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so cool a strain to the warmeft, tendereft heart that ever woman commanded. I am, dear Prue, your most obedient husband, and most humble servant,
RICH. STEELE. I have directed the cream of tartar “ To Mr. 66 Alexander Scurlock."
LETTER CCLXVII. To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE, Wednesday, April 24, 1717.
HAVE a letter from your secretary *, in
timating you were going to see the entry of the judges, and could not write yourself. I would not use so harsh a phrase as expect, though I have formerly taken the liberty of that word when it concerned a Queen up; but I beseech you, when you have health, to employ your own fair hand to, Madam, your most obliged and affectionate husband,
LETTER CCLXVIII. To Lady STEELE.
April 26, 1977. AM much obliged to you for so long a let:
ter in your own hand-writing. I am glad you are any way got out of Davies's clutches; there is no poffibility of escaping out of such
* Either Mrs. Bevans, or Mr. Alexander Scurlock. t In his “ Crlfis."
claws without loss of some blood. I am trying to get out of hucksters' hands here also.
It is not possible to describe to you the perplexities into which the bufiness of this nation is plunged; and it is a melancholy reflection, that one has no comfort in considering the af. fairs of this diftreffed people, but as ill-usage and a general corruption abate one's concern for the publick. Yours ever, Rich. STEELE.
To Lady STEELE.
April 30, 1717. OURS, without date, lies before me. I
am sorry you give yourself any inquietude about the frivolous little humours of others. There is a plain affable way of acting, without engaging one's self with much concern, which you understand well enough if you please. I take Sir Thomas Stepney * to be a fair, worthy gentleman, and in the interest of his country. That this find
you in ease and tranquillity, is the hearty prayer of your affectionate husband, and most humble servant,
* Sir Thomas Stepney, bart. was then one of the members for the county of Carmarthen.
To Lady STEELE.
[May 1, 1717.] OU never date your letters, which very much perplexes me.
To avoid the same fault, I tell you that I have just received yours on Wednesday evening, May the ift, and fit down to answer now I am alone and at leisure. I am heartily concerned for your eyes.
I have often told you, I believe you have used enchantments to enslave me; for an expression in yours of good Dick has put me in so much rapture, that I could forget my present most miserable lameness, and walk down to you. I have at this time interest enough to do what you ask for Sandy; but I do not ask Mr. Secretary Addison any thing. Gillmore dined with me to-day, when Benson was expected, but did not come, to our great uneasiness ; for we were to have taken measures to bring the matter into parliament, and concerted every thing else relating to the machine, which is a most prodigious work.
My Lord Cadogan, who is now in the first degree of favour, sat with me here the other night above an hour. I should, by his great frankness and generosity of mind, be rightly recommended and represented, but my decrepid condition spoils all. The money is not yet come to hand, which makes me very uneasy,
and out of patience. I think the affair which Sandy asks for, is to be surveyor of glass windows for Carmarthen, and an adjacent county. I had not interest in the Treasury till this new commission * was constituted, but think there is not one in it that would not be ready to do me a little favour. My dear little, peevith, beautiful, wise governess, God bless you. Rich. STEELE.
I do not write news to you, because I have ordered the letter from the Secretary's office to be sent to you constantly.
Thursday, Three in the Afternoon, May 2, 1717.
I had a very painful night last night, but, after a little chocolate an hour or two ago, and a chicken for dinner, am much more at ease. Your servant,
LETTER CCLXXI. To Lady Steele. DEAR PRUE,
May 7, 1717 AM glad to hear, by a letter from your
cousin, that you are well : but have taken phyfic this morning, and cannot hold down my head to paper; therefore hope you will excuse your faithful, obliged husband, Rich. STEELE.
* The then Lords-commissioners were, Viro unt Stanhope, Lord Torrington ; with John Wallop, George Baillie, and Thomas Micklethwayte, esquires.
LETTER CCLXXII. To Lady STEELE.
[undated.] AM under much mortification from not
having a letter from you yesterday ; but will hope that the distance from the post, now y you are at Blengorse, is the occasion.
I love you with the most ardent affection, and very
often run over little heats that have fometimes happened between us with tears in my eyes. I think no man living has so good, so discreet a woman to his wife as myself; and I thank you for the perseverance in urging me incessantly to have done with the herd of indigent unthankful people, who have made me neglect those who should have been my care from the first principle of charity.
I have been very importunate for justice to the endeavours I have used to serve the publick; and hope I shall very soon have such reparation as will give me agreeable things to say to you at our meeting, which God grant to you and your most obsequious husband, Rich. STEELE.
LETTER CCLXXIII. To Lady STEELE. My dear, honoured, lovely PRUE, [undated.] YESTERDAY received two letters from you by the same post, and am comforted 4