Read CHAPTER VI - VISITING. SUMMER 1654 of The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple‚ 1652-54, free online book, by Edward Abbott Parry, on

This chapter opens with a portion of a letter written by Sir William Temple to his mistress, dated Ireland, May 18, 1654. It is the only letter, or rather scrap of letter which we have of his, and by some good chance it has survived with the rest of Dorothy’s letters. It will, I think, throw great light on his character as a lover, showing him to have been ardent and ecstatic in his suit, making quite clear Dorothy’s wisdom in insisting, as she often does, on the necessity of some more material marriage portion than mere love and hope. His reference to the “unhappy differences” strengthens my view that the letters of the former chapter belong all to one date.

Letter 57. Letter of Sir William Temple.

May 18th, 1654.

... I am called upon for my letter, but must have leave first to remember you of yours. For God’s sake write constantly while I am here, or I am undone past all recovery. I have lived upon them ever since I came, but had thrived much better had they been longer. Unless you use to give me better measure, I shall not be in case to undertake a journey to England. The despair I was in at not hearing from you last week, and the belief that all my letters had miscarried (by some treachery among my good friends who, I am sorry, have the name of yours), made me press my father by all means imaginable to give me leave to go presently if I heard not from you this post. But he would never yield to that, because, he said, upon your silence he should suspect all was not likely to be well between us, and then he was sure I should not be in condition to be alone. He remembered too well the letters I writ upon our last unhappy differences, and would not trust me from him in such another occasion. But, withal, he told me he would never give me occasion of any discontent which he could remedy; that if you desired my coming over, and I could not be content without, he would not hinder me, though he very much desired my company a month or two longer, and that in that time ’twas very likely I might have his as well.

Now, in very good earnest, do you think ’tis time for me to come or no? Would you be very glad to see me there, and could you do it in less disorder, and with less surprise, than you did at Chicksands?

I ask you these questions very seriously; but yet how willingly would I venture all to be with you. I know you love me still; you promised me, and that’s all the security I can have in this world. ’Tis that which makes all things else seem nothing to it, so high it sets me; and so high, indeed, that should I ever fall ’twould dash me all to pieces. Methinks your very charity should make you love me more now than ever, by seeing me so much more unhappy than I used, by being so much farther from you, for that is all the measure can be taken of my good or ill condition. Justice, I am sure, will oblige you to it, since you have no other means left in the world of rewarding such a passion as mine, which, sure, is of a much richer value than anything in the world besides. Should you save my life again, should you make me absolute master of your fortune and your person too, I should accept none of all this in any part of payment, but look upon you as one behindhand with me still. ’Tis no vanity this, but a true sense of how pure and how refined a nature my passion is, which none can ever know except my own heart, unless you find it out by being there.

How hard it is to think of ending when I am writing to you; but it must be so, and I must ever be subject to other people’s occasions, and so never, I think, master of my own. This is too true, both in respect of this fellow’s post that is bawling at me for my letter, and of my father’s delays. They kill me; but patience, would anybody but I were here! Yet you may command me ever at one minute’s warning. Had I not heard from you by this last, in earnest I had resolved to have gone with this, and given my father the slip for all his caution. He tells me still of a little time; but, alas! who knows not what mischances and how great changes have often happened in a little time?

For God’s sake let me hear of all your motions, when and where I may hope to see you. Let us but hope this cloud, this absence that has overcast all my contentment, may pass away, and I am confident there’s a clear sky attends us. My dearest dear, adieu.


Pray, where is your lodging? Have a care of all the despatch and security that can be in our intelligence. Remember my fellow-servant; sure, by the next I shall write some learned epistle to her, I have been so long about it.

Letter 58. Dorothy is now in London, staying probably with that aunt whom she mentioned before as one who was always ready to find her a husband other than Temple. Of the plot against the Protector in which my Lord of Dorchester is said to be engaged, an account is given in connection with Letter 59; that is, presuming it to be the same plot, and that Lord Dorchester is one of the many persons arrested under suspicion of being concerned in it. I cannot find anything which identifies him with a special plot.

Lady Sandis [Sandys], who seems so fond of race meetings and other less harmless amusements, was the wife of William Lord Sandys, and daughter of the Earl of Salisbury. Lord Sandys’ country house was Motesfont or Mottisfont Priory, in Hampshire, “which the King had given him in exchange for Chelsea, in Westminster.” So says Leland, the antiquary and scholar, in his Itinerary; but it is a little puzzling to the modern mind with preconceived notions of Chelsea, to hear it spoken of as a seat or estate in Westminster. Colonel Tom Paunton is to me merely a name; and J. Morton is nothing more, unless we may believe him to be Sir John Morton, Bart. of Milbourne, St. Andrew, in Nottinghamshire. This addition of a local habitation and a name gives us no further knowledge, however, of the scandal to which Dorothy alludes.

Mistress Stanley and Mistress Witherington have left no trace of their identity that I can find, but Mistress Philadelphia Carey is not wholly unknown. She was the second daughter of Thomas Carey, one of the Earl of Monmouth’s sons, and readers may be pleased to know that she did marry Sir Henry Littleton.

Of the scandal concerning Lord Rich I am not sorry to know nothing.

May 25th .

This world is composed of nothing but contrarieties and sudden accidents, only the proportions are not at all equal; for to a great measure of trouble it allows so small a quantity of joy, that one may see ’tis merely intended to keep us alive withal. This is a formal preface, and looks as if there were something of very useful to follow; but I would not wish you to expect it. I was only considering my own ill-humour last night, I had not heard from you in a week or more, my brother had been with me and we had talked ourselves both out of breath and patience too, I was not very well, and rose this morning only because I was weary of lying in bed. When I had dined I took a coach and went to see whether there was ever a letter for me, and was this once so lucky as to find one. I am not partial to myself I know, and am contented that the pleasure I have received with this, shall serve to sweeten many sad thoughts that have interposed since your last, and more that I may reasonably expect before I have another; and I think I may (without vanity) say, that nobody is more sensible of the least good fortune nor murmurs less at an ill than I do, since I owe it merely to custom and not to any constancy in my humour, or something that is better. No, in earnest, anything of good comes to me like the sun to the inhabitants of Greenland, it raises them to life when they see it, and when they miss it, it is not strange they expect a night of half a year long.

