allows so small a quantity of joy, that one may
see 'tis merely intended to keep us alive withal. This is a formal
preface, and looks as if there were something of very useful to follow;
but I would not wish you to expect it. I was only considering my own
ill-humour last night, I had not heard from you in a week or more, my
brother had been with me and we had talked ourselves both out of breath
and patience too, I was not very well, and rose this morning only
because I was weary of lying in bed. When I had dined I took a coach and
went to see whether there was ever a letter for me, and was this once so
lucky as to find one. I am not partial to myself I know, and am
contented that the pleasure I have received with this, shall serve to
sweeten many sad thoughts that have interposed since your last, and more
that I may reasonably expect before I have another; and I think I may
(without vanity) say, that nobody is more sensible of the least good
fortune nor murmurs less at an ill than I do, since I owe it merely to
custom and not to any constancy in my humour, or something that is
better. No, in earnest, anything of good comes to me like the sun to the
inhabitants of Greenland, it raises them to life when they see it, and
when they miss it, it is not strange they expect a night of half a year

You cannot imagine how kindly I take it that you forgive my brother, and
let me assure you I shall never press you to anything unreasonable. I
will not oblige you to court a person that has injured you. I only beg
that whatsoever he does in that kind may be excused by his relation to
me, and that whenever you are moved to think he does you wrong, you will
at the same time remember that his sister loves you passionately and
nobly; that if he values nothing but fortune, she despises it, and could
love you as much a beggar as she could do a prince; and shall without
question love you eternally, but whether with any satisfaction to
herself or you is a sad doubt. I am not apt to hope, and whether it be
the better or the worse I know not. All sorts of differences are natural
to me, and that which (if your kindness would give you leave) you would
term a weakness in me is nothing but a reasonable distrust of my own
judgment, which makes me desire the approbation of my friends. I never
had the confidence in my life to presume anything well done that I had
nobody's opinion in but my own; and as you very well observe, there are
so many that think themselves wise when nothing equals their folly but
their pride, that I dread nothing so much as discovering such a thought
in myself because of the consequences of it.

Whenever you come you must not doubt your welcome, but I can promise you
nothing for the manner on't. I am afraid my surprise and disorder will
be more than ever. I have good reason to think so, and none that you can
take ill. But I would not have you attempt it till your father is ready
for the journey too. No, really he deserves that all your occasions
should wait for his; and if you have not much more than an ordinary
obedience for him, I shall never believe you have more than an ordinary
kindness for me; since (if you will pardon me the comparison) I believe
we both merit it from you upon the same score, he as a very indulgent
father, and I as a very kind mistress. Don't laugh at me for commending
myself, you will never do it for me, and so I am forced to it.

I am still here in town, but had no hand, I can assure you, in the new
discovered plot against the Protector. But my Lord of Dorchester, they
say, has, and so might I have had if I were as rich as he, and then you
might have been sure of me at the Tower;--now a worse lodging must serve
my turn. 'Tis over against Salisbury House where I have the honour of
seeing my Lady M. Sandis every day unless some race or other carry her
out of town. The last week she went to one as far as Winchester with
Col. Paunton (if you know such a one), and there her husband met her,
and because he did so (though it 'twere by accident) thought himself
obliged to invite her to his house but seven miles off, and very
modestly said no more for it, but that he thought it better than an Inn,
or at least a crowded one as all in the town were now because of the
race. But she was so good a companion that she would not forsake her
company. So he invited them too, but could prevail with neither. Only my
Lady grew kind at parting and said, indeed if Tom Paunton and J. Morton
and the rest would have gone she could have been contented to have taken
his offer. Thus much for the married people, now for those that are
towards it.

There is Mr. Stanley and Mrs. Witherington; Sir H. Littleton and Mrs.
Philadelphia Carey, who in earnest is a fine woman, such a one as will
make an excellent wife; and some say my Lord Rich and my Lady Betty
Howard, but others that pretend to know more say his court to her is but
to countenance a more serious one to Mrs. Howard, her sister-in-law, he
not having courage to pretend so openly (as some do) to another's wife.
Oh, but your old acquaintance, poor Mr. Heningham, has no luck! He was
so near (as he thought at least) marrying Mrs. Gerherd that anybody
might have got his whole estate in wagers upon't that would have
ventured but a reasonable proportion of their own. And now he looks more
like an ass than ever he did. She has cast him off most unhandsomely,
that's the truth on't, and would have tied him to such conditions as he
might have been her slave withal, but could never be her husband. Is not
this a great deal of news for me that never stir abroad? Nay, I had
brought me to-day more than all this: that I am marrying myself! And the
pleasantness on't is that it should be to my Lord St. John. Would he
look on me, think you, that had pretty Mrs. Fretcheville? My comfort is,
I have not seen him since he was a widower, and never spoke to him in my
life. I found myself so innocent that I never blushed when they told it
me. What would I give I could avoid it when people speak of you? In
earnest, I do prepare myself all that is possible to hear it spoken of,
yet for my life I cannot hear your name without discovering that I am
more than ordinarily concerned in't. A blush is the foolishest thing
that can be, and betrays one more than a red nose does a drunkard; and
yet I would not so wholly have lost them as some women that I know has,
as much injury as they do me. I can assure you now that I shall be here
a fortnight longer (they tell me no lodger, upon pain of his Highness's
displeasure, must remove sooner); but when I have his leave I go into
Suffolk for a month, and then come hither again to go into Kent, where I
intend to bury myself alive again as I did in Bedfordshire, unless you
call me out and tell me I may be happy. Alas! how fain I would hope it,
but I cannot, and should it ever happen, 'twould be long before I should
believe 'twas meant for me in earnest, or that 'twas other than a dream.
To say truth, I do not love to think on't, I find so many things to fear
and so few to hope.

'Tis better telling you that I will send my letters where you direct,
that they shall be as long ones as possibly my time will permit, and
when at any time you miss of one, I give you leave to imagine as many
kind things as you please, and to believe I mean them all to you.


_Letter 59._--It is a little astonishing to read, as one does in this
and the last letter, of race meetings, and Dorothy, habited in a mask,
disporting herself at New Spring Gardens or in the Park. It opens one's
eyes to the exaggerated gloom that has been thrown over England during
the Puritan reign by those historians who have derived their information
solely from State papers and proclamations. It is one thing to proclaim
amusements, another to abolish them. The first was undoubtedly done,
but we doubt if there was ever any long-continued effort to do the last;
and in the latter part of Cromwell's reign the gloom, and the
strait-laced regulations that caused it, must have almost entirely

Spring Gardens seems at one time to have had no very good reputation.
Lady Alice Halkett, writing in 1644, tells us that "so scrupulous was I
of giving any occasion to speak of me as I know they did of others, that
though I loved well to see plays, and to walk in the Spring Gardens
sometimes (before it grew something scandalous by the abuses of some),
yet I cannot remember three times that ever I went with any man besides
my brother." However, fashions change in ten years, and Spring Gardens
is, doubtless, now quite demure and respectable, or we should not find
Dorothy there. Spring Gardens was enclosed and laid out towards the end
of the reign of James I. The clump of houses which still bears its name
is supposed to indicate its position with tolerable exactness. Evelyn
tells us that Cromwell shut up the Spring Gardens in 1600, and Knight
thinks they were closed until the Restoration, in which small matter we
may allow Dorothy to correct him. The fact of the old gardens having
been closed may account for Dorothy referring to the place as "New
Spring Gardens." Knight also quotes at second hand from an account of
Spring Gardens, complaining that the author is unknown to him. This
quotation is, however, from one of Somers' Tracts entitled "A Character
of England as it was lately represented in a Letter to a Nobleman of
France, 1659." The Frenchman by whom the letter is written--probably an
English satirist in disguise--gives us such a graphic account of the
Parks before the Restoration, that as the matter is fresh and bears upon
the subject, I have no hesitation in quoting it at length:--

