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good sense, innocence, honour, and truth! Since this is the figure you bear in my imagination, you cannot blame my desire of having those good qualities my constant companions, and for ever engaged in my interests. My heart overflows with the pleasing prospects which throng into my mind when I think of yon. What shall I say? Pr’ythee, Mrs. Scarlock, have pity on,' madam, your most obedient, most faithful servant.
SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK.
MADAM, Smith-street, Westminster, 1707. I lay down last night with your image in my thoughts, and have awakened this morning in the same contemplation. The pleasing transport with which I am delighted, has a sweetness in it, attended with a train of ten thousand soft desires, anxieties, and cares. The day arises on my hopes with new brightness: youth, beauty, and innocence, are the charming objects that steal me from myself, give me joys above the reach of ainbition, pride, or glory. Believe me, fair one, to throw myself at your feet is giving myself the highest bliss I know on earth. Oh, hasten, ye minutes ! bring on the happy morning wherein 'to be ever hers will make me look down on thrones! Dear Molly, I am passionately, faithfully thine.
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Aug. 22, 1707. If my vigilance, and ten thousand wishes for your welfare and repose, could have any force, you last nigbt slept in security, and had every good angel in your attendance. To have my thoughts ever fixed on you, to live in constant fear of every accident to which human life is liable, and to send up my hourly prayers to avert them from you; I say, madam, thus to think and thus to suffer, is what I do for her who is in pain at my approach, and calls all my tender sorrow impertinence. You are Dow before my eyes, my eyes that are ready to flow with tenderness, but cannot give relief to my gushing heart, that dictates what I am now sayo ing, and yearns to tell you all its achings. How art thou, oh my soul, stolen from thyself! how is all my attention broken! My books are blank paper, and my friends intruders. I liave no hope of quiet but from your pity: to graut it, would make more for your triumph. To give pain is the tyranny; to make happy, the true empire of beauty. If you would consider aright, you would find an agreeable change in dismissing the attendance of a slave to receive the complaisance of a companion. I bear the former, in hopes of the latter condition. As I live in chains without murmuring at the power which inflicts them, so I could enjoy freedom without forgetting the mercy that gave it. Dear Mrs. Scurlock, the life which you bestow on me shall be no more my own. I am your most devoted, most obedient servant. .
SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK.
Aug. 30, 1707. I BEG pardon that my paper is not finer; but I am forced to write from a coffee-house where I am attending about business. There is a dirty crowd of busy faces all around me, talking of money; while all my ambition, all my wealth, is love! Love, which animates my heart, sweetens my humour, enlarges my soul, and affects every action of my life. It is to my lovely charmer I owe, that many noble ideas are continually affixed to my words and actions; it is the natural effect of that generous passion, to create in the admirer some similitude of the object admired. Thus, my dear, am I every day to improve from so sweet a companion. Look up, my fair one, to that Heaven which made thee such, and join with me to implore its influence on our tender innocent hours, and beseech the Author of love to bless the rites he has ordained, and mingle with our happiness a just sense of our transient condition, and a resignation to his will, which only can regulate our minds to a steady endeavour to please him and each other. I am for ever your faithful servant,
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
Sept. 5,1707. The pleasing hope with which my mind is possessed, is too delicate a touch of the soul to be explained; but it is founded on so solid and lasting motives, that I am sure it will actuate the behaviour of my whole life : for I do not entertain my imagination with those transports only which are raised by beauty, but fix it also on the satisfactions which flow from the reverence due to virtue. Thus I am not only allured by your person, but convinced by your life, that you are the most amiable of women. Let us go on, my lovely creature, to make our regards to each other mutual and unchangable; that, while the world around us is enchanted with the false satisfactions of vagrant de. sires, our persons may be shrines to each other, and sacred to conjugal faith, unreserved confidence, and heavenly society. While we live after this manner, angels will be so far from being our superiors, that they will be our attendants. Every good being guard my fairest, and conduct her to that bosom that pants to receive her, and protect her from all the cares and vicissitudes of life with an eternal tenderness! I am ever most obligingly yours.
SIR RICHARD STEELE TO MRS. SCURLOCK".
(1715.] IF great obligations received are just motives for addresses of this kind, you have an unquestionable pretension to my acknowledgments, who have condescended to give me your very self. I can make no return for so inestimable a favour, but in ac. knowledging the generosity of the giver. To have either wealth, wit, or beauty, is generally a temptation to a woinan to put an unreasonable value upon herself; but with all these in a degree which drew upon you the addresses of men of the amplest fortunes, you bestowed your person where you could have no expectations but from the gratitude of the receiver, though you knew he could exert that gratitude in po other returns but esteem and love. For which must I first thank you? for what you have denied yourself, or for what yon bave bestowed on me?
I owe to you, that for my sake you have overlooked the prospect of living in pomp and plenty, and I have not been circumspect enough to preserve you from care and sorrow. I will not dwell upon this particular; you are so good a wife, that I know you think I rob you of more than I can give, when I say any thing in your favour to niy own disadvantage.
* Prefixed to the third volume of “ The Ladies Library,"