Read CHAPTER V - THE LAST OF CHICKSANDS. FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1654 of The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple‚ 1652-54, free online book, by Edward Abbott Parry, on

The quarrel is over, happily over, and Dorothy and Temple are more than reconciled again. Temple has been down to Chicksands to see her, and some more definite arrangement has been come to between them. Dorothy has urged Temple to go to Ireland and join his father, who has once again taken possession of his office of Master of the Rolls. As soon as an appointment can be found for Temple they are to be married that is, as far as one can gather, the state of affairs between them; but it would seem as if nothing of this was as yet to be known to the outer world, not even to Dorothy’s brother.

Letter 48.

SIR, ’Tis but an hour since you went, and I am writing to you already; is not this kind? How do you after your journey; are you not weary; do you not repent that you took it to so little purpose? Well, God forgive me, and you too, you made me tell a great lie. I was fain to say you came only to take your leave before you went abroad; and all this not only to keep quiet, but to keep him from playing the madman; for when he has the least suspicion, he carries it so strangely that all the world takes notice on’t, and so often guess at the reason, or else he tells it. Now, do but you judge whether if by mischance he should discover the truth, whether he would not rail most sweetly at me (and with some reason) for abusing him. Yet you helped to do it; a sadness that he discovered at your going away inclined him to believe you were ill satisfied, and made him credit what I said. He is kind now in extremity, and I would be glad to keep him so till a discovery is absolutely necessary. Your going abroad will confirm him much in his belief, and I shall have nothing to torment me in this place but my own doubts and fears. Here I shall find all the repose I am capable of, and nothing will disturb my prayers and wishes for your happiness which only can make mine. Your journey cannot be to your disadvantage neither; you must needs be pleased to visit a place you are so much concerned in, and to be a witness yourself of your hopes, though I will believe you need no other inducements to this voyage than my desiring it. I know you love me, and you have no reason to doubt my kindness. Let us both have patience to wait what time and fortune will do for us; they cannot hinder our being perfect friends.

Lord, there were a thousand things I remembered after you were gone that I should have said, and now I am to write not one of them will come into my head. Sure as I live it is not settled yet! Good God! the fears and surprises, the crosses and disorders of that day, ’twas confused enough to be a dream, and I am apt to think sometimes it was no more. But no, I saw you; when I shall do it again, God only knows! Can there be a romancer story than ours would make if the conclusion prove happy? Ah! I dare not hope it; something that I cannot describe draws a cloud over all the light my fancy discovers sometimes, and leaves me so in the dark with all my fears about me that I tremble to think on’t. But no more of this sad talk.

Who was that, Mr. Dr. told you I should marry? I cannot imagine for my life; tell me, or I shall think you made it to excuse yourself. Did not you say once you knew where good French tweezers were to be had? Pray send me a pair; they shall cut no love. Before you go I must have a ring from you, too, a plain gold one; if I ever marry it shall be my wedding ring; when I die I’ll give it you again. What a dismal story this is you sent me; but who could expect better from a love begun upon such grounds? I cannot pity neither of them, they were both so guilty. Yes, they are the more to be pitied for that.

Here is a note comes to me just now, will you do this service for a fine lady that is my friend; have not I taught her well, she writes better than her mistress? How merry and pleased she is with her marrying because there is a plentiful fortune; otherwise she would not value the man at all. This is the world; would you and I were out of it: for, sure, we were not made to live in it. Do you remember Arme and the little house there? Shall we go thither? that’s next to being out of the world. There we might live like Baucis and Philemon, grow old together in our little cottage, and for our charity to some shipwrecked strangers obtain the blessing of dying both at the same time. How idly I talk; ’tis because the story pleases me none in Ovid so much. I remember I cried when I read it. Methought they were the perfectest characters of a contented marriage, where piety and love were all their wealth, and in their poverty feasted the gods when rich men shut them out. I am called away, farewell!

Your faithful.

Letter 49. The beginning of this letter is lost, and with it, perhaps, the name of Dorothy’s lover who had written some verses on her beauty. However, we have the “tag” of them, with which we must rest content.

... ’Tis pity I cannot show you what his wit could do upon so ill a subject, but my Lady Ruthin keeps them to abuse me withal, and has put a tune to them that I may hear them all manner of ways; and yet I do protest I remember nothing more of them than this lame piece,

A stately and majestic brow,
Of force to make Protectors bow.

Indeed, if I have any stately looks I think he has seen them, but yet it seems they could not keep him from playing the fool. My Lady Grey told me that one day talking of me to her (as he would find ways to bring in that discourse by the head and shoulders, whatsoever anybody else could interpose), he said he wondered I did not marry. She (that understood him well enough, but would not seem to do so) said she knew not, unless it were that I liked my present condition so well that I did not care to change it; which she was apt to believe, because to her knowledge I had refused very good fortunes, and named some so far beyond his reach, that she thought she had dashed all his hopes. But he, confident still, said ’twas perhaps that I had no fancy to their persons (as if his own were so taking), that I was to be looked upon as one that had it in my power to please myself, and that perhaps in a person I liked would bate something of fortune. To this my Lady answered again for me, that ’twas not impossible but I might do so, but in that point she thought me nice and curious enough. And still to dishearten him the more, she took occasion (upon his naming some gentlemen of the county that had been talked of heretofore as of my servants, and are since disposed of) to say (very plainly) that ’twas true they had some of them pretended, but there was an end of my Bedfordshire servants she was sure there were no more that could be admitted into the number. After all this (which would have satisfied an ordinary young man) did I this last Thursday receive a letter from him by Collins, which he sent first to London that it might come thence to me. I threw it into the fire; and do you but keep my counsel, nobody shall ever know that I had it; and my gentleman shall be kept at such a distance as I hope to hear no more of him. Yet I’ll swear of late I have used him so near to rudely that there is little left for me to do. Fye! what a deal of paper I have spent upon this idle fellow; if I had thought his story would have proved so long you should have missed on’t, and the loss would not have been great.