"I did frequently in the spring accompany my Lord N. into a field near
the town which they call Hyde Park,--the place not unpleasant, and which
they use as our '_Course_,' but with nothing that order, equipage, and
splendour; being such an assembly of wretched jades and hackney coaches,
as, next to a regiment of car-men, there is nothing approaches the
resemblance. The Park was, it seems, used by the late King and nobility
for the freshness of the air and the goodly prospect, but it is that
which now (besides all other exercises) they pay for here in England,
though it be free in all the world beside; every coach and horse which
enters buying his mouthful and permission of the publican who has
purchased it, for which the entrance is guarded with porters and long

"The manner is, as the company returns, to stop at the Spring Gardens so
called, in order to the Park as our _Thuilleries_ is to the _Course_;
the inclosure not disagreeable for the solemnness of the groves, the
warbling of the birds, and as it opens into the spacious walks of St.
James. But the company walk in it at such a rate as you would think all
the ladies were so many Atalantas contending with their wooers, and, my
Lord, there was no appearance that I should prove the Hippomenes, who
could with very much ado keep pace with them. But, as fast as they run,
they stay there so long, as if they wanted not to finish the race, for
it is usual here to find some of the young company till midnight, and
the thickets of the garden seem to be contrived to all the advantages of
gallantry after they have refreshed with the collation, which is here
seldom omitted, at a certain cabaret in the middle of this paradise,
where the forbidden fruits are certain trifling tarts, neats' tongues,
salacious meats, and bad Rhenish, for which the gallants pay sauce, as
indeed they do at all such houses throughout England; for they think it
a piece of frugality beneath them to bargain or account for what they
eat in any place, however unreasonably imposed upon."

Dorothy is quite right in her correction concerning Will Spencer. He was
the first Earl of Sunderland, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Lord

_June the 6th, 1654._

I see you know how to punish me. In earnest, I was so frightened with
your short letter as you cannot imagine, and as much troubled at the
cause on't. What is it your father ails, and how long has he been ill?
If my prayers are heard, he will not be so long. Why do you say I failed
you? Indeed, I did not. Jane is my witness. She carried my letter to the
White Hart, by St. James's, and 'twas a very long one too. I carried one
thither since, myself, and the woman of the house was so very angry,
because I desired her to have a care on't, that I made the coachman
drive away with all possible speed, lest she should have beaten me. To
say truth, I pressed her too much, considering how little the letter
deserved it. 'Twas writ in such disorder, the company prating about me,
and some of them so bent on doing me little mischiefs, that I know not
what I did, and believe it was the most senseless, disjointed thing that
ever was read.

I remember now that I writ Robin Spencer instead of Will. 'Tis he that
has married Mrs. Gerherd, and I admire their courage. She will have
eight hundred pounds a year, 'tis true, after her mother's death; but
how they will live till then I cannot imagine. I shall be even with you
for your short letter. I'll swear they will not allow me time for
anything, and to show how absolutely I am governed I need but tell you
that I am every night in the Park and at New Spring Gardens, where,
though I come with a mask, I cannot escape being known, nor my
conversion being admired. Are you not in some fear what will become on
me? These are dangerous courses. I do not find, though, that they have
altered me yet. I am much the same person at heart I was in being


_Letter 60._

_June 13th_ [1654].

You have satisfied me very much with this last long letter, and made
some amends for the short one I received before. I am convinced, too,
happiness is much such a kind of thing as you describe, or rather such a
nothing. For there is no one thing can properly be called so, but every
one is left to create it to themselves in something which they either
have or would have; and so far it's well enough. But I do not like that
one's happiness should depend upon a persuasion that this is happiness,
because nobody knows how long they shall continue in a belief built upon
no grounds, only to bring it to what you say, and to make it absolutely
of the same nature with faith. We must conclude that nobody can either
create or continue such a belief in themselves; but where it is there is
happiness. And for my part at this present, I verily believe I could
find it in the long walk at Dublin.

You say nothing of your father's sickness, therefore I hope he is well
again; for though I have a quarrel to him, it does not extend so far as
to wish him ill. But he made no good return for the counsel I gave you,
to say that there might come a time when my kindness might fail. Do not
believe him, I charge you, unless you doubt yourself that you may give
me occasion to change; and when he tells you so again, engage what you
please upon't, and put it upon my account. I shall go out of town this
week, and so cannot possibly get a picture drawn for you till I come up
again, which will be within these six weeks, but not to make any stay at
all. I should be glad to find you here then. I would have had one drawn
since I came, and consulted my glass every morning when to begin; and to
speak freely to you that are my friend, I could never find my face in a
condition to admit on't, and when I was not satisfied with it myself, I
had no reason to hope that anybody else should. But I am afraid, as you
say, that time will not mend it, and therefore you shall have it as it
is as soon as Mr. Cooper will vouchsafe to take the pains to draw it for

I am in great trouble to think how I shall write out of Suffolk to you,
or receive yours. However, do not fail to write, though they lie awhile.
I shall have them at last, and they will not be the less welcome; and,
though you should miss of some of mine, let it not trouble you; but if
it be by my fault, I'll give you leave to demand satisfaction for it
when you come. Jane kisses your hands, and says she will be ready in all
places to do you service; but I'll prevent her, now you have put me into
a jealous humour. I'll keep her in chains before she shall quit scores
with me. Do not believe, sir, I beseech you, that the young heirs are
for you; content yourself with your old mistress. You are not so
handsome as Will Spencer, nor I have not so much courage nor wealth as
his mistress, nor she has not so much as her aunt says by all the money.
I shall not have called her his mistress now they have been married
almost this fortnight.

I'll write again before I leave the town, and should have writ more now,
but company is come in. Adieu, my dearest.

_Letter 61._--Lady Talmash was the eldest daughter of Mr. Murray,
Charles I.'s page and whipping boy. She married Sir Lionel Talmash of
Suffolk, a gentleman of noble family. After her father's death, she took
the title of Countess of Dysart, although there was some dispute about
the right of her father to any title. Bishop Burnet says: "She was a
woman of great beauty, but of far greater parts. She had a wonderful
quickness of apprehension, and an amazing vivacity in conversation. She
had studied not only divinity and history, but mathematics and
philosophy. She was violent in everything she set about,--a violent
friend, but a much more violent enemy. She had a restless ambition,
lived at a vast expense, and was ravenously covetous; and would have
stuck at nothing by which she might compass her ends. She had been early
in a correspondence with Lord Lauderdale, that had given occasion to
censure. When he was a prisoner after Worcester fight, she made him
believe he was in great danger of his life, and that she saved it by her
intrigues with Cromwell, which was not a little taken notice of.
Cromwell was certainly fond of her, and she took care to entertain him
in it; till he, finding what was said upon it, broke it off. Upon the
King's Restoration she thought that Lord Lauderdale made not those
returns she expected. They lived for some years at a distance. But upon
her husband's death she made up all quarrels; so that Lord Lauderdale
and she lived so much together that his Lady was offended at it and went
to Paris, where she died about three years after." This was in 1672, and
soon afterwards Lady Dysart and Lord Lauderdale were married. She had
great power over him, and employed it in trafficking with such State
patronage as was in Lord Lauderdale's power to bestow.

Cousin Hammond, who was going to take Ludlow's place in Ireland, would
be the Colonel Robert Hammond who commanded Carisbrooke when the King
was imprisoned there. He was one of a new council formed in August and
sent into Ireland about the end of that month.

