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word signifies little where the intention is friendly; exceptions against such strict rules are daily made, and experience shows that as unequal fall out, therefore I shall make the less apology for the failings of Your humble servant, M. E.
To my Cousin Mary Evelyn.
Sept. 28, 1670. DEAR Cousin,
I have had often cause to acknowledge the noble entertainment and great civilities I have received at Wotton, but I never was more sensible of my obligations to my brother and yourself, than at present, from a full persuasion I was never treated with more reality and kindness, which gains infinitely upon such a temper as mine is: I wish you were as well inclined to believe as I am that passage in Scripture reasonable, which advises a woman not only to leave, but to forget her father's house for a husband, and as well assured you should meet with as worthy and deserving a family as I have done. Some part of this you will think strange doctrine, but I seriously beg of you not to persist in your opinions concerning marriage, and that you will conform to so good a father's desires as you have in this particular, and endeavour to establish your happiness beyond his life, which, that you may long enjoy, with all other blessings I heartily wish, being
To Mrs. Evelyn of Wotton.
1670, DEAR Cousin, I am so well persuaded of your good nature, and merit, and so sensible of your best civility, that I wish for a more important occasion to express the desire I have to serve you. I have endeavoured to perform your commands in fitting my little niece with a mantle coat, bodice coat, petticoat, narrow shoes and stockings, which I bespake two sizes less than any that are made for a child of a year old. If they prove to nurse's mind, or have any fault, let me know it, that the next may be the same or more exact. I was not willing to send all, believing it some difficulty to fit the lady by guess. Though you never want very good comany, I cannot but wish myself sometimes two or three É. in a day with you, to be a witness of the pleasant conversation I fancy such wits as Mr. Duncan and others of that strain afford you... I hope my cousin Mary is perfectly recovered; that your father, husband, uncle, and brother are in perfect health, to whom my father presents his most humble service and particularly to yourself; assure them of my humble service, and esteem me, Dear Cousin, Your humble servant, M. E.
To her Son.
I have received your letter and request for a supply of money; but none of those you mention which were bare effects of your duty. If you were so desirous to answer our expectations as you pretend to be, you would give those tutors and overseers you think so exact over you, less trouble than I fear they have with you. Much is to be wished in your behalf: that your temper were humble and tractable, your inclinations virtuous, and that from choice, not compulsion, you make an honest man. , Whatever object of vice comes before you, should have the same effect in your mind of dislike and aversion that drunkenness had in the youth of Sparta when their slaves were presented to them in that brutish condition, not only from the deformity of such a sight, but from a motive beyond theirs—the hope of a future happiness, which those rigorous heathens in moral virtue had little prospect of, finding no reward for virtue but in virtue itself. W. are not too young to know that lying, defrauding, swearing, disobedience to parents and persons in authority, are offences to God and man: that debauchery is injurious to growth, health, life, and indeed to the pleasures of life; therefore, 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 wanting 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
ou 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.
To my Brother Glanville at West Dean.
December, 1670. SIR,
Though I will not murmur that you prefer West Dean to Deptford to pass your Christmas in, since the attractive upon all accounts is so much more powerful, yet give me leave to lament the loss of so good conversation as I 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, I 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, but think myself secure, when I 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 P 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 be 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 has 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 I wish to bring increase.
To my Lady Tuke after the death of Sir Samuel Tuke.
January 28, 1670-1. MADAM,
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.
Sayes-court, Jan. 29, 1670-1. SIR,
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 yet that is not the chiefest cause of my affliction. I might waive much of my own interest, had I not so many partners that 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 I conclude, that we die by degrees when