I have not thanked you yet for my tweezers and essences; they are both very good. I kept one of the little glasses myself; remember my ring, and in return, if I go to London whilst you are in Ireland, I’ll have my picture taken in little and send it you. The sooner you despatch away will be the better, I think, since I have no hopes of seeing you before you go; there lies all your business, your father and fortune must do all the rest. I cannot be more yours than I am. You are mistaken if you think I stand in awe of my brother. No, I fear nobody’s anger. I am proof against all violence; but when people haunt me with reasoning and entreaties, when they look sadly and pretend kindness, when they beg upon that score, ’tis a strange pain to me to deny. When he rants and renounces me, I can despise him; but when he asks my pardon, with tears pleads to me the long and constant friendship between us, and calls heaven to witness that nothing upon earth is dear to him in comparison of me, then, I confess, I feel a stronger unquietness within me, and I would do anything to evade his importunity. Nothing is so great a violence to me as that which moves my compassion. I can resist with ease any sort of people but beggars. If this be a fault in me, ’tis at least a well-natured one; and therefore I hope you will forgive it me, you that can forgive me anything, you say, and be displeased with nothing whilst I love you; may I never be pleased with anything when I do not. Yet I could beat you for writing this last strange letter; was there ever anything said like? If I had but a vanity that the world should admire me, I would not care what they talked of me. In earnest, I believe there is nobody displeased that people speak well of them, and reputation is esteemed by all of much greater value than life itself. Yet let me tell you soberly, that with all my vanity I could be very well contented nobody should blame me or any action of mine, to quit all my part of the praises and admiration of the world; and if I might be allowed to choose, my happiest part of it should consist in concealment, there should not be above two persons in the world know that there was such a one in it as your faithful.

Stay! I have not done yet. Here’s another good side, I find; here, then, I’ll tell you that I am not angry for all this. No, I allow it to your ill-humour, and that to the crosses that have been common to us; but now that is cleared up, I should expect you should say finer things to me. Yet take heed of being like my neighbour’s servant, he is so transported to find no rubs in his way that he knows not whether he stands on his head or his feet. ’Tis the most troublesome, busy talking little thing that ever was born; his tongue goes like the clack of a mill, but to much less purpose, though if it were all oracle, my head would ache to hear that perpetual noise. I admire at her patience and her resolution that can laugh at his fooleries and love his fortune. You would wonder to see how tired she is with his impertinences, and yet how pleased to think she shall have a great estate with him. But this is the world, and she makes a part of it betimes. Two or three great glistening jewels have bribed her to wink at all his faults, and she hears him as unmoved and unconcerned as if another were to marry him.

What think you, have I not done fair for once, would you wish a longer letter? See how kind I grow at parting; who would not go into Ireland to have such another? In earnest now, go as soon as you can, ’twill be the better, I think, who am your faithful friend.

Letter 50. Wrest, in Bedfordshire, where Dorothy met her importunate lover, was the seat of Anthony Grey, Earl of Kent. There is said to be a picture there of Sir William Temple, a copy of Lely’s picture. Wrest Park is only a few miles from Chicksands.

SIR, Who would be kind to one that reproaches one so cruelly? Do you think, in earnest, I could be satisfied the world should think me a dissembler, full of avarice or ambition? No, you are mistaken; but I’ll tell you what I could suffer, that they should say I married where I had no inclination, because my friends thought it fit, rather than that I had run wilfully to my own ruin in pursuit of a fond passion of my own. To marry for love were no reproachful thing if we did not see that of the thousand couples that do it, hardly one can be brought for an example that it may be done and not repented afterwards. Is there anything thought so indiscreet, or that makes one more contemptible? ’Tis true that I do firmly believe we should be, as you say, toujours les mesmes; but if (as you confess) ’tis that which hardly happens once in two ages, we are not to expect the world should discern we were not like the rest. I’ll tell you stories another time, you return them so handsomely upon me. Well, the next servant I tell you of shall not be called a whelp, if ’twere not to give you a stick to beat myself with. I would confess that I looked upon the impudence of this fellow as a punishment upon me for my over care in avoiding the talk of the world; yet the case is very different, and no woman shall ever be blamed that an inconsolable person pretends to her when she gives no allowance to it, whereas none shall ’scape that owns a passion, though in return of a person much above her. The little tailor that loved Queen Elizabeth was suffered to talk out, and none of her Council thought it necessary to stop his mouth; but the Queen of Sweden’s kind letter to the King of Scots was intercepted by her own ambassador, because he thought it was not for his mistress’s honour (at least that was his pretended reason), and thought justifiable enough. But to come to my Beagle again. I have heard no more of him, though I have seen him since; we met at Wrest again. I do not doubt but I shall be better able to resist his importunity than his tutor was; but what do you think it is that gives him his encouragement? He was told I had thought of marrying a gentleman that had not above two hundred pound a year, only out of my liking to his person. And upon that score his vanity allows him to think he may pretend as far as another. Thus you see ’tis not altogether without reason that I apprehend the noise of the world, since ’tis so much to my disadvantage.

Is it in earnest that you say your being there keeps me from the town? If so, ’tis very unkind. No, if I had gone, it had been to have waited on my neighbour, who has now altered her resolution and goes not herself. I have no business there, and am so little taken with the place that I could sit here seven years without so much as thinking once of going to it. ’Tis not likely, as you say, that you should much persuade your father to what you do not desire he should do; but it is hard if all the testimonies of my kindness are not enough to satisfy without my publishing to the world that I can forget my friends and all my interest to follow my passion; though, perhaps, it will admit of a good sense, ’tis that which nobody but you or I will give it, and we that are concerned in’t can only say ’twas an act of great kindness and something romance, but must confess it had nothing of prudence, discretion, nor sober counsel in’t. ’Tis not that I expect, by all your father’s offers, to bring my friends to approve it. I don’t deceive myself thus far, but I would not give them occasion to say that I hid myself from them in the doing it; nor of making my action appear more indiscreet than it is. It will concern me that all the world should know what fortune you have, and upon what terms I marry you, that both may not be made to appear ten times worse than they are. ’Tis the general custom of all people to make those that are rich to have more mines of gold than are in the Indies, and such as have small fortunes to be beggars. If an action take a little in the world, it shall be magnified and brought into comparison with what the heroes or senators of Rome performed; but, on the contrary, if it be once condemned, nothing can be found ill enough to compare it with; and people are in pain till they find out some extravagant expression to represent the folly on’t. Only there is this difference, that as all are more forcibly inclined to ill than good, they are much apter to exceed in detraction than in praises. Have I not reason then to desire this from you; and may not my friendship have deserved it? I know not; ’tis as you think; but if I be denied it, you will teach me to consider myself. ’Tis well the side ended here. If I had not had occasion to stop there, I might have gone too far, and showed that I had more passions than one. Yet ’tis fit you should know all my faults, lest you should repent your bargain when ’twill not be in your power to release yourself; besides, I may own my ill-humour to you that cause it; ’tis the discontent my crosses in this business have given me makes me thus peevish. Though I say it myself, before I knew you I was thought as well an humoured young person as most in England; nothing displeased, nothing troubled me. When I came out of France, nobody knew me again. I was so altered, from a cheerful humour that was always alike, never over merry but always pleased, I was grown heavy and sullen, froward and discomposed; and that country which usually gives people a jolliness and gaiety that is natural to the climate, had wrought in me so contrary effects that I was as new a thing to them as my clothes. If you find all this to be sad truth hereafter, remember that I gave you fair warning.

