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I never had more impatience in your silence (which is a great expression) then in present circumstances; for I suffer much in fear least our lov'd pride in Cottington will bee severely humbled. For God-sake lett me know my part that I may act it well. Naturally I am sure I shall, whither it bee ioy or greife. Tell me, therfore, is she. or has envie onely disguised her. How faine wod I believe this last, and how hartely could I forgive that crime. Na, how doe I wish it had been committed, though I wear to undergoe the pennance dew to itt. Tell me quickly, but largely, all the story. Doe not suppose me a well mortifyed nun dead to the world; for alas tis not so, I am alive, and as nearly concern'd for thos I
See below, letter LIX.
love, as if I had never left them, and must shar in all their fortunes whither good or bad. For God-sake, what's become of my dear brother Ned. I rite upon this subject to him, but never had word of aunswer. Now hee's with you, I can easily forgive his neglect of his poor sister, but tell him, at his retourne to Cambray, his sylence will bee unpardonable.* I know not what to say to dear Cottington, for I beleeve ther is no corner left for me in her loved memory; but when you meet good Mrs Collier, I charge you say a great deal of kyndnis from me; for she expres❜d so much of dear respect and disinterested love for my poor neece, that she left me much her debtor.
Hapy Keat smiles at the world, and wonders ther can bee varietie of concerns, she knowing but one which she follows closs, always doeing ing what she shud doe ; † yet for all her perfec
* Edward Thimelby, her brother, was Provost, or Superior of a college at Cambray.
+ In that mellifluous quintessence of poetical fragrance, the "Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard"
Quintâ sui parte nectaris imbuit:
The state of a contented nun is described most beautifully.
tion, the name of her brother John, or Bellamore, brings frech blood into her cheeks, which witnesses she is alive still.*
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to heaven.
* Rogers, in his elegant little poem, " The Pleasures of Memory," has almost rivalled Pope, in a contrary description of the emotions, which may be supposed occasionally to agitate the breast of a youthful nun, on a recollection of the scenes which she has quitted, and bid adieu to for ever. The following verses are a very apt illustration of the last lines of Mrs Thimelby's letter.
The beauteous maid, who bids the world adieu,
Oft at the shrine, neglect her beads, to trace
And bless the youth, who bids her slumbers fly.
HOND. AND DEAREST BROTHER, YOUR letters are never in this world to be answerd. I referr you therfore, till we meet in the Vale of Josaphat. Ther you'l recive reward of all your unwearied charities, and unchangeable kyndnis to a poor unworthy sister. Yet this comfort, your pietie may reap from present circumstances; that, notwithstanding my great stock of self love, which naturally inclines to sadnis, in the neglect of frinds (now experienced in our once dear Cottington).* I find my self so chearish'd by your lov'd kyndnis, and so filld up by it, thers no roome left for any repyning thought. For it apears most unreasonable, to covett more from any, when I cannot corispond in any visible maner, with half that I receive from you. Therfore, as I intimated
* See below, letter lix.