You cannot imagine how kindly I take it that you forgive my brother, and let me assure you I shall never press you to anything unreasonable. I will not oblige you to court a person that has injured you. I only beg that whatsoever he does in that kind may be excused by his relation to me, and that whenever you are moved to think he does you wrong, you will at the same time remember that his sister loves you passionately and nobly; that if he values nothing but fortune, she despises it, and could love you as much a beggar as she could do a prince; and shall without question love you eternally, but whether with any satisfaction to herself or you is a sad doubt. I am not apt to hope, and whether it be the better or the worse I know not. All sorts of differences are natural to me, and that which (if your kindness would give you leave) you would term a weakness in me is nothing but a reasonable distrust of my own judgment, which makes me desire the approbation of my friends. I never had the confidence in my life to presume anything well done that I had nobody’s opinion in but my own; and as you very well observe, there are so many that think themselves wise when nothing equals their folly but their pride, that I dread nothing so much as discovering such a thought in myself because of the consequences of it.

Whenever you come you must not doubt your welcome, but I can promise you nothing for the manner on’t. I am afraid my surprise and disorder will be more than ever. I have good reason to think so, and none that you can take ill. But I would not have you attempt it till your father is ready for the journey too. No, really he deserves that all your occasions should wait for his; and if you have not much more than an ordinary obedience for him, I shall never believe you have more than an ordinary kindness for me; since (if you will pardon me the comparison) I believe we both merit it from you upon the same score, he as a very indulgent father, and I as a very kind mistress. Don’t laugh at me for commending myself, you will never do it for me, and so I am forced to it.

I am still here in town, but had no hand, I can assure you, in the new discovered plot against the Protector. But my Lord of Dorchester, they say, has, and so might I have had if I were as rich as he, and then you might have been sure of me at the Tower; now a worse lodging must serve my turn. ’Tis over against Salisbury House where I have the honour of seeing my Lady M. Sandis every day unless some race or other carry her out of town. The last week she went to one as far as Winchester with Col. Paunton (if you know such a one), and there her husband met her, and because he did so (though it ’twere by accident) thought himself obliged to invite her to his house but seven miles off, and very modestly said no more for it, but that he thought it better than an Inn, or at least a crowded one as all in the town were now because of the race. But she was so good a companion that she would not forsake her company. So he invited them too, but could prevail with neither. Only my Lady grew kind at parting and said, indeed if Tom Paunton and J. Morton and the rest would have gone she could have been contented to have taken his offer. Thus much for the married people, now for those that are towards it.

There is Mr. Stanley and Mrs. Witherington; Sir H. Littleton and Mrs. Philadelphia Carey, who in earnest is a fine woman, such a one as will make an excellent wife; and some say my Lord Rich and my Lady Betty Howard, but others that pretend to know more say his court to her is but to countenance a more serious one to Mrs. Howard, her sister-in-law, he not having courage to pretend so openly (as some do) to another’s wife. Oh, but your old acquaintance, poor Mr. Heningham, has no luck! He was so near (as he thought at least) marrying Mrs. Gerherd that anybody might have got his whole estate in wagers upon’t that would have ventured but a reasonable proportion of their own. And now he looks more like an ass than ever he did. She has cast him off most unhandsomely, that’s the truth on’t, and would have tied him to such conditions as he might have been her slave withal, but could never be her husband. Is not this a great deal of news for me that never stir abroad? Nay, I had brought me to-day more than all this: that I am marrying myself! And the pleasantness on’t is that it should be to my Lord St. John. Would he look on me, think you, that had pretty Mrs. Fretcheville? My comfort is, I have not seen him since he was a widower, and never spoke to him in my life. I found myself so innocent that I never blushed when they told it me. What would I give I could avoid it when people speak of you? In earnest, I do prepare myself all that is possible to hear it spoken of, yet for my life I cannot hear your name without discovering that I am more than ordinarily concerned in’t. A blush is the foolishest thing that can be, and betrays one more than a red nose does a drunkard; and yet I would not so wholly have lost them as some women that I know has, as much injury as they do me. I can assure you now that I shall be here a fortnight longer (they tell me no lodger, upon pain of his Highness’s displeasure, must remove sooner); but when I have his leave I go into Suffolk for a month, and then come hither again to go into Kent, where I intend to bury myself alive again as I did in Bedfordshire, unless you call me out and tell me I may be happy. Alas! how fain I would hope it, but I cannot, and should it ever happen, ’twould be long before I should believe ’twas meant for me in earnest, or that ’twas other than a dream. To say truth, I do not love to think on’t, I find so many things to fear and so few to hope.

’Tis better telling you that I will send my letters where you direct, that they shall be as long ones as possibly my time will permit, and when at any time you miss of one, I give you leave to imagine as many kind things as you please, and to believe I mean them all to you.


Letter 59. It is a little astonishing to read, as one does in this and the last letter, of race meetings, and Dorothy, habited in a mask, disporting herself at New Spring Gardens or in the Park. It opens one’s eyes to the exaggerated gloom that has been thrown over England during the Puritan reign by those historians who have derived their information solely from State papers and proclamations. It is one thing to proclaim amusements, another to abolish them. The first was undoubtedly done, but we doubt if there was ever any long-continued effort to do the last; and in the latter part of Cromwell’s reign the gloom, and the strait-laced regulations that caused it, must have almost entirely disappeared.

Spring Gardens seems at one time to have had no very good reputation. Lady Alice Halkett, writing in 1644, tells us that “so scrupulous was I of giving any occasion to speak of me as I know they did of others, that though I loved well to see plays, and to walk in the Spring Gardens sometimes (before it grew something scandalous by the abuses of some), yet I cannot remember three times that ever I went with any man besides my brother.” However, fashions change in ten years, and Spring Gardens is, doubtless, now quite demure and respectable, or we should not find Dorothy there. Spring Gardens was enclosed and laid out towards the end of the reign of James I. The clump of houses which still bears its name is supposed to indicate its position with tolerable exactness. Evelyn tells us that Cromwell shut up the Spring Gardens in 1600, and Knight thinks they were closed until the Restoration, in which small matter we may allow Dorothy to correct him. The fact of the old gardens having been closed may account for Dorothy referring to the place as “New Spring Gardens.” Knight also quotes at second hand from an account of Spring Gardens, complaining that the author is unknown to him. This quotation is, however, from one of Somers’ Tracts entitled “A Character of England as it was lately represented in a Letter to a Nobleman of France, 1659.” The Frenchman by whom the letter is written probably an English satirist in disguise gives us such a graphic account of the Parks before the Restoration, that as the matter is fresh and bears upon the subject, I have no hesitation in quoting it at length:

“I did frequently in the spring accompany my Lord N. into a field near the town which they call Hyde Park, the place not unpleasant, and which they use as our ‘Course,’ but with nothing that order, equipage, and splendour; being such an assembly of wretched jades and hackney coaches, as, next to a regiment of car-men, there is nothing approaches the resemblance. The Park was, it seems, used by the late King and nobility for the freshness of the air and the goodly prospect, but it is that which now (besides all other exercises) they pay for here in England, though it be free in all the world beside; every coach and horse which enters buying his mouthful and permission of the publican who has purchased it, for which the entrance is guarded with porters and long staves.