Here is a ring: it must not be at all wider than this, which is rather too big for me than otherwise; but that is a good fault, and counted lucky by superstitious people. I am not so, though: ’tis indifferent whether there be any word in’t or not; only ’tis as well without, and will make my wearing it the less observed. You must give Nan leave to cut a lock of your hair for me, too. Oh, my heart! what a sigh was there! I will not tell you how many this journey causes; nor the fear and apprehensions I have for you. No, I long to be rid of you, am afraid you will not go soon enough: do not you believe this? No, my dearest, I know you do not, whate’er you say, you cannot doubt that I am yours.

Letter 51. Lady Newport was the wife of the Earl of Newport, and mother of Lady Anne Blunt of whom we heard something in former letters. She is mentioned as a prominent leader of London society. In March 1652 she is granted a pass to leave the country, on condition that she gives security to do nothing prejudicial to the State; from which we may draw the inference that she was a political notability.

My Lady Devonshire was Christian, daughter of Lord Bruce of Kinloss. She married William Cavendish, second Earl of Devonshire. Her daughter Anne married Lord Rich, and died suddenly in 1638. Pomfret, Godolphin, and Falkland celebrated her virtues in verse, and Waller wrote her funeral hymn, which is still known to some of us,

The Lady Rich is dead.
Heartrending news! and dreadful to those few
Who her resemble and her steps pursue,
That Death should license have to range among
The fair, the wise, the virtuous, and the young.

It was the only son of Lady Rich who married Frances Cromwell.

Lord Warwick was the father of Robert, Lord Rich, and we may gather from this letter that, at Lady Devonshire’s instigation, he had interfered in a proposed second marriage between his son and some fair unknown.

Parthenissa is only just out. It is the latest thing in literary circles. We find it advertised in Mercurius Politicus, 19th January 1654: “Parthenissa, that most famous romance, composed by the Lord Broghill, and dedicated to the Lady Northumberland.” It is a romance of the style of Cleopatre and Cyrus, to enjoy which in the nineteenth century would require a curious and acquired taste. L’illustre Bassa was a romance of Scuderi; and the passage in the epistle to which Dorothy refers, we quote it from a translation by one Henry Cogan, 1652, runs as follows: “And if you see not my hero persecuted with love by women, it is not because he was not amiable, and that he could not be loved, but because it would clash with civility in the persons of ladies, and with true resemblance in that of men, who rarely show themselves cruel unto them, nor in doing it could have any good grace.”

SIR, The lady was in the right. You are a very pretty gentleman and a modest; were there ever such stories as these you tell? The best on’t is, I believe none of them unless it be that of my Lady Newport, which I must confess is so like her that if it be not true ’twas at least excellently well fancied. But my Lord Rich was not caught, tho’ he was near it. My Lady Devonshire, whose daughter his first wife was, has engaged my Lord Warwick to put a stop to the business. Otherwise, I think his present want of fortune, and the little sense of honour he has, might have been prevailed on to marry her.

’Tis strange to see the folly that possesses the young people of this age, and the liberty they take to themselves. I have the charity to believe they appear very much worse than they are, and that the want of a Court to govern themselves by is in great part the cause of their ruin; though that was no perfect school of virtue, yet Vice there wore her mask, and appeared so unlike herself that she gave no scandal. Such as were really discreet as they seemed to be gave good example, and the eminency of their condition made others strive to imitate them, or at least they durst not own a contrary course. All who had good principles and inclinations were encouraged in them, and such as had neither were forced to put on a handsome disguise that they might not be out of countenance at themselves. ’Tis certain (what you say) that where divine or human laws are not positive we may be our own judges; nobody can hinder us, nor is it in itself to be blamed. But, sure, it is not safe to take all liberty that is allowed us, there are not many that are sober enough to be trusted with the government of themselves; and because others judge us with more severity than our indulgence to ourselves will permit, it must necessarily follow that ’tis safer being ruled by their opinions than by our own. I am disputing again, though you told me my fault so plainly.

I’ll give it over, and tell you that Parthenissa is now my company. My brother sent it down, and I have almost read it. ’Tis handsome language; you would know it to be writ by a person of good quality though you were not told it; but, on the whole, I am not very much taken with it. All the stories have too near a resemblance with those of other romances, there is nothing new or surprenant in them; the ladies are all so kind they make no sport, and I meet only with one that took me by doing a handsome thing of the kind. She was in a besieged town, and persuaded all those of her sex to go out with her to the enemy (which were a barbarous people) and die by their swords, that the provisions of the town might last the longer for such as were able to do service in defending it. But how angry was I to see him spoil this again by bringing out a letter this woman left behind her for the governor of the town, where she discovers a passion for him, and makes that the reason why she did it. I confess I have no patience for our faiseurs de Romance when they make a woman court. It will never enter into my head that ’tis possible any woman can love where she is not first loved, and much less that if they should do that, they could have the face to own it. Methinks he that writes L’illustre Bassa says well in his epistle that we are not to imagine his hero to be less taking than those of other romances because the ladies do not fall in love with him whether he will or not. ’Twould be an injury to the ladies to suppose they could do so, and a greater to his hero’s civility if he should put him upon being cruel to them, since he was to love but one. Another fault I find, too, in the style ’tis affected. Ambitioned is a great word with him, and ignore; my concern, or of great concern, is, it seems, properer than concernment: and though he makes his people say fine handsome things to one another, yet they are not easy and naïve like the French, and there is a little harshness in most of the discourse that one would take to be the fault of a translator rather than of an author. But perhaps I like it the worse for having a piece of Cyrus by me that I am hugely pleased with, and that I would fain have you read: I’ll send it you. At least read one story that I’ll mark you down, if you have time for no more. I am glad you stay to wait on your sister. I would have my gallant civil to all, much more when it is so due, and kindness too.

I have the cabinet, and ’tis in earnest a pretty one; though you will not own it for a present, I’ll keep it as one, and ’tis like to be yours no more but as ’tis mine. I’ll warrant you would ne’er have thought of making me a present of charcoal as my servant James would have done, to warm my heart I think he meant it. But the truth is, I had been inquiring for some (as ’tis a commodity scarce enough in this country), and he hearing it, told the baily [bailiff?] he would give him some if ’twere for me. But this is not all. I cannot forbear telling you the other day he made me a visit, and I, to prevent his making discourse to me, made Mrs. Goldsmith and Jane sit by all the while. But he came better provided than I could have imagined. He brought a letter with him, and gave it me as one he had met with directed to me, he thought it came out of Northamptonshire. I was upon my guard, and suspecting all he said, examined him so strictly where he had it before I would open it, that he was hugely confounded, and I confirmed that ’twas his. I laid it by and wished that they would have left us, that I might have taken notice on’t to him. But I had forbid it them so strictly before, that they offered not to stir farther than to look out of window, as not thinking there was any necessity of giving us their eyes as well as their ears; but he that saw himself discovered took that time to confess to me (in a whispering voice that I could hardly hear myself) that the letter (as my Lord Broghill says) was of great concern to him, and begged I would read it, and give him my answer. I took it up presently, as if I had meant it, but threw it, sealed as it was, into the fire, and told him (as softly as he had spoke to me) I thought that the quickest and best way of answering it. He sat awhile in great disorder, without speaking a word, and so ris and took his leave. Now what think you, shall I ever hear of him more?

