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to prevent mistakes I shall leave a catalogue of them. Between 60 and 70 pounds to my Lord Brook, some tradesmen's bills, of which my man can give an account. This being all I can say at present, I shall take my leave of you, and rest till death,
"My Deare Lord,
"Mund. morning, "Ap1.26. 1664.
"I forgot one debt, which is of one hundred pounds to Alderman Backwell.
"Going for Portsmouth I have looked over this and ye inclosed, and find it soe sutable to sense, that I must desire you to agree to it in case I should dye before 1 come back. What's blotted out is pay'd. *
« WILL: RUSSELL."
A letter of Mr. Edward Russell, written about this time, mentions his brother's recovery from a wound he had received in an affair of
* In the lines blotted out, there appear several suras owing to himself.
honour, and rejoices in his escape without further hurt " from so adroit an adversary."
In a life of Lord Russell, published in 1684, it is said that he accompanied the fleet of the Duke of York in the first Dutch war. This is probably a mistake. Edward. Russell, (perhaps his cousin, who was afterwards Earl of Orfbrd,) was on this expedition, and his letter to Mr. Rus3ell after the battle, excites a smile by its brevity and its postscript.
From on board the Princ. "Dear ST, the 2 daye of Jun.
"1 must Confes i have bin to idell in not giving you thankes for all your kindnes, but i shall never forget to one them: i supose the discription of the fight will be in print as soune as my Letter Cumes to your hands. The Duke is myty kind to me, and will give me a shipe as soune as wee cum to an anchor in the river. Praye present my most humble services to my Ladey Maud,
"and i Rest your most Humble servant, "ED. RUSSELL. "M\ Digby and mr. nickolds is ded."
It is uncertain when Mr. Russell first became acquainted with his future wife. She was the second daughter and co-heiress of Wriotheslv,
VOL. I. ,D
Earl of Southampton, and widow of Lord Vaughan, the eldest son of Lord Carberry. Two letters, however, written before their marriage, are preserved, in which he expresses his gratitude and attachment.
They were married in 1669. To the influence of this excellent woman we must attribute not only the happiness, but many of the most admirable qualities of Lord Russell. But I will not here attempt to paint her character. It may be known at once from the following letter.
"London, Sept. 23d, I672. "If I were more fortunate in my expression, I could doe myselfe more right when I would own to my dearest Mr. Russell what real and perfect happynesse I enjoy from that kindnesse he allowes me every day to receive new marks of; such as, in spight of the knowledge I have of my owne wants, wil not sufer me to mistrust I want his love, though I doe merit to so desireable a blessing: but my best life, you that know so well how to love, and to oblige, make my felicity intire, by believing my harte possest with all the gratitude, honour, and passionate affection to your person any creature is capable of, or can be obliged to; and that granted, what havej to aske, but a continuance (if God 'see fit) of these present enjovments? if not, a submission without a murmur to his most wise dispensations and unerring providence, having a thankful harte for the yeares I have been so perfectly contented in. He knows best when we have had enough here: what I most earnestly beg from his mercy is, that wee both live soe as which ever goes first, the other may not sorrow as for one of whom they have no hope; then let us cheerfully expect to be together to a good old age, if not, let us not doubt but he will support his servants under what trials he will inflict upon them. These are necessary meditations sometimes, yl we may not be surprised above our strength by a sudden accident, being unprepared. Excuse me if I dwell to long upon it; 'tis from my opinion that if wee can be prepared for al conditions, we can with the greater tranquillity enjoy the present; which [hope will be long, tho' when we change 'twill be for the better, I trust, through the merit of Christ. Let us dayly pray it may be so, and then admit of no feares. Death is the extremest evil against nature, it is true; let us overcome the immoderate fear of it, either to our friend or selfe, and then what fight hearts may we five with. But I am immoderate in my length of this discourse, and consider this is to be a letter. To take myself off, and alter the subject, I will tell you the newes came on Sunday night," &c.
The rest of the letter contains court and family news. Enough has been quoted to show that this excellent woman enjoyed the most perfect happiness with her husband. And as, according to Sir W. Temple, he was without tricks or private ambition, he was not likely to forego the tranquil enjoyment of his home for the bustle of public life, where (in the most favourable view of it) pleasure is not so unmixed, nor duty so obvious. Hitherto he had been a silent member of the House of Commons, though he had sate there for more than twelve years; and in all probability he would have continued through life an inactive representative, had not extraordinary events called forth the native energy of his character, never afterwards to sleep but on the scaffold. A view of the period when he first came forward in public will, I hope, satisfy the reader that no man could any longer keep aloof who valued the independence, the freedom, and the religion of England.