Lady Vavasour was Ursula, daughter of Walter Gifford of Chillington,
Staffordshire. Her husband was Sir Thomas Vavasour, Bart. The Vavasours
were a Roman Catholic family, and claimed descent from those who held
the ancient office of King's Valvasour; and we need not therefore be
surprised to find Lady Vavasour engaged in one of the numerous plots
that surrounded and endangered the Protector's power. The plot itself
seems to have created intense excitement in the capital, and resulted in
three persons being tried for high treason, and two executed,--John
Gerard, gentleman, Peter Vowel, schoolmaster of Islington, and one
Summerset Fox, who pleaded guilty, and whose life was spared. "Some wise
men," writes one Thomas Gower in a contemporary letter (still
unprinted), "believe that a couple of coy-ducks drew in the rest, then
revealed all, and were employed to that purpose that the execution of a
few mean persons might deter wiser and more considerable persons." This
seems not improbable. On June 6th the official _Mercurius Politicus_
speaks of this plot as follows:--"The traitorous conspiracy mentioned
heretofore it appears every day more desperate and bloody. It is
discovered that their design was to have destroyed his Highness's
person, and all others at the helm of Government that they could have
laid hands on. Immediately upon the villainous assassination, they
intended to have proclaimed Charles Stuart by the assistance of a
tumult," etc. etc. This with constant accounts of further arrests
troubles the public mind at this time.

The passage of Cowley which Dorothy refers to is in the second book of
Cowley's _Davideis_. It opens with a description of the friendship
between David and Jonathan, and, upon that occasion, a digression
concerning the nature of love. The poem was written by Cowley when a
young man at Cambridge. One can picture Dorothy reading and musing over
lines like these with sympathy and admiration:

What art thou, love, thou great mysterious thing?
From what hid stock does thy strange nature spring?
'Tis thou that mov'st the world through ev'ry part,
And hold'st the vast frame close that nothing start
From the due place and office first ordained,
By thee were all things made and are sustained.
Sometimes we see thee fully and can say
From hence thou took'st thy rise and went'st that way,
But oft'ner the short beams of reason's eye
See only there thou art, not how, nor why.

His lines on love, though overcharged with quaint conceits, are often
noble and true, and end at least with one fine couplet:

Thus dost thou sit (like men e'er sin had framed
A guilty blush), naked but not ashamed.

I promised in my last to write again before I went out of town, and now
I'll be as good as my word. They are all gone this morning, and have
left me much more at liberty than I have been of late, therefore I
believe this will be a long letter; perhaps too long, at least if my
letters are as little entertaining as my company is. I was carried
yesterday abroad to a dinner that was designed for mirth, but it seems
one ill-humoured person in the company is enough to put all the rest out
of tune; for I never saw people perform what they intended worse, and
could not forbear telling them so: but to excuse themselves and silence
my reproaches, they all agreed to say that I spoiled their jollity by
wearing the most unreasonable looks that could be put on for such an
occasion. I told them I knew no remedy but leaving me behind next time,
and could have told them that my looks were suitable to my fortune,
though not to a feast. Fye! I am got into my complaining humour that
tires myself as well as everybody else, and which (as you observe) helps
not at all. Would it would leave me, and then I could believe I shall
not always have occasion for it. But that's in nobody's power, and my
Lady Talmash, that says she can do whatsoever she will, cannot believe
whatsoever she pleases. 'Tis not unpleasant, methinks, to hear her talk,
how at such a time she was sick and the physicians told her she would
have the small-pox, and showed her where they were coming out upon her;
but she bethought herself that it was not at all convenient for her to
have them at that time; some business she had that required her going
abroad, and so she resolved she would not be sick; nor was not. Twenty
such stories as these she tells; and then falls into discoveries of
strength of reason and the power of philosophy, till she confounds
herself and all that hear her. You have no such ladies in Ireland?

Oh me, but I heard to-day your cousin Hammond is going thither to be in
Ludlow's place. Is it true? You tell me nothing what is done there, but
'tis no matter. The less one knows of State affairs I find it is the
better. My poor Lady Vavasour is carried to the Tower, and her great
belly could not excuse her, because she was acquainted by somebody that
there was a plot against the Protector, and did not discover it. She has
told now all that was told her, but vows she will never say from whence
she had it: we shall see whether her resolutions are as unalterable as
those of my Lady Talmash. I wonder how she behaved herself when she was
married. I never saw any one yet that did not look simply and out of
countenance, nor ever knew a wedding well designed but one; and that was
of two persons who had time enough I confess to contrive it, and nobody
to please in't but themselves. He came down into the country where she
was upon a visit, and one morning married her. As soon as they came out
of the church they took coach and came for the town, dined at an inn by
the way, and at night came into lodgings that were provided for them
where nobody knew them, and where they passed for married people of
seven years' standing.

The truth is I could not endure to be Mrs. Bride in a public wedding, to
be made the happiest person on earth. Do not take it ill, for I would
endure it if I could, rather than fail; but in earnest I do not think it
were possible for me. You cannot apprehend the formalities of a treaty
more than I do, nor so much the success on't. Yet in earnest, your
father will not find my brother Peyton wanting in civility (though he is
not a man of much compliment, unless it be in his letters to me), nor an
unreasonable person in anything, so he will allow him out of his
kindness to his wife to set a higher value upon her sister than she
deserves. I know not how he may be prejudiced as to the business, but he
is not deaf to reason when 'tis civilly delivered, and is as easily
gained with compliance and good usage as anybody I know, but by no other
way. When he is roughly dealt with, he is like me, ten times the worse

I make it a case of conscience to discover my faults to you as fast as I
know them, that you may consider what you have to do. My aunt told me no
longer agone than yesterday that I was the most wilful woman that ever
she knew, and had an obstinacy of spirit nothing could overcome. Take
heed! you see I give you fair warning.

I have missed a letter this Monday: What is the reason? By the next, I
shall be gone into Kent, and my other journey is laid aside, which I am
not displeased at, because it would have broken our intercourse very

Here are some verses of Cowley's. Tell me how you like them. 'Tis only a
piece taken out of a new thing of his; the whole is very long, and is a
description of, or rather a paraphrase upon the friendship of David and
Jonathan. 'Tis, I think, the best I have seen of his, and I like the
subject because 'tis that I would be perfect in. Adieu.

_Je suis vostre._

_Letter 62._

_June the 26th_ [1654].

I told you in my last that my Suffolk journey was laid aside, and that
into Kent hastened. I am beginning it to-day; and have chosen to go as
far as Gravesend by water, though it be very gloomy weather. If I drown
by the way, this will be my last letter; and, like a will, I bequeath
all my kindness to you in it, with a charge never to bestow it all upon
another mistress, lest my ghost rise again and haunt you. I am in such
haste that I can say little else to you now. When you are come over,
we'l' think where to meet, for at this distance I can design nothing;
only I should be as little pleased with the constraint of my brother's
house as you. Pray let me know whether your man leaves you, and how you
stand inclined to him I offer you. Indeed, I like him extremely, and he
is commended to me, by people that know him very well and are able to
judge, for a most excellent servant, and faithful as possible. I'll keep
him unengaged till I hear from you. Adieu.

My next shall make amends for this short one.

[_P.S._]--I received your last of June 22nd since I sealed up my letter,
and I durst not but make an excuse for another short one, after you have
chid me so for those you have received already; indeed, I could not help
it, nor cannot now, but if that will satisfy I can assure you I shall
make a much better wife than I do a husband, if I ever am one. _Pardon,
mon Cher Coeur, on m'attend. Adieu, mon Ame. Je vous souhait tout ce que
vous desire._

_Letter 63._

_July the 4th_ [1654].

