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LETTER XVII. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Sept. 2, 1707, between One and Two, VER since seven this morning I have been
in company; but have stole a moment, to pour out the fulness of my thoughts, and complain to you of the interruption that impertinent amusement called business has given me, amidst my contemplation on the best of women, and the most agreeable object that ever charmed the heart of man. I am, dearest, loveliest creature, eternally thine,
LETTER XVIII. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Sept. 3, 1707, Seven in the Morning *. EXT to the influence of Heaven, I am to
thank you that I see the returning day with pleasure. To pass my evenings in so sweet a conversation, and have the esteem of a woman of your merit, has in it a particularity of happiness no more to be expressed than returned. But I am, my lovely creature, contented to be on the obliged side, and to employ all my days in new endeavours to convince you, and all the
Date changed to “ Oct. 23, 1671."
world of the sense I have of your condescension in chusing, Madam, your most faithful, most obedient humble servant, Rich. STEELE.
LETTER XIX. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Lord Sunderland's Office, Whitehall, Sept. 3, 1707*.
she had a letter from you of 22d instant, wherein you gave her the highest marks of your affection, and anxiety for her welfare, in relation to me. The main prospect on these occasions is that of fortune ; therefore I shall very candidly give you an account of myself as to that particular. My late wife had so extreme a value for me, that she, by fine, conveyed to me her whole estate, situate in Barbados, which, with the stock and Naves (proper securities being given for the payment of the rent), is let for eight hundred and fifty pounds per annum, at halfyearly payments; that is to say, 4251. each first of May, and 4251. each first of December. This estate canie to her incuinbered with a debt of 3000l. by legacies and debts of her brother, whose executrix she was, as well as heiress. I must confess, it has not been in my power to les
* The original date of this letter to Mrs. Scurlock's mother, is altered here, from Sept. 3, to Sept. 30, 1707.
fen the incuinbrance, by reason of chargeable sicknesses, and not having at that tiine any employment of profit. But at present, and ever since May last, I have been appointed by the Secretaries of State to write the Gazette, with a salary of 300l. a year, paying a tax of 451. I am also gentleman-waiter to his Royal Highness the Prince, with a falary of 100l. a year, not fubjeét to taxes.
Thus my whole income is at fo S. d. present per annum
Remains after these deductions 1025 o o This is, Madam, the present state of my affairs; and, though this income is so large, I have not taken any regard to lay up any thing further than just what pays the interest abovementioned. If I may be so happy to obtain your favour, so as we may live together with singleness of mind, I shall readily go into such measures as shall be thought most advisable for our mutual interest; and, if it is thought fit, will sell what I have in the Plantations. Your daughter acquaints me, there is a demand of 14001. upon your estate, the annual income of which is better than 400l.
per ann. You have now the whole view of both our circumstances before you; and you see there is foundation for our living in an handsome manner, provided we can be of one mind; without which I could not propose to myself any happiness or bleffing, were my circumstances ever so plentiful. I'ani at a present juncture in my affairs, and my friends are in great power, so that it would be highly necessary for us to be in the figure of life which we shall think convenient to appear in, as soon as may be, that I may prosecute my expectations in a busy way while the wind is for me, with just confideration that about a court it will not always blow one way. Your coming to town is mightily to be wished. I promise myself the pleasures of an industrious and virtuous life, in ftudying to do things agreeable to you. But I will not enlarge into professions. I assure you,
I shall always contend with you who shall lay the greater obligations on the other; and I can form to myself no greater satisfaction than having one day your permission to subscribe myself, Madam, your most obedient son, and inost humble servant,
inclose your letters to your daugh.
To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
DEAR Miss * MOLLY,
Sept. 4, 1707 t. AM loth to interrupt your prayers, or my I
indispensable business, with a long epistle this morning; therefore forgive me that I only just say, I am ever yours,
R. S. I shall come at night, and make all the difpatch here I can, not to be wanted.
LETTER XXI. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Sept. 5, 1707 HE pleasing hope with which my mind is
possessed, is too delicate a touch of the soul to be explained, but it is founded on fo so. lid and lasting motives, that I am sure it will actuate the behaviour of my whole life; for I do not entertain my imagination with those transports only which are raised by beauty, but fix it also on the satisfactions which flow from the reverence due to virtue. Thus I am not only allured by your person, but convinced by your life, that you are the most amiable of women. Let us go on, my lovely creature, to make our
* Miss seems here used as a term of endearment.
+ The original date is here altered from Sept. 4, to Sept. 14,