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LETTER L.

For her Hond. Dear Brother, Mr Herbert Aston,

att Bellamore.

this present,

HOND. DEARE BROTHER, You doe so confound me with yr high and sweet expressions, that, though I have more to say than ever, I never knew lesse how to speake then now; yet, will not helpe my selfe with that ould mistaken principall, as you call itt, and urge that love is blind ; and such the pros. pective by wch you looke on me. No, I find rather, that yr kyndnis resembles a multiplying glace, wherin you see small meritts great, and by that, judge of mee farr from the truth. * Really, I wod faine put a scruple in yr mynd of flattering me. Forgive that word, and understand, I am as confident it is not so in you, as I am unhapy in finding my demeritt tornes itt so to me.

* So in letter XLVI. “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 seem. ing good in me.

But enouf of this sad subject; I must have place to comunicate my ioys. Our dear sister hath now changed murning into whight attire. Oh had you seen the solemnity, I am confident yr hart wod not have contained all the ioy, but shed som att yr eyes.

* Keat was the bearer of her crowne ; was itt not fitt she shuld, who meanes to duble itt, in the last, and lasting nuptiall feast? No less then heaven can dim the splendor of this glorius day. All thinges wear so compleatly acted, both by bride, and

• The ceremony of professing a nun is certainly one of the most solemn, most impressive, and affecting, that can be witnessed.

Canst thou forget that sad, that solemn day,
When victims, at yon altar's foot we lay?
Canst thou forget, what tears that moment fell,
When warm in youth, I bade the world farewell ?
As with cold lips, I kissed the sacred veil,
The shrines all trembled, and the lamps grew pale:
Heaven scarce believed the conquest it surveyed,
And saints with wonder heard the vows I made !

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bridmayde, that my brother Ned and I wear
not a lettle goodly. Poore Keat longes to tell
you the whole stoary, but alas, she cannot rite
in hast, having discontinued her practis all-
most 3 munths, upon too iust excuse. My sis-
ter has promised to tell you all perticulers of
her infirmity, wch, thanckes be to God, she
hath now well recovered, though itt cost me
first
many

a hart ake; but had you seene her
cariage in receiving yr little letter, she knew
neither how to expresse her ioys, or manyfest
her love, to her owne satisfaction: though we
can all wittnis, she discharged herselfe very
well of both. For pitty, rite againe, for this
letter is allmost quit worne out with her conti-
nuall kissing it. She impatiently expects yr
long letter, promised wth her bro. Jack's, and
sister Cons., and feares her not riting now will
deprive her of them; but I have undertaken
to beg it may not, which I earnestly doe, by all
the kyndnis wherby you honore and oblige
Yr most affectionate sister,

WIN.

!

My dear dear love to Jacke, and all the rest as in perticuler.

LETTER LI,

These for Mrs Catherine Aston the Younger,

at Loven.

MY DEARE GIRLE, I receaved, the other day, a lre from you without date; it told, in short, all I desire to

was

Though this letter, from the appearance of the MS. is probably not the one mentioned in the last letter, which

« almost quite worne out with continual kissing;" yet I have thought fit to insert it here. This, and one which is printed at the end of a poem, in the “ Tixall Poetry," p. 275, are the only two letters by Herbert Aston, which have been preserved. From the warmth of his feelings, the tenderness of his sentiments, and the refinement of his understanding, as well as from his learning and knowledge, it is to be presumed they would have been very valuable: And they would moreover, most probably have thrown considerable light on the subjects, and persons, mentioned in this collection of letters. The loss of them, therefore, is certainly a subject of much regret.

!

heare. Yt you love, and are so much beloved by yr reverend mother ; had you paid her less respect and affection, you had so far strayed from reason and truth; and had she bin less kind to you, she had made an ill returne to me, for my greatest expression of kindnes I was capable of, my parting wth you, which, but for God's sake, yr owne, and hers, I should not have done; so good and dutifull a child you have bin ever lo me, that I knew not how better to requite you, then to quitt my owne private interest and contentmt for yr advantage, wch you must needes reape from so lovely loving, and beloved a directrix. She will soon instruct you how inconsiderate all ioyes of sense are, and

teach you quickely to shake of all resentmts of nature, for those of grace; so infinitely preferrable. * Not so much“as remember you.

had father, but by reflection of that love, by 'wch he abandons himselfe for you; for whose sake,

a

*. The word “ resentment” is sometimes used in these letters, as synonymous to feeling. In this sense, it is interpreted by Johnson “ a strong perception of good or ill;" and he has given some examples from ancient English authors. In this sense, however, it seems now to be quite obsolete.

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