“The manner is, as the company returns, to stop at the Spring Gardens so called, in order to the Park as our Thuilleries is to the Course; the inclosure not disagreeable for the solemnness of the groves, the warbling of the birds, and as it opens into the spacious walks of St. James. But the company walk in it at such a rate as you would think all the ladies were so many Atalantas contending with their wooers, and, my Lord, there was no appearance that I should prove the Hippomenes, who could with very much ado keep pace with them. But, as fast as they run, they stay there so long, as if they wanted not to finish the race, for it is usual here to find some of the young company till midnight, and the thickets of the garden seem to be contrived to all the advantages of gallantry after they have refreshed with the collation, which is here seldom omitted, at a certain cabaret in the middle of this paradise, where the forbidden fruits are certain trifling tarts, neats’ tongues, salacious meats, and bad Rhenish, for which the gallants pay sauce, as indeed they do at all such houses throughout England; for they think it a piece of frugality beneath them to bargain or account for what they eat in any place, however unreasonably imposed upon.”

Dorothy is quite right in her correction concerning Will Spencer. He was the first Earl of Sunderland, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Gerard.

June the 6th, 1654.

I see you know how to punish me. In earnest, I was so frightened with your short letter as you cannot imagine, and as much troubled at the cause on’t. What is it your father ails, and how long has he been ill? If my prayers are heard, he will not be so long. Why do you say I failed you? Indeed, I did not. Jane is my witness. She carried my letter to the White Hart, by St. James’s, and ’twas a very long one too. I carried one thither since, myself, and the woman of the house was so very angry, because I desired her to have a care on’t, that I made the coachman drive away with all possible speed, lest she should have beaten me. To say truth, I pressed her too much, considering how little the letter deserved it. ’Twas writ in such disorder, the company prating about me, and some of them so bent on doing me little mischiefs, that I know not what I did, and believe it was the most senseless, disjointed thing that ever was read.

I remember now that I writ Robin Spencer instead of Will. ’Tis he that has married Mrs. Gerherd, and I admire their courage. She will have eight hundred pounds a year, ’tis true, after her mother’s death; but how they will live till then I cannot imagine. I shall be even with you for your short letter. I’ll swear they will not allow me time for anything, and to show how absolutely I am governed I need but tell you that I am every night in the Park and at New Spring Gardens, where, though I come with a mask, I cannot escape being known, nor my conversion being admired. Are you not in some fear what will become on me? These are dangerous courses. I do not find, though, that they have altered me yet. I am much the same person at heart I was in being


Letter 60.

June 13th .

You have satisfied me very much with this last long letter, and made some amends for the short one I received before. I am convinced, too, happiness is much such a kind of thing as you describe, or rather such a nothing. For there is no one thing can properly be called so, but every one is left to create it to themselves in something which they either have or would have; and so far it’s well enough. But I do not like that one’s happiness should depend upon a persuasion that this is happiness, because nobody knows how long they shall continue in a belief built upon no grounds, only to bring it to what you say, and to make it absolutely of the same nature with faith. We must conclude that nobody can either create or continue such a belief in themselves; but where it is there is happiness. And for my part at this present, I verily believe I could find it in the long walk at Dublin.

You say nothing of your father’s sickness, therefore I hope he is well again; for though I have a quarrel to him, it does not extend so far as to wish him ill. But he made no good return for the counsel I gave you, to say that there might come a time when my kindness might fail. Do not believe him, I charge you, unless you doubt yourself that you may give me occasion to change; and when he tells you so again, engage what you please upon’t, and put it upon my account. I shall go out of town this week, and so cannot possibly get a picture drawn for you till I come up again, which will be within these six weeks, but not to make any stay at all. I should be glad to find you here then. I would have had one drawn since I came, and consulted my glass every morning when to begin; and to speak freely to you that are my friend, I could never find my face in a condition to admit on’t, and when I was not satisfied with it myself, I had no reason to hope that anybody else should. But I am afraid, as you say, that time will not mend it, and therefore you shall have it as it is as soon as Mr. Cooper will vouchsafe to take the pains to draw it for you.

I am in great trouble to think how I shall write out of Suffolk to you, or receive yours. However, do not fail to write, though they lie awhile. I shall have them at last, and they will not be the less welcome; and, though you should miss of some of mine, let it not trouble you; but if it be by my fault, I’ll give you leave to demand satisfaction for it when you come. Jane kisses your hands, and says she will be ready in all places to do you service; but I’ll prevent her, now you have put me into a jealous humour. I’ll keep her in chains before she shall quit scores with me. Do not believe, sir, I beseech you, that the young heirs are for you; content yourself with your old mistress. You are not so handsome as Will Spencer, nor I have not so much courage nor wealth as his mistress, nor she has not so much as her aunt says by all the money. I shall not have called her his mistress now they have been married almost this fortnight.

I’ll write again before I leave the town, and should have writ more now, but company is come in. Adieu, my dearest.

Letter 61. Lady Talmash was the eldest daughter of Mr. Murray, Charles I.’s page and whipping boy. She married Sir Lionel Talmash of Suffolk, a gentleman of noble family. After her father’s death, she took the title of Countess of Dysart, although there was some dispute about the right of her father to any title. Bishop Burnet says: “She was a woman of great beauty, but of far greater parts. She had a wonderful quickness of apprehension, and an amazing vivacity in conversation. She had studied not only divinity and history, but mathematics and philosophy. She was violent in everything she set about, a violent friend, but a much more violent enemy. She had a restless ambition, lived at a vast expense, and was ravenously covetous; and would have stuck at nothing by which she might compass her ends. She had been early in a correspondence with Lord Lauderdale, that had given occasion to censure. When he was a prisoner after Worcester fight, she made him believe he was in great danger of his life, and that she saved it by her intrigues with Cromwell, which was not a little taken notice of. Cromwell was certainly fond of her, and she took care to entertain him in it; till he, finding what was said upon it, broke it off. Upon the King’s Restoration she thought that Lord Lauderdale made not those returns she expected. They lived for some years at a distance. But upon her husband’s death she made up all quarrels; so that Lord Lauderdale and she lived so much together that his Lady was offended at it and went to Paris, where she died about three years after.” This was in 1672, and soon afterwards Lady Dysart and Lord Lauderdale were married. She had great power over him, and employed it in trafficking with such State patronage as was in Lord Lauderdale’s power to bestow.

