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HOND. DEAR BROTHER,
My iust kyndnis, though a continuall springe ever flowing to you, is lost in yours, as rivers in the sea. But know, though itt appeare not, you receive itt in full streames, yet drowne itt
ait, in yr full tide of high and dear expressions; to which I can make no answer, but must needs take leave to aske some questions. What doe you meane in ye desyre you expresse ? I suffer strangely ly in the fear you may imagine I have power ; wch really I have not. My power is onely payne. It brings no liberty but restraint.* The truth is, Keat gives so
* These expressions probably allude to a wish that Herbert Aston had expressed for another of his daughters to become a nun in the convent at Louvain; and had imagined that Mrs Thimelby, as superior, might be able to smooth the way, and remove any difficulties which might occur on the subject.
great, so very great a satisfaction to all, that every one desires more of the broode. If you suspect the least of my indeavour to advance the bissines to my utmost power, you doe a high iniustice to, and understand not one jott, Hond. dear brother,
Yr most affectionat sister,
and humble servant,
Dear Brother, say a very great deale for me to my hond. lady. I am in all reallity, her most most affectionat, though unprofitable ser
EVER HOND DEAR BROTHER,
I had patience to fast all lent from the lov'd dayntys of yr letters; but Easter brings an expectation of such feasts agen. I therfor now bring in the first corce of an ordinary homly dish, tis yr torne to bring the secound; upon which, my apetit is wholly bent, as sure to relish every bitt and crome that falls from that table of comfort. I suspect, mischariage of letters has rob'd me of many a good bitt; for I evr found in you so kynd a bounty towards my satisfaction, that sure I am, you wod have ansured all you received from me; wch makes me conclud, divers wer lost. One espetially, wherin I whisperd you concerning Gatt; desyring you to lett me know, how her pulse beats towards Lovaine; for my weaknis requires som warning. If I must for ever loose her, tell me
by degrees, not all at once, least I be sooner and more inseparably wedded to greife, then she to a husband. Be sure she read not this, but you, I know, will esyly forgive me. For, though perhaps I am faulty by too immoderat desyres, yet still my falt is not agaynst charity; for I love, and wish her as my self. But as for faith and hope, I owne my selfe as weak in both concerning her, as perfect in all three to you,
My Lord Portland, I thinck, will be with you before midsomer; but take no notis that I tell you so. He presents his humble service, and desyres to know what hopes of a good fortune for Mrs Weston. I doubt he will expect to know Gatts finall resolution before his retorne. Keats eye mends: I hope she will shortly rite herselfe, for the best I can say for her dus her wronge.
EVER HOND. MORE THEN EVER LOVED, I canot rite without reluctance, what I know you canot read without troble. Our dearly dear Gatt wears still her crowen of thornes, and with adition of sufferance, for she has got a quartin ague; yet beares itt with so sweet a cherfullniss, and her sister too, that to my shame I speake itt, I am the most unresigned person of the 3. What a wretch am I, that knowing the indispensible decree (even to the maker of the law), that none shall enter Heaven by any other way, then sufferance, doe yet repyne to meete the marke that tells us we goe right.
Keate is resolved to keepe sylence, all she can obay yr last comaund; and tell you her sisters head is well. Gatts excuse is too largely tould. She can say nothing. I am left alone to tell this sad story, and have sayd too much,