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Tanbridge Wells, 1678. AFTER a toilsome day, there is some refreshment to be telling our story to our best friends. I have seen your girl well laid in bed, and ourselves have made our suppers upon biscuits, a bottle of white wine, and another of beer, mingled my uncle's way, with nutmeg and sugar. None are disposing to bed, not so much as complaining of weariness. Beds and things are all very well here: our want is, yