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I hope now I may venter to say something for myself. If cosin Gatt deseaves me not, I will not feer by this time but my pease is chefly maid with you. Pardon the presumption, dear unkle, for I owne my fault great; and have no other recourse so prevalent in my opinion, (mistake me not all to geather) as yr partiallity. For I remember once, you were not pleased at that expression of me, so that I should be very unwilling to incur it a second time. You must give me leave only to tell you, wher ther is such true desert, as none doubts butt is ther, who knowse her, you can not reward it better, then by a more than ordinary kindnes; and it must not be calld a partiallity: that being a contrary thing, a blindnes without any meritt often times: But why doe I talk thus to unkle Aston, who knowse every thing, and I nothing? I am


ashamed of my self, and will stop my pen to consider, if I can find something that may give him a better satisfaction. But it will not be, I can not thinck of so good a subiect as I have begun with. To continue with Bellamore, you must know cousin Aston is this day gone to a new play, which was never acted but by the Lady Castlemaine. Wee ar in in expectation still of Mr Draidens play. Ther is a bowld woman hath oferd one: * my cosen Aston can give you a better acount of her then I can. Some verses I have seen which ar not ill: that is commendation enouf: she will think so too, I believe, when it comes upon the stage. I shall tremble for the poor wooman exposed among the critticks. She stands need to be strongly fortified agenst them. The greatest newse I can tell you, Lo. Buckhurst hath wright his mistress a letter, wherin he shewse himself, what

*This bold woman was probably Mrs Aphra, or Aphara Behn, a celebrated female writer for the stage, in the reign of Charles II. She dedicated most of her pieces to the famous Mrs Eleanor Gwyn, in a style of adulation which even Dryden could not equal, and which has never been surpassed.

she mought daly expect, inconstancy. She tooke it heavily for a day; but thay say, is so well provided, as if she had bine the occation of the change her selfe. Hary Jerman is the man. Wee have so dull and so wicked a towne, as it will aford no newse but of this kind, which will be so seriose to you. With such ill expressions, I can not to soone end, when I have done my greatest bisnes, which is to asure you, that

none is more

Your humble servant,

Deare unkle,

Ever to command,


I can not but tell you, I think my self more bowld then the wooman I have named, when I wright to you. For yr sensure is to me what all is to her. Wonder not I doe it so seldom.



THOUGH I think you have resolved never to see this plase more, methinks you should not quarell with all for one. Many frends for one enemy should sattisfy, which I doubt not but you have. But that which is above all, you inioy so much hapines in the sweet solitude of Bellamour, that you despise all other satisfactions, even King and no King, which is this day acted. Maskerades, I know not what powre they might have with you, but I know a gentleman of yr acquaintance, that, the first as ever I was at, came and squeesd me by the hand; and I knew him not, tell he discoverd him self: then I was obliged to say nothing. For that trick, I am resolvd never to see any more, except it were to meet you ther: and then I think it weare a very convenient plase to discourse many things, too seriose for me to.

wright. I am the less conserned that cosin Aston performes the part of sending you the newse, when there is any. Nor have I time for more, then my love to dear Gatt, with yr leave; and I am yours. ELIZ. COTTINGTON.

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