Because you find fault with my other letters, this is like to be shorter
than they; I did not intend it so though, I can assure you. But last
night my brother told me he did not send his till ten o'clock this
morning, and now he calls for mine at seven, before I am up; and I can
only be allowed time to tell you that I am in Kent, and in a house so
strangely crowded with company that I am weary as a dog already, though
I have been here but three or four days; that all their mirth has not
mended my humour, and that I am here the same I was in other places;
that I hope, merely because you bid me, and lose that hope as often as I
consider anything but yours. Would I were easy of belief! they say one
is so to all that one desires. I do not find it, though I am told I was
so extremely when I believed you loved me. That I would not find, and
you have only power to make me think it. But I am called upon. How fain
I would say more; yet 'tis all but the saying with more circumstance
than I am


[Directed.] For your master.

_Letter 64._

I see you can chide when you please, and with authority; but I deserve
it, I confess, and all I can say for myself is, that my fault proceeded
from a very good principle in me. I am apt to speak what I think; and to
you have so accustomed myself to discover all my heart that I do not
believe it will ever be in my power to conceal a thought from you.
Therefore I am afraid you must resolve to be vexed with all my senseless
apprehensions as my brother Peyton is with some of his wife's, who is
thought a very good woman, but the most troublesome one in a coach that
ever was. We dare not let our tongues lie more on one side of our mouths
than t'other for fear of overturning it. You are satisfied, I hope, ere
this that I 'scaped drowning. However, 'tis not amiss that my will made
you know now how to dispose of all my wealth whensoever I die. But I am
troubled much you should make so ill a journey to so little purpose;
indeed, I writ by the first post after my arrival here, and cannot
imagine how you came to miss of my letters. Is your father returned yet,
and do you think of coming over immediately? How welcome you will be.
But, alas! I cannot talk on't at the rate that you do. I am sensible
that such an absence is misfortune enough, but I dare not promise myself
that it will conclude ours; and 'tis more my belief that you yourself
speak it rather to encourage me, and to your wishes than your hopes.

My humour is so ill at present, that I dare say no more lest you chide
me again. I find myself fit for nothing but to converse with a lady
below, that is fallen out with all the world because her husband and she
cannot agree. 'Tis the pleasantest thing that can be to hear us
discourse. She takes great pains to dissuade me from ever marrying, and
says I am the veriest fool that ever lived if I do not take her counsel.
Now we do not absolutely agree in that point, but I promise her never to
marry unless I can find such a husband as I describe to her, and she
believes is never to be found; so that, upon the matter, we differ very
little. Whensoever she is accused of maintaining opinions very
destructive of society, and absolutely prejudicial to all the young
people of both sexes that live in the house, she calls out me to be her
second, and by it has lost me the favour of all our young gallants, who
have got a custom of expressing anything that is nowhere but in fiction
by the name of "Mrs. O----'s husband." For my life I cannot beat into
their heads a passion that must be subject to no decay, an even perfect
kindness that must last perpetually, without the least intermission.
They laugh to hear me say that one unkind word would destroy all the
satisfaction of my life, and that I should expect our kindness should
increase every day, if it were possible, but never lessen. All this is
perfect nonsense in their opinion; but I should not doubt the convincing
them if I could hope to be so happy as to be


_Letter 65._--Of William Lilly, a noted and extraordinary character of
that day, the following account is taken from his own _Life and Times_,
a lively book, full of amusing lies and astrological gossip, in which
the author describes himself as a student of the Black Art. He was born
in 1602 at Diseworth, an obscure town in the north of Leicestershire.
His family appear to have been yeomen in this town for many generations.
Passing over the measles of his infancy, and other trivial details of
childhood, which he describes minutely, we find him as a boy at
Ashby-de-la-Zouche, where he is the pupil of one Mr. John Brinsley. Here
he learned Latin and Greek, and began to study Hebrew. In the sixteenth
year of his age he was greatly troubled with dreams concerning his
damnation or salvation; and at the age of eighteen he returned to his
father's house, and there kept a school in great penury. He then appears
to have come up to London, leaving his father in a debtor's prison, and
proceeded in pursuit of fortune with a new suit of clothes and seven
shillings and sixpence in his pocket. In London he entered the service
of one Gilbert Wright, an independent citizen of small means and smaller
education. To him Lilly was both man-servant and secretary. The second
Mrs. Wright seems to have had a taste for astrology, and consulted some
of the quacks who then preyed on the silly women of the city. She was
very fond of young Lilly, who attended her in her last illness, and, in
return for his care and attention, she bequeathed to him several
"sigils" or talismanic seals. Probably it was the foolishness of this
poor woman that first suggested to Lilly the advantages to be gained
from the profession of astrology. Mr. Wright married a third wife, and
soon afterwards died, leaving his widow comfortably off. She fell in
love with Lilly, who married her in 1627, and for five years, until her
death, they lived happily together. Lilly was now a man of means, and
was enabled to study that science which he afterwards practised with so
much success. There were a good many professors of the black art at
this date, and Lilly studied under one Evans, a scoundrelly ex-parson
from Wales, until, according to Lilly's own account, he discovered Evans
to be the cheat he undoubtedly was. Lilly, when he set up for himself,
wrote many astrological works, which seem to have been very successful.
He was known and visited by all the great men of the day, and probably
had brains enough only to prophesy when he knew. His description of his
political creed is beautifully characteristic of the man: "I was more
Cavalier than Round-head, and so taken notice of; but afterwards I
engaged body and soul in the cause of the Parliament, but still with
much affection to his Majesty's person and unto Monarchy, which I ever
loved and approved beyond any government whatsoever." Lilly was, in a
word, a self-seeking but successful knave. People who had been robbed,
women in love, men in debt, all in trouble and doubt, from the King
downwards, sought his aid. He pretended to be a man of science, not a
man gifted with supernatural powers. Whether he succeeded in believing
in astrology and deceiving himself, it is impossible to say; he was
probably too clever for that, but he deceived others admirably, and was
one of the noted and most successful of the old astrologers.

How long this letter will be I cannot tell. You shall have all the time
that is allowed me, but upon condition that you shall not examine the
sense on't too strictly, for you must know I want sleep extremely. The
sun was up an hour before I went to bed to-day, and this is not the
first time I have done this since I came hither. 'Twill not be for your
advantage that I should stay here long; for, in earnest, I shall be good
for nothing if I do. We go abroad all day and play all night, and say
our prayers when we have time. Well, in sober earnest now, I would not
live thus a twelvemonth to gain all that the King has lost, unless it
were to give it him again. 'Tis a miracle to me how my brother endures
it. 'Tis as contrary to his humour as darkness is to light, and only
shows the power he lets his wife have over him. Will you be so
good-natured? He has certainly as great a kindness for her as can be,
and, to say truth, not without reason; but all the people that ever I
saw, I do not like his carriage towards her. He is perpetually wrangling
and finding fault, and to a person that did not know him would appear
the worst husband and the most imperious in the world. He is so amongst
his children too, though he loves them passionately. He has one son, and
'tis the finest boy that e'er you saw, and has a noble spirit, but yet
stands in that awe of his father that one word from him is as much as
twenty whippings.

You must give me leave to entertain you thus with discourses of the
family, for I can tell you nothing else from hence. Yet, now I remember.
I have another story for you. You little think I have been with Lilly,
and, in earnest, I was, the day before I came out of town; and what do
you think I went for? Not to know when you would come home, I can assure
you, nor for any other occasion of my own; but with a cousin of mine
that had long designed to make herself sport with him, and did not miss
of her aim. I confess I always thought him an impostor, but I could
never have imagined him so simple a one as we found him. In my life I
never heard so ridiculous a discourse as he made us, and no old woman
who passes for a witch could have been more puzzled to seek what to say
to reasonable people than he was. He asked us more questions than we did
him, and caught at everything we said without discerning that we abused
him and said things purposely to confound him; which we did so perfectly
that we made him contradict himself the strangest that ever you saw.
Ever since this adventure, I have had so great a belief in all things of
this nature, that I could not forbear laying a peas-cod with nine peas
in't under my door yesterday, and was informed by it that my husband's
name should be Thomas. How do you like that? But what Thomas, I cannot
imagine, for all the servants I have got since I came hither I know none
of that name.

