Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

it, and making me give petitions, and dancing me through his court; besides a great dinner to his nasty people. Now, am I not in the right to be angry? But perhaps you will say, if I will have my fancies, I must pay for them; so I will say no more about it. I hear poor Mrs. Kelly is not near so well as she says; and a gentleman that came from Bristol, says she looks dreadfully, and fears it is almost over with ber, and that no mortal could know her ;-80 ends youth and beauty! that is such a mortal reflection, that, lest it should make you melancholy, I will tell you something to please you. Your old friend Mrs. Floyd is perfectly recovered. I think I have not seen her so well this great while; but winter is always her bane, so I shall live in dread of that.

in your next I desire to know what I am in your debt for my sister's monument. Adieu, my dear, good, old, beloved friend,

LETTER VII.
LADY B- G- TO DR. SWIFT.

London, July 12, 1735. I have not answered yours of the 15th of June so soon as I should but the duke of Dorset had answered all yours ere your letter came to my hands, So I hope all causes of complaint are at an end, and that he has showed himself, as he is, much your friend and humble servant, though he wears a garter, and had his original from Normandy, if heraldo

do not lie, or his granums did not play false; and whilst he is lord-lieutenant (which I beartily wish may not be much longer), I dare say he will be very glad of any opportunity to do what you recommend to him. Thus far will I answer for his grace, though he is now in the country, and cannot subscribe to it himself.

Now to quite another affair. The countess of Suffolk (whom you know I have long had a great esteem and value for) has been so good and gra. cious as to take my brother George Berkeley for better for worse, though I hope in God the last will not happen, because I think he is an honest good-natured man. The town is surprised; and the town talks, as the town loves to do, upon these ordinary extraordinary, occasions. She is indeed four or five years older than he, and no more; but for all that, he bath appeared to all the world, as well as me, to have long had (that is, ever since she hath been a widow, so pray do not mistake me) a most violent passion for her, as well as esteem and value for her numberless good qualities. These things well considered, I do not think they have above ten to one against their being very happy; and if they should not be so, I shall heartily wish bim hanged, because I am sure it will be wholly his fault. As to her fortune, though she has been twenty years a court favourite, yet I doubt she has been too disinterested to enlarge it, as others would have done : and sir Robert*, her greatest enemy, does not tax her with getting quite forty thousand pounds. I wish,—but fear it is not near that sum,

* Walpole, afterwards lord Orford.

but what she has, she never told me, nor have I ever asked; but whatever it is, they must live accordingly; and he had of his own wherewithal to live by himself easily and genteelly.

In this hurry of matrimony, I had like to forgot to answer that part of your letter where you say you never heard of our being in print together. I believe it was about twenty years ago Mr. Curll set forth Letters, amorous, satirical, and gallant, between Dr. Swift, lady Mary Chambre, lady Betty Germain, and Mrs. Anne Long, and several other persons. I am afraid some of my people used them according to their deserts; for they have not appeared above ground this great while : and now to the addition of writing the brave large hand you make me do for you, I have bruised my fingers prodigiously; and can say no more but Adieu.

LETTER VIII.

SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK*.

MADAM,

Saturday, Aug. 9, 1707. Your wit and beauty are suggestions which may easily lead you into the intention of my writing to you. You may be sure that I cannot be cold

· * Mrs. M. Scurlock, afterwards lady Steele, daughter and sole heiress of Jonathan Scurlock, esq. of the county of Caer. marthen, was at this time a beautiful young lady about the age of 28 or 29. She is styled here, according to the mode of the time when this letter was written, not Miss, bat Mistress

to so many good qualities as all that see you must observe in you. You are a woman of a very good understanding, and will not measure my thoughts by any ardour in my expressions, which is the ordinary language on these occasions.

I have reasons for hiding from my nearest relation any purpose I may have resolved upon of waiting on you if you permit it; and I hope you have confidence from mine, as well as your own character, that such a condescension should not be ill used by, madam, your most obedient servant.

LETTER IX.

FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.

MADAM,

Aug. 11, 1707. I wait to you on Saturday by Mrs. Warren; and give you this trouble to urge the same request I made then ; which was, that I may be admitted to wait upon you, I should be very 'far from desiring this, if it were a transgression of the most severe rules to allow it. I know you are very much above the little arts wbich are frequent in your sex, of giving unnecessary torment to their admirers; therefore hope you will do so much jus

Scurlock, though her mother was still living. The appellation of Miss was then appropriated to the daughters of gentlemen under the age ten, or given opprobriously to young gentlewo. men reproachable for tbe giddiness or irregularity of their conduct.

tice to the generous passion I have for you, as to let me have an opportunity of acquainting you upon what motives 1 pretend to your good opinion. I shall not trouble you with my sentiments till I know they will be received; and as I know no reason why difference of sex should make our language to each other differ from the ordinary rules of right reason, I shall affect plainness and sincerity in my discourse to you, as much as other lovers do perplexity and rapture. Instead of say. ing “ I shall die for you,” I profess I should be glad to lead my life with you. You are as beautiful, as witty, as prudent, and as good-humoured, as any woman breathing ; but I must confess to you, I regard all these excellencies as you will please to direct them for my happiness or misery. With me, madam, the only lasting motive to love, is the hope of its becoming mutual. I beg of you to let Mrs. Warren send me word when I may attend you. I promise you I will talk of nothing but indifferent things; though, at the same time, I know not how I shall approach you in the tender moment of first seeing you after this declaration which has been made by, madam, your most obe. dient and most faithful humble servant.

LETTER X.

SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK,

MADAM,

Aug. 14, 1707. I CAME to your house this night to wait on you; but you have commanded me to expect the hap

« НазадПродовжити »