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•wide a breach. I was in hopes you had convinced Mr. S. that it was both reasonable as well as convenient to reform the ill habits company might have engaged him in, and that he had wholly designed to take off your suspicion of a relapse; which disposition to virtue and kindness should have been complied with, and cherished by welcome at home, and all endeavours used to confirm him in so good a resolution. I know not what the real cause of dislike is on your part at present, neither will I judge. But were I to recommend Mr. S. to a wife in the temper I find him, I should pronounce in Lis behalf that he is likely to make a wife as happy as any man I know, if good humour, generous inclinations, industry, and many other good qualities, you have yourself done him the right to acknowledge him possessed of, can contribute towards it. Pray be so kind to yourself and him to return to all the duties of a wife; to forgive past faults like a Christian, to forget them like a friend; to begin your friendship upon a new account; and as caution for him, give me leave to be the person; your word is sufficient for yourself. Since he desires so earnestly to make you happy, banish all obstacles; do not entertain a thought that may check a blessing offered to you both. You will oblige me infinitely by a ready consent to so just a request, you will overcome by it the prejudicial reports concerning you, recover your friends, make an experiment which if successful will prove worth your while, who would not try it, and submit to harder conditions than any I hope you will find? I beg of you to consider well what is offered you, and assure yourself that my zeal proceeds from a perfect belief of your innocency and merit, and a desire to reunite persons who have both deserved so well the esteem of
Your friend and servant,
March 28, 1673.'
I acknowledge the receipt of two of your letters unanswered: That of the 20th this day came to my hands,
1 The address of this letter is lust. It was probably written to ons of her relatives at Wot tou.
•with a note to Will. Hayes, which I have given him. He will punctually observe your orders concerning your horse; for the beer, according to his judgment of things, he believes, since it is left undisturbed to which cellar it should go, it most properly belongs to his, as being worst furnished of any in Deptford; yet upon second orders it shall be bestowed where you please. You need not fear a long comment upon the lady's censure of my indulgence to children, since I confess myself too much inclined to that failing; but I have a maxim never to disturb the company with my own affairs, in showing dislike to servants' mistakes and children's faults; so that sometimes, I believe, I pass for a very fond mother and remiss mistress; yet it may be, in a convenient place, both are reproved; and amongst those who understand civility very well, this method is not unacceptable. Were I willing to entertain grief, I could answer to every particular of your first letter; but since there is no recalling of the dead, let us not mingle past sorrows with the present; every moment produces new occasions to exercise our morality. To comply with Mrs. Palmer's request it is impossible, till I am as much convinced of the excellency of my style as Mr. Alderson is of his preaching, who assured me his last funeral sermon was an elaborate, judicious, welltimed piece; and then all the scraps I have written shall be at her service. And in the meantime advise her, since she is a person of wit, bred under Doctor Bathurst's wing, and lives in the air of the university, to hazard some of her own lines abroad, and try what justice may be in the world. If I do not enlarge at this time, impute it to Easter-Eve; and excuse this character, scarce legible.
I am, sir,
To my Brother Glanvxlle.
