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I will not deny, but that like Alexander, in the midst of my glory I am wounded, and find my felf a meer man. To tell you from whence the dart comes, is to no purpose ; since neither of you will take the tender care to draw it out of my heart, and suck the poison with your lips. Hereat
Lord H.--'s, I fee a creature nearer an angel than a woman, (tho a woman be very near as good as an angel.) I think you have formerly heard me mention Mrs. T- -- as a credit to the maker of angels. She is a relation of his LordHip's, and he gravely propofed her for me to a Wife; being tender of her interests, and knowing (what is a fhame to Providence) that she is lefs indebted to Fortune than I. I told him 'twas what he cou'd never have thought of, if it had not been his misfortune to be blind; and what I never could think of, while I had eyes to fee both her and my felf.
I must not conclude without telling you, that I will do the utmost in the affair you desire. It would be an inexpressible joy to me if I could ferve you, and I will always do all I can to give my self pleasure. I wish as well for you as for my felf. I am in love with you both as much as I am with my felf; for I find my self most fo with all three, when I least kuspect it,
I am, &c.
L E T T E R XII. . 10 Mys. Arabella Fermor on her Marriage. YOU are by this time fatisfy'd how much the
tenderness of one man of merit is to be prefered to the addrefiles of a thousand. And by this time the Gentlemen you have made choice of is fenfible, how great is the joy of having all those charms and good qualities which have pleafed so many,
now apply'd to please one only. It was but just, that the same Virtues which gave you reputation, should give you happiness; and I can wish you no greater, than that you may receive it in as high a degree your self, as so much good humour must infallibly give it to your husband.
It may be expected perhaps, that one who has the title of Poet, should say something more polite on this occasion; but I am really more a well-wisher to your felicity, than a celebrater of your beauty. Besides, you are now a married woman, and in a way to be a great many better things than a fine Lady ; such as an excellent wife, a faithful friend, a tender parent, and at last, as the consequence of them all, a faint in heaven. You ought now to hear nothing but that, which was all you ever defired to hear (whatever others may have spoken to you) I mean Truth ; and it is with the utmost that, I assure you, no friend you have can more rejoice in any good that befalls you, is more sincerely delighted with the prospect of your future happiness, or more unfeignedly desires a long continuance of it. I beg you will think it but justs that a man who will certainly be spoken of as your admirer, after he is dead, may have the happiness to be esteemed while he is living
THE chief cause I have to repent my leaving the
town, is the uncertainty I am in every day of your Sister's State of health. I really expected by every post to have heard of her recovery ; but on the contrary each letter has been a new awakening to my apprehensions, and I have ever since suffered al
larms upon allarms on her account. No one can be more sensibly touched at this than I ; nor any danger of any I love cou'd affect me with more uneasiness (tho' as I never had a fifter I can't be quite so good a judge as you, how far humanity wou'd carry me.) I have felt some weaknesses of a tender kind, which I wou'd not be free from ; and I am glad to find my value for people so rightly placed, as to perceive them on this occasion.
I cannot be so good a Christian as to be willing (tho' no less than God shou'd order it) to resign my own happiness here for her's in another life. I do more than with for her safety, for every wish I make I find immediately chang'd into a prayer, and a more fervent one than I had learn'd to make till now.
May her Life be longer and happier than perhaps herself may desire, that is as long and as happy as your self can wish. May her Beauty be as great as possible, that is, as it always was, or as yours is. But whatever ravages a merciless distemper may commit, I dare promise her boldly, what few (if any) of her makers of visits and complements dare to do; she shall have one man as much her admirer as ever. As for your part, Madam, you have me so more than ever, fince I have been a witness to the generous tenderness you have shewn upon this occafion
LETTER XIV: T is with infinite satisfaction I am made acquaint
ed, that your brother will at last prove your relation, and has entertain'd such sentiments as become him in your concern. I have been prepar'd for this by degrees, having several times received from Mrs. that which is one of the greatest pleasures ;
the knowledge that others entered into my own sentiments concerning you. I ever was of opinion, that you wanted no more to be vindicated than to be known ; and like Truth, cou'd appear no where but you must conquer. As I have often condol'd with you in your adversities, so I have a right, which but few can pretend to, of congratulating on the prospect of your better fortunes ; and I hope for the future to have the concern I have felt for you overpaid in your felicities. Tho' you modestiy say the world has left you, yet I verily believe it is coming to you again as fast as it can : For to give the world its due, it is always very fond of Merit, when 'tis past its power to oppose it. Therefore if you should take it into favour again upon its repentance, and continue in it, you would be so far from leading what is commonly called an unsettled life (and what you with too much unjust severity call a vagabond life) that the wife cou'd only look upon you as a Prince in a progress, who travels to gain the affections he has not, or to fix those he already has ; which he effectually does wherever he fhews himself. But if you are resolved in revenge to rob the world of so much example as you may afford it, I believe your design will be vain ; for even in a Monastery your devotions connot carry you so far towards the next world, as to make this lose the sight of you; but you'll be like a Star, that while it is fix'd to Heaven, shines over all the Earth.
Wherefoever Providence shall dispose of the most valuable thing I know, I shall ever follow you with my fincerest wishes ; and my best thoughts will be perpetually waiting upon you, when you never hear of me or them. Your own guardian Angels cannot be more constant, nor more filent. I beg you will never cease to think me your friend, that you may not be guilty of that which you never 'yet knew to commit, an Injustice. As I have hitherto been so in
spite of the world, fo hereafter, if it be possible you shou'd ever be more opposed and more deserted, Į should only be so much the more
Your faithfully, &c.
LETTER XV. I
Can fay little to recommend the Letters I shall
write to you, but that they will be the niost impartial representations of a free heart, and the truest copies you ever faw, tho' of a very mean original. Not a feature will be foftened, or any advantageous light employ'd to make the ugly thung a little lafs hideous; but you fhall find it in all ri pects mit horribly like.
You will du me an injuitice if you look upon any thing I shall fay from this instant, as a compliment, either to you or my self. What ever I write, will be the real thought of that huut; and I know you'll no more expect it of the perfevere till death in every sentiment or notion I now set down, than you wou'd imagine a man's face should never change, when once his picture was drawn.
The freedom I shall use in this manner of thinking aloud, may indeed prove me a fool ; but it will prove me one of the best fort of fools, the honest ones. And since what folly we have, will infallibly buoy up at one time or other, in spight of all our. art to keep it down; methinks 'tis almost foolish to take any pains to conceal it at all, and almost knavilh to do it from those that are our friends. If Momus's project had taken, of having windows in our breasts, I fhould be for carrying it further, and making those windows casements ; that while a man showed his heart to all the world, he might do something more for his friends, even give it them, and trust it to their handling. I