Imágenes de página

now that you are turning from child to man, endeavour to follow the best precepts, and choose such ways as may render you worthy of praise and love. You are assured of your father's care and my tenderness; no mark of it shall be wonting at any time to confirm it to you, with this reserve only, that you strive to deserve kindness by a sincere honest proceeding, and not flatter yourself that you are good whilst you only appear to be so. Fallacies will only pass in schools. When you thoroughly weigh these considerations, I hope you will apply them to your own advantage, as well as to "our infinite satisfaction. I pray daily God would inspire you with his grace, and bless you. I am,

Your loving mother,

M. Erelyk.

To my Brother Glanville at West Dean.

December, 1670.


Though I will not murmur that you prefer West Dean to Deplford to pass your Christmas in, since the attractive upon all accounts is so much more powerful, yet me leave to lament the loss of so good conversation as promised myself in yours: but to let you see I can prefer the satisfaction of a friend to my own, I will turn my complaints of you into good wishes for the success of so reasonable an address, as I am persuaded you are now making; and could I question any perfection in the ladies you so much admire, it would only be how one who deserves so well should so long dispute the merit of such a man as you are; do not imagine I pretend to compliment in return of those civilities you pass upon our sex, since, having the least title to your praises, 1 will have the least share in the acknowledgments; but to be just to you and serious in my opinion, I do repeat, what I have so often declared with sincerity in your concern, that might I, after such a loss as a good husband must be to a virtuous wife, hope to repair it by the choice of a second, I should not only hope, out think myself secure, when 1 had twenty years known and conversed with the freedom which honour and friendship permits, with a person of so much wit, good humour, generosity, prudence, and integrity as you possess; one of so entire a reputation in the world, so generally esteemed, and so fortunate in obliging others, and, to conclude, above all one resolved to love me disinterestedly, without which I confess the rest would prevail but little. This my Lady Lewtner cannot be ignorant of; and being convinced that it is true, how is it possible she can resist her own happiness in making yours? what scruple can remain in the breast of a worthy woman, who finds all that is desirable in her power? she may oblige you with her person and show her generosity too, since you will not pretend to equal her in fortune, though in nothing else inferior were articles to he drawn: I would take the liberty to own as much to the lady herself, were the acquaintance I have with her such as is requisite to recommend advice; but I dare not offer my sense to be the guide of another's actions, though I flatter myself I do not err in this opinion: but what discourages me chiefly is the slight reception my sister Evelyn gave a few lines I writ to her on this subject, who I thought might have endeavoured more to your satisfaction than I find she is inclined to do, since not inconsistent with her own interest and the value she haB for such a sister. Pardon the liberty I take to tell you my thoughts plainly, and the interruption I give those happy moments you now enjoy, to which 1 wish to bring increase.

To my Lady Tuke after the death of Sir Samuel Take.

Jantiury 28, 1670-1.


I acknowledge these are trials which make Christian philosophy useful, not only by a resignation to the Divine decree, but by that hope which encourages us to expect a more lasting happiness than any this world can give: without which we were extremely wretched, since no felicity here has any duration. "We are solicitous to obtain, we fear whilst we possess, and we are inconsolable when we lose. The greatest conquerors themselves are subject to this unsteady state of human nature; let us not murmur then, for we offend; and though in compliance to your present sense of things I could join with you in grieving, having made as particular a loss as ever any did in a friend, I dare not indulge your sorrow, especially when I consider how prejudicial it will prove to yourself and those dear pledges that are left to your care; but I do rather beg of you cease grieving, and owe that to reason and prudence which time will overcome. Were I in so good health that I could quit my chamber, I would be daily with you and assure you how really I am concerned for you. You cannot doubt the affection of your, &c

To Mr. Bohun.

Hayes-court, Jan. 29,1670-1.


