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for you, accompanied by Mrs. Pugh. If you like this, I think it would close your negotiations with a good air, and drown all impertinencies about us.
LETTER CCCXXIV. To Lady STEELE.
just now between fix and seven the second morning, I should say Monday the third morning, going into the coach on my return to London. I hope, God willing, to be at London Saturday come se'nnight. I will pay off the news when I come to town, and forbid it. I desire you would answer as to my proposal of coming down for you in a coach and fix with Mrs. Clark, which, I think, will pin up your affairs with a good grace, and shew your power over your most obedient husband, Rich. STEELE.
LETTER CCCXXV. To Lady STEELE.
Friday, Nov. 15, 1717.
limbs much better than usual, after seven days journey from Edinburgh towards London. You cannot imagine the civilities and honours I had done me there, and never lay betger, ate or drank better, or conversed with men
of better senfe than there. I grow very fond of waiting upon you, and bringing you from Wales, when the House is adjourned for a few days; and, since you hear travelling agrees with me, I hope to receive your perinission to attend you.. It will be a ridiculous thing for me to go down thither without you, and, when you are there, never come near the place; and I am firmly resolved to see your territories the first leisure days from Parliament. Therefore
you inust consider whether you will let me bring you, or come alone, and go backward and forward with me again this winter : for, as for seasons and bad roads, I despise those confiderations when I have a view for the good of my family or country Yours ever,
Rich. STEELE. We shall, God willing, be at York on Friday, and London the Saturday following.
To Lady STEELE. DEAR PRUE,
[undated* ] OURS lies before me, I mean that of the
14th. I will add two horses to your equipage. I did not think of a strange woman, but because you named no one of your acquaintance; I like Madam Clark as well as any body, and am glad she will
go, * This should have been placed somewhat earlier. It is in anfiver to one from his wife, dated the 14th either of September or O&tober.
heartily want you. I am glad you resolve to live well on the road. As to the coldness, on this subject 1 answer very sincerely, that your Ladyship's coldness to me as a woman and a wife has made me think it necessary to suppress the expression of my heart towards you, because it could not end in the pleasures and enjoyments I ought to expect from it, and wliich you obliged me to wean myself from, till I had so much money, &c. and I know not what impertinence. God be thanked, this whimsey has not been fatal to our love! It is impossible to decline going to Scotland for ten thousand reasons, as well as regard to honour and intereft. I am, dear Prue, ever yours,
Rich. STEELE. I was going to close my letter, when Betty and Moll desire their duty to you.
LETTER CCCXXVII. To Lady STELLE:
[undated*.] OU cannot imagine the rage yours put me
into. How can you believe I can bear the treatment you tell me you receive, as being affronted and called fool to your face, by rude blockheads ? I could not outlive such an injury done you, were l present at it; nor know I how to suffer it as it is, with all the excutes which I make to keep myself in countenance from their
* This letter alfo is somewhat out of place. It probably was written a day or two before Letter CCCXVII. p. 206.
stupidity and brutality. If I had patience, I fhould debate with you on this subject, and ask, how it is possible a woman of your sense could possibly fall into a dispute with such ideợts and savages ? But my heart is too much raised to chaftise them, to enter into fuch cool expoftula
tions with you.
Take it for granted, it is impossible to be easy but with mere correspondents and kind servants. You never will be with relations, who are often apt to think your being in the world an injury. For the remainder of our days, let us have an entire confidence in each other, with a mutual complacency and desire to please each other and I shall be a protection to you, and you a comfort to me against all that can happen from without.
Mrs. Evans is not to be expected down; and when I proposed to Mrs. Clark what you bid me, she did not receive it as the ought, I thought; but made scruples, and seemed to be forming a merit in case the should comply, which shewed she would have shynesses and airs that would have made you constantly uneasy. Pluck up a resolute calm spirit, and do not doubt but there are people enough to be had fit for your purpose, without courting any of your present acquaintance. I will consult Mrs. Keck on this fubject of a maid fit for you, and proper to go down to you, of which you
shall have an account
next post. You bid me take care of
health; pray do you preferve yourself to your little ones, who are perfe&ly well, and your husband, who cannot be well except you are so.
I love you with all my soul, poor dear Prue, and am for ever yours,
LETTER CCCXXVIII. To Lady Steele.
DEAR PRUE, Wednesday Night, Dec. 4, 1717.
OURS of Sunday was very late notice of your
arrival. Willmot went to meet you that very day; but, lest you should escape him, I send Mr. Evans to meet you on the day you hope to come. I write this after being in the House of Commons from one at noon to twelve at night, where King George begins to have true and real honest power.
You come in smiles, and I will sacrifice all to your good-humour. Obediently yours,
Rich. STEELE. I am glad to find journeying agrees with you as well as me. I hope we shall never part more.
Thursday Morn. I went to bed last night after taking only a little broth; and all the day before a little tea and bread-and-butter, with two glasses of mum and a piece of bread at the House of Commons.