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his by an old entail, and consequently out of his uncle's power to give from him, is so inconsistent with the account which my, or rather his, friends gave me of it, that I can no way account for it. There have been so many impofitions in regard to Mr. Lewis Harcourt's estate detected, that I never repented any thing more, than that I was persuaded to enter at first into any treaty with Mr. George Harcourt. The first representations to me were, that all Mr. Lewis Harcourt's estate was entailed upon his nephew. In some time after, I was informed there was a mortgage of twelve hundred pounds upon his estate, which was a plain discovery that part of his estate was in his own power; and I believe you are convinced that two hundred pounds a year of his estate is settled on his daughters. Now these are impofitions of so gross and shocking a nature, that they are hardly to be paral. leled. When Mr. Harcourt was introduced to me by Mrs. Bevan, Mrs. Lloyd of Danyralt, and Mr. Sandy (all three my nearest relations), they told mne he had an estate of eight hundred pounds a year; that he had a place of seven hundred pounds a year, which, with a chance of money from his aunt, was such a fortune as I could not disapprove. The uncommon merit of the gentleman was their daily theme : their perpetual and importunate solicitations were the first motives that induced me to think of it.

Convinced

Convinced by their reasoning that I might probably be happy in a change of my condition fo much to my advantage, I submitted, and preferred their judgement to my own inclination ; and things went on accordingly, when, to my great surprize, I found them very much mif. taken in regard to his fortune. These things of themselves are very good and sufficient reasons for breaking off with Mr. Harcourt : but the melancholy circumstance I have to add is, that, notwithstanding my endeavours, I find it is not in my power to have an affection for the gentleman, which a woman ought to have for the person she makes choice of for the companion of her life. I did all I could to make him fenfible of this when last in the country. I have an averfion to the thoughts of it, which I can never

It does not proceed from any want of merit in him; I think him very deserving; but we cannot command our affections; and I flatter myself that you, who are my friend, cannot find fault with me; for, if the regard is not mutual in marriage, the consequence must be miserable. I heartily with counin Harcourt all the happiness the state can afford in a better choice. I am apprehensive that my friends at Carmarthen, especially Mrs. Bevan and Mr. Sandy, will be irreconcileable on this occafion. It is very much my inclination to live with my relations, for nobody can have a greater tender

ness

overcome,

nefs for them than I have, and I propose great satisfaction in continuing with them; but, if they will not receive me, I must be content: I hope I am not so destitute of friends as to de{pair of a reception elsewhere.

LETTER CCCLXIX. To Miss STEELE. This.

I

Tuesday Morn.
HOPE dear Miss Steele has enjoyed as

good rest as I have wished her, for I have been awake the whole night in very thought for her repose and happiness. Yesterday's fun was the most tedious that ever shone; and I can scarce live another under the affliction you bear* unless you moderate it by the refined sense and reason you are mistress of; which, by abundance of good-nature, I fear you make more useful to your friends than yourself: yet, for pity fake, let not Mrs. Bevan, whom I must ever value, want any comfort from your persuafive, healing tongue. Pardon me, I would mention nothing but what I hope may concur with your sentiments. Do not, my charmer, by any means destroy your health, which is far more valuable to me than my life. My heart

* This letter from Mr. Meyricke is undated; but probably was written in May, 1730, a short time after the death of Mrs, Mary Steele,

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aches for you and longs to tell you its sufferings.
I want very much to see you, and would, if pos-
sible, more than share your grief, I could drink
them tears which shower down so fast, the bitter
affliction of my soul; but let me forget that
there ever was affliction, pain, or sorrow, born
into the world, and be for ever yours,

Essex MCK MEYRICKE.

LETTER CCCLXX.

From Mifs STEELE *.

SIR,

AM surprized to find you perfist in giving

yourself and me a trouble which I have so often told you would be to no effect. As you are a gentleman of great merit, I wish you may be blessed with the best and most agreeable of the sex ; but, for my own part, I am unalterably determined never to think of marrying you. Therefore I hope justice to yourself will prevail, when I make it my request, that you will from this moment defift from giving yourself, your friends, or me, any farther trouble on this occafion. I am, Sir.

* It does not appear to whom this undated letter was addressed, but probably to Mr. Meyricke.

LETTER

LETTER CCCLXXI. TO Miss STEELE *.

T

DEAR Miss STEELE,
HE general confirmation I meet with from

all hands, that you have lately dismissed a gentleman esteemed the nearest your regard, persuades me to declare a passion which can rest no longer unrevealed, or, more properly, unrepeated. But the good sense and discernment that distinguishes you from the multitude of your sex, will excuse a representation of the tragical tales of love : though this case is generally required to be as methodically stated to a fair lady, as a case of dangerous ill-health is to a physician. Without farther preamble, Madam, my design is to affuie you, that you are the lady that, from all the laws of love, I have pictured in my imagination most agreeable : and every thing that is to be said upon this head is, “I love you." But though you will object, that tell almost every lady the same story; 1

grant

( do, those I like: some have been so good as to believe me, and soften the care and concern that the most unchristian and unbelieving part of the sex hath created. But to none have I confessed the attraction of my soul so far, that I would,

* This letter, which is undated, except that the year 1729-30 occurs in the middle of it, is in the hand-writing of the Hon. John (afterwards Lord) Trevor. He married Miss Steele, May 31, 1731. See Letters CCCLXVII. and CCCLXXIV:

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