Cousin Hammond, who was going to take Ludlow’s place in Ireland, would be the Colonel Robert Hammond who commanded Carisbrooke when the King was imprisoned there. He was one of a new council formed in August and sent into Ireland about the end of that month.

Lady Vavasour was Ursula, daughter of Walter Gifford of Chillington, Staffordshire. Her husband was Sir Thomas Vavasour, Bart. The Vavasours were a Roman Catholic family, and claimed descent from those who held the ancient office of King’s Valvasour; and we need not therefore be surprised to find Lady Vavasour engaged in one of the numerous plots that surrounded and endangered the Protector’s power. The plot itself seems to have created intense excitement in the capital, and resulted in three persons being tried for high treason, and two executed, John Gerard, gentleman, Peter Vowel, schoolmaster of Islington, and one Summerset Fox, who pleaded guilty, and whose life was spared. “Some wise men,” writes one Thomas Gower in a contemporary letter (still unprinted), “believe that a couple of coy-ducks drew in the rest, then revealed all, and were employed to that purpose that the execution of a few mean persons might deter wiser and more considerable persons.” This seems not improbable. On June 6th the official Mercurius Politicus speaks of this plot as follows: “The traitorous conspiracy mentioned heretofore it appears every day more desperate and bloody. It is discovered that their design was to have destroyed his Highness’s person, and all others at the helm of Government that they could have laid hands on. Immediately upon the villainous assassination, they intended to have proclaimed Charles Stuart by the assistance of a tumult,” etc. etc. This with constant accounts of further arrests troubles the public mind at this time.

The passage of Cowley which Dorothy refers to is in the second book of Cowley’s Davideis. It opens with a description of the friendship between David and Jonathan, and, upon that occasion, a digression concerning the nature of love. The poem was written by Cowley when a young man at Cambridge. One can picture Dorothy reading and musing over lines like these with sympathy and admiration:

What art thou, love, thou great mysterious thing?
From what hid stock does thy strange nature spring?
’Tis thou that mov’st the world through ev’ry part,
And hold’st the vast frame close that nothing start
From the due place and office first ordained,
By thee were all things made and are sustained.
Sometimes we see thee fully and can say
From hence thou took’st thy rise and went’st that way,
But oft’ner the short beams of reason’s eye
See only there thou art, not how, nor why.

His lines on love, though overcharged with quaint conceits, are often noble and true, and end at least with one fine couplet:

Thus dost thou sit (like men e’er sin had framed
A guilty blush), naked but not ashamed.

I promised in my last to write again before I went out of town, and now I’ll be as good as my word. They are all gone this morning, and have left me much more at liberty than I have been of late, therefore I believe this will be a long letter; perhaps too long, at least if my letters are as little entertaining as my company is. I was carried yesterday abroad to a dinner that was designed for mirth, but it seems one ill-humoured person in the company is enough to put all the rest out of tune; for I never saw people perform what they intended worse, and could not forbear telling them so: but to excuse themselves and silence my reproaches, they all agreed to say that I spoiled their jollity by wearing the most unreasonable looks that could be put on for such an occasion. I told them I knew no remedy but leaving me behind next time, and could have told them that my looks were suitable to my fortune, though not to a feast. Fye! I am got into my complaining humour that tires myself as well as everybody else, and which (as you observe) helps not at all. Would it would leave me, and then I could believe I shall not always have occasion for it. But that’s in nobody’s power, and my Lady Talmash, that says she can do whatsoever she will, cannot believe whatsoever she pleases. ’Tis not unpleasant, methinks, to hear her talk, how at such a time she was sick and the physicians told her she would have the small-pox, and showed her where they were coming out upon her; but she bethought herself that it was not at all convenient for her to have them at that time; some business she had that required her going abroad, and so she resolved she would not be sick; nor was not. Twenty such stories as these she tells; and then falls into discoveries of strength of reason and the power of philosophy, till she confounds herself and all that hear her. You have no such ladies in Ireland?

Oh me, but I heard to-day your cousin Hammond is going thither to be in Ludlow’s place. Is it true? You tell me nothing what is done there, but ’tis no matter. The less one knows of State affairs I find it is the better. My poor Lady Vavasour is carried to the Tower, and her great belly could not excuse her, because she was acquainted by somebody that there was a plot against the Protector, and did not discover it. She has told now all that was told her, but vows she will never say from whence she had it: we shall see whether her resolutions are as unalterable as those of my Lady Talmash. I wonder how she behaved herself when she was married. I never saw any one yet that did not look simply and out of countenance, nor ever knew a wedding well designed but one; and that was of two persons who had time enough I confess to contrive it, and nobody to please in’t but themselves. He came down into the country where she was upon a visit, and one morning married her. As soon as they came out of the church they took coach and came for the town, dined at an inn by the way, and at night came into lodgings that were provided for them where nobody knew them, and where they passed for married people of seven years’ standing.

The truth is I could not endure to be Mrs. Bride in a public wedding, to be made the happiest person on earth. Do not take it ill, for I would endure it if I could, rather than fail; but in earnest I do not think it were possible for me. You cannot apprehend the formalities of a treaty more than I do, nor so much the success on’t. Yet in earnest, your father will not find my brother Peyton wanting in civility (though he is not a man of much compliment, unless it be in his letters to me), nor an unreasonable person in anything, so he will allow him out of his kindness to his wife to set a higher value upon her sister than she deserves. I know not how he may be prejudiced as to the business, but he is not deaf to reason when ’tis civilly delivered, and is as easily gained with compliance and good usage as anybody I know, but by no other way. When he is roughly dealt with, he is like me, ten times the worse for’t.

I make it a case of conscience to discover my faults to you as fast as I know them, that you may consider what you have to do. My aunt told me no longer agone than yesterday that I was the most wilful woman that ever she knew, and had an obstinacy of spirit nothing could overcome. Take heed! you see I give you fair warning.