Decern, the last, 1673. Sib,
I am not naturally suspicious, especially where I have an esteem. I was, I acknowledge, a little thoughtful what the cause of your silence might be, yet never doubted your friendship; and since it was on Bo reasonable an account, I am not only pacified for the loss of those kind expressions which I am always sure of from you, hut would have added many good wishes to your endeavours for the success in the Captain's concern, which, hy this time, I hope is out of question. Pray assure him and his lady I am their humhle servant. When you are disposed to make us happy with your conversation, you cannot fail of welcome in a family that rejoice in the hopes of seeing you. You have conversed so much in the world, that you cannot be ignorant either of your own merit, or how kindly you will be received by those that have a real value for you. Be assured neither care nor industry would be wanting if an occasion would offer. Whatever else is unequal to you must be forgiven. The unsteadiness of the times is such, that a great man's favour is no sooner gained, but one is to begin again; and the difficulty is to know where a new endeavour may be made. The next lesson will try how fast some of them sit. If you were one of the house, you have a talent that might improve what interest you please. I suppose your correspondent is so good, I need not entertain you with news. The satisfaction I had in a week's stay in town was not so great that I should trouble you with the relation of it, besides the honour to have the Duchess's hand, visit the Duchess of Modena, &c Only this particular I cannot omit concerning Sir George Lane, who is married to a daughter of my Lord of Dorset, a young, handsome person, who has 5000/. to her portion. The son desires to go into Ireland; to oblige him perfectly, the father settles 3000/. a year on his son, and reserves as much for a second venture: makes her a thousand a year jointure, and all the advantages in Ireland. I have had the honour to wait on the lady, and to give them both joy. My father has had his turn in town—proceeds as vigorously as he can in his affair, but they stand it out, which forces him to issue out an arrest against them. What that course may produce is yet to learn. He seemed desirous to finish it himself, as being best able to dispute their right, or defend his own ; but the gout seizes him so often, though with less violence, that he is the more solicitous to end it. He is at present in bed, but not very ill. We have our workmen still, but hope a little time will finish all. Your brother watches and prays still. Jack studies and rumi
nates; the girls make a noise; and I lend a little of my time to any one that seems to want it. How well I pass the hours in which I am not serviceahle to others, I am no good judge. The conclusion of this year with this day, puts me in mind to wish you happiness with all imaginable joy the next.
How to express the sorrow for parting with so dear a child is a difficult task. She was welcome to me from the first moment God gave her, acceptable through the whole course of her life by a thousand endearments, by the gifts of nature, by acquired parts, by the tender love she ever showed her father and me: a thread of piety accompanied all her actions, and now proves our greatest consolation. The patience, resignation, humility of her carriage in so severe and fatal a disease, discovered more than an ordinary assistance of the Divine goodness, never expressing fear of death, or a desire to live, but for her friends' sake. The seventh day of her illness she discoursed to me in particular as calmly as in health, desired to confess, and receive the blessed Sacrament, which she performed with great devotion; after which, though in her perfect senses to the last, she never signified the least concern for the world, prayed often, and resigned her soul. What shall I say! She was too great a blessing for me, who never deserved anything, much less such a jewel. I am too well assured of your Ladyship's kindness to doubt the part you take in this loss; you have ever showed yourself a friend in so many instances, that I presume upon your compassion; nothing but this just occasion could have hindered me from welcoming you to town, and rejoicing with the best friend I have in the world—a friend by merit and inclination, one I must esteem as the wife of so worthy a relation and so sincere a friend as Sir Samuel was to me and mine. What is this world when we recall past things! what are the charms that keep our minds in suspense! without the conversation of those we love, what ia life worth! How did I propose happiness this summer in the return of your Ladyship and my dear child—for she was absent almost all this winter!
She had much improved herself by the remarks she had made of the world and all its vanities—what shall I add! I could ever speak of her, and might I be just to her without suspicion of partiality, could tell you many things. The papers which are found in her cabinet discover she profited by her reading — such reflections, collections out of Scripture, confessions, meditations, and pious notions, evidence her time was not spent in the trifling way of most young women. I acknowledge, as a Christian, I ought not to murmur, and I should be infinitely sorry to incur God's further displeasure. There are those yet remaining that challenge my care, and for their sakes I endeavour to submit all I can. I thank my poor Cousin a thousand times for her kind concern, and wish she may live to be the comfort you deserve in her, that God will continue the blessing of both, and make you happy—which is the prayer of her who is
Yours, most affectionately,
[To these letters of Mrs. Evelyn, may be subjoined two letters which hare come into the Editor's possession since the volume containing her husband's correspondence was printed, but which so agreeably illustrate Evelyn's hahits and intercourse with his neighbours and friends that it is worth including them in this collection.]
Mrs. Owen to John Evelyn.
Eltham, June 26, 1680. Honoubed Sib,
I am heartily sorry that I forced you to buy tulips for your fine garden. I must confess your guineas look more glorious than now these tulips do; but, when they come to blow, I hope you will be better pleased than now you are. I have sent you some of my ordinary sort, and, sir, when mine •re blown, if you please to come and see them, Mr. Evelyn