Here is a new song,--I do not send it to you but to your sister; the
tune is not worth the sending so far. If she pleases to put any to it, I
am sure it will be a better than it has here. Adieu.

_Letter 66._--"The Lost Lady" is a tragi-comedy by Sir William Berkely,
and is advertised to be sold at the shop of the Holy Lamb in the year
1639, which we may take as the probable date of its publication. Dorothy
would play Hermione, the heroine. We can imagine her speaking with
sympathetic accent lines such as these:

With what harsh fate does Heaven afflict me
That all the blessings which make others happy,
Must be my ruin?

The five Portugals to whom Dorothy refers as being hanged were the
Portuguese ambassador's brother, Don Pantaleon Sa, and four of his men.
The _Mercurius Politicus_ of November 1653 gives the following account
of the matters that led to the execution; and as it is illustrative of
the manners of the day, the account is here quoted at length:--

"NEW EXCHANGE IN THE STRAND. _November 21._--In the evening there
happened a quarrel between the Portugal ambassador's brother and two or
three others of that nation with one Mr. Gerard, an English gentleman,
whom they all fell upon; but he being rescued out of their hands by one
Mr. Anstruther, they retired home, and within an hour after returned
with about twelve more of their nation, armed with breastplates and
headpieces; but after two or three hours taken there, not finding
Anstruther, they went home again for that night.

"_November 22._--At night the ambassador's brother and the rest returned
again, and walking the upper Exchange, they met with one Col. Mayo, who,
being a proper man, they supposed him to have been the same Anstruther
that repelled them the night before; and so shooting off a pistol (which
was as the watchword), the rest of the Portugals (supposed about fifty)
came in with drawn swords, and leaving a sufficient number to keep the
stairs, the rest went up with the ambassador's brother, and there they
fell upon Col. Mayo, who, very gallantly defending himself, received
seven dangerous wounds, and lies in a mortal condition. They fell also
upon one Mr. Greenway, of Lincoln's Inn, as he was walking with his
sister in one hand and his mistress in the other (to whom, as I am
informed, he was to have been married on Tuesday next), and pistoled him
in the head, whereof he died immediately. They brought with them several
earthen jars stuffed with gunpowder, stopped with wax, and fitted with
matches, intending, it seems, to have done some mischief to the Exchange
that they might complete their revenge, but they were prevented."

There is an account of their trial in the _State Trials_, of some
interest to lawyers; it resulted in the execution of Don Pantaleon Sa
and four of his servants. By one of those curious fateful coincidences,
with which fact often outbids fiction, Mr. Gerard, who was the first
Englishman attacked by the Portuguese, suffers on the same scaffold as
his would-be murderers, his offence being high treason. Vowel, the other
plotter, is also executed, but the third saves himself, as we know, by

_July 20th_ [1654 in pencil].

I am very sorry I spoke too late, for I am confident this was an
excellent servant. He was in the same house where I lay, and I had taken
a great fancy to him, upon what was told me of him and what I saw. The
poor fellow, too, was so pleased that I undertook to inquire out a place
for him, that, though mine was, as I told him, uncertain, yet upon the
bare hopes on't he refused two or three good conditions; but I shall set
him now at liberty, and not think at all the worse of him for his
good-nature. Sure you go a little too far in your condemnation on't. I
know it may be abused, as the best things are most subject to be, but in
itself 'tis so absolutely necessary that where it is wanting nothing can
recompense the miss on't. The most contemptible person in the world, if
he has that, cannot be justly hated, and the most considerable without
it cannot deserve to be loved. Would to God I had all that good-nature
you complain you have too much of, I could find ways enough to dispose
on't amongst myself and my friends; but 'tis well where it is, and I
should sooner wish you more on't than less.

I wonder with what confidence you can complain of my short letters that
are so guilty yourself in the same kind. I have not seen a letter this
month which has been above half a sheet. Never trust me if I write more
than you that live in a desolated country where you might finish a
romance of ten tomes before anybody interrupted you--I that live in a
house the most filled of any since the Ark, and where, I can assure
[you], one has hardly time for the most necessary occasions. Well, there
was never any one thing so much desired and apprehended at the same time
as your return is by me; it will certainly, I think, conclude me a very
happy or a most unfortunate person. Sometimes, methinks, I would fain
know my doom whatever it be; and at others, I dread it so extremely,
that I am confident the five Portugals and the three plotters which were
t'other day condemned by the High Court of Justice had not half my fears
upon them. I leave you to judge the constraint I live in, what alarms my
thoughts give me, and yet how unconcerned this company requires I should
be; they will have me at my part in a play, "The Lost Lady" it is, and I
am she. Pray God it be not an ill omen!

I shall lose my eyes and you this letter if I make it longer. Farewell.

I am, yours.

_Letter 67._--Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, was the daughter of James I.
She married the Elector Frederick, who was driven from his throne owing
to his own misconduct and folly, when his wife was forced to return and
live as a pensioner in her native country. She is said to have been
gifted in a superlative degree with all that is considered most lovely
in a woman's character. On her husband's death in 1632 she went to live
at the Hague, where she remained until the Restoration. There is a
report that she married William, Earl of Craven, but there is no proof
of this. He was, however, her friend and adviser through her years of
widowhood, and it was to his house in Drury Lane that she returned to
live in 1661. She is said to have been a lover of literature, and
Francis Quarles and Sir Henry Wotton were her intimate friends. The
latter has written some quaint and elegant verses to his mistress; the
last verse, in which he apostrophizes her as the sun, is peculiarly
graceful. It runs thus:

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes,
More by your number than your light,--
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

But the sun is set, and the beautiful Queen's sad, romantic story almost

Sir John Grenvile was a son of the valiant and loyal cavalier, Sir Bevil
Grenvile, of Kelkhampton, Cornwall. He served the King successfully in
the west of England, and was dangerously wounded at Newbury. He was
entrusted by Charles II. to negotiate with General Monk. Monk's brother
was vicar of Kelkhampton, so that Grenvile and Monk would in all
probability be well acquainted before the time of the negotiation. We
may remember, too, that Dorothy's younger brother was on intimate terms
with General Monk's relations in Cornwall.

There must be letters missing here, for we cannot believe more than a
month passed without Dorothy writing a single letter.

I wonder you did not come before your last letter. 'Twas dated the 24th
of August, but I received it not till the 1st of September. Would to God
your journey were over! Every little storm of wind frights me so, that I
pass here for the greatest coward that ever was born, though, in
earnest, I think I am as little so as most women, yet I may be deceived,
too, for now I remember me you have often told me I was one, and, sure,
you know what kind of heart mine is better than anybody else.

