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I doe asure you, though I preferd my health in the first place, I look upon France to be no less advantagose, in all other respects. But what is this to you, who inioys all that can be, at your little Bellamour? Only, you can extend so far the greatest charity, when you remember me at your so regular devotions.
As to my owne perticuler, some says hear, I am not in so much danger, but I doubt it is all one: if so, I hope I shall have your advise, what will be best to doe, for a poor banisht creature, who is, in all conditions, more yours then you have reason to believe. As you ar iust I will say no more, but that I am
Your most affectionat nece,
to serve you,
Thes for Mr Herbert Aston.
HOND. DEARE BROTHER,
SURE you thincke me so hardned by affliction, that I have lost both sence of ill, and tast of ioy, els you'd never keepe me so short of comfort. You rite seldomer now then ever; though I never wanted that satisfaction so much as now. Lett me undeceive you, I am no stone: kyndnis is as living in my breast, as full in power as ever:* cloude yours no more with sylence: wher love shynes with full beames grife disapeares. O hasten that fayer day. Meane tyme Ile steale som glimes of comfort,
* So Eloisa,
Though cold like you, unmoved, and silent grown,
All is not heaven's, while Abelard has part,
And in Letter LVI. she says, "Do not suppose me a
by remembering we are both walking towards each other, and certaynely shall meet att last, sence every houre dispatches part of our way: you know our harbenger went longe agoe, to provide us a place. All things are ready, when when we are ready for them; and every houre brings the good newes of our aproach to death, that gate of lyfe. Forgive me, that I longe to fley before you, sence I dar promise when you com, to give you place before me, prebeminence in all but love. But ther Ile boast I am certaynely even, at least with you: na, my hopes give warent, I shall be proclamed eternally,
Yr most constant, most true,
most affectionat sister,
well mortified nun, dead to the world; for, alas! 'tis not so; I am alive, and as nearly concerned for those I love as if I had never left them, and must share in all their fortunes, good or bad."
* The harbinger, was his wife Catherine Thimelby, who had now been dead many years.
HOND. DEAR BROTHER,
I longe to breake the flattering glasse your kyndnis thinckes a true one. You still will looke upon me much better than I am. Why will you sett me so hard a taske, allwayes to unpic what is so finely wroaght? You tricke me netely up, but I must pull all of, to pay truth what I owe. Know then, really I am infinittly unworthy of the esteem, you too too favourably expresse every way of me: for pitty put me no more to the confution of this publick confession. My pride suffers much in itt, my kyndnis more by thes sad delays in my sister's bisines; but this unconstant world does so use us to perpetuall changes, that methinckes, ther is no hope without fear, nor fear without hope. O when, O when, shall ther be an end
* Mrs Thimelby was fond of this metaphor of a flattering glass. See note (*). Letter L.
of both, and I knowen what now I beg to be
beleeved to bee,
Your most affectionat sister,
Dear Brother, take car that poore Gatt greave not. I am truly glad she growes, and growes well too. How shuld I pitty her, had she any other father. Teach her to mingle happines with me, for betweene us we have all. She what I want in you, I what she wants heer. Letts putt all in comon.