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so greatness or virtue, that spark of primitive grace, is in every one alive ; and likewise meanness of vice, that seed of original sin, is in a measure also ; for if either of them were totally absent, men and women must be imperfect angels, or absolute divills; now from the predominance of either of these qualities in us, we are termed good or bad ; but yet as contrarietyes, though they both reside in one body, must they ever be opposite in place; thence I infer, that as beate in the feete makes cold in the head, soe may it bee with probability expected too, that greatness and meanness should be as oppositely seated, and then an heroick head is liker to be ballanced with an humble taile ; besides reason, experience has furnished mee with many examples of this kind,-my Lady Morton, Nell Villers, and twenty others, whose honour was ever so excessive in their heads, that they suffered a want of it in every other part; thus it comes about, madam, that I have no very great estime for a high-spirited lady,- therefore should be glad that none of my friends thought it convenient to adorne their other perfections with that most transcendent accomplishment; it is tolerable only in a waiting gentlewoman, who, to prove her. selfe lawfully descended from Sir Humphrey, her great uncle, is allowed the affectation of a high spirit and a naturall inclination towards a gentile converse : that now is a letter; and to make it a kinde one, I must assure you of all the dotage in the world; and then to make it a civil one, down at the bottom, with a greater space
between, I must write, madam, your most humble servant,
ROCHESTER. I have too much respect for you to come neare you whilst I am in disgrace, but when I am a favourite again, I will waite on you.
THE EARL OF ROCHESTER TO HIS WIFE.
DEAR WIFE, I RECEIVED the three pictures, and am in a great fright, least they should be like you; by the bigness of the head I should apprehend you far gone in the rickets; by the severity of the countenance somewhat inclined to prayer and prophecy ; yet there is an alacrity in the plump cheek that seems to signify sack and sugar, and the sharp-sighted nose has borrowed quickness from the sweet-swelling eye. I never saw a chin smile before, a mouth frown, and a forehead mump; truly the artist has done his part (God keep him humble), and a fine man he is if his excellencies do not puff him up like his pictures. The next impertinence I have to tell you is, that I am coming down to you. I have got horses, but want a coach, when that defect is supplied, you shall quickly have the trouble of your humble servant.
Receive my duty to my lady, and my humble service to my sister, my brother, and all the Betties, not forgetting Madam Jane.
! THE EARL OF ROCHESTER TO HIS WIFE.
DEAR WIFE, I RECOVER so slowly, and relapse so continually, that I am almost weary of myself; if I had the least strength, I would come to Adderbury, but in the condition I am, Kensington and back is a voyage I can hardly support. I hope you excuse my sending you no money; for, till I am well enough to fetch it myself, they will not give me a farthing; and if I had not pawned my plate, I believe I must have starved in my sickness. Well, God bless you and the children, whatever becomes of, your humble servant,
THE EARL OF ROCHESTER TO HIS WIFE. MY WIFE, The difficulties of pleasing your ladyship doe increase soe fast upon me, and are growne so numerous, that, to a man less resolved than my. self never to give it over, itt would appear a madness ever to attempt itt more, but through your frailtys myne ought not to multiply; you may, therefore, secure yourself that it will not be easy for you to put me out of my constant resolutions to satisfy you in all I can; I confess there is nothing will so much contribute to my assistance in this as your dealing freely with mee, for since you have thought it a wise thing to trust me less, and have reserves, it has bin out of my power to make the best of my proceed
ings effectual to what I intended them ; at a distance I am likeliest to learn your mind, for you have not a very obliging way of delivering itt by word of mouth ; if, therefore, you will let me know the particulars in which I may be usefull to you, I will shew my readiness as to my own part, and if I fail of the success I wish, it shall not be the fault of, your humble servant,
ROCHESTER. I intend to be at Adderbury some time next week.
THE EARL OF ROCHESTER TO HIS WIFE. PRAY do not take it ill that I have writ to you so seldom since my coming to town; my being in waiting upon the sad accident of Madame's death (for which the king endures the highest affliction imaginable) would not allow me time or power to write letters. You have beard the thing, but the barbarousness of the manner you may guess at by my relation. Monsieur, since the banishment of the Chevalier de Lorrain (of which he suspected Madame to be the author), has ever behaved himself very ill to her in all things, threatening her upon all occasions, that if she did not get Lorrain recalled, she might expect from him the worst that could befal her. It was not now in her power to perform what he expected : so that she returning to Paris, he immediately carried her away to St. Cloud, where having remained fifteen days in good health, she having been bathing one morning, and finding
herself very dry, called for some succory water (a cordial julep she usually took upon these occasions), and being then very merry, discoursing with some of the ladies that were with her, she had no swallowed this succory water, but immediately falling into Madame de Chattellon's arms, she cried she was dead, and sending for her confessor, after eight hours infinite torment in her stomach and bowels, she died the most lamented (both in France and England) since dying has been in fashion. But I will not keep you too long upon this doleful relation : it is enough to make most wives in the world very melancholy: but I thank you for my cheeses, my sugar of roses, and all my good things. Pray let it not be necessary for me to put you too often in mind of what you ought not to be less forward in doing than in advising. I hope you will give me no occasion to explain myself: for if I am put upon that, you will find me very troublesome. I received no letter from you with one inclosed to your mother, nor do I believe you writ any. Besides, I find by another cir. cumstance, that the returns of letters betwixt London and Adderbury are very tedious. If you write to me, you must direct to Lincoln's Inn Fields, the house next to the Duke's Play House, in Portugal Row; there lives your hum. ble servant,