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bee, I hope she will exceede me in that; for I can boast of nothing but your favour, and the profesion, that I am, as much as Keat can wish, Your most affectionat sister,




SAVING my quarill, a thousand thanckes for yr sweet condescendance, in letting me know part of yr, now my afflictions: though, for the first, I am more angry than sad: it seemes a kynd of ridle, you had need expound it to me, how you can wish to dye, pretending love to her, who, by yr death, would dye yet ten times more for, have you any chyld can live, much lesse, live well, without you? Besydes, you know, tis saufest living, when we least inioye; and, sence the sadnis of your condition helpes to secure you are in the right way, for pitty, be content to goe att such a rate, as all your little flocke may see yr steps, and follow you; and heer it is, I see my selfe with much compassion. For, though wholy unprofitable to any frind of mine, and, I feare, even to my selfe; yet cannot find the way to dye. Doe but looke

upon your owne advantage in this poynt, and I am confident, you will equally derive patience for your selfe, and pitty for me,

Your most affectionate sister,


My picture lyes yet att Brudges, in a frinds hand, who watcheth opportunity to send it with saufty; could it speake my thoughts to you, I shuld not blush to have you take such car for itt. O no, I shuld be hapy, did you know what kynd thoughts I have to you and yours, which never can take change.

My Lady Mary desyres you receave her hum ble servise. She tooke your letter very kyndly, and bids me tell you, she beares a part both of yr crosse and hapines. But your strange inventive kyndnis will doe yr selfe some servise; for I shall no more importune yr thanckes in my behalfe: it cost me too much shame. My dearest dearest love to all yr children. I fear I am a little partiall to Jacke.*

* John, eldest son of Herbert Aston.


Agust 22.


I must begin wher you end the first part of yr letter, for all, tell then, is far above what I can answer, and infinitly beyond my desert. But o the force of truth! I am strangely in love with it, which tooke from yr eyes that multipliing glace, through which you are ust to looke upon the seeming good in me. Jesus, what doth my brother Aston say, what meanes he? Upon another score, thinck what my dear sister, I hope now in heaven, wod have me pay you; who never rit without this coniuration. Be sure you infinitly love and honore Mr Aston, who makes me the hapiest creature in the world. Thinck if it wer possible to deny a sister, and such a sister, such a request, which even justice wod have rong from the flintiest hart. Well then, all that she desyred is, and will ever be

ready for you; please to receave it, and, when you are payed, it is still intyre. For I never found love of that nature, to diminish by dealing out, but rather lyke fire, take increase the farther itt spreads. But alas! myne is onely the passive part, I can act nothing in order to your comfort, or my owne. Suffer I doe beyound expression, in the small hopes of ever seeing Keat so hapy as my selfe. I dar never mention itt to her, for, on that proiect, I could better spend teares then inck. This sad thought puts me quit out of saying more then that I constantly am

Your most affectionat sister,

Nothing must make me forget my most humble, dear respects, to sweet Mrs Ger. Aston. * I am proud she is pleased to remember so poor a servant.

* This Mrs Gertrude Aston was a daughter of the se cond Lord Aston, and became a nun. The name was introduced into the family by Gertrude Sadler, wife of Sir Walter Aston, the first Lord.

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