You do not thank me for using your rival so scurvily nor are not jealous of him, though your father thinks my intentions were not handsome towards you, which methinks is another argument that one is not to be one’s own judge; for I am very confident they were, and with his favour shall never believe otherwise. I am sure I have no ends to serve of my own in what I did, it could be no advantage to me that had firmly resolved not to marry; but I thought it might be an injury to you to keep you in expectation of what was never likely to be, as I apprehended. Why do I enter into this wrangling discourse? Let your father think me what he pleases, if he ever comes to know me, the rest of my actions shall justify me in this; if he does not, I’ll begin to practise on him (what you so often preached to me) to neglect the report of the world, and satisfy myself in my own innocency.

’Twill be pleasinger to you, I am sure, to tell you how fond I am of your lock. Well, in earnest now, and setting aside all compliments, I never saw finer hair, nor of a better colour; but cut no more on’t, I would not have it spoiled for the world. If you love me, be careful on’t. I am combing, and curling, and kissing this lock all day, and dreaming on’t all night. The ring, too, is very well, only a little of the biggest. Send me a tortoise one that is a little less than that I sent for a pattern. I would not have the rule so absolutely true without exception that hard hairs be ill-natured, for then I should be so. But I can allow that all soft hairs are good, and so are you, or I am deceived as much as you are if you think I do not love you enough. Tell me, my dearest, am I? You will not be if you think I am


Letter 52. It is interesting to find Dorothy reading the good Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Living, a book too little known in this day. For amidst its old-fashioned piety there are many sentiments of practical goodness, expressed with clear insistence, combined with a quaint grace of literary style which we have long ago cast aside in the pursuit of other things. Dorothy loved this book, and knew it well. Compare the following extract from the chapter on Christian Justice with what Dorothy has written in this letter. Has she been recently reading this passage? Perhaps she has; but more probably it is the recollection of what is well known that she is reproducing from a memory not unstored with such learning. Thus writes Dr. Taylor: “There is very great peace and immunity from sin in resigning our wills up to the command of others: for, provided our duty to God be secured, their commands are warrants to us in all things else; and the case of conscience is determined, if the command be evident and pressing: and it is certain, the action that is but indifferent and without reward, if done only upon our own choice, is an action of duty and of religion, and rewardable by the grace and favour of God, if done in obedience to the command of our superiors.”

Little and Great Brickhill, where Temple is to receive a letter from Dorothy, kindly favoured by Mr. Gibson, stand due west of Chicksands some seventeen miles, and about forty-six miles along the high-road from London to Chester. Temple would probably arrange to stay there, receive Dorothy’s letter, and send one in return.

Dorothy has apparently tired of Calprenede and Scuderi, of Cleopatre and Cyrus, and has turned to travels to amuse her. Fernando Mendez Pinto did, I believe, actually visit China, and is said to have landed in the Gulf of Pekin. What he writes of China seems to bear some resemblance to what later writers have said. It is hard to say how and where his conversations with the Chinese were carried on, as he himself admits that he did not understand one word of the language.

Lady Grey’s sister, Mrs. Pooley, is unknown to history. Of Mr. Fish we know, as has already been said, nothing more than that he was Dorothy’s lover, and a native of Bedfordshire, probably her near neighbour. James B must be another lover, and he is altogether untraceable. Mrs. Goldsmith is, as you will remember, wife of the Vicar of Campton. The Valentine stories will date this letter for us as written in the latter half of February.

SIR, They say you gave order for this waste-paper; how do you think I could ever fill it, or with what? I am not always in the humour to wrangle and dispute. For example now, I had rather agree to what you say, than tell you that Dr. Taylor (whose devote you must know I am) says there is a great advantage to be gained in resigning up one’s will to the command of another, because the same action which in itself is wholly indifferent, if done upon our own choice, becomes an act of duty and religion if done in obedience to the command of any person whom nature, the laws, or ourselves have given a power over us; so that though in an action already done we can only be our own judges, because we only know with what intentions it was done, yet in any we intend, ’tis safest, sure, to take the advice of another. Let me practise this towards you as well as preach it to you, and I’ll lay a wager you will approve on’t. But I am chiefly of your opinion that contentment (which the Spanish proverb says is the best paint) gives the lustre to all one’s enjoyment, puts a beauty upon things which without it would have none, increases it extremely where ’tis already in some degree, and without it, all that we call happiness besides loses its property. What is contentment, must be left to every particular person to judge for themselves, since they only know what is so to them which differs in all according to their several humours. Only you and I agree ’tis to be found by us in a true friend, a moderate fortune, and a retired life; the last I thank God I have in perfection. My cell is almost finished, and when you come back you’ll find me in it, and bring me both the rest I hope.

I find it much easier to talk of your coming back than your going. You shall never persuade me I send you this journey. No, pray let it be your father’s commands, or a necessity your fortune puts upon you. ’Twas unkindly said to tell me I banish you; your heart never told it you, I dare swear; nor mine ne’er thought it. No, my dear, this is our last misfortune, let’s bear it nobly. Nothing shows we deserve a punishment so much as our murmuring at it; and the way to lessen those we feel, and to ’scape those we fear, is to suffer patiently what is imposed, making a virtue of necessity. ’Tis not that I have less kindness or more courage than you, but that mistrusting myself more (as I have more reason), I have armed myself all that is possible against this occasion. I have thought that there is not much difference between your being at Dublin or at London, as our affairs stand. You can write and hear from the first, and I should not see you sooner if you continued still at the last.