If a friend be of infinite value living, how much cause have we to lament him dead! Such a friend was Sir Samuel Tuke, who retired out of this life on St. Paul's day [25 Jan.] at midnight, and has changed the scene to him and us, and left occasion to all that knew him to bewail the loss. You need not to be made sensible by a character of a person you knew so well, and you can enumerate virtues enough to lament and shed some tears justly; therefore spare me the sorrow of repeating what effect it has wrought on such a mind as mine, who think no misfortune worth regretting besides the loss of those I love. Do not blame me if I believe it almost impossible to meet with a person so worthy in himself, and so disposed to esteem me again ; and vet that is not the chiefest cause of my affliction. I might waive much of my own interest, had I not so many partners 1 hat will suffer equally. These are the trials which make Christian philosophy useful, not only by a resignation to the Divine decree, but by that hope which encourages us to expect a more lasting happiness than any this world can give, without which we were extremely wretched, since no felicity here has any duration. The greatest conquerors themselves are subject to this unsteady state of human nature, therefore well may I submit, whose concerns are trivial in respect of others. Yet this 1 conclude, that we die by degrees when our friends go before us, But whilst T discourse thus with you, I should consider what effects melancholy reflections may have on a splenetic person, one who needs not cherish that temper. I will only add that I am now able to quit my chamber, which is more than I could do these fourteen days, and that I am,


Your servant,

M. Eveltu.

To Mr. liohun.

1671. Sib,

I must believe you are very busy, hearing so seldom from you, and that you are much in the esteem of Dr. Batuurst,1 since he judges so favourably of your friends. It cannot be the effect of his discernment which makes him give sentence in my behalf, being so great a master of reason as he is; but it is certainly a mark of his great kindness to you that he defers to your judgment in opposition to his own. I should not question yours in other things, but the wisest may be allowed some grains, and I conclude you no less a courtier than a philosopher. Since my last to you I have seen "The Siege of Grenada," a play so full of ideas that the most refined romance I ever read is not to compare with it; love is made so pure, and valour so nice, that one would imagine it designed for an Utopia rather than our stage. I do not quarrel with the poet, but admire one born in the decline of morality should be able to feign such exnct virtue; and as poetic fiction has been instructive in former ages, I wish this the same event in ours. As to the strict law of comedy I dare not pretend to judge: some think the division of the story not so well as il it could all have been comprehended in the day's actions: truth of history, exactness of time, possibilities of adventures, are niceties the ancient critics might require; but those who have outdone them in fine notions may be allowed the liberty to express them their own way, and the present world is so enlightened

1 Dr. Ralph Bathuret, Dean of Wells, and President of Trinity College, in Oxford, whose Life and Literary Remains were published by Thomas Warton.

that the old dramatic must bear no sway. This account perhaps is not enough to do Mr. Dryden right, yet is as much as you can expect from the leisure of one who has the care of a nursery. I am, Sir, &c.

M. Evelyn.

To Mr. Bolatn.

May, 1671. Sib,

I wish you had remembered my answer to some discourses you held before your departure concerning my cousin Glanville: it might have spared you the trouble, and my cousins the importunity, of a proposition not at all to their advantage or our satisfaction, since Jack is designed for the law in good earnest, in which he can make little progress, should marriage intervene; neither will his grandfather, father, and myself sacrifice him for a fortune, but shall rest satisfied with such a mediocrity as may be obtained with stratagem when his age and discretion will allow of that tie. Besides, having heard my cousin had intentions to bestow his daughter and fortune upon one of his name, it would not become us to select for ourselves to the prejudice of a relation we should willingly assist; therefore, upon the account of generosity or mistaken interest, let this design die as civilly as you can -. when your time permits you to think of coining to town, you need not question your being welcome at Deptford; we are all well in health; all our relations are in town, your Deptford friends are well, and I am,

Sir, your servant,

To my Brother Glanville. Sir,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I have of late fancied myself very well established in your good opinion; I will not examine merit or the causes of things too strictly for fear I return to doubts again: your last confirms my belief, beii'g a very obliging

« AnteriorContinuar »