I have missed a letter this Monday: What is the reason? By the next, I shall be gone into Kent, and my other journey is laid aside, which I am not displeased at, because it would have broken our intercourse very much.

Here are some verses of Cowley’s. Tell me how you like them. ’Tis only a piece taken out of a new thing of his; the whole is very long, and is a description of, or rather a paraphrase upon the friendship of David and Jonathan. ’Tis, I think, the best I have seen of his, and I like the subject because ’tis that I would be perfect in. Adieu.

Je suis vostre.

Letter 62.

June the 26th .

I told you in my last that my Suffolk journey was laid aside, and that into Kent hastened. I am beginning it to-day; and have chosen to go as far as Gravesend by water, though it be very gloomy weather. If I drown by the way, this will be my last letter; and, like a will, I bequeath all my kindness to you in it, with a charge never to bestow it all upon another mistress, lest my ghost rise again and haunt you. I am in such haste that I can say little else to you now. When you are come over, we’l’ think where to meet, for at this distance I can design nothing; only I should be as little pleased with the constraint of my brother’s house as you. Pray let me know whether your man leaves you, and how you stand inclined to him I offer you. Indeed, I like him extremely, and he is commended to me, by people that know him very well and are able to judge, for a most excellent servant, and faithful as possible. I’ll keep him unengaged till I hear from you. Adieu.

My next shall make amends for this short one.

[P.S.] I received your last of June 22nd since I sealed up my letter, and I durst not but make an excuse for another short one, after you have chid me so for those you have received already; indeed, I could not help it, nor cannot now, but if that will satisfy I can assure you I shall make a much better wife than I do a husband, if I ever am one. Pardon, mon Cher Coeur, on m’attend. Adieu, mon Âme. Je vous souhait tout ce que vous desire.

Letter 63.

July the 4th .

Because you find fault with my other letters, this is like to be shorter than they; I did not intend it so though, I can assure you. But last night my brother told me he did not send his till ten o’clock this morning, and now he calls for mine at seven, before I am up; and I can only be allowed time to tell you that I am in Kent, and in a house so strangely crowded with company that I am weary as a dog already, though I have been here but three or four days; that all their mirth has not mended my humour, and that I am here the same I was in other places; that I hope, merely because you bid me, and lose that hope as often as I consider anything but yours. Would I were easy of belief! they say one is so to all that one desires. I do not find it, though I am told I was so extremely when I believed you loved me. That I would not find, and you have only power to make me think it. But I am called upon. How fain I would say more; yet ’tis all but the saying with more circumstance than I am


[Directed.] For your master.

Letter 64.

I see you can chide when you please, and with authority; but I deserve it, I confess, and all I can say for myself is, that my fault proceeded from a very good principle in me. I am apt to speak what I think; and to you have so accustomed myself to discover all my heart that I do not believe it will ever be in my power to conceal a thought from you. Therefore I am afraid you must resolve to be vexed with all my senseless apprehensions as my brother Peyton is with some of his wife’s, who is thought a very good woman, but the most troublesome one in a coach that ever was. We dare not let our tongues lie more on one side of our mouths than t’other for fear of overturning it. You are satisfied, I hope, ere this that I ’scaped drowning. However, ’tis not amiss that my will made you know now how to dispose of all my wealth whensoever I die. But I am troubled much you should make so ill a journey to so little purpose; indeed, I writ by the first post after my arrival here, and cannot imagine how you came to miss of my letters. Is your father returned yet, and do you think of coming over immediately? How welcome you will be. But, alas! I cannot talk on’t at the rate that you do. I am sensible that such an absence is misfortune enough, but I dare not promise myself that it will conclude ours; and ’tis more my belief that you yourself speak it rather to encourage me, and to your wishes than your hopes.

My humour is so ill at present, that I dare say no more lest you chide me again. I find myself fit for nothing but to converse with a lady below, that is fallen out with all the world because her husband and she cannot agree. ’Tis the pleasantest thing that can be to hear us discourse. She takes great pains to dissuade me from ever marrying, and says I am the veriest fool that ever lived if I do not take her counsel. Now we do not absolutely agree in that point, but I promise her never to marry unless I can find such a husband as I describe to her, and she believes is never to be found; so that, upon the matter, we differ very little. Whensoever she is accused of maintaining opinions very destructive of society, and absolutely prejudicial to all the young people of both sexes that live in the house, she calls out me to be her second, and by it has lost me the favour of all our young gallants, who have got a custom of expressing anything that is nowhere but in fiction by the name of “Mrs. O ’s husband.” For my life I cannot beat into their heads a passion that must be subject to no decay, an even perfect kindness that must last perpetually, without the least intermission. They laugh to hear me say that one unkind word would destroy all the satisfaction of my life, and that I should expect our kindness should increase every day, if it were possible, but never lessen. All this is perfect nonsense in their opinion; but I should not doubt the convincing them if I could hope to be so happy as to be


Letter 65. Of William Lilly, a noted and extraordinary character of that day, the following account is taken from his own Life and Times, a lively book, full of amusing lies and astrological gossip, in which the author describes himself as a student of the Black Art. He was born in 1602 at Diseworth, an obscure town in the north of Leicestershire. His family appear to have been yeomen in this town for many generations. Passing over the measles of his infancy, and other trivial details of childhood, which he describes minutely, we find him as a boy at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, where he is the pupil of one Mr. John Brinsley. Here he learned Latin and Greek, and began to study Hebrew. In the sixteenth year of his age he was greatly troubled with dreams concerning his damnation or salvation; and at the age of eighteen he returned to his father’s house, and there kept a school in great penury. He then appears to have come up to London, leaving his father in a debtor’s prison, and proceeded in pursuit of fortune with a new suit of clothes and seven shillings and sixpence in his pocket. In London he entered the service of one Gilbert Wright, an independent citizen of small means and smaller education. To him Lilly was both man-servant and secretary. The second Mrs. Wright seems to have had a taste for astrology, and consulted some of the quacks who then preyed on the silly women of the city. She was very fond of young Lilly, who attended her in her last illness, and, in return for his care and attention, she bequeathed to him several “sigils” or talismanic seals. Probably it was the foolishness of this poor woman that first suggested to Lilly the advantages to be gained from the profession of astrology. Mr. Wright married a third wife, and soon afterwards died, leaving his widow comfortably off. She fell in love with Lilly, who married her in 1627, and for five years, until her death, they lived happily together. Lilly was now a man of means, and was enabled to study that science which he afterwards practised with so much success. There were a good many professors of the black art at this date, and Lilly studied under one Evans, a scoundrelly ex-parson from Wales, until, according to Lilly’s own account, he discovered Evans to be the cheat he undoubtedly was. Lilly, when he set up for himself, wrote many astrological works, which seem to have been very successful. He was known and visited by all the great men of the day, and probably had brains enough only to prophesy when he knew. His description of his political creed is beautifully characteristic of the man: “I was more Cavalier than Round-head, and so taken notice of; but afterwards I engaged body and soul in the cause of the Parliament, but still with much affection to his Majesty’s person and unto Monarchy, which I ever loved and approved beyond any government whatsoever.” Lilly was, in a word, a self-seeking but successful knave. People who had been robbed, women in love, men in debt, all in trouble and doubt, from the King downwards, sought his aid. He pretended to be a man of science, not a man gifted with supernatural powers. Whether he succeeded in believing in astrology and deceiving himself, it is impossible to say; he was probably too clever for that, but he deceived others admirably, and was one of the noted and most successful of the old astrologers.

