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piness of seeing you at another time of more lei. sure. I am now under your own roof while I write; and that imaginary satisfaction of being so near you, though not in your presence, has in it something that touches me with so tender ideas, that it is impossible for me to describe their force. All great passion makes us dumb; and the highest happiness, as well as highest grief, seizes us too violently to be expressed by our words.
You are so good as to let me know I shall have the honour of seeing you when I next come here. I will live upon that expectation, and meditate on your perfections till that happy hour. The vainest woman upon earth never saw in her glass half the attractions which I view in
you. Your air, your shape, your every glance, motion, and gesture, have such peculiar graces, that you possess my whole soul, and I know no life but in the hopes of your approbation. I know not what to say, but that I love you with the sincerest passion that ever entered the heart of man. I will make it the business of my life to fiud out means of convincing you that I prefer you to all that is pleasing on earth. I am, madam, your most obedient, most faithful humble servant.
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Friday morning, Aug. 15, 1707. HOPING you are in good health, as I am at this present writing, I take the liberty of bidding you
good-morrow, and thanking you for yesterday's admission. To know so much pleasure with so much innocence is, metbipks, a satisfaction beyond the present condition of human life; but the union of minds in pure affection is renewing the first state of man.
You cannot imagine the gratitude with which I meditate on your obliging behaviour to me, and how much improved in generous sentiments I return from your company: at the same time that you give me a passion for yourself, you inspire me also with a love of virtue.
Mrs. Warren informed me of your intention on Sunday morning. I forbear indulging myself in a style which my eager wishes prompt me to, out of reverence to that occasion. I am, madam, your most obliged, most faithful servant.
SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK,
Aug. 16, 1707. Before the light this morning dawned upon the earth, 1 awaked, and lay in expectation of its return; not that it could give any new sense of joy to me; but as I hoped it would bless you with its cheerful face, after a quiet which I wished you last night. If my prayers are heard; the day appeared with all the influence of a merciful Creator upon your person and actions. Let others, my lovely charmer, talk of a blind being that disposes their hearts. I contemn their low images of love. I have not a thought which relates to you, that I cannot with confidence beseech the All-seeing Power to bless me in. May he direct you in all your steps, and reward your innocence, your sanctity of manners, your prudent youth, and becoming piety, with the continuance of his grace and protection! This is an unusual language to ladies; but you have a mind elevated above the giddy notions of a sex ensnared by flattery, and misled by a false and short adoration, into a solid and long contempt. Beauty, my fairest creature, palls in the possession; but I love also your mind : your soul is as dear to me as my own; and, if the advantage of a liberal education, some knowledge, and as much contempt of the world, joined with endeavours towards a life of strict virtue and religion, can qualify me to raise new ideas in a breast so well disposed as yours is, our days will pass away with joy; and, instead of introducing melancholy prospects of decay, give us hope of eternal youth in a better life. I have but few minutes from the duty of my employment to write in, and without time to read over what I have writ: therefore beseech you to pardon the first hints of my mind, which I have expressed in so little order. I am, dearest creature, your most obedient, most devoted servant.
* To receive the sacrament
SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK.
Aug. 17, 1707. I COULD not omit writing to you, though on Sun. day morning, when I know I interrupt your meditation on higher subjects * : there is nothing but Heaven itself which I prefer to your love, which shall be the pursuit of my life; and I hope there will not a day appear to our lives end, wherein there will not appear some instance of an affection not to be excelled but in the mansions of eternity, to which we may recommend ourselves by our behaviour to each other here. I am, lovely charmer, your obedient
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Lord Sunderland's Office, 1707. With what language shall I address my lovely fair, to acquaint her with the sentiments of a heart she delights to torture? I have not a minute's quiet out of your sight; and when I am with you, you use me with so much distance, that I am still in a state of absence, heightened with a view of the charms which I am denied to approach. In a word, you must give me either a fan, a mask, or a glove you have wore, or I cannot live; otherwise you must expect I will kiss your hand, or when I next sit by you, steal your handkerchief. You yourself are too great a bounty to be received at once; therefore I must be prepared by degrees, lest the mighty gift distract me with joy. Dear Mrs. Scurlock, I am tired with calling you by that name; therefore say the day in which you will take that of, madam, your most obedient, most devoted humble servant.
* The sacrament.
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Smith-street, Westminster, 1707. I TAKE up pen and ink to indulge the sensibility of mind I am under, in reflecting upon the agreeable company in which I passed yesterday evening. The day hangs heavily upon me; and the whole business of it is an impertinent guilty dream in comparison of the happiness of a few moments of real life at your house, which go off in privacy and innocence. Were it possible the concern I have for you were mutual, how tedious would be the moments of each other's absence, how fleeting the hours we should be together! How would my mirth be heightened! How my sorrow banished by the appearance of a smile in that countenance, where are so charmingly painted complacency,