Monday, August 13,1711. [Steele.

----Irrupta tenet Copula--------- Hor.

THE following Letters being Genuine, and the Images of a Worthy Passion, I am willing to give the old Lady's Admonition to my self, and the Representation of her own Happiness, a Place in my Writings.

Mr. SPECTATOR, August 9, 1711.

I am now in the sixty seventh Year of my Age, and read you with Approbation; but me thinks you do not strike at the Root of the greatest Evil in Life, which is the false Notion of Gallantry in Love. It is, and has long been, upon a very ill Foot; but I, who have been a Wife Forty Years, and was bred in a way that has made me ever since very happy, see through the Folly of it. In a Word, Sir, when I was a young Woman, all who avoided the Vices of the Age were very carefully educated, and all fantastical Objects were turned out of our Sight. The Tapestry Hangings, with the great and venerable Simplicity of the Scripture Stories, had better Effects than now the Loves of Venus and Adonis or Bacchus and Ariadne in your fine present Prints. The Gentleman I am married to made Love to me in Rapture, but it was the Rapture of a Christian and a Man of Honour, not a Romantick Hero or a Whining Coxcomb: This put our Life upon a right Basis. To give you an Idea of our Regard one to another, I inclose to you several of his Letters, writ Forty Years ago, when my Lover; and one writ t'other Day, after so many Years Cohabitation.

Your Servant,

Madam, August 7, 1671.

If my Vigilance and ten thousand Wishes for your Welfare and Repose could have any force, you last Night slept in Security, and had every good Angel in your Attendance. To have my Thoughts ever fixed on you, to live in constant Fear of every Accident to which Human Life is liable, and to send up my hourly Prayers to avert 'em from you; I say, Madam, thus to think, and thus to suffer, is what I do for Her who is in Pain at my Approach, and calls all my tender Sorrow Impertinence. You are now before my Eyes, my Eyes that are ready to flow with Tenderness, but cannot give relief to my gushing Heart, that dictates what I am now Saying, and yearns to tell you all its Achings. How art thou, oh my Soul, stoln from thy self! How is all thy Attention broken! My Books are blank Paper, and my Friends Intruders. I have no hope of Quiet but from your Pity; To grant it, would make more for your Triumph. To give Pain is the Tyranny, to make Happy the true Empire of Beauty. If you would consider aright, you'd find an agreeable Change in dismissing the Attendance of a Slave, to receive the Complaisance of a Companion. I bear the former in hopes of the latter Condition: As I live in Chains without murmuring at the Power which inflicts 'em, so I could enjoy Freedom without forgetting the Mercy that gave it.

Your most devoted, most obedient Servant.

Tho' I made him no Declarations in his Favour, you see he had Hopes of Me when he writ this in the Month following.

Madam, September 3, 1671.

Before the Light this Morning dawned upon the Earth I awaked, and lay in Expectation of its return, not that it cou'd give any new Sense of Joy to me, but as I hoped it would bless you with its chearful Face, after a Quiet which I wish'd you last Night. If my Prayers are heard, the Day appeared with all the Influence of a Merciful Creator upon your Person and Actions. Let others, my lovely Charmer, talk of a blind Being that disposes their Hearts, I contemn their low Images of Love. I have not a Thought which relates to you, that I cannot with Confidence beseech the All-seeing Power to bless me in. May he direct you in all your Steps, and reward your Innocence, your Sanctity of Manners, your Prudent Youth, and becoming Piety, with the Continuance of his Grace and Protection. This is an unusual Language to Ladies; but you have a Mind elevated above the giddy Motions of a Sex insnared by Flattery, and misled by a false and short Adoration into a solid and long Contempt; Beauty, my fairest Creature, palls in the Possession, but I love also your Mind; your Soul is as dear to me as my own; and if the Advantages of a liberal Education, some Knowledge, and as much Contempt of the World, join'd with the Endeavours towards a Life of strict Virtue and Religion, can qualify me to raise new Ideas in a Breast so well disposed as yours is, our Days will pass away with Joy; and old Age, instead of introducing melancholy Prospects of Decay, give us hope of Eternal Youth in a better Life. I have but few Minutes from the Duty of my Employment to write in, and without time to read over what I have writ, therefore beseech you to pardon the first Hints of my Mind, which I have expressed in so little Order.

I am, dearest Creature,
Your most Obedient,
most Devoted Servant.

The two next were written after the Day of our Marriage was fixed.

Madam, September 25, 1671.
It is the hardest thing in the World to be in Love, and yet attend Business. As for me, all that speak to me find me out, and I must lock myself up, or other People will do it for me. A Gentleman asked me this Morning what News from Holland, and I answered, She's Exquisitely handsome. Another desir'd to know when I had been last at Windsor, I reply'd, She designs to go with me. Prethee, allow me at least to kiss your Hand before the appointed Day, that my Mind may be in some Composure. Methinks I could write a Volume to you, but all the Language on Earth would fail in saying how much, and with what disinterested Passion,

I am ever Yours.

Dear Creature, September 30, 1671.
Seven in the Morning.

Next to the Influence of Heav'n, I am to thank you that I see the returning Day with Pleasure. To pass my Evenings in so sweet a Conversation, and have the Esteem of a Woman of your Merit, has in it a Particularity of Happiness no more to be express'd than return'd. But I am, my Lovely Creature, contented to be on the obliged Side, and to employ all my Days in new Endeavours to convince you and all the World of the Sense I have of your Condescension in Chusing,

MADAM, Your Most Faithful,
Most Obedient Humble Servant.

He was, when he writ the following Letter, as agreeable and Pleasant a Man as any in England.

Madam, October 20, 1671.

I Beg Pardon that my Paper is not Finer, but I am write from a Coffee-house where I am attending about Business. There is a dirty Crowd of Busie Faces all around me talking of Mony, while all my Ambition, all my Wealth is Love: Love which animates my Heart, sweetens my Humour, enlarges my Soul, and affects every Action of my Life. 'Tis to my lovely Charmer I owe that many noble Ideas are continually affix'd to my Words and Actions: 'Tis the natural Effect of that generous Passion to create in the Admirer some Similitude of the Object admired; thus, my Dear, am I every Day to improve from so sweet a Companion. Look up, my Fair One, to that Heaven which made thee such, and join with me to implore its Influence on our tender innocent.Hours, and beseech the Author of Love to bless the Rites he has ordained, and mingle with our Happiness a just Sense of our transient Condition, and a Resignation to his Will, which only can regulate our Minds to a steady Endeavour to please him and each other.

I am, for Ever,
your Faithful Servant.

I will not trouble you with more Letters at this time, but if you saw the poor wither'd Hand which sends you these Minutes, I am sure you will smile to think that there is one who is so gallant as to speak of it still as so welcome a Present, after Forty Years Possession of the Woman whom he writes to.

Madam, June 23, 1711.

I Heartily beg your Pardon for my Omission to write Yesterday. It was of no Failure of my tender Regard for you; but having been very much perplexed in my Thoughts on tne Subject of my last, made me determine to suspend speaking of it 'till I came to myself: But, my Lovely Creature, know it is not in the Power of Age, or Misfortune, or any other Accident which hangs over Human Life, to take from me the pleasing Esteem I have for you, or the Memory of the bright Figure you appeared in when you gave your Hand and Heart to,

Your most Grateful Husband,
and Obedient Servant.


1. They are, after the first, with a few changes of phrase and the alteration of date proper to the design of this paper, copies of Steele's own love-letters addressed to Mrs. Scurlock, in August and September, 1707; except the last, a recent one, written since marriage.