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return. This will convince you how little I am an ingrate; for I believe you will allow, no one that is so mean as to be forgetful of kindnesses, ever fails in returning injuries. As for the verses you quote of mine *, they are still my opi. nion; and your sex, as well as your quality of a gentlewoman (a justice you would not do my birth and education), Thall always preserve you against the
your provoked most humble servant,
TO Mrs. MARY STEELE,
* The verses of STEELE here alluded to, according to Mrsi Manley's account of them, are as follows:
Against a woman's wit ’ris full as low,
“ Your malice as your bravery to thew.” + This inscriptive epistle seems to have been Steele's firft thought for a dedication to his “ Lady's Library.” He afterwards elegantly enlarged it, in an admirable letter, which is printed in the second volume, p. 419. In :he “ Theatre,” No XII. Steele laments the loss of her as the best woman that ever man had, and says, that the frequently lamented and pined at his neglect of himself.
P. 24. Letter XXV. is mif-directed; and should be addressed " To Mrs. Steele." See, on this head, a correction in p. 33. – Letter XXVI. is directed “ To Mrs. Scurlock, at her Lodgings, “ Carmarthen, South Wales." Mrs. Scurlock the younger, afterwards Lady Steele, appears to have been coy, rather a prude, and unwilling to let it be known that Steele did not sue her ladyfhip long time in vain. She certainly was desirous to prolong the time of the courtship, which was wondrous short, not exceeding, fo far as I can find, the space of one port montb. Let it however be remembered, that this disdainful, capricious beauty was besieged by a master of the art of love, and at the time, as the testifies, as agreeable and pleasant a man as any in England. See
P. 30, 31. All the letters in these two pages should have been directed « To Mrs. Steele ;" and Letter XXXVIII. is, “ To “ Mrs. Steele, at Mrs. Scurlock's, last house, right hand, in “ Swallow Street."
P. 35. Letter XXXIV. is directed “To Mrs. Steele, at her “house, third door from German Street, left hand, in Berry " Street.”
P. 44. Letter LXI. is addressed “ To Mrs. Steele, at her " house in The Wick, near Hampton Court.” Steele was still at this house “ April 7, 1711;" when he addressed Lord Halifax " from the Hovei at Hampton Wick." This adds some degree of credibility to the relation given by Victor; and makes it pro. bable,' that when Steele says, in one of these letters (p. 46), that he had paid Addison his 1000l. he might mean that he had given him a bond and judgment on that house and its furniture, as his security for the payment of it; it may be in a twelvemonth; and possibly Addison might wait for three or four years before he entered up his.execution.
P. 49. Letter LXIX. is directed “ To Mrs. Steele, at her “ house in Hampton Wick, with ten pounds, carriage paid is.”
Letter LXXXIV. is directed " To Mrs. Steele, at “Mrs. Hardresse's house, in Kensington Square.”
P. 83, laft note, for “ first child” read “ second child."
P. 90. Prince Eugene, who was at Court in January 1711-12, honoured Steele about that time by standing godfather to his second son, Eugene. See p. 222.
P. 99. Letter CLXXVII. seems to allude to his resignation of the place of a Commissioner of the Stamp-office, see vol. II. p. 371. It was just after this period that Addison said of him, in a letter to Mr: Hughes (Oct. 12, 1913), “I am in a thousand “ troubles for poor Dick, and wish that his zeal for the publick
may not be ruinous to himself; but he has sent me word, that “ he is determined to go on; and that any advice I can give him “ in this particular will have no weight with him.” Mr. Addifon, as the event thewed, was too true a prophet.
P. 104, note, l. 7, read, “ Mr. Auditor Foley, Mr. Auditor “ Harley," &c.--Mr. Pope, in a letter to Congreve, March 19, 3713-14, fays, “ Yesterday Mr. Steele’s affair was decided. I
am forry I can be of no other opinion than you, as to his a whole carriage and writings of laté. But certainly he has not “ only been punished by others, but fuffered much even from his 4 own party, in the point of character, nor (I believe) received any
amends in that of interest, as yet; whatever may be his * prospects in future. This gentleman, among a thousand others, “ is a great instance of the fate of all who are carried away by “party-spirit, of any side. I wish all violence may fucceed as sill; but am really amazed that so much of that four and per“ nicious quality should be joined with fo much natural good. « humour as I think Mr. Steele is possessed of."-In “The Post“ Boy,” April 27, 1714, is advertised as just published, “ John “ Dennis the sheltering Poet's Invitation to R. Steele, the ex• “cluded Party-Writer and Member, to come and live with him “ in The Mint. In Imitation of Horace, Ep. V. Lib. I. Price “ 3d. Fit to be bound up with the Crisis.” This is preserved in the “Supplement to Swift's Works,”
P. 123. In 1716 Steele was appointed one of the Commiffioners for enquiring into the estates forfeited by the then late rebellion in Scotland. This carried him into that part of the united kingdom, where, how unwelcome a guest foever he might be to the generality, yet he received from several of the nobility and gentry the most distinguishing marks of respect, infomuch that he began to turn his thoughts upon the much-to-be desired, but liopeless, project of perfecling the Union between the two king
domis, by extending it to the policy of Church as well as State. In this view he had frequent conversations with some of the Presbyterian Ministers concerning the restoration of Episcopacy, the ancient church-government of that nation; and often lamented this division in the ecclesiastical administration, which still ferves to maintain a kind of alienation between the people. Sir Richard wished well to the interests of Religion; and as he imagined that Union would promote it, he had fome thoughts of proposing it at Court; but that, as was likely, proved abortive.
-Among these Scotch Ministers was one Hart, with whom Sir Richard commenced a friendship, and afterwards honoured hion with his correspondence. This Hart he use to stile “the Hang
man of the Gospel ;” for though he was a facetious, good. natured man, yet he had fallen into a peculiar way of preaching whät he called “ the Terrors of the Law," and denounced anathemas from the pulpit without reserve. Our Knight also, during his stay in Scotland, indulged his genius in searching into the humours of low life ; in which view he prepared a fplendid feast at Edinburgh, and ordered his servants to pick up all the beggars and poor people they could find ja the freers for their guests. The servants obeyed, and Sir Richard looa saw himself at the head of forty or fifty beggars, togecher with some poor decayed tradesmen. After dinner he plied them with punch and wine; and when the frolic was ended, he declared, that befides the pleasure of filling fo many empty bellies, he had learoed hu. mour enough to make a good Comedy. (Shids's Lives of the Poets, vol. IV. p. 118.)