How long this letter will be I cannot tell. You shall have all the time that is allowed me, but upon condition that you shall not examine the sense on’t too strictly, for you must know I want sleep extremely. The sun was up an hour before I went to bed to-day, and this is not the first time I have done this since I came hither. ’Twill not be for your advantage that I should stay here long; for, in earnest, I shall be good for nothing if I do. We go abroad all day and play all night, and say our prayers when we have time. Well, in sober earnest now, I would not live thus a twelvemonth to gain all that the King has lost, unless it were to give it him again. ’Tis a miracle to me how my brother endures it. ’Tis as contrary to his humour as darkness is to light, and only shows the power he lets his wife have over him. Will you be so good-natured? He has certainly as great a kindness for her as can be, and, to say truth, not without reason; but all the people that ever I saw, I do not like his carriage towards her. He is perpetually wrangling and finding fault, and to a person that did not know him would appear the worst husband and the most imperious in the world. He is so amongst his children too, though he loves them passionately. He has one son, and ’tis the finest boy that e’er you saw, and has a noble spirit, but yet stands in that awe of his father that one word from him is as much as twenty whippings.

You must give me leave to entertain you thus with discourses of the family, for I can tell you nothing else from hence. Yet, now I remember. I have another story for you. You little think I have been with Lilly, and, in earnest, I was, the day before I came out of town; and what do you think I went for? Not to know when you would come home, I can assure you, nor for any other occasion of my own; but with a cousin of mine that had long designed to make herself sport with him, and did not miss of her aim. I confess I always thought him an impostor, but I could never have imagined him so simple a one as we found him. In my life I never heard so ridiculous a discourse as he made us, and no old woman who passes for a witch could have been more puzzled to seek what to say to reasonable people than he was. He asked us more questions than we did him, and caught at everything we said without discerning that we abused him and said things purposely to confound him; which we did so perfectly that we made him contradict himself the strangest that ever you saw. Ever since this adventure, I have had so great a belief in all things of this nature, that I could not forbear laying a peas-cod with nine peas in’t under my door yesterday, and was informed by it that my husband’s name should be Thomas. How do you like that? But what Thomas, I cannot imagine, for all the servants I have got since I came hither I know none of that name.

Here is a new song, I do not send it to you but to your sister; the tune is not worth the sending so far. If she pleases to put any to it, I am sure it will be a better than it has here. Adieu.

Letter 66. “The Lost Lady” is a tragi-comedy by Sir William Berkely, and is advertised to be sold at the shop of the Holy Lamb in the year 1639, which we may take as the probable date of its publication. Dorothy would play Hermione, the heroine. We can imagine her speaking with sympathetic accent lines such as these:

With what harsh fate does Heaven afflict me
That all the blessings which make others happy,
Must be my ruin?

The five Portugals to whom Dorothy refers as being hanged were the Portuguese ambassador’s brother, Don Pantaleon Sa, and four of his men. The Mercurius Politicus of November 1653 gives the following account of the matters that led to the execution; and as it is illustrative of the manners of the day, the account is here quoted at length:

“NEW EXCHANGE IN THE STRAND. November 21. In the evening there happened a quarrel between the Portugal ambassador’s brother and two or three others of that nation with one Mr. Gerard, an English gentleman, whom they all fell upon; but he being rescued out of their hands by one Mr. Anstruther, they retired home, and within an hour after returned with about twelve more of their nation, armed with breastplates and headpieces; but after two or three hours taken there, not finding Anstruther, they went home again for that night.

November 22. At night the ambassador’s brother and the rest returned again, and walking the upper Exchange, they met with one Col. Mayo, who, being a proper man, they supposed him to have been the same Anstruther that repelled them the night before; and so shooting off a pistol (which was as the watchword), the rest of the Portugals (supposed about fifty) came in with drawn swords, and leaving a sufficient number to keep the stairs, the rest went up with the ambassador’s brother, and there they fell upon Col. Mayo, who, very gallantly defending himself, received seven dangerous wounds, and lies in a mortal condition. They fell also upon one Mr. Greenway, of Lincoln’s Inn, as he was walking with his sister in one hand and his mistress in the other (to whom, as I am informed, he was to have been married on Tuesday next), and pistoled him in the head, whereof he died immediately. They brought with them several earthen jars stuffed with gunpowder, stopped with wax, and fitted with matches, intending, it seems, to have done some mischief to the Exchange that they might complete their revenge, but they were prevented.”

There is an account of their trial in the State Trials, of some interest to lawyers; it resulted in the execution of Don Pantaleon Sa and four of his servants. By one of those curious fateful coincidences, with which fact often outbids fiction, Mr. Gerard, who was the first Englishman attacked by the Portuguese, suffers on the same scaffold as his would-be murderers, his offence being high treason. Vowel, the other plotter, is also executed, but the third saves himself, as we know, by confession.

July 20th [1654 in pencil].

