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from the fear of your want of health, which I thought occafioned the omiffion of a letter. The letter wherein you speak of the 1001, remitted to Mrs. Clark has no date, which always creates puzzles. I highly admire and honour you for your good conduct in clearing your estate and paying your debts. Nothing on my part shall be omitted, to render you chearful in your endeavours for our common good : for I design to allow you to be the head-piece, and give as much into your power as I can, which is but justice to the good and skilful use you have made of the power already reposed in you. The poor Spanish horse is dead; the mule I shall make a present of to a young gentleman who is fond of him. I expect a horse fit for my own riding in
I gave Mrs. Evans your letter; her brother-in-law is at present very ill, so that the cannot make any resolution. You ask about my chariot. Fuller made me a present of a very good one : the old one, with ten pounds, will purchase a good chaise. Depend upon it, I abhor debt as much as treason. Ever yours,
Rich. STEELE. You may be sure I have said nothing to Dick Philips which I should not have said, &c.
LETTER CCLXXIV. To Lady Steele.
May 9, 1717. HAVE intelligence from Carmarthen that
you are well at Blengorse. Upon serious reflection, your not giving me one line yourself is such a slight notice of nie, that indeed I will not write to you hereafter but in answer to your own hand. If Sandy tells me that “
you are “ well ;" I will repartee, “ I am well,” to him, without further pains-taking. I was forced to lie last night at a lodging next door to Mr. Wilks, in Covent-garden. The children and all your family are well.
LETTER CCLXXV. To Lady STEELE.
* May 11, 17171
HAVE a letter from Blengorse of the 6th,
from Mr. Sandy. You might have made use of the same conveyance. I cannot, nor will I, bear such apparent neglect of me; and, there-fore, if you do not write yourself, except you are not well, I will not write to you any more, than by telling your secretary, “I am well,” &c. Yours,
LETTER CCLXXVI. To Lady STEELE.
May 14, 1717.
was a great pleasure to me. I begin to think I shall have my limbs
very soon again, for I am in an unusual freedom in my faculties. If you have business to do in the country, do it, for things here are not yet in so good a way as I hope they will be soon. You must not put nie off with excuses for want of paper, since I send you every post a sheet to answer with, inclosed with that I write to you. I am, dear Prue, ever yours,
LETTER CCLXXVII. To Lady STEELE.
May 18, 1717.
your hand, for the length of which I thank you. I do not insist upon long epiftles; but to have a line is absolutely necessary to keep up our spirits to each other. I am obliged to you for your inclination towards the girls, and the thought of taking up the mortgage. You bid me write no cross stuff. I ask no unreasonable things to keep me in good humour. I cannot imagine what you and your coufin can have difagreed so much about ; but she is my relation as she is yours. I am wonderfully recovered to what I was. Eugene, Betty, and Molly, are in perfect health. Ever yours, Rich. STEELE. M 2
Mrs. Clark has just now been here. She pleads poverty; and I have promised her, as soon as I get money, to pay her the interest which was due on the 501. which you have paid off.
LETTER CCLXXVIII. To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE,
May 22, 1717. OUR fon is now with me very merry in
rags, which condition I am going to better, for he shall have new things immediately. He is extremely pretty, and has his face sweet, ened with something of the Venus his mother, which is no small delight to the Vulcan who begot him *. Ever yours,
LETTER CCLXXIX. To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE,
May 22, 1717. HAVE yours of the 18th, and am always
pleased when I see any thing under your fair hand: but, by the way, I expect the sheet of paper I send to you sent up to me in the next letter, and not such scandalous half-theets. The report of exempting me from pay is false ; for five hundred pounds, “ for the time the commif“ fion was in Scotland," is already ordered me, which I daily expect to receive. As for your staying all the winter, I long to see you, and we will never part again till death separate us. Benson is so busy with great men that Gillmore's * See Letter CCLXXXII. p. 167.
affair* is retarded by it. I will say nothing about my coming down till I fee further about the duration of this session of Parliament. I am ever yours,
Rich. STEELE. Left you fhould not read well the interlineationut, I say, the gool. ordered me is for the time the commission was in Scotland.
* This refers to one of Sir Richard's projects, alluded to in many of the preceding letters, for which he obtaintd a patent, whence he derived ultimately no advantage. The particulars of it he published next year, under the title of “ An Account of “ the Fish-pool, consisting of a Description of the Vessel so call. "ed, lately invented, and built for the Importation of Fish alive " and in good Health from parts however diftant; a Proof of the * Imperfection of the Well-boat hitherto used in the Fishing “ Trade ; the true Reasons why Ships become stiff or crank in “ sailing ; with other Improvements very useful to all Persons “ concerned in Trade and Navigation. Likewise a Description " of the Carriage intended for the Conveyance of Fish by Land « in the same good Condition as in the Fish-pool by Sea." By Sir Richard Steele, and Mr. Joseph Gillmore, mathematician, 1918, 8vo. Dedicated to the Hon. Sir John Ward, knt. Lord-mayor of London. Sir Richard's patent for this invention was dated June 10, 1718. It appears from this publication, and from No XXVIII. the last number of his “ Theatre," that Steele expected to have made an ample fortune by this machine: but, on trial, it did not answer his expectations; for, though by this ingenious contrivance the fishes were supplied with a continual stream of water in crossing the sea, yet, not brooking the confinement, they battered themselves against the sides of the vessel, and were so much injured in their passage, that, when brought to market, they did not fetch a proper price. We learn however with certainty, from a subsequent letter, CCLXXXIX. p. 175, that STEELE's expence was not immunfe on this occafion; and that the fate of his invention, though a great disappointment, was by no means such a loss to him, as it is represented by the writer of his life in the Biograpbia Britannica, art. STEELE, p. 3833, note. + The words marked in p. 164. by inve.ted commas.