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lent and obliging letter, had not my lord Hertford's illness in a long and severe fit of the gout confined me to a continual attendance in his chamber. He is now, I thank God, on the recovery, though not yet able to walk without the help of crutches.

Our human state is indeed liable to many inconveniences: we are loaded with bodily infirmities, and tormented with passions; but a few circling years will clear the prospect, and we shall, through the grace of God, be relieved from all the pains and sorrows which vex uş here. My health has been very uncertain all this winter; at the beginping of it a violent rheumatism confined me to my bed and chamber for some weeks, and I am at present very much disordered by a very severe cold, which has lasted me more than a fortnight, and is rather worse than it was at first. My lord and my daughter assure you of their sincerest re. gards. I am truly concerned to hear you have been so ill; but I hope you will enjoy a more confirmed state of health for the future, that you may pass your pilgrimage here with as little uneasiness as mortality will admit of.

Governor Shute brought me your picture, which I shall always set a high value upon, as I shall do on every thing that reminds me of so worthy a friend.

set, who succeeded to the honour and estate of his father on his demise, December the 2d, 1748, by which event she became duchess of Somerset. His grace her husband, died Feb. 9, 1750, and she survived him only till July 7, 1754; leaving an only daughter married to sir Hugh Smithson, baronet, who succeeded his father-in-law as earl of Northumberland, wbile eir Edward Seymoar, baronet, succeeded him as duke of Somerset. Her grace appears to have been a truly pious, amiable, and accom. plished lady.

I will not trouble you any longer at present than to beg to be remembered in your prayers, that I may lead a life of holiness for the few remaining years that may yet be left me. I am, with a sincere friendship, sir, your, &c.

LETTER XLII.

FRANCES COUNTESS OF HERTFORD, AFTERWARDS

DUCHESS OF SOMERSET, TO DR. ISAAC WATTS.

SIR,

Grosvenor-street, Feb. 9, 1734. The fresh proof of friendship you design to give me* is as agreeable to me as it must be to receive any instance of kindness and approbation from those we sincerely esteem. Since you allow me to object to any thing in the dedication, I will trespass so far upon your good-nature as to beg you will leave out whatever may imply my at. tempting to write poetry; but if there be any among the things you have of mine which yon think worth placing among yours, I shall have just cause to be pleased at seeing them come abroad in such company, if you will have the goodness to conceal my name either under that of Eusebia, or A Friendt; a title which I shall think myself happy

• That of the doctor's dedication of bis Miscellanies in Prose and Verse to her ladyship.

+ No doubt therefore can be made but the four poetical pieces, entitled, A Rural Meditation, A Penitential Thought, A

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to deserve. My lord and the children assure you of their services and kind wishes; and I am with great truth and regard, your, &c.

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FRANCES COUNTESS OF HERTFORD, AFTERWARDS DUCHESS OF SOMERSET, TO DR. ISAAC WATTS.

SIR,

April 3, 1735. I would sooner have thanked you for the favour of your letter, and the book which I received just after, but delayed it till I could get time to finish the inclosed lines, which I began soon after Mrs. Rowe's death*; but had not leisure to proceed with them till after my lord's return to London, whither he and my daughter went last week. He was taken, while he was heret, with a violent pain in his stomach and bowels, which, whether it were gout or colic, reduced him very low, and alarmed me extremely; but I bless God he is now in perfect health again, and I hear has recovered his good looks entirely. I am myself much better than I was in the winter, bating a shortness of breath, which makes them judge my continuance in the

Midnight Hymn, and the Dying Christian's Hope, inserted in the sixty third number of his Miscellapies, attributed to Eusebia, and inscribed to Philomela, (a name by wbicb Mrs. Rowe, her ladyship's intimate friend, was distinguished,) are the composi. tions of her ladysbip.

* Verses on Mrs. Rowe's death, + Supposed at Marlborough.

country absolutely necessary. I must now thank you for your excellent discourse on Humility, which I have read with great pleasure, and I hope I shall receive profit from the just manner in which you have treated so useful a subject. I must also repeat my gratitude for your book “ On the Strength and weakness of Human Reason.” I never read any thing more entertaining and instructive, I should be very happy if I could flat. ter myself that I had goodness enough to make mv Life as useful as the benevolence and charity of your temper incline you to think it may. I beg the favour of you not to give any copy of the inclosed verses, for I would wish my excursions of this kind to be a secret from every body but you, and a friend or two more, who know that I do not aim at the character of a genius by any attempts of this nature, but am led to them merely to amuse a leisure hour, and speak tbe sentiments of my heart. I have no company at present but my son, his tutor being gone to London about business; but I do not mention this as a mortification. I am afraid the decline of years, and the languishing state of health I have laboured under for some time, make it rather necessary for me to endeavour to find arguments to reconcile myself to the variety of company to which my sta. tion and the occupation I am attached to in a court require me to accommodate myself. I am sir, your, &c.

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LETTER XLIV.

FRANCES COUNTESS OF HERTFORD, AFTERWARDS

DUCHESS OF SOMERSET, TO DR. ISAAC WATTS.

Hermitage on St. Leonard's Hill, SIR,

May 2, 1737. I RETURN you many thanks for the Epigram* you were so good as to send me; and should think myself very happy if any thing of mine could deserve to show the joy I should feel in being able to imitate Mrs. Rowe in the smallest instance. I have only two meditations of hers, which she gave me with the strongest injunctions not to let any body see them, lest they should be thought too rapturous: but as I conclude she would not have included you among those from whom she meant they should be concealed, I will have them copied, if you desire it.

I thank God all my family, except myself, are in perfect health, and I am myself much better than in the winter, only that I have still a shortness of breath, which makes walking up stairs, or any ascent, very painful to me; but as I have a better appetite, I have recovered some of my flesh, and a little of my natural colour. My lord and Betty are in London, so that my son and his governor are my only companions at present; but

• This epigram is to be met with in the sixth number of the doctor's Miscellapies, entitled “ Remnants of Time employed in Prose and Verse," published after his decease.

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