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good-nature in its primitive sense. But if
your resolutions are unalterahle, your inclinations different from any thing in me, and you can neither be thus charitable or generous as to reward so well-grounded a passion, I can then greatly lament my endless misfortune, and resolve never more to give trouble, or offence, where I love so well. But, if you are not very determined to the contrary, I will chearfully serve in great constancy your own time, though naturally as impatient a lover as you have met with. Do not absolutely despise the honesty and fimplicity of this heart; if you resolve against it, urge its crime in loving too much, and declare your diflike of too fond a husband. You may most certainly oblige me so far, as to make me conform to every thing you please; for I know not how it happens, but so it is, I had much rather be your flave, than claim a fuperiority over any lady I ever saw.
Your generous temper may, perhaps, despise so servile a declaration ; but think it is to you only I can so far resign myself. Perhaps you may like better to be treated with the power and authority of a very husband. Indeed you may trust yourself with any person, for you have such winning engagements as can sooth and soften the most contradictory temper; therefore you need not with a greater variety of choice: lose as little time as possible, for your joys will be confirmed at a time when other
people are to be wished into them by their friends. You have admirers enough, Madam, to pay you compliments; but if truths, as divine and sacred as any I have found in good books, which I have been conversant with these three days, can recommend what I say, you are beyond expression dear to me; and every thing you do, and say, gives me admiration and pleasure, but when you speak my death. I have been so very happy as to be supported by the most engaging friendship that I have yet met with in life, without which I had funk in very bitter anguish of thought long before this day. May you be blessed with all that Heaven can send you; and believe me to be, from ny inmost foul, dear Miss. Steele, yours, as much as possible man can be, E SEX MCK MEYRICKE.
My nerves, Madam, are exceeding good, for my shaking hand is only a natural consequence of my aching heart at this juncture.
LETTER CCCLXVII. To Miss STEELE *, in Carmarthen, South Wales. Turn at Gloucester,
UT of light out of mind,” is a proverb
which, on many founded in truth. Miss Steele, perhaps, at
present * The name is cut away from this letter, which is in a different hand-writing from the four which precede, and the two
present may best know wherein it has been veri. fied. Give me leave to assure you, it is not fo with me in respect to one who is the very grace and ornament of her sex.
Permit me, Madam, to send you this now only as the tribute of my wishes, where my poor services in times past were, or would be now, less regarded. However, had you thought me worthy of that heart, which you keep reserved for some other, happly you would have found me not the least faithful, nor the least sensible of the obligation. But beauty, goodness, and goodsense, such as you are the happy mistress of, will always claim the best wishes and good-will of the most uncivilized and barbarous. But since praise from some, even to the most praise-wor. thy, will be found unacceptable; myself too conscious of the application, I shall decline the unwelcome task.
It would be too romantic to tell you into what an abyss of melancholy up
fell into on parting that follow. It is alfo undated ; but was probably written about March, 1730, a little before the death of Mrs. Mary Steele, which happened at Bristol, of a lingering consumption, April 18. I am inclined to believe it to be from Mr. Harcourt. In a news-paper of the time is the following article: “ April 28, 61730, a marriage is concluded between Mr. Harcourt, a Car“ marthenshire gentleman, and the eldest daughter of Sir Ri. “ chard Steele.” I need not add, this was equally false with the report of her being married to Mr. Philips. See Letters CCCLXXI. and CCCLXXIV. + Some words are here cut away.
from you (Heavens forbid the omen!) I hope no presage of any ill accident. Why could not 1, the most faithful, though meaneft, of your fervants, be permitted to see you to your journey's end? I could have returned with pleasure had I but feen you safe ; but you thought other wise, and it becomes ine to be filent.
I hope her late indifpofition has left her ; if not, I hope no time will be lost towards a speedy application for the recovery of her health. Her returning to the Hot-well, as she talked of, would be the best resolution she could take. I find a very sensible benefit already by these wa
I would with pleafure meet her half-way, could I but know the time of her coming; but the fear of disobliging a lady of my acquaintance prevents me in the pleasure of waiting upon her at Carmarthen. Faireft, adieu !
L E T T E R
Y time and my thoughts are so employed about my poor fifter (who grows
* Several words are here cut away.
+ This is a copy, in Lady Trevor's hand-writing, of a letter to fome friend in London. And to whom so probable as to Mr. (afterwards Lord) Trevor, then eminent in the profession of
worse every day), that I could not sooner acknowledge the favour of your obliging letters. I have a true sense of what I owe you for the trouble you take in our affairs. I am glad you have brought the players * to such good terms; and I fincerely wish it may ever be as much in my power, as I am sure it will always be in my inclination, to thew my gratitude to you for the many favours and civilities you have conferred on my sister, and self.
Your kind enquiry relating to Dan y park estate, is another instance of your friendship to me; but you will allow me the liberty to say, that I think the satisfaction given you so deficis ent, and so little to the purpose, that, from this momerit, I take a resolution to put an absolute stop to that affair. Mr. George Harcourt's pretending to fend to his uncle for the particulars of an estate to be settled upon him, which I was always made to believe was actually to be the law, and whom she next year married ? Letter CCCLXXI. is known to be in his hand-writing. Neither of them is dated. But on the blank leaf of the Lady's she has written what will fix it within a day or two: 6 March the 25th. Sister's washing My own
* Sir Richard Steele's interest in Drury lane Theatre became, after his death, the joint property of his two daughters, and, on the death of the younger of them, devolved to Elizabeth the elder, who sold it for no inconsiderable sum. Bụt, as if a fata. lity attended the business, the attorney who received the money for her ran away with the whole, and the never received a penny.