I am glad you are pleased with that description I made you of my humour,
for, though you had disliked it, I am afraid 'tis past my power to help.
You need not make excuses neither for yours; no other would please me
half so well. That gaiety which you say is only esteemed would be
insupportable to me, and I can as little endure a tongue that's always
in motion as I could the click of a mill. Of all the company this place
is stored with, there is but two persons whose conversation is at all
easy; one is my eldest niece, who, sure, was sent into the world to show
'tis possible for a woman to be silent; the other, a gentleman whose
mistress died just when they should have married; and though 'tis many
years since, one may read it in his face still. His humour was very
good, I believe, before that accident, for he will yet say things
pleasant enough, but 'tis so seldom that he speaks at all, and when he
does 'tis with so sober a look, that one may see he is not moved at all
himself when he diverts the company most. You will not be jealous though
I say I like him very much. If you were not secure in me, you might be
so in him. He would expect his mistress should rise again to reproach
his inconstancy if he made court to anything but her memory. Methinks we
three (that is, my niece, and he and I) do become this house the worst
that can be, unless I should take into the number my brother Peyton
himself too; for to say truth his, for another sort of melancholy, is
not less than ours. What can you imagine we did this last week, when to
our constant company there was added a colonel and his lady, a son of
his and two daughters, a maid of honour to the Queen of Bohemia, and
another colonel or a major, I know not which, besides all the tongue
they brought with them; the men the greatest drinkers that ever I saw,
which did not at all agree with my brother, who would not be drawn to it
to save a kingdom if it lay at stake and no other way to redeem it? But,
in earnest, there was one more to be pitied besides us, and that was
Colonel Thornhill's wife, as pretty a young woman as I have seen. She is
Sir John Greenvil's sister, and has all his good-nature, with a great
deal of beauty and modesty, and wit enough. This innocent creature is
sacrificed to the veriest beast that ever was. The first day she came
hither he intended, it seems, to have come with her, but by the way
called in to see an old acquaintance, and bid her go on, he would
overtake her, but did not come till next night, and then so drunk he was
led immediately to bed, whither she was to follow him when she had
supped. I blest myself at her patience, as you may do that I could find
anything to fill up this paper withal. Adieu.

_Letter 68._--In this scrap of writing we find that Temple is again in
England with certain proposals from his father, and ready to discuss the
"treaty," as Dorothy calls it, with her brother Peyton. The few
remaining letters deal with the treaty. Temple would probably return to
London when he left Ireland, and letters would pass frequently between
them. There seems to have been some hitch as to who should appear in
the treaty. Dorothy's brother had spoken of and behaved to Temple with
all disrespect, but, now that he is reconciled to the marriage, Dorothy
would have him appear, at least formally, in the negotiations. The last
letter of this chapter, which is dated October 2nd, calls on Temple to
come down to Kent, to Peyton's house; and it is reasonable to suppose
that at this interview all was practically settled to the satisfaction
of those two who were most deeply concerned in the negotiation.

I did so promise myself a letter on Friday that I am very angry I had it
not, though I know you were not come to town when it should have been
writ. But did not you tell me you should not stay above a day or two?
What is it that has kept you longer? I am pleased, though, that you are
out of the power of so uncertain things as the winds and the sea, which
I never feared for myself, but did extremely apprehend for you. You will
find a packet of letters to read, and maybe have met with them already.
If you have, you are so tired that 'tis but reasonable I should spare
you in this. For, [to] say truth, I have not time to make this longer;
besides that if I had, my pen is so very good that it writes an
invisible hand, I think; I am sure I cannot read it myself. If your eyes
are better, you will find that I intended to assure you I am


_Letter 69._

I am but newly waked out of an unquiet sleep, and I find it so late that
if I write at all it must be now. Some company that was here last night
kept us up till three o'clock, and then we lay three in a bed, which was
all the same to me as if we had not gone to bed at all. Since dinner
they are all gone, and our company with them part of the way, and with
much ado I got to be excused, that I might recover a little sleep, but
am so moped yet that, sure, this letter will be nonsense.

I would fain tell you, though, that your father is mistaken, and that
you are not, if you believe that I have all the kindness and tenderness
for you my heart is capable of. Let me assure you (whatever your father
thinks) that had you L20,000 a year I could love you no more than I do,
and should be far from showing it so much lest it should look like a
desire of your fortune, which, as to myself, I value as little as
anybody in the world, and in this age of changes; but certainly I know
what an estate is. I have seen my father's reduced, better than L4000,
to not L400 a year, and I thank God I never felt the change in anything
that I thought necessary. I never wanted, nor am confident I never
shall. But yet, I would not be thought so inconsiderate a person as not
to remember that it is expected from all people that have sense that
they should act with reason, that to all persons some proportion of
fortune is necessary, according to their several qualities, and though
it is not required that one should tie oneself to just so much, and
something is left for one's inclination, and the difference in the
persons to make, yet still within such a compass,--and such as lay more
upon these considerations than they will bear, shall infallibly be
condemned by all sober persons. If any accident out of my power should
bring me to necessity though never so great, I should not doubt with
God's assistance but to bear it as well as anybody, and I should never
be ashamed on't if He pleased to send it me; but if by my own folly I
had put it upon myself, the case would be extremely altered. If ever
this comes to a treaty, I shall declare that in my own choice I prefer
you much before any other person in the world, and all that this
inclination in me (in the judgment of any persons of honour and
discretion) will bear, I shall desire may be laid upon it to the
uttermost of what they can allow. And if your father please to make up
the rest, I know nothing that is like to hinder me from being yours. But
if your father, out of humour, shall refuse to treat with such friends
as I have, let them be what they will, it must end here; for though I
was content, for your sake, to lose them, and all the respect they had
for me, yet, now I have done that, I'll never let them see that I have
so little interest in you and yours as not to prevail that my brother
may be admitted to treat for me. Sure, when a thing of course and so
much reason as that (unless I did disclose to all the world he were my
enemy), it must be expected whensoever I dispose of myself he should be
made no stranger to it. When that shall be refused me, I may be justly
reproached that I deceived myself when I expected to be at all valued in
a family that I am a stranger to, or that I should be considered with
any respect because I had a kindness for you, that made me not value my
own interests.

I doubt much whether all this be sense or not; I find my head so heavy.
But that which I would say is, in short, this: if I did say once that my
brother should have nothing to do in't, 'twas when his carriage towards
me gave me such an occasion as could justify the keeping that distance
with him; but now it would look extremely unhandsome in me, and, sure, I
hope your father would not require it of me. If he does, I must conclude
he has no value for me, and, sure, I never disobliged him to my
knowledge, and should, with all the willingness imaginable, serve him if
it lay in my power.

Good God! what an unhappy person am I. All the world is so almost. Just
now they are telling me of a gentleman near us that is the most wretched
creature made (by the loss of a wife that he passionately loved) that
can be. If your father would but in some measure satisfy my friends that
I might but do it in any justifiable manner, you should dispose me as
you pleased, carry me whither you would, all places of the world would
be alike to me where you were, and I should not despair of carrying
myself so towards him as might deserve a better opinion from him.

I am yours.

_Letter 70._

My doubts and fears were not at all increased by that which gives you so
many, nor did I apprehend that your father might not have been prevailed
with to have allowed my brother's being seen in the treaty; for as to
the thing itself, whether he appears in't or not, 'twill be the same. He
cannot but conclude my brother Peyton would not do anything in it
without the others' consent.

I do not pretend to any share in your father's kindness, as having
nothing in me to merit it; but as much a stranger as I am to him, I
should have taken it very ill if I had desired it of him, and he had
refused it me. I do not believe my brother has said anything to his
prejudice, unless it were in his persuasions to me, and there it did not
injure him at all. If he takes it ill that my brother appears so very
averse to the match, I may do so too, that he was the same; and nothing
less than my kindness for you could have made me take so patiently as I
did his saying to some that knew me at York that he was forced to bring
you thither and afterwards to send you over lest you should have married
me. This was not much to my advantage, nor hardly civil, I think, to any
woman; yet I never so much as took the least notice on't, nor had not
now, but for this occasion; yet, sure, it concerns me to be at least as
nice as he in point of honour. I think 'tis best for me to end here lest
my anger should make me lose that respect I would always have for your
father, and 'twere not amiss, I think, that I devoted it all towards you
for being so idle as to run out of your bed to catch such a cold.

