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for I am convinced there is nothing to be done with those poor creatures called great men, but by an idolatry towards them, which it is below the spirit of an honest, free, or religious man, to pay.
This, I hope, you will take for good news, for it brings my thoughts and cares into a nar. rower compass, and is what you have ever been persuading me to. My own studies at the the . atre, Gillmore, &c. will amply do any thing I can form to myself, without stooping to servili. ties. I have some reason to expect that the Royal Family itself would be glad to favour me, but there are many obstacles between poor me and them.
Now, if I have health, which, by the blessing of God, increases to a comfortable degree, this resolution of throwing away all pretensions from the Court inay, perhaps, fortify me to be the more useful to my King and Country in Parliament, and every where else. The children, God be thanked, are all well. Now let me answer to what you say, that I have not expressed any thing about a desire of our meeting again. There is nothing upon earth I with so much, provided always that you will be what you ought to be to me, and not let me burn for what ought to be free to me, and that you will have the children in the house with us; for I am come to take great delight in them. When I retusn
from Scotland, we will never part more. with the fincerest affection, your obsequious husband, and obedient servant, Rich. STEELE.
LETTER CCCXIII. To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE,
[Sept. 28, 1717.] HAVE your agreeable letter of the 23d
instant; the first time you ever so much as alluded to any thing that way. My dear Wife, let us strive to improve and recommend our persons to each other. As for the tool. a quarter, I have secured it, during this commission, from Christmas next; for I have agreed with a paymaster to let me have my salary ten days after the quarter shall become due; and have provided that this will be having a quarter beforehand, for I shall be supported in Scotland by what is already due, and not what is growing due. When we once come
to endeavour mų. tually to please each other, we shall succeed, and be always in good-humour. The brats are all well, and I am ever truly thine,
LETTER CCCX.V. To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE,
Sept. 30, 1717 AM forry you have spent your time so as that you are at a loss for credit enough to 4
bring you from a place you dislike. I have told you that I cannot pay a quarter beforehand till Christmas; but, from that instant, I think we shall be in as much plenty as any family in England. Gillmore * is an inestimable jewel ; he is now with his family at Nettleton, within eight miles of the Bath, but has this post sent me a letter, in which I find certain proof of the most useful work in the world.
The Commission in Scotland stands ftill for want of me at Edinburgh. It is necessary there should be four there, and there are now but two; three others halt on the road, and will not go forward till I have paffed by York.
I have, therefore, 'taken places in the York coach for Monday next. I fhall, I hope, be able to send you word, the post before I leave the town, that all things are left in a comfortable way. I am, dear Prue, your most obsequious husband, and most humble servant, R. STEELE.
LETTER CCCXV. To Lady STEELE.
DEAR PRUE, St. James's-street, OX. 3, 1717.
HAVE yours. As to the incivilities and
the like, I wish I had known they were to so great a degree fooner, I would have come and persuaded you to remove where you might have
been mistress : and it is a jest for one, who has of their own, to be uneasy for want of changing place.
I fear I shall be detained here a day or two longer than I intended, for want of money ; but, in all things, I will go as near as I can to your demands. I shall not have 100l. to lay down till Christmas. Yours, Rich. STEELE.
LETTER CCCXVI. To Lady STEELE.
(Oct. 5, 1717.] COURS of the 30th of September now lies before me. I have already told you,
that I cannot pay down 100l. beforehand, for your house and the like, till the 25th of December; from after which day I have agreed to be paid punctually my falary, as soon as due, that is, within ten days after it is due. . I take you at your word, to pocket none of it, but let it go to family uses; but you shall, if you please, leave the house-rent out of it, for I will spend on my children more than what is barely necessary. You are a coquet in the expression of “setting " afide the agreeableness of my person"—you well know no woman has a better. I wish you would resolve to keep a discreet, orderly woman, to take care of your children ; and why may not Mrs. Evans do for your business of providing the table and the like?
I will not go in the chaise; but will, according to your Ladyship's advice, go in the stagecoach. I observe that you are pleased that I do not remove till you come to town: Iam very glad it is agreeable to you. I am very much troubled at your postscript; but what has a wo. man of your fpirit and fortune to do but to live in a house or lodgings where she is mistress? But I cannot, at this distance, understand your reasons; when we meet, I hope these kind of ails will be at an end for ever.
As to money, I have at this hour 8431. due to me, and find a very hard matter at any rate to supply myself with cash to leave the town, paying the coach, the house bills, new cloathing the children, and the like. It is known by those to whom I apply that I want it, and I shall pay enough for it. But nothing is dearer than afk. ing a courtier any thing. There is no doubt of Gillinore's * affair being a considerable fortune, and the theatre feems to be in a very prosperous way. I am, dear Prue, ever yours, R. STEELE.
on Letrer CCLXXIX. p. 165; and Letter CCLXXXIV. p. 169. The author of “ The Ode-maker,” a banter on Dean Smedley, printed in the “ Supplement to Swift,” thus glances contemptuoully, though impotently, at Steele :
“ Or, left thy chiming vein thould cool,