I am very sorry I spoke too late, for I am confident this was an excellent servant. He was in the same house where I lay, and I had taken a great fancy to him, upon what was told me of him and what I saw. The poor fellow, too, was so pleased that I undertook to inquire out a place for him, that, though mine was, as I told him, uncertain, yet upon the bare hopes on’t he refused two or three good conditions; but I shall set him now at liberty, and not think at all the worse of him for his good-nature. Sure you go a little too far in your condemnation on’t. I know it may be abused, as the best things are most subject to be, but in itself ’tis so absolutely necessary that where it is wanting nothing can recompense the miss on’t. The most contemptible person in the world, if he has that, cannot be justly hated, and the most considerable without it cannot deserve to be loved. Would to God I had all that good-nature you complain you have too much of, I could find ways enough to dispose on’t amongst myself and my friends; but ’tis well where it is, and I should sooner wish you more on’t than less.

I wonder with what confidence you can complain of my short letters that are so guilty yourself in the same kind. I have not seen a letter this month which has been above half a sheet. Never trust me if I write more than you that live in a desolated country where you might finish a romance of ten tomes before anybody interrupted you I that live in a house the most filled of any since the Ark, and where, I can assure [you], one has hardly time for the most necessary occasions. Well, there was never any one thing so much desired and apprehended at the same time as your return is by me; it will certainly, I think, conclude me a very happy or a most unfortunate person. Sometimes, methinks, I would fain know my doom whatever it be; and at others, I dread it so extremely, that I am confident the five Portugals and the three plotters which were t’other day condemned by the High Court of Justice had not half my fears upon them. I leave you to judge the constraint I live in, what alarms my thoughts give me, and yet how unconcerned this company requires I should be; they will have me at my part in a play, “The Lost Lady” it is, and I am she. Pray God it be not an ill omen!

I shall lose my eyes and you this letter if I make it longer. Farewell.

I am, yours.

Letter 67. Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, was the daughter of James I. She married the Elector Frederick, who was driven from his throne owing to his own misconduct and folly, when his wife was forced to return and live as a pensioner in her native country. She is said to have been gifted in a superlative degree with all that is considered most lovely in a woman’s character. On her husband’s death in 1632 she went to live at the Hague, where she remained until the Restoration. There is a report that she married William, Earl of Craven, but there is no proof of this. He was, however, her friend and adviser through her years of widowhood, and it was to his house in Drury Lane that she returned to live in 1661. She is said to have been a lover of literature, and Francis Quarles and Sir Henry Wotton were her intimate friends. The latter has written some quaint and elegant verses to his mistress; the last verse, in which he apostrophizes her as the sun, is peculiarly graceful. It runs thus:

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes,
More by your number than your light,
You common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

But the sun is set, and the beautiful Queen’s sad, romantic story almost forgotten.

Sir John Grenvile was a son of the valiant and loyal cavalier, Sir Bevil Grenvile, of Kelkhampton, Cornwall. He served the King successfully in the west of England, and was dangerously wounded at Newbury. He was entrusted by Charles II. to negotiate with General Monk. Monk’s brother was vicar of Kelkhampton, so that Grenvile and Monk would in all probability be well acquainted before the time of the negotiation. We may remember, too, that Dorothy’s younger brother was on intimate terms with General Monk’s relations in Cornwall.

There must be letters missing here, for we cannot believe more than a month passed without Dorothy writing a single letter.

I wonder you did not come before your last letter. ’Twas dated the 24th of August, but I received it not till the 1st of September. Would to God your journey were over! Every little storm of wind frights me so, that I pass here for the greatest coward that ever was born, though, in earnest, I think I am as little so as most women, yet I may be deceived, too, for now I remember me you have often told me I was one, and, sure, you know what kind of heart mine is better than anybody else.

I am glad you are pleased with that description I made you of my humour, for, though you had disliked it, I am afraid ’tis past my power to help. You need not make excuses neither for yours; no other would please me half so well. That gaiety which you say is only esteemed would be insupportable to me, and I can as little endure a tongue that’s always in motion as I could the click of a mill. Of all the company this place is stored with, there is but two persons whose conversation is at all easy; one is my eldest niece, who, sure, was sent into the world to show ’tis possible for a woman to be silent; the other, a gentleman whose mistress died just when they should have married; and though ’tis many years since, one may read it in his face still. His humour was very good, I believe, before that accident, for he will yet say things pleasant enough, but ’tis so seldom that he speaks at all, and when he does ’tis with so sober a look, that one may see he is not moved at all himself when he diverts the company most. You will not be jealous though I say I like him very much. If you were not secure in me, you might be so in him. He would expect his mistress should rise again to reproach his inconstancy if he made court to anything but her memory. Methinks we three (that is, my niece, and he and I) do become this house the worst that can be, unless I should take into the number my brother Peyton himself too; for to say truth his, for another sort of melancholy, is not less than ours. What can you imagine we did this last week, when to our constant company there was added a colonel and his lady, a son of his and two daughters, a maid of honour to the Queen of Bohemia, and another colonel or a major, I know not which, besides all the tongue they brought with them; the men the greatest drinkers that ever I saw, which did not at all agree with my brother, who would not be drawn to it to save a kingdom if it lay at stake and no other way to redeem it? But, in earnest, there was one more to be pitied besides us, and that was Colonel Thornhill’s wife, as pretty a young woman as I have seen. She is Sir John Greenvil’s sister, and has all his good-nature, with a great deal of beauty and modesty, and wit enough. This innocent creature is sacrificed to the veriest beast that ever was. The first day she came hither he intended, it seems, to have come with her, but by the way called in to see an old acquaintance, and bid her go on, he would overtake her, but did not come till next night, and then so drunk he was led immediately to bed, whither she was to follow him when she had supped. I blest myself at her patience, as you may do that I could find anything to fill up this paper withal. Adieu.

Letter 68. In this scrap of writing we find that Temple is again in England with certain proposals from his father, and ready to discuss the “treaty,” as Dorothy calls it, with her brother Peyton. The few remaining letters deal with the treaty. Temple would probably return to London when he left Ireland, and letters would pass frequently between them. There seems to have been some hitch as to who should appear in the treaty. Dorothy’s brother had spoken of and behaved to Temple with all disrespect, but, now that he is reconciled to the marriage, Dorothy would have him appear, at least formally, in the negotiations. The last letter of this chapter, which is dated October 2nd, calls on Temple to come down to Kent, to Peyton’s house; and it is reasonable to suppose that at this interview all was practically settled to the satisfaction of those two who were most deeply concerned in the negotiation.

