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before the mayor yesterday examinations of some apprentices concerning a new plot, and that five did take their oaths it was to put the lords out of the Tower, and burn them and the Duchess of Portsmouth together: this is the latest design I hear of: if any other discoveries be made between this and Tuesday night, I hope I shall not fail to be your informer, and after that, that you will quickly be mine again : I long for it truly, my dear. Lady Southampton was to see the marquesse of Winchester to day: she says her lord will try how Bourbon waters agree with him before she goes : so my lady is to follow : she wants to go with him, she says; I know who could not be so shook off. Now they say, none must come to court that sees the duke of Monmouth. The dinner at the club in the city has more angered the king than anything yet. Mr. Craford has stole a young woman worth 2000). out of a window. Her mother had employed him to persuade her against a match she was not willing to consent to, and so he did most effectually. Miss (their daughter) says she means to write herself, so I have no messages ; but she knows not, I think, of this express ; for, truly, I had forgot it till, as I supped, they remembered me. I am so well pleased to be alone, and scribbling, that I never consider the matter. Pardon, my dear love (as you have a thousand other failings), all the nonsense of this, and accept the passionate, kind intentions of your

R. RUSSELL.

The painting cannot be done till Wednesday : he can get no men to work. Lady Die is pretty well, they send me word from her house. Lauderdale is only troubled with rheumatism. It is so cold, I stirred not to-day to chapel.

LADY R. RUSSELL TO LORD W. RUSSELL.

London, Jane 12, 1680. My dearest heart, flesh and blood cannot have a truer and greater sense of their own happiness than your poor but honest wife has. I am glad you find Stratton so sweet; may you live to do so one fifty years more; and, if God pleases, I shall be glad I may keep your company most of these years, unless you wish other at any time; then I think I could willingly leave all in the world, knowing you would take care of our brats : they are both well; and your great one's letter she hopes came to you. Charlton dined at Lord Leicester's to-day with the great men, yet brings no news. The three chits go down to Althorpe, if they can be spared. There is great talk of a new plot. Duke Monmouth, Lord Shaftesbury, and many concerned. Lord Essex named one : in a few days we shall know what can be made out. Sister Northumberland and Lady Mary are here, and also Charlton; so that the chat is not in a low voice; and they stay to call for ombra, a less pleasing exercise. I hope you think it is to your ever obedient and affectionate wife,

R. RUSSELL.

LADY R. RUSSELL TO LORD W. RUSSELL.

London, 6th September, 1680. My girls and I being just risen from dinner, Miss Rachael followed me into my chamber, and seeing me take the pen and ink, asked me what I was going to do. I told her I was going to write to her papa. " So will I,” said she; " and while you write, I will think what I have to say ;” and truly, before I could write one word, she came and told me she had done ; so I set down her words; and she is hard at the business, as I am not, one would conclude, by the pertinence of this beginning : but my dear man has taken me for better and worse in all conditions, and knows my soul to him ; so expressions are but a pleasure to myself, not him, who believes better things of me than my ill rhetoric will induce him to do by my words. To this minute I am not one jot wiser as to intelligence (whatever other improvements my study has made me), but I hope the afternoon's conversation will better me that way. Lady Shaftesbury sends me word, if her lord continues as well as he was this morning, I shall see her ; and my sister was visiting yesterday, I will suck the honey from them all, if they be communicative. I have not seen Allington; Mr. James had a gentle fit, no cold, and is pretty well to-day; if it holds, he sends me word. Pray talk of his nurse, that she that is, may not be thought the occasion of my not liking her. I have staid till Mr. Cheeke is come in, and he helps me to

nothing but a few half crowns, I expect, at backgammon; unless he may read my letter, he vows he would tell me none, if he knew any ; and doubting it is not worth his perusal, I hasten to shut it up. Lord Shaftesbury was alone, so his lady came not. I hear my sister and Lady Harvey went thither this afternoon ; but she has not called here to-night. Your birds came safe to feast us to-morrow. I am yours, my dear

R. RUSSELL.

love,

LADY R. RUSSELL TO LORD W. RUSSELL.

London, September 17, 1680. Those moments of true pleasure I proposed, at the opening of your letter, were hugely disappointed ; first, when I found less than one would dispatch in the reading of it; and secondly, yet more, that I could not prolong my delight, as usual, by reflections on those expressions I receive as the joy of my unworthy life, which can never be very miserable in any accident of it, whilst my affectionate heart can think you mine, as I do now. But your headache over night, and a dinner at Bedford the next day, gives me more than ordinary longings for a new report of your health, in this crazy time. The maid, in our house, died last night. Poor Lord Shaftesbury continues ill. As I was at dinner yesterday, the doctor, coming to the maid, was sent for to him, so I did not see him, to inquire what he thought of him ; though I fancy it was the first

time he had been sent for, and so he knew nothing of his condition. I doubt he had a double fit yesterday, as I can understand by messages. He has taken the Jesuits' powder five times since yesterday morning. Lord Halifax came to town on Thursday, and next morning his coach stood at Sir Thomas Chitchley's. The town says he is to hear all sides, and then choose wisely. He kissed the duchess's (Portsmouth) hand last night; and she is gone this morning to tell the news at Newmarket (to the king). My brother James walked over to-day to show me how fair he looks, now he has a swelled face ; but talks of Woburn on Monday, hating the place he has been sick in. Lady Newport, my sister Allington tells me, is ill : was taken with a coldness in her head, and drowsiness ; but was better to day, and talks cheerfully. Lord Lauderdale, it is plain, his humble servants say, is not out of favour, but, being weary of business, transfers it to a son-in-law. My sister Allington desires you to bring her some larks from Dunstable. I forgot to send her of mine ; so have not confessed I had any, unless she hears otherwise of them. Sir John Barnardistone, at Hackney, that was cut for the stone, is dead. Dispose, I beseech you, of my duty and service, and all other ways, as you please, in all particulars, of your ever faithful, obedient, passionately affectionate wife,

R. RUSSELL,

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