Besides, I hope this journey will be of advantage to us; when your father pressed your coming over he told you, you needed not doubt either his power or his will. Have I done anything since that deserves he should alter his intentions towards us? Or has any accident lessened his power? If neither, we may hope to be happy, and the sooner for this journey. I dare not send my boy to meet you at Brickhill nor any other of the servants, they are all too talkative. But I can get Mr. Gibson, if you will, to bring you a letter. ’Tis a civil, well-natured man as can be, of excellent principles and exact honesty. I durst make him my confessor, though he is not obliged by his orders to conceal anything that is told him. But you must tell me then which Brickhill it is you stop at, Little or Great; they are neither of them far from us. If you stay there you will write back by him, will you not, a long letter? I shall need it; besides that, you owe it me for the last being so short. Would you saw what letters my brother writes me; you are not half so kind. Well, he is always in the extremes; since our last quarrel he has courted me more than ever he did in his life, and made me more presents, which, considering his humour, is as great a testimony of his kindness as ’twas of Mr. Smith’s to my Lady Sunderland when he presented Mrs. Camilla. He sent me one this week which, in earnest, is as pretty a thing as I have seen, a China trunk, and the finest of the kind that e’er I saw. By the way (this puts me in mind on’t), have you read the story of China written by a Portuguese, Fernando Mendez Pinto, I think his name is? If you have not, take it with you, ’tis as diverting a book of the kind as ever I read, and is as handsomely written. You must allow him the privilege of a traveller, and he does not abuse it. His lies are as pleasant harmless ones, as lies can be, and in no great number considering the scope he has for them. There is one in Dublin now, that ne’er saw much farther, has told me twice as many (I dare swear) of Ireland. If I should ever live to see that country and be in’t, I should make excellent sport with them. ’Tis a sister of my Lady Grey’s, her name is Pooley; her husband lives there too, but I am afraid in no very good condition. They were but poor, and she lived here with her sisters when I knew her; ’tis not half a year since she went, I think. If you hear of her, send me word how she makes a shift there.

And hark you, can you tell me whether the gentleman that lost a crystal box the 1st of February in St. James’ Park or Old Spring Gardens has found it again or not, I have strong curiosity to know? Tell me, and I’ll tell you something that you don’t know, which is, that I am your Valentine and you are mine. I did not think of drawing any, but Mrs. Goldsmith and Jane would need make me some for them and myself; so I writ down our three names, and for men Mr. Fish, James B., and you. I cut them all equal and made them up myself before them, and because I would owe it wholly to my good fortune if I were pleased. I made both them choose first that had never seen what was in them, and they left me you. Then I made them choose again for theirs, and my name was left. You cannot imagine how I was delighted with this little accident, but by taking notice that I cannot forbear telling you it. I was not half so pleased with my encounter next morning. I was up early, but with no design of getting another Valentine, and going out to walk in my night-cloak and night-gown, I met Mr. Fish going a hunting, I think he was; but he stayed to tell me I was his Valentine; and I should not have been rid on him quickly, if he had not thought himself a little too negligee; his hair was not powdered, and his clothes were but ordinary; to say truth, he looked then methought like other mortal people. Yet he was as handsome as your Valentine. I’ll swear you wanted one when you took her, and had very ill fortune that nobody met you before her. Oh, if I had not terrified my little gentleman when he brought me his own letter, now sure I had had him for my Valentine!

On my conscience, I shall follow your counsel if e’er he comes again, but I am persuaded he will not. I writ my brother that story for want of something else, and he says I did very well, there was no other way to be rid on him; and he makes a remark upon’t that I can be severe enough when I please, and wishes I would practise it somewhere else as well as there. Can you tell where that is? I never understand anybody that does not speak plain English, and he never uses that to me of late, but tells me the finest stories (I may apply them how I please) of people that have married when they thought there was great kindness, and how miserably they have found themselves deceived; how despicable they have made themselves by it, and how sadly they have repented on’t. He reckons more inconveniency than you do that follows good nature, says it makes one credulous, apt to be abused, betrays one to the cunning of people that make advantage on’t, and a thousand such things which I hear half asleep and half awake, and take little notice of, unless it be sometimes to say that with all these faults I would not be without it. No, in earnest, nor I could not love any person that I thought had it not to a good degree. ’Twas the first thing I liked in you, and without it I should never have liked anything. I know ’tis counted simple, but I cannot imagine why. ’Tis true some people have it that have not wit, but there are at least as many foolish people I have ever observed to be fullest of tricks, little ugly plots and designs, unnecessary disguises, and mean cunnings, which are the basest qualities in the world, and makes one the most contemptible, I think; when I once discover them they lose their credit with me for ever. Some will say they are cunning only in their own defence, and that there is no living in this world without it; but I cannot understand how anything more is necessary to one’s own safety besides a prudent caution; that I now think is, though I can remember when nobody could have persuaded me that anybody meant ill when it did not appear by their words and actions. I remember my mother (who, if it may be allowed me to say it) was counted as wise a woman as most in England, when she seemed to distrust anybody, and saw I took notice on’t, would ask if I did not think her too jealous and a little ill-natured. “Come, I know you do,” says she, “if you would confess it, and I cannot blame you. When I was young as you are, I thought my father-in-law (who was a wise man) the most unreasonably suspicious man that ever was, and disliked him for it hugely; but I have lived to see it is almost impossible to think people worse than they are, and so will you.” I did not believe her, and less, that I should have more to say to you than this paper would hold. It shall never be said I began another at this time of night, though I have spent this idly, that should have told you with a little more circumstance how perfectly

I am yours.

Letter 53. Dorothy’s brother seems to have got hold of a new weapon of attack in Temple’s religious opinions, which might have led to a strategic success in more skilful hands. He only manages to exasperate Dorothy with himself, not with Temple. As for Temple, he has not altogether escaped the censure of the orthodox. Gossiping Bishop Burnet, in one of his more ill-natured passages, tells us that Temple was an Epicurean, thinking religion to be fit only for the mob, and a corrupter of all that came near him. Unkind words these, with just, perhaps, those dregs of truth in them which make gossip so hard to bear patiently. Was it true, as Courtenay thinks, that jealousy of King William’s attachment to Temple disturbed the episcopal equipoise of soul, rendering his Lordship slanderous, even a backbiter?

Robin C. is probably one of the Cheeke family.

Bagshawe is Edward Bagshawe the Elder, B.A. of Brasenose, Oxford, and of the Middle Temple, barrister-at-law. In the early part of the century he had been a Puritan among Puritans, and in the old hall of the Middle Temple had delivered two lectures to show that bishops may not meddle in civil affairs, and that a Parliament may be held without bishops; questions still unsettled. Laud appears to have prohibited these lectures. Bagshawe in after life joined the King at Oxford, and suffered imprisonment at the hands of his former friends in the King’s Bench Prison from 1644 to 1646. Young Sir Harry Yelverton, Lady Ruthin’s husband, broke a theological lance with his son, the younger Edward Bagshawe, to vindicate the cause of the Church of England. The elder Bagshawe died in 1662, and was buried at Morton Pinckney, in Northamptonshire. How and why he railed at love and marriage it is impossible now to know. Edward Bagshawe the younger published in 1671 an Antidote against Mr. Baxter’s Treatise of Love and Marriage.

The preaching woman at Somerset House was, in all probability, Mrs. Hannah Trupnel. She, that in April of this year is spoken of, in an old news-book, as having “lately acted her part in a trance so many days at Whitehall.” She appears to have been full of mystical, anti-Puritan prophecies, and was indicted in Cornwall as a rogue and vagabond, convicted and bound over in recognizances to behave herself in future. After this she abandoned her design of passing from county to county disaffecting the people with her prophecies, and we hear no more of her.

