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DeAREST DEAREST SISTER, Why after so long a patience, will you mix my ioy with such distast, to find you shuld the Teast suspect a change of hart in me, because you heare not from me. I may as well complayne, sence tis a whole yeare sencce I receaved line from you, and then I presently answered it, to stope your kynd folly, (give me leave to call it so), which desyred to have my picture drawen. Take notis, I was the last that writ: for it was then, you mentioned so many perticulers of your new house, * all which I answered; but it is not the first of mine wch hath miscaried: for really, I have never mised any oportunitie wch gave any hopes of aryving you. So carfull selfé love made me, to soe my seede, in hope to reape the pleasing fruit of yr answers. But, when they fayled, I never did
* Bellamore, built by Herbert Aston.
admitt a thought your love did so. Sweet sis-
I injoy my health, methinkes, but too well; sence itt delayes my meeting with my sister Franck. * However, know, I am won of the hapiest persons living; though still methingkes, I shuld be hapior diing. Sweet sister, when you rite to me, allwayes give notis of how my lady Aston dus. Her sister, my Lady Mary Weston, desyres itt of you ; and really she d'us so hugely oblige me with continuall kyndnis, I
* Frances Aston, wife of Sir William Persall, of Canwell, near Lichfield. His first wife was sister to Mrs Winefrid Thimelby.
shall be mitty glad to serve her, in any kynd. Her chambers are almost finished, and we hugely taken with her sweet conversation.
Why did you not rite me some perticulers of your sweet children. How dus my pore Keat with the ricketts ? Remember I must have won. Oh tell me what hopes.
I never had line from brother Ned, * sence he leaft you, but heard he intended to winter hear, if brother Thin- give leave; to whom I rite to beg that comfort; but hear. no answer.
I think Dick is dead, at least to me. But I cannot say, requiescat in pace.
Lets always rite when we can, and have patience when we cannot, so shall we be more hapy when we meet whonce agen. Know certeynely my hart can never change to you.
You have many frinds, who will not lett me seal my letter, without incloasing ther kyndest love.
* Edward Thimelby, the poet, second brother to Sir John Thimelby, of Irnham,
LETTER XLII. *
HOND. DEAR BROTHER, Though you have pleased so soone to drye my teares, yet you have filld my hart with other greafe, to finde myselfe so deepely in your debte, both in regarde of my deare sister, and my selfe, without hope of ever paying you, tell harts shall be revealed. But then, I am certaine, all which you layd out upon me, will appeare dischardged upon loves score; for ther I dewly paye. I know not what to say concerning my picture. Twas as far from my thoughts, as from reason, to imagin you shuld desyre it now: but since you are so strangely kynd, methincke I shuld be as strangely coye, if I shuld. not afford my sisters picture that advantage it will gaine by myne ; therfore I shall not fayle to send it. I suffer much with you, concerning
* This letter was written probably soon after the death of Mrs Herbert Aston, in 1658.
your great charge. I have as many hopes, as you have cares: tis onely your burthen, under which I growne, as fearing you may fainte. For them I rest secure, so longe as God preserves them such a father; for which I dayly pray. Therfore I silence all my owne repining thoughts, and tune them to comfort, by hope you will beleeve this great, though hiden truth, that I inheritt all my sisters dearly dere respects
and love of your sweet little ones.
I fear to suffer in yr thoughts, as one to much incroaching upon goodnes, whylist I beg you will please, att yr best leysure, to send that loved relation of my sisters death, my brother Harry so much ioys to have. Forgive me, tis a bold request.