If you come hither you must expect to be chidden so much that you will
wish that you had stayed till we came up, when perhaps I might have
almost forgot half my quarrel to you. At this present I can assure you I
am pleased with nobody but your sister, and her I love extremely, and
will call her pretty; say what you will, I know she must be so, though I
never saw more of her than what her letters show. She shall have two
"spots" [carriage dogs] if she please (for I had just such another given
me after you were gone), or anything else that is in the power of


_Letter 71._

_Monday, October the 2nd_ [1654].

After a long debate with myself how to satisfy you and remove that rock
(as you call it), which in your apprehensions is of so great danger, I
am at last resolved to let you see that I value your affections for me
at as high a rate as you yourself can set it, and that you cannot have
more of tenderness for me and my interests than I shall ever have for
yours. The particulars how I intend to make this good you shall know
when I see you; which since I find them here more irresolute in point of
time (though not as to the journey itself) than I hoped they would have
been, notwithstanding your quarrel to me, and the apprehension you would
make me believe you had that I do not care to see you, pray come hither
and try whether you shall be welcome or not! In sober earnest now I must
speak with you; and to that end if your occasions will [serve] come down
to Canterbury. Send some one when you are there, and you shall have
further directions.

You must be contented not to stay here above two or three hours. I shall
tell you my reason when you come. And pray inform yourself of all that
your father will do on this occasion, that you may tell it me only;
therefore let it be plainly and sincerely what he intends and all.

I will not hinder your coming away so much as the making this letter a
little longer might take away from your time in reading it. 'Tis enough
to tell you I am ever




This short series of notes was written, I think, during a visit to
London after the formal betrothal and before the marriage. These notes
were evidently written upon the trivial occasions of the day, more
perhaps for the sake of writing something than for any more serious
reason. The note in French is somewhat of a curiosity on account of its
quaint orthography, which is purposely left uncorrected. Was Dorothy in
London to purchase her _trousseau_? Where did she and Jane spend their
days, if that was the case, when Regent Street was green fields? These
questions cannot be satisfactorily answered; but the notes themselves,
without any history or explanation, are so full of interest, so fresh
and vivacious, even for Dorothy, that they place themselves from the
freedom and joy of their style and manner at the end of the third

You are like to have an excellent housewife of me; I am abed still, and
slept so soundly, nothing but your letter could have waked me. You shall
hear from me as soon as we have dined. Farewell; can you endure that
word? No, out upon't. I'll see you anon.

Fye upon't I shall grow too good now, I am taking care to know how your
worship slept to-night; better I hope than you did the last. Send me word
how you do, and don't put me off with a bit of a note now; you could
write me a fine long letter when I did not deserve it half so well.

You are mistaken if you think I am in debt for both these days. Saturday
I confess was devoted to my Lady; but yesterday, though I ris with good
intentions of going to church, my cold would not suffer me, but kept me
prisoner all the day. I went to your lodging to tell you that visiting
the sick was part of the work of the day, but you were gone, and so I
went to bed again, where your letter found me this morning. But now I
will rise and despatch some visits that I owe, that to-morrow may be
entirely yours.

I find my conscience a little troubled till I have asked your pardon for
my ill-humour last night. Will you forgive it me; in earnest, I could
not help it, but I met with a cure for it; my brother kept me up to hear
his learned lecture till after two o'clock, and I spent all my
ill-humour upon him, and yet we parted very quietly, and look'd as if a
little good fortune might make us good friends; but your special friend,
my elder brother, I have a story to tell you of him. Will my cousin F.
come, think you? Send me word, it maybe 'twas a compliment; if I can see
you this morning I will, but I dare not promise it.

SIR,--This is to tell you that you will be expected to-morrow morning
about nine o'clock at a lodging over against the place where Charinge
Crosse stood, and two doors above Ye Goate Taverne; if with these
directions you can find it out, you will there find one that is very

Your servant.

Now I have got the trick of breaking my word, I shall do it every day. I
must go to Roehampton to-day, but 'tis all one, you do not care much for
seeing me. Well, my master, remember last night you swaggered like a
young lord. I'll make your stomach come down; rise quickly, you had
better, and come hither that I may give you a lesson this morning before
I go.

Je n'ay guere plus dormie que vous et mes songes n'ont pas estres moins
confuse, au rest une bande de violons que sont venu jouer sous ma
fennestre, m'out tourmentes de tel facon que je doubt fort si je
pourrois jamais les souffrire encore, je ne suis pourtant pas en fort
mauvaise humeur et je m'en-voy ausi tost que je serai habillee voire ce
qu'il est posible de faire pour vostre sattisfaction, apres je viendre
vous rendre conte de nos affairs et quoy qu'il en sera vous ne scaurois
jamais doubte que je ne vous ayme plus que toutes les choses du monde.

I have slept as little as you, and may be allowed to talk as
unreasonably, yet I find I am not quite senseless; I have a heart still
that cannot resolve to refuse you anything within its power to grant.
But, Lord, when shall I see you? People will think me mad if I go abroad
this morning after having seen me in the condition I was in last night,
and they will think it strange to see you here. Could you not stay till
they are all gone to Roehampton? they go this morning. I do but ask,
though do what you please, only believe you do a great injustice if you
think me false. I never resolv'd to give you an eternal farewell, but I
resolv'd at the same time to part with all the comfort of my life, and
whether I told it you or not I shall die yours.

Tell me what you will have me do.

Here comes the note again to tell you I cannot call on you to-night; I
cannot help it, and you must take it as patiently as you can, but I am
engaged to-night at the Three Rings to sup and play. Poor man, I am
sorry for you; in earnest, I shall be quite spoiled. I see no remedy;
think whether it were not best to leave me and begin a new adventure.

And now we have finished. Dorothy Osborne is passing away, will soon be
translated into Dorothy Temple; with the romance of her life all past
history, and fast becoming as much a romance to herself, as it seems to
us, looking back at it after more than two centuries. Something it is
becoming to her over which she can muse and dream and weave into tales
for the children who will gather round her. Something the reality of
which will grow doubtful to her, if she find idle hours for dreaming and
doubting in her new name. Her last lover's letter is written. We are
ready for the marriage ceremony, and listen for the wedding march and
happy jingle of village bells; or if we may not have these in Puritan
days, at least we may hear the pompous magistrate pronounce the blessing
of the State over its two happy subjects. But no! There is yet a moment
of suspense, a last trial to the lover's constancy. The bride is taken
dangerously ill, so dangerously ill that the doctors rejoice when the
disease pronounces itself to be small-pox. Alas! who shall now say what
are the inmost thoughts of our Dorothy? Does she not need all her faith
in her lover, in herself, ay, and in God, to uphold her in this new
affliction? She rises from her bed, her beauty of face destroyed; her
fair looks living only on the painter's canvas, unless we may believe
that they were etched in deeply bitten lines on Temple's heart. But the
skin beauty is not the firmest hold she has on Temple's affections; this
was not the beauty that had attracted her lover and held him enchained
in her service for seven years of waiting and suspense; this was not the
only light leading him through dark days of doubt, almost of despair,
constant, unwavering in his troth to her. Other beauty not outward, of
which we, too, may have seen something, mirrowed darkly in these
letters; which we, too, as well as Temple, may know existed in Dorothy.
For it is not beauty of face and form, but of what men call the soul,
that made Dorothy to Temple, in fact as she was in name,--the gift of



Of Lady Temple there is very little to be known, and what there is can
be best understood by following the career of her husband, which has
been written at some length, and with laboured care, by Mr. Courtenay.
After her marriage, which took place in London, January 31st, 1655, they
lived for a year at the home of a friend in the country. They then
removed to Ireland, where they lived for five years with Temple's
father; Lady Giffard, Temple's widowed sister, joining them. In 1663
they were living in England. Lady Giffard continued to live with them
through the rest of their lives, and survived them both. In 1665 Temple
was sent to Brussels as English representative, and his family joined
him in the following year. In 1668 he was removed from Brussels to the
Hague, where the successful negotiations which led to the Triple
Alliance took place, and these have given him an honourable place in
history. There is a letter of Lady Temple's, written to her husband in
1670, which shows how interested she was in the part he took in
political life, and how he must have consulted her in all State
matters. It is taken from Courtenay's _Life of Sir William Temple_,
vol. i. p. 345. He quotes it as the only letter written after Lady
Temple's marriage which has come into his hands.

