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LETTER CCXXV. To Lady STEELE.

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DEAR PRUE, St. James's-street, Dec. 11, 1716.

HAVE received yours, with the inclosed

bill for fifty pounds. I earnestly intreat you not to excruciate your fpirit with what you ought to overlook and despise. I will write to you at large on Thursday about all matters, especially the method of my journey. I am, dear woman, entirely yours,

Rich. STEELE.

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LETTER CCXXVI. To Lady STEELE*. DEAREST PRUE,

[undated). THIS is only to ask how you do. I am

Your-Betty-Dick-Eugene Molly's humble servant,

RICH. STEELE.

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LETTER CCXXVII. To Lady STEELE. MY DEAR PRUE,

Dec. 13, 1716. RS. Secretary Bevansub has acquainted me, by the 7th instant, that you are well, and

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* This scrap is placed here most probably out of its proper order; a circumstance of no more importance than the letter itself, which is only preserved as enumerating all his family in a way that no man but himself would ever have thought of.

+ Sister to Lady Steele's mother. See Letter CXXX. ad finem. She was at this time a widow. See Letter CCXXI. ad finem.

very much my friend and servant. Mrs. Evans went to see Betty yesterday, who, she says, is grown a very fine lady. Moll fat by me a little as I was writing yesterday; she will not be at all marked, but is a dear child. Eugene is grown a very lively gentleman.

After all this news, which takes in all the compass of whatever you care for *, you will not much regard politics if I should write any.

But it seems my Lord Townshend is out, and Stanhope and Methuen the two secretaries for England, and Duke Roxborough up made a third secretary for Scotland; for which place I intend to set out this day, with an opportunity of a gentleman's coach going down. I am, dear Prue, your most affectionate, obedient, languishing relict, Rich. STEELE.

The machine is almost ready.

LETTER CXXVIII. To Lady STEELE.

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DEAR PRUE,

Dec. 18, 1716. HETHER I love you because you are

the mother of the children, or them

* By this expression it appears their first boy Dick (see p. 105) was now dead. Eugene died in November 1723.

+ John Ker, Duke of Roxborough, was appointed secretary for North-Britain, Dec. 16, 1716. He resigned that office, Aug. 25, 1725; and since that period, instead of a distinct se. cretary of state for Scotland, there has been regularly a keeper of the signet under the other two secretaries, 3

because

because you are their mother, I know not; but I am sure I am growing a very covetous creature for the sake of both of you. I am inaking haste to Scotland; have only a small affair, which I will acquaint you with in my next, and am, entirely yours,

Rich. STEELE.

LETTER CCXXIX. To Lady STEELE.

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DEAR PRUE, St. James's-street, Dec. 20, 1716.

RS. SECRETARY* writes me word you

have a curiosity to know what bustle it was that you heard of at the playhouse. It was occafioned by a gentleman's coming in very rough, in a riding habit ; and the sentry enquiring of him where he was going, as he offered to pass into a box, he told him, if he opposed his paffage he would shoot him through the head. The soldier was the more alarmed at him, and persisted to deny him entrance; at which the stranger pulled out a pistol, and shot the man in the neck. He was seized, and several pistols found about him, and proves one Mr. Freeman, a madman. The house was in a very great uproar, crying out The Prince ! who only appeared indifferent and composed *.

I long

* Mrs. Bevans. See Letter CCXXVI.

+ The strange circumstance here alluded to happened at Drury-lane theatre on the 6th of December, 1716, when the

I long to be gone from hence. The children are all well. I am, dear Prue, ever thine,

Rich. Sreele. Your man Sam owes me three-pence, which must be deducted in the account between you and me; therefore, pray take care to get it in, or stop it *.

LETTER CCXXX.

To Lady STEELE.

DEAR PRUE, St. James's-street, Dec. 22, 1716. HIS wishes you an agreeable Christmas.

I have taken such care, as to be as easy on the road up as travelling about this town. I am, dear Prue, with the fincerest passion, ever yours,

Rich. STEELE,

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LETTER CCXXXI. To Lady STEELE.
DEAR PRUE,

Christmas-day. WENT the other day to see Betty at Chel. sea, who represented to me, in her pretty

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Prince of Wales was present at the tragedy of Tamerlane. A particular account of the whole transaction, of which Steele has here given his Lady a good abstract, is in the “ Political State," vol. XII. p. 547. Mr. Freeman was a gentleman of Surrey, and had for several years been troubled with fits of lunacy. Though the foldier's wounds did not prove mortal, Mr. Frecman was committed to Newgate, on the additional charge of having killed a man in the country two days before.

* A sneer at Lady Steele’s excessive attention to money. See Letter CCXXXI. and Letter CCXIII. and note, f. In his journey to Scotland.

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language,

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language, “ that she seemed helpless and friends
less, without any body's taking notice of her at
Christmas, when all the children but she and
two more were with their relations.” I have in-
vited her to dinner to-day, with one of the
teachers, and they are here now in the room;
Betty and Moll very noisy and pleased together.
Bess goes back again,

back again, as soon as she has dined, to
Chellea. I have stayed in, to get a very advan-
tageous affair dispatched; for, I assure you, I
love money at present as well as your Ladyship,
and am entirely yours,

Rich. STEELE.
I told Betty I had writ to you; and she made
me open the letter again, and give her humble
duty to her mother, and desire to know when
The shall have the honour to see her in town.
She gives her love to Mrs. Bevans and all her
cousins.

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LETTER CCXXXII. To Lady STEELE.
Dear PRUE, St. James's-street, Dec. 28, 1716.
T is matter of gain, not matter of gallantry,

keeps me here thus long. I hope, within a
poft or two, to give an account of a thing that
will bring us a great sum of

sum of money
All my endeavours and thoughts tend only to
extricate my condition, and have no debt but

* A contrivance of a machine for bringing fish to London ;
of which a more particular account is given in the sequel of this
publication. See Letter CCXXXIV, Sc.

that

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