I did so promise myself a letter on Friday that I am very angry I had it not, though I know you were not come to town when it should have been writ. But did not you tell me you should not stay above a day or two? What is it that has kept you longer? I am pleased, though, that you are out of the power of so uncertain things as the winds and the sea, which I never feared for myself, but did extremely apprehend for you. You will find a packet of letters to read, and maybe have met with them already. If you have, you are so tired that ’tis but reasonable I should spare you in this. For, [to] say truth, I have not time to make this longer; besides that if I had, my pen is so very good that it writes an invisible hand, I think; I am sure I cannot read it myself. If your eyes are better, you will find that I intended to assure you I am


Letter 69.

I am but newly waked out of an unquiet sleep, and I find it so late that if I write at all it must be now. Some company that was here last night kept us up till three o’clock, and then we lay three in a bed, which was all the same to me as if we had not gone to bed at all. Since dinner they are all gone, and our company with them part of the way, and with much ado I got to be excused, that I might recover a little sleep, but am so moped yet that, sure, this letter will be nonsense.

I would fain tell you, though, that your father is mistaken, and that you are not, if you believe that I have all the kindness and tenderness for you my heart is capable of. Let me assure you (whatever your father thinks) that had you L20,000 a year I could love you no more than I do, and should be far from showing it so much lest it should look like a desire of your fortune, which, as to myself, I value as little as anybody in the world, and in this age of changes; but certainly I know what an estate is. I have seen my father’s reduced, better than L4000, to not L400 a year, and I thank God I never felt the change in anything that I thought necessary. I never wanted, nor am confident I never shall. But yet, I would not be thought so inconsiderate a person as not to remember that it is expected from all people that have sense that they should act with reason, that to all persons some proportion of fortune is necessary, according to their several qualities, and though it is not required that one should tie oneself to just so much, and something is left for one’s inclination, and the difference in the persons to make, yet still within such a compass, and such as lay more upon these considerations than they will bear, shall infallibly be condemned by all sober persons. If any accident out of my power should bring me to necessity though never so great, I should not doubt with God’s assistance but to bear it as well as anybody, and I should never be ashamed on’t if He pleased to send it me; but if by my own folly I had put it upon myself, the case would be extremely altered. If ever this comes to a treaty, I shall declare that in my own choice I prefer you much before any other person in the world, and all that this inclination in me (in the judgment of any persons of honour and discretion) will bear, I shall desire may be laid upon it to the uttermost of what they can allow. And if your father please to make up the rest, I know nothing that is like to hinder me from being yours. But if your father, out of humour, shall refuse to treat with such friends as I have, let them be what they will, it must end here; for though I was content, for your sake, to lose them, and all the respect they had for me, yet, now I have done that, I’ll never let them see that I have so little interest in you and yours as not to prevail that my brother may be admitted to treat for me. Sure, when a thing of course and so much reason as that (unless I did disclose to all the world he were my enemy), it must be expected whensoever I dispose of myself he should be made no stranger to it. When that shall be refused me, I may be justly reproached that I deceived myself when I expected to be at all valued in a family that I am a stranger to, or that I should be considered with any respect because I had a kindness for you, that made me not value my own interests.

I doubt much whether all this be sense or not; I find my head so heavy. But that which I would say is, in short, this: if I did say once that my brother should have nothing to do in’t, ’twas when his carriage towards me gave me such an occasion as could justify the keeping that distance with him; but now it would look extremely unhandsome in me, and, sure, I hope your father would not require it of me. If he does, I must conclude he has no value for me, and, sure, I never disobliged him to my knowledge, and should, with all the willingness imaginable, serve him if it lay in my power.

Good God! what an unhappy person am I. All the world is so almost. Just now they are telling me of a gentleman near us that is the most wretched creature made (by the loss of a wife that he passionately loved) that can be. If your father would but in some measure satisfy my friends that I might but do it in any justifiable manner, you should dispose me as you pleased, carry me whither you would, all places of the world would be alike to me where you were, and I should not despair of carrying myself so towards him as might deserve a better opinion from him.

I am yours.

Letter 70.

My doubts and fears were not at all increased by that which gives you so many, nor did I apprehend that your father might not have been prevailed with to have allowed my brother’s being seen in the treaty; for as to the thing itself, whether he appears in’t or not, ’twill be the same. He cannot but conclude my brother Peyton would not do anything in it without the others’ consent.

I do not pretend to any share in your father’s kindness, as having nothing in me to merit it; but as much a stranger as I am to him, I should have taken it very ill if I had desired it of him, and he had refused it me. I do not believe my brother has said anything to his prejudice, unless it were in his persuasions to me, and there it did not injure him at all. If he takes it ill that my brother appears so very averse to the match, I may do so too, that he was the same; and nothing less than my kindness for you could have made me take so patiently as I did his saying to some that knew me at York that he was forced to bring you thither and afterwards to send you over lest you should have married me. This was not much to my advantage, nor hardly civil, I think, to any woman; yet I never so much as took the least notice on’t, nor had not now, but for this occasion; yet, sure, it concerns me to be at least as nice as he in point of honour. I think ’tis best for me to end here lest my anger should make me lose that respect I would always have for your father, and ’twere not amiss, I think, that I devoted it all towards you for being so idle as to run out of your bed to catch such a cold.

If you come hither you must expect to be chidden so much that you will wish that you had stayed till we came up, when perhaps I might have almost forgot half my quarrel to you. At this present I can assure you I am pleased with nobody but your sister, and her I love extremely, and will call her pretty; say what you will, I know she must be so, though I never saw more of her than what her letters show. She shall have two “spots” [carriage dogs] if she please (for I had just such another given me after you were gone), or anything else that is in the power of


Letter 71.

Monday, October the 2nd .

After a long debate with myself how to satisfy you and remove that rock (as you call it), which in your apprehensions is of so great danger, I am at last resolved to let you see that I value your affections for me at as high a rate as you yourself can set it, and that you cannot have more of tenderness for me and my interests than I shall ever have for yours. The particulars how I intend to make this good you shall know when I see you; which since I find them here more irresolute in point of time (though not as to the journey itself) than I hoped they would have been, notwithstanding your quarrel to me, and the apprehension you would make me believe you had that I do not care to see you, pray come hither and try whether you shall be welcome or not! In sober earnest now I must speak with you; and to that end if your occasions will [serve] come down to Canterbury. Send some one when you are there, and you shall have further directions.

You must be contented not to stay here above two or three hours. I shall tell you my reason when you come. And pray inform yourself of all that your father will do on this occasion, that you may tell it me only; therefore let it be plainly and sincerely what he intends and all.

I will not hinder your coming away so much as the making this letter a little longer might take away from your time in reading it. ’Tis enough to tell you I am ever