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I doubt not, a thousand prayers offered up, to grant me discretion, and the ease of this world. You and yours, I fear, will make me covetous; I am sure you have made me value wealth much more than I ever thought I should : but indeed I have a reason which makes it worth the
pursuit: it will make me more agreeable to you*. I am indeed, Prue, intirely yours, R. STEELE.
I hope Nanny does not misbehave so as to disturb your tranquillity.
If the post should this night not bring me money, I find I can have money in the country, and draw a bill on Mr. Castleman at London.
LETTER CCX. To Mrs. STEELE.
DEAR PRUE, Boroughbridge, Feb. 1, 1714-15.
AM astonished Warner has not sent me a
bill before now. Mr. Jeffoppi is at the neighbouring borough, where he is to be chosen this morning
I will take twenty pounds of him, and send you money by an express, which I will send to you to-morrow with advice of our success here. The election is to be between eight and eleven in the morning. I am, dear Prue, ever thine,
See Letter CCXIII. and note, ad finem. + William Jeffop, esq. elected in this and several succeeding parliaments for Aldborough in York thire. 4
LETTER CCXI. To Mrs. STEELE, at Mr,
Harrison's at York, Coney-street.
Feb. 4, 1714-15. HIS is to acquaint you that I will be with
you on Saturday, and then settle your journey home; which I propose shall be in the coach this day se'nnight.
I have got money, and you shall hear of me again to-morrow morning.
Mr. Jeffop has been very zealous in my election, and stood by with his skill and knowledge on the spot. Yours ever,
LETTER CCXII. To Mrs. * STEELE, at her
House, over against Park-place, St. James's.
DEAR PRUE, Claremont, April 10, 1715.
Y Lord Clare (who you will own to have somne pretence to command me) will not
* This might have been addressed, “ To Lady Steele."
+ Afterward the patriotic Duke of Newcastle. Steele had just before dedicated to him the Collection of his “ Political “ Writings.” This Nobleman, who was then Lord-lieutenant of the county of Middlesex, had not long before placed Steele in the commission of the peace for that county, and appointed him one of his Deputy-lieutenants. It was in this capacity that, two days only before the date of this letter, he was knighted, on prefenting to the King an address from the Lieutenancy of Middle. sex and Westminster, which Steele had the honour of drawing
let me come away from hence this night. Pray forgive your most obedient, humble servant,
LETTER CCXIII. To Lady STEELE.
DEAR PRUE, Speaker's Chambers, Aug. 14, 1715.
WRITE this before I go to Lord Marlbo.
rough's, to let you know that there was no one at the Treasury but Kelsey, with whom Welsted * left the order, and he is to be at the Treasury again to-morrow between two and three : when, without doubt, the money will be
up. About the same time he was appointed surveyor of the royal stables at Hampton-court. On the 28th of May following, being the King's birth-day, who then entered his 56th year, Sir Richard particularly distinguished himself, by treating above 200 gentlemen and ladies. The entertainment, consisting of pyramids of all manner of sweetmeats, the most generous wines, such as burgundy, champaign, &c was ushered in by a prologue written by Tickell and spoken by Mrs. Younger ; and concluded by an epilogue written by himself, and spoken by Mr. Wilks, very merry, and free with his own character; after which, a large table that was in the area of the concerthouse was taken away, to make room for the company to dance country-dances, which was done with great decency and regularity. An Ode of Horace was also lež to music on this occafion; with several songs and other entertaining performances,
* Leonard Welfted, an ingenious young clerk in the office of one of the fecretaries of state, whom Steele very highly esteemed. Welfted had not long before this addressed to him two seyeral poetical publications; an imitation of an ode of Horace, under the title of “ A Prophecy,' and “ An Epistle on the “ King's Accellion."
paid *. I have no hopes from that, or any thing elset, but by dint of riches to get the government of your Ladyship. Yours, Rich. STEELE.
* In the notes on the Dunciad, Mr. Welfted (among much equally wanton abuse) is reproached with having “received at
one time sool. for secret service, among the other excellent au“ thors hired to write anonymously for the ministry.” This idle calumny (which arose from that sum appearing in the Report of the secret committee, 1742, as issued “ to Leonard Welfted, “ gent. for special services, Aug. 27, 1715") was refuted in the Biographia Britannica, art. STEELE, p. 3830, note u, on the authority of Welfted's own declaration to Mr. Walthoe, analderman of St. Alban's, “ that he received the money for the use “ of Sir R. Steele, and paid it to him.” If any
further proof of this assertion were wanting, we have here the express testimony of Steele himself, that the money was issued for his use. And we are so far indebted to the author of the Dunciad, that he has unwittingly contributed to illustrate this letter, which would otherwise have wanted a clue.
+ It appears from this and other passages in these letters, that Lady STEELE had an undue love of money, which was a fource of much vexation to herself, and of some uneasiness to her hus. band. There is a presumptive proof of this in the following quotation, which is happily illustrated in this publication, STEELE, in his “ Englishman," celebrates the greatness and equanimity of a poor man with a tar neckcloth, who, with perfect sang-froid, was first informed at a coffee-house of his hay. ing got a prize of 10,000l. in the lottery. After strictly and coolly examining into the truth of the information, he turned out of his pocket half-a-crown and sixpence. Presenting the half-crown to the waiter, “ It is all I have got now [said he], " but I will call another time and give you more for your good “ news.” Having related the incident with his usual spirit and high approbation, STEELE adds, “ I speak it sincerely, I had so much rather have his temper than his fortune ; for had it hap“pened to me, alas! I should have given it, like a slave as I
am, to a woman who despises me without it. Hang her, however, I wish I had it for her fake.” ENGLISHMAN, N° 47, Jan. 21, 1714, printed by S. Buckley, 12mo, p. 218, 219. See Letter CCVIII. ad finem.
LETTER CCXIV. To Lady STEELE, humbly
present. DEAR PRUE,
Jan. 10, 1715-16. HAVE that in my pocket which within a
few days will be a great sum of money, befides what is growing at the play-house. I prefer your ease to all things. I beg of you to send for coals, and all things necessary for this week, and keep us only to the end of it out of your abundance'; and I shall ever add to it hereafter, instead of attempting to diminish it. I cannot indeed get money immediately without appearing most scandalously indigent, which I would avoid for the future. Ever yours,
LETTER CCXV. To Lady STEELE, over against
Park-place, St. James's-street.
Jan. 11, 1715-16.
Pray send me a book which is upon the 'scrutore in the dining room. It is an History of Ireland, and many leaves of it turned down, and papers in it. It is a fad thing I must take such pains; but you are to be the better for it, which is the main comfort to, yours ever,