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yet not enouf, till I style myselfe, beyound all expression, and I fear beleefe,
Yr most affectionat sister,
and humble servant,
Dear Brother, rite as oft as ever you can to
Gatt, twill be her best medisin.
These for Mrs Gertrude Aston.*
MY SWEET CHYLD,
How couldst thou fynd in thy hart to give adition to my troble, in parting with thee, and to be at such charges to vex me? I beleeve you thought itt discretion, to temper one pation by another; and therfore raysd my coller to moderate my greife; but you fayl'd in your ayme, and left poore Keat, to bear alone the scourge of my just anger. You have read how it goes with me, tis now your torne to tell me how you doe. See you performe yr taske clearly and largely no general termes will serve my torne. I must know all perticulers of yr indispositions, that I may better know how to direct my pray
* Herbert Aston's daughter.
ers: whether thancksgiving, or petition, suits you best. I have allready past the hardest, I meane that of oblation, and shall continue the second in a corner after matins, but the 3d I long to have publicke in company of my good sisters. Tell us therfore quickly, is your ague quit gon, that we may all give thancks to God. How strangely doe I speake, as if health wear the proper motive of gratitude, wheras certaynely patience in sicknis is far above itt; and presuming one of thees, com what will, my hart shall ever prayse God for thee: for I am confident yr lott shall be made good, which you chose with Mrs Hacon. Remember it well, but doe not mistake me. I meane not, presently to be a nun. I mean not to seale thee up cloyster, (as for that, his will be done, in spyt of fond desyres), but I meane to seale thee up to his owne servise. Love God, and doe what thou wilt. Ile promise to love thee every iot as well as if a nun: as truely, as constantly, as dearly, because unchangebly thy most affectionat ante,
Feb. 23, 1672.
MY DEAR SWEET CHYLD,
I know not whither I shuld chyd or pitty thee, as being ignorant of the cause of thy sylence. I am inclyned to fear, thou art either sad or sick. The last may excuse thee, but the first not at all. Na, if so, thou art most uniust, and keepe my owne from me, and defrawdest me of my right. So I esteeme it, to bear part in all thy concernes, espetially sufferance. Ther thou shalt never be alone, by my consent. Therfor, dear chyld, tell me truly and largely, how it goes with thy content; and, if I may have leave to compare bace and meane things with high, perhaps God deals with thee, as my mother did with me, when a little foolish chyld, and nuely weaned from the brest. I gott a trick to suck my thum, but she so rub'd it with worm wood, I quickly left that sport. So I phansy,
Allty God sprinkels with bitternis all thy lov'd pleasures, and will not have thee suck dry broken cesterns; but drinck full draughts at the fountayne head of true and lasting ioys, such as flow in religion. Forgive me, my chyld, I cannot forbear to say this; my hart is so topfull of desyre to have thee as happy as my self. But I wod not have thee take it for persuasion, unless thou finde, as I suspect, no solid content wher thou art; but supposing thou doest, I am truly satisfied, and will beleeve, and hope, God will make thee a sayntt, wher thou art, and thats all I car for. I never till now had ambition to be a prophetess.
I must desyre yr prayers for dear Sr Mary Coyny, who dyed in 14 dayes sicknis: so frayle a flower is youth and beauty. Trust not to itt Gatt, if thou beest wyse but you know
* This young lady was of the ancient family of the Coyneys, of Weston-Coyney, near Cheadle, in Staffordshire, which still flourishes at the same place. One of the family is at present Superior, or Reverend Mother of the Convent called the "Bar," at York; which, I believe, was the only religious establishment of the kind, which escaped destruction at the Reformation. It has ever since continued in high reputation, as a place of education for young ladies of the Roman Catholic persuasion.