THE HAGUE, _October 31st, 1670_.

My Dearest Heart,--I received yours from Yarmouth, and was very glad you
made so happy a passage. 'Tis a comfortable thing, when one is on this
side, to know that such a thing can be done in spite of contrary winds.
I have a letter from P., who says in character that you may take it from
him that the Duke of Buckingham has begun a negotiation there, but what
success in England he may have he knows not; that it were to be wished
our politicians at home would consider well that there is no trust to be
put in alliances with ambitious kings, especially such as make it their
fundamental maxim to be base. These are bold words, but they are his
own. Besides this, there is nothing but that the French King grows very
thrifty, that all his buildings, except fortifications, are ceased, and
that his payments are not so regular as they used to be. The people here
are of another mind; they will not spare their money, but are
resolved--at least the States of Holland--if the rest will consent, to
raise fourteen regiments of foot and six of horse; that all the
companies, both old and new, shall be of 120 men that used to be of 50,
and every troop 80 that used to be of 45. Nothing is talked of but these
new levies, and the young men are much pleased. Downton says they have
strong suspicions here you will come back no more, and that they shall
be left in the lurch; that something is striking up with France, and
that you are sent away because you are too well inclined to these
countries; and my cousin Temple, he says, told him that a nephew of Sir
Robert Long's, who is lately come to Utrecht, told my cousin Temple,
three weeks since, you were not to stay long here, because you were too
great a friend to these people, and that he had it from Mr. Williamson,
who knew very well what he said. My cousin Temple says he told it to
Major Scott as soon as he heard it, and so 'tis like you knew it before;
but there is such a want of something to say that I catch at everything.
I am my best dear's most affectionate


In the summer of 1671 there occurred an incident that reminds us
considerably of the Dorothy Osborne of former days. The Triple Alliance
had lost some of its freshness, and was not so much in vogue as
heretofore. Charles II. had been coquetting with the French King, and at
length the Government, throwing off its mask, formally displaced Temple
from his post in Holland. "The critical position of affairs," says
Courtenay, "induced the Dutch to keep a fleet at sea, and the English
Government hoped to draw from that circumstance an occasion of quarrel.
A yacht was sent for Lady Temple; the captain had orders to sail through
the Dutch fleet if he should meet it, and to fire into the nearest ships
until they should either strike sail to the flag which he bore, or
return his shot so as to make a quarrel!

"He saw nothing of the Dutch Fleet in going over, but on his return he
fell in with it, and fired, without warning and ceremony, into the ships
that were next him.

"The Dutch admiral, Van Ghent, was puzzled; he seemed not to know, and
probably did not know, what the English captain meant; he therefore sent
a boat, thinking it possible that the yacht might be in distress; when
the captain told his orders, mentioning also that he had the
ambassadress on board. Van Ghent himself then came on board, with a
handsome compliment to Lady Temple, and, making his personal inquiries
of the captain, received the same answer as before. The Dutchman said he
had no orders upon the point, which he rightly believed to be still
unsettled, and could not believe that the fleet, commanded by an
admiral, was to strike to the King's pleasure-boat.

"When the Admiral returned to his ship, the captain also, 'perplexed
enough,' applied to Lady Temple, who soon saw that he desired to get out
of his difficulty by her help; but the wife of Sir William Temple called
forth the spirit of Dorothy Osborne. 'He knew,' she told the captain,
'his orders best, and what he was to do upon them, which she left to
him to follow as he thought fit, without any regard to her or her
children.' The Dutch and English commanders then proceeded each upon his
own course, and Lady Temple was safely landed in England."

There is an account of this incident in a letter of Sir Charles
Lyttelton to Viscount Hatton, in the Hatton Correspondence. He tells us
that the poor captain, Captain Crow of _The Monmouth_, "found himself in
the Tower about it;" but he does not add any further information as to
the part which Dorothy played in the matter.

After their retirement to Sheen and Moor Park, Surrey, we know nothing
distinctively of Lady Temple, and little is known of their family life.
They had only two children living, having lost as many as seven in their
infancy. In 1684 one of these children, their only daughter, died of
small-pox; she was buried in Westminster Abbey. There is a letter of
hers written to her father which shows some signs of her mother's
affectionate teaching, and which we cannot forbear to quote. It is
copied from Courtenay, vol. ii. p. 113.

SIR,--I deferred writing to you till I could tell you that I had
received all my fine things, which I have just now done; but I thought
never to have done giving you thanks for them. They have made me so very
happy in my new clothes, and everybody that comes does admire them above
all things, but yet not so much as I think they deserve; and now, if
papa was near, I should think myself a perfect pope, though I hope I
should not be burned as there was one at Nell Gwyn's door the 5th of
November, who was set in a great chair, with a red nose half a yard
long, with some hundreds of boys throwing squibs at it. Monsieur Gore
and I agree mighty well, and he makes me believe I shall come to
something at last; that is if he stays, which I don't doubt but he will,
because all the fine ladies will petition for him. We are got rid of the
workmen now, and our house is ready to entertain you. Come when you
please, and you will meet nobody more glad to see you than your most
obedient and dutiful daughter,


Temple's son, John Temple, married in 1685 a rich heiress in France, the
daughter of Monsieur Duplessis Rambouillet, a French Protestant; he
brought his wife to live at his father's house at Sheen. After King
William and Queen Mary were actually placed on the throne, Sir William
Temple, in 1689, permitted his son to accept the office of Secretary at
War. For reasons now obscure and unknowable, he drowned himself in the
Thames within a week of his acceptance of office, leaving this writing
behind him:--

"My folly in undertaking what I was not able to perform has done the
King and kingdom a great deal of prejudice. I wish him all happiness and
abler servants than John Temple."

The following letter was written on that occasion by Lady Temple to
her nephew, Sir John Osborne. The original of it is at Chicksands:--

_To Sir John Osborne, thanking him for his
consolation on the death of her son._

SHEEN, _May 6th, 1689_.

Dear Nephew,--I give you many thanks for your kind letter and the sense
you have of my affliction, which truly is very great. But since it is
laid upon me by the hand of an Almighty and Gracious God, that always
proportions His punishments to the support He gives with them, I may
hope to bear it as a Christian ought to do, and more especially one that
is conscious to herself of having many ways deserved it. The strange
revolution we have seen might well have taught me what this world is,
yet it seems it was necessary that I should have a near example of the
uncertainty of all human blessings, that so having no tie to the world I
may the better prepare myself to leave it; and that this correction may
suffice to teach me my duty must be the prayer of your affectionate aunt
and humble servant,


During the remaining years of her life, Lady Temple was honoured, to use
the conventional phrase, by the friendship of Queen Mary, and there is
said to have been a continuous correspondence between them, though I can
find on inquiry no trace of its existence at the present day.

Early in the year 1695, after forty years of married life, and in the
sixty-seventh year of her age, she died. She lies, with her husband and
children, on the north side of the nave of Westminster Abbey, close to
the little door that leads to the organ gallery.

Her body sleeps in Capel's monument,
And her immortal part with angels lives.

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