SIR, ’Tis well you have given over your reproaches; I can allow you to tell me of my faults kindly and like a friend. Possibly it is a weakness in me to aim at the world’s esteem, as if I could not be happy without it; but there are certain things that custom has made almost of absolute necessity, and reputation I take to be one of these. If one could be invisible I should choose that; but since all people are seen or known, and shall be talked of in spite of their teeth, who is it that does not desire, at least, that nothing of ill may be said of them, whether justly or otherwise? I never knew any so satisfied with their own innocence as to be content that the world should think them guilty. Some out of pride have seemed to contemn ill reports when they have found they could not avoid them, but none out of strength of reason, though many have pretended to it. No, not my Lady Newcastle with all her philosophy, therefore you must not expect it from me. I shall never be ashamed to own that I have a particular value for you above any other, but ’tis not the greatest merit of person will excuse a want of fortune; in some degree I think it will, at least with the most rational part of the world, and, as far as that will read, I desire it should. I would not have the world believe I married out of interest and to please my friends; I had much rather they should know I chose the person, and took his fortune, because ’twas necessary, and that I prefer a competency with one I esteem infinitely before a vast estate in other hands. ’Tis much easier, sure, to get a good fortune than a good husband; but whosoever marries without any consideration of fortune shall never be allowed to do it, but of so reasonable an apprehension the whole world (without any reserve) shall pronounce they did it merely to satisfy their giddy humour.

Besides, though you imagine ’twere a great argument of my kindness to consider nothing but you, in earnest I believe ’twould be an injury to you. I do not see that it puts any value upon men when women marry them for love (as they term it); ’tis not their merit, but our folly that is always presumed to cause it; and would it be any advantage to you to have your wife thought an indiscreet person? All this I can say to you; but when my brother disputes it with me I have other arguments for him, and I drove him up so close t’other night that for want of a better gap to get out at he was fain to say that he feared as much your having a fortune as your having none, for he saw you held my Lord L’t’s [? Lieutenant’s] principles. That religion and honour were things you did not consider at all, and that he was confident you would take any engagement, serve in employment, or do anything to advance yourself. I had no patience for this. To say you were a beggar, your father not worth L4000 in the whole world, was nothing in comparison of having no religion nor no honour. I forgot all my disguise, and we talked ourselves weary; he renounced me, and I defied him, but both in as civil language as it would permit, and parted in great anger with the usual ceremony of a leg and a courtesy, that you would have died with laughing to have seen us.

The next day I, not being at dinner, saw him not till night; then he came into my chamber, where I supped but he did not. Afterwards Mr. Gibson and he and I talked of indifferent things till all but we two went to bed. Then he sat half-an-hour and said not one word, nor I to him. At last, in a pitiful tone, “Sister,” says he, “I have heard you say that when anything troubles you, of all things you apprehend going to bed, because there it increases upon you, and you lie at the mercy of all your sad thought, which the silence and darkness of the night adds a horror to; I am at that pass now. I vow to God I would not endure another night like the last to gain a crown.” I, who resolved to take no notice what ailed him, said ’twas a knowledge I had raised from my spleen only, and so fell into a discourse of melancholy and the causes, and from that (I know not how) into religion; and we talked so long of it, and so devoutly, that it laid all our anger. We grew to a calm and peace with all the world. Two hermits conversing in a cell they equally inhabit, ne’er expressed more humble, charitable kindness, one towards another, than we. He asked my pardon and I his, and he has promised me never to speak of it to me whilst he lives, but leave the event to God Almighty; until he sees it done, he will always be the same to me that he is; then he shall leave me, he says, not out of want of kindness to me, but because he cannot see the ruin of a person that he loves so passionately, and in whose happiness he has laid up all his. These are the terms we are at, and I am confident he will keep his word with me, so that you have no reason to fear him in any respect; for though he should break his promise, he should never make me break mine. No, let me assure you this rival, nor any other, shall ever alter me, therefore spare your jealousy, or turn it all into kindness.

I will write every week, and no miss of letters shall give us any doubts of one another. Time nor accidents shall not prevail upon our hearts, and, if God Almighty please to bless us, we will meet the same we are, or happier. I will do all you bid me. I will pray, and wish, and hope, but you must do so too, then, and be so careful of yourself that I may have nothing to reproach you with when you come back.

That vile wench lets you see all my scribbles, I believe; how do you know I took care your hair should not be spoiled? ’Tis more than e’er you did, I think, you are so negligent on’t, and keep it so ill, ’tis pity you should have it. May you have better luck in the cutting it than I had with mine. I cut it two or three years agone, and it never grew since. Look to it; if I keep the lock you give me better than you do all the rest, I shall not spare you; expect to be soundly chidden. What do you mean to do with all my letters? Leave them behind you? If you do, it must be in safe hands, some of them concern you, and me, and other people besides us very much, and they will almost load a horse to carry.

Does not my cousin at Moor Park mistrust us a little? I have a great belief they do. I am sure Robin C told my brother of it since I was last in town. Of all things, I admire my cousin Molle has not got it by the end, he that frequents that family so much, and is at this instant at Kimbolton. If he has, and conceals it, he is very discreet; I could never discern by anything that he knew it. I shall endeavour to accustom myself to the noise on’t, and make it as easy to me as I can, though I had much rather it were not talked of till there were an absolute necessity of discovering it, and you can oblige me in nothing more than in concealing it. I take it very kindly that you promise to use all your interest in your father to persuade him to endeavour our happiness, and he appears so confident of his power that it gives me great hopes.

Dear! shall we ever be so happy, think you? Ah! I dare not hope it. Yet ’tis not want of love gives me these fears. No, in earnest, I think (nay, I’m sure) I love you more than ever, and ’tis that only gives me these despairing thoughts; when I consider how small a proportion of happiness is allowed in this world, and how great mine would be in a person for whom I have a passionate kindness, and who has the same for me. As it is infinitely above what I can deserve, and more than God Almighty usually allots to the best people, I can find nothing in reason but seems to be against me; and, methinks, ’tis as vain in me to expect it as ’twould be to hope I might be a queen (if that were really as desirable a thing as ’tis thought to be); and it is just it should be so.

We complain of this world, and the variety of crosses and afflictions it abounds in, and yet for all this who is weary on’t (more than in discourse), who thinks with pleasure of leaving it, or preparing for the next? We see old folks, who have outlived all the comforts of life, desire to continue in it, and nothing can wean us from the folly of preferring a mortal being, subject to great infirmity and unavoidable decays, before an immortal one, and all the glories that are promised with it. Is this not very like preaching? Well, ’tis too good for you; you shall have no more on’t. I am afraid you are not mortified enough for such discourse to work upon (though I am not of my brother’s opinion, neither, that you have no religion in you). In earnest, I never took anything he ever said half so ill, as nothing, sure, is so great an injury. It must suppose one to be a devil in human shape. Oh, me! now I am speaking of religion, let me ask you is not his name Bagshawe that you say rails on love and women? Because I heard one t’other day speaking of him, and commending his wit, but withal, said he was a perfect atheist. If so, I can allow him to hate us, and love, which, sure, has something of divine in it, since God requires it of us. I am coming into my preaching vein again. What think you, were it not a good way of preferment as the times are? If you’ll advise me to it I’ll venture. The woman at Somerset House was cried up mightily. Think on’t.

Dear, I am yours.

Letter 54. Temple has really started on his journey, and is now past Brickhill, far away in the north of England. The journey to Ireland was made via Holyhead in those days as it is now. It was a four days’ journey to Chester, and no good road after. The great route through Wales to Holyhead was in such a state that in 1685 the Viceroy going to Ireland was five hours in travelling the fourteen miles from St. Asaph to Conway; between Conway and Beaumaris he walked; and his lady was carried in a litter. A carriage was often taken to pieces at Conway, and carried to the Menai Straits on the peasants’ shoulders round the dangerous cliff of Penmaenmawr. Mr. B. and Mr. D. remain mysterious symbolic initials of gossip and scandalmongering. St. Gregory’s near St. Paul’s, was a church entirely destroyed by the great fire.

Sir John Tufton of “The Mote,” near Maidstone, married Mary, the third daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Lord Wotton.

For your Master [seal with coat-of-arms],
when your Mistress pleases.

SIR, You bid me write every week, and I am doing it without considering how it will come to you. Let Nan look to that, with whom, I suppose, you have left the orders of conveyance. I have your last letter; but Jane, to whom you refer me, is not yet come down. On Tuesday I expect her; and if she be not engaged, I shall give her no cause hereafter to believe that she is a burden to me, though I have no employment for her but that of talking to me when I am in the humour of saying nothing. Your dog is come too, and I have received him with all the kindness that is due to anything you send. I have defended him from the envy and malice of a troop of greyhounds that used to be in favour with me; and he is so sensible of my care over him, that he is pleased with nobody else, and follows me as if we had been of long acquaintance. ’Tis well you are gone past my recovery. My heart has failed me twenty times since you went, and, had you been within my call, I had brought you back as often, though I know thirty miles’ distance and three hundred are the same thing. You will be so kind, I am sure, as to write back by the coach and tell me what the success of your journey so far has been. After that, I expect no more (unless you stay for a wind) till you arrive at Dublin. I pity your sister in earnest; a sea voyage is welcome to no lady; but you are beaten to it, and ’twill become you, now you are a conductor, to show your valour and keep your company in heart. When do you think of coming back again? I am asking that before you are at your journey’s end. You will not take it ill that I desire it should be soon. In the meantime, I’ll practise all the rules you give me. Who told you I go to bed late? In earnest, they do me wrong: I have been faulty in that point heretofore, I confess, but ’tis a good while since I gave it over with my reading o’ nights; but in the daytime I cannot live without it, and ’tis all my diversion, and infinitely more pleasing to me than any company but yours. And yet I am not given to it in any excess now; I have been very much more. ’Tis Jane, I know, tells all these tales of me. I shall be even with her some time or other, but for the present I long for her with some impatience, that she may tell me all you have told her.

Never trust me if I had not a suspicion from the first that ’twas that ill-looked fellow B who made that story Mr. D told you. That which gave me the first inclination to that belief was the circumstance you told me of their seeing me at St. Gregory’s. For I remembered to have seen B there, and had occasion to look up into the gallery where he sat, to answer a very civil salute given me from thence by Mr. Freeman, and saw B in a great whisper with another that sat next him, and pointing to me. If Mr. D had not been so nice in discovering his name, you would quickly have been cured of your jealousy. Never believe I have a servant that I do not tell you of as soon as I know it myself. As, for example, my brother Peyton has sent to me, for a countryman of his, Sir John Tufton, he married one of my Lady Wotton’s heirs, who is lately dead, and to invite me to think of it. Besides his person and his fortune, without exception, he tells me what an excellent husband he was to this lady that’s dead, who was but a crooked, ill-favoured woman, only she brought him L1500 a year. I tell him I believe, Sir John Tufton could be content, I were so too upon the same terms. But his loving his first wife can be no argument to persuade me; for if he had loved her as he ought to do, I cannot hope he should love another so well as I expect anybody should that has me; and if he did not love her, I have less to expect he should me. I do not care for a divided heart; I must have all or none, at least the first place in it. Poor James, I have broke his. He says ’twould pity you to hear what sad complaints he makes; and, but that he has not the heart to hang himself, he would be very well contented to be out of the world.

That house of your cousin R is fatal to physicians. Dr. Smith that took it is dead already; but maybe this was before you went, and so is no news to you. I shall be sending you all I hear; which, though it cannot be much, living as I do, yet it may be more than ventures into Ireland. I would have you diverted, whilst you are there, as much as possible; but not enough to tempt you to stay one minute longer than your father and your business obliges you. Alas! I have already repented all my share in your journey, and begin to find I am not half so valiant as I sometimes take myself to be. The knowledge that our interests are the same, and that I shall be happy or unfortunate in your person as much or more than in my own, does not give me that confidence you speak of. It rather increases my doubts, and I durst trust your fortune alone, rather than now that mine is joined with it. Yet I will hope yours may be so good as to overcome the ill of mine, and shall endeavour to mend my own all I can by striving to deserve it, maybe, better. My dearest, will you pardon me that I am forced to leave you so soon? The next shall be longer, though I can never be more than I am


Letter 55. This sad letter, fully dated 18th March 1654, was written after Sir Peter Osborne was buried in Campton Church. Even as Dorothy wrote this, the stone-mason might be slowly carving words that may be read to this day: “The maintainer of divine exercises, the friend to the poor.” Her father is no longer living, and she is now even more lonely than before. To depend upon kindred that are not friends, to be under the protection of a brother who is her lover’s avowed enemy, this is her lot in life, unless Temple can release her from it. Alas! poor Dorothy, who will now forbear to pity you?

March the 18th, 1654.

How true it is that a misfortune never comes single; we live in expectation of some one happiness that we propose to ourselves, an age almost, and perhaps miss it at the last; but sad accidents have wings to overtake us, and come in flocks like ill-boding ravens. You were no sooner gone but (as if that had not been enough) I lost the best father in the world; and though, as to himself, it was an infinite mercy in God Almighty to take him out of a world that can be pleasing to none, and was made more uneasy to him by many infirmities that were upon him, yet to me it is an affliction much greater than people judge it. Besides all that is due to nature and the memory of many (more than ordinary) kindnesses received from him, besides what he was to all that knew him, and what he was to me in particular, I am left by his death in the condition (which of all others) is the most unsupportable to my nature, to depend upon kindred that are not friends, and that, though I pay as much as I should do to a stranger, yet think they do me a courtesy. I expect my eldest brother to-day; if he comes, I shall be able to tell you before I seal this up where you are likely to find me. If he offers me to stay here, this hole will be more agreeable to my humour than any place that is more in the world. I take it kindly that you used art to conceal our story and satisfy my nice apprehensions, but I’ll not impose that constraint upon you any longer, for I find my kind brother publishes it with more earnestness than ever I strove to conceal it; and with more disadvantage than anybody else would. Now he has tried all ways to do what he desires, and finds it is in vain, he resolves to revenge himself upon me, by representing this action in such colours as will amaze all people that know me, and do not know him enough to discern his malice to me; he is not able to forbear showing it now, when my condition deserves pity from all the world, I think, and that he himself has newly lost a father, as well as I; but takes this time to torment me, which appears (at least to me) so barbarous a cruelty, that though I thank God I have charity enough perfectly to forgive all the injury he can do me, yet I am afraid I shall never look upon him as a brother more. And now do you judge whether I am not very unhappy, and whether that sadness in my face you used to complain of was not suited to my fortune. You must confess it; and that my kindness for you is beyond example, all these troubles are persecutions that make me weary of the world before my time, and lessen the concernment I have for you, and instead of being persuaded as they would have me by their malicious stories, methinks I am obliged to love you more in recompense of all the injuries they have done you upon my score. I shall need nothing but my own heart to fortify me in this resolution, and desire nothing in return of it but that your care of yourself may answer to that which I shall always have for your interests.

I received your letter of the 10th of this month; and I hope this will find you at your journey’s end. In earnest, I have pitied your sister extremely, and can easily apprehend how troublesome this voyage must needs be to her, by knowing what others have been to me; yet, pray assure her I would not scruple at undertaking it myself to gain such an acquaintance, and would go much farther than where (I hope) she now is to serve her. I am afraid she will not think me a fit person to choose for a friend, that cannot agree with my own brother; but I must trust you to tell my story for me, and will hope for a better character from you than he gives me; who, lest I should complain, resolves to prevent me, and possess my friends first that he is the injured party. I never magnified my patience to you, but I begin to have a good opinion on’t since this trial; yet, perhaps, I have no reason, and it may be as well a want of sense in me as of passion; however, you will not be displeased to know that I can endure all that he or anybody else can say, and that setting aside my father’s death and your absence, I make nothing an affliction to me, though I am sorry, I confess, to see myself forc’d to keep such distances with one of his relations, because religion and nature and the custom of world teaches otherwise. I see I shall not be able to satisfy you in this how I shall dispose of myself, for my brother is not come; the next will certainly tell you. In the meantime, I expect with great impatience to hear of your safe arrival. ’Twas a disappointment that you missed those fair winds. I pleased myself extremely with a belief that they had made your voyage rather a diversion than a trouble, either to you or your company, but I hope your passage was as happy, if not as sudden, as you expected it; let me hear often from you, and long letters. I do not count this so. Have no apprehensions from me, but all the care of yourself that you please. My melancholy has no anger in it; and I believe the accidents of my life would work more upon any other than they do upon me, whose humour is always more prepared for them than that of gayer persons. I hear nothing that is worth your knowing; when I do, you shall know it. Tell me if there’s anything I can do for you, and assure yourself I am perfectly


Letter 56. Temple has reached Dublin at last, and begins to write from there. This letter also is dated, and from this time forth there is less trouble in arranging the letters in order of date, as many of them have, at least, the day of the month, if nothing more.

The Marquis of Hertford was the Duke of Somerset’s great-grandson. He married Lady Arabella Stuart, daughter of Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox, uncle of King James I, for which matrimonial adventure he was imprisoned in the Tower. His second wife was Frances, daughter of Robert, Earl of Essex, and sister to the great general of the Parliamentary Army. She was the mother of young Lord Beauchamp, whose death Dorothy deplores. He was twenty-eight years of age when he died. He married Mary, daughter of Lord Capel of Hadham, who afterwards married the Duke of Beaufort.

Baptist Noel, Viscount Camden, was a noted loyalist. After the Restoration we find him appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland. Of his duel with Mr. Stafford there seems to be no account. It did not carry him into the King’s Bench Court, like Lord Chandos’ duel, so history is silent about it.

April the 2nd, 1654.

SIR, There was never any lady more surprised than I was with your last. I read it so coldly, and was so troubled to find that you were so forward on your journey; but when I came to the last, and saw Dublin at the date, I could scarce believe my eyes. In earnest, it transported me so that I could not forbear expressing my joy in such a manner as had anybody been by to have observed me they would have suspected me no very sober person.

You are safe arrived, you say, and pleased with the place already, only because you meet with a letter of mine there. In your next I expect some other commendation on’t, or else I shall hardly make such haste to it as people here believe I will.

All the servants have been to take their leaves on me, and say how sorry they are to hear I am going out of the land; some beggar at the door has made so ill a report of Ireland to them that they pity me extremely, but you are pleased, I hope, to hear I am coming to you; the next fair wind expect me. ’Tis not to be imagined the ridiculous stories they have made, nor how J.B. cries out on me for refusing him and choosing his chamber-fellow; yet he pities me too, and swears I am condemned to be the miserablest person upon earth. With all his quarrel to me, he does not wish me so ill as to be married to the proudest, imperious, insulting, ill-natured man that ever was; one that before he has had me a week shall use me with contempt, and believe that the favour was of his side. Is not this very comfortable? But, pray, make it no quarrel; I make it none, I assure you. And though he knew you before I did, I do not think he knows you so well; besides that, his testimony is not of much value.

I am to spend this next week in taking leave of this country, and all the company in’t, perhaps never to see it more. From hence I must go into Northamptonshire to my Lady Ruthin, and so to London, where I shall find my aunt and my brother Peyton, betwixt whom I think to divide this summer.

Nothing has happened since you went worth your knowledge. My Lord Marquis Hertford has lost his son, my Lord Beauchamp, who has left a fine young widow. In earnest, ’tis great pity; at the rate of our young nobility he was an extraordinary person, and remarkable for an excellent husband. My Lord Cambden, too, has fought with Mr. Stafford, but there’s no harm done. You may discern the haste I’m in by my writing. There will come a time for a long letter again, but there will never come any wherein I shall not be


[Sealed with black wax, and directed]
For Mr. William Temple,
at Sir John Temple’s home
in Damask Street,

Thus Dorothy leaves Chicksands, her last words from her old home to Temple breathing her love and affection for him. It is no great sorrow at the moment to leave Chicksands, for its latest memories are scenes of sickness, grief, and death. And now the only home on earth for Dorothy lies in the future; it is not a particular spot on earth, but to be by his side, wherever that may be.