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regards to each other, mutual and unchangeable, that, while the world around us is enchanted with the false fatisfactions of vagrant desires, our persons may be shrines to each other, and sacred to conjugal faith, unreserved confidence, and heavenly society. While we live after this manner, angels will be so far from being our superiors, that they will be our attendants. Every good being guard my fairest, and conduct her to that bosom that pants to receive her, and protect her from all the cares and viciffitudes of life with an eternal tenderness ! I am ever most obligedly yours,
LETTER XXII. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Saturday, Sept. 6, 1707. AM at a friend's house, where they have
given ine, as you see, but very ordinary instruments to write with. However, I hope the fincerity of my heart is not to be measured by the dress in which I cloath it. My thoughts hurry upon me in consideration of the approach of the moment in which those fair lips are to give me in one monosyllable more than all the eloquence in the world can express, when you say Yes to the accepting of, Madam, your most obliged, most grateful, most obedient servant,
Rich. STEELE. C3
LETTER XXIII. To Mrs. SCURLOCK *
Sept. 7, 1707 N obedience to your commands by your
daughter, of hearing every post from this town of her health and welfare, I do myself the honour to inform you of it, and humbly desire you would accept of my own duty,
I hope you have before now received a letter from me wherein I laid before you at large the state of my affairs up, and that, when we come to be acquainted, you will not esteem it a disadvantageous accident that I have the honour of being, Madam, your most obedient fon, and most humble servant,
LETTER XXIV. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Sept. 91. I
HOPE your denying what I urged with fo
much passion, and which I complained of in too vehement a manner, has not been a grief to my tender companion ; for, upon reflection
* To Mrs. Scurlock's other. + See Leiter XIX.
The da:e is altered from Sept. 9, to Sept. 11. XXVI. and zote.
this morning, I extremely approve your conduct, and take your behaviour to proceed from an inclination to come to my arms hallowed by your parent's blessing. I comply with your measures in bringing that happiness about, and shall be. have myself as if only in the beginning of a sacred love made at the altar. I promise to myself fincere felicity in a woman that can sacrifice all desires to her duty; and I assure you, whatever appearance of care and disturbance you may observe now and then in my countenance, it is not the image of spleen, ill-nature, or dissatisfaction, but a strong propensity to make you the happiest of your sex; which I shall endeavour to do, rather by an industrious ambition to promote your fortune, than by a mere dalliance of your person only, to show a greater regard to the beauty than the wife. I beg of you to show my letters to no one living, but let us be contented with one another's thoughts upon our words and actions, without the intervention of other people, who cannot judge of so delicate a circumstance as the commerce between man and wife. I am eternally yours,
Rich. STEELE. Pray write me a line,
LETTER XXV. To Mrs. SCURLOCK.
Sept. 10, 1707 *. EING very uneasy when absent from you,
I desire you would give me leave to take coach and come to your house; in order to which, pray let Warren be in the way to adinit your most obliged humble servant,
LETTER XXVIt To Mrs. SCURLOCK I.
Lord Sunderland's Office, Whitehall, Sept. 20, 1707. Y Tuesday's post I took the liberty to
write to you on the most important occafion, and have been in ten thousand anxieties
* The date of this letter, which is directed “to Mrs. Warren," eems to have been altered from Sept 10, to Sept. 13, 1707. + To Mrs. Scurlock's mother. See the next note.
“ It seems to me that the two preceding letters to Mrs. Scurock's mother, were not sent according to their real original dates. Perhaps Mrs. Scurlock, who probably became Mrs. Sreele on the 6th or 7th of Sept. 1707, prevented these two letters, which are marked No XIX. and No XXIII. from being dispatched. There appears to have been an intention, on her part, to have kept her marriage private, and to have abstained from her husband's bed, till her mother came from Caermarthen to her London house in Swallow-itreet. This supposition throws fome light on the letter marked No XXIV. and is countenanced
ever since that time, for the reception which that letter is to find. The circumstance is so tender, and my happiness hangs so much upon it, that I could not forbear seconding my first address to you with a second, though, I protest to you, I set pen to paper with as much diffidence as if I had the same passion for yourself as for your daughter. I do not entertain you with an account of my fortune, and those particulars which will naturally be enquired into by a parent, because I doubt not but you have so good an opinion of Mrs. Scurlock's prudence, that you do not believe she would throw herself away. As to your favour to my pretensions, I hope it upon no other foundation, than making it appear to you that, as to your own part in the
by similar instances of prudery, mentioned in the course of Steele's correspondence. His first letters to his wife are not die rected to her, but to Mrs. Warren, witness the two following, dated Sept. 21, and O&t. 6, 1707. STEELE, it seems, did bv no means relish this way of proceeding. It appears from No XXIV. that he opposed it warmly, and I suspect that he wrote several letters on the subject, which have not escaped the wreck of time and chance. An attention to the dates of the letters about this time confirms me in this opinion. On the zih of Oct. 1707, STEELE went into open rebellion, and directs his letter to his wife, to Mrs. Steele, and persevered in his obstinacy. On the 13th of the same month he begs pardon for every act of rebellion, but then he seems to have carried his points, or per fifted nevertheless. See N° 29, et seq. The alterations and indorsements on some of these letters, if made by Mrs. Mary Scurlock, afterwards Lady Steele, are miferably bungled, and give no proofs of her fagacity." I owe this note to my good friend, the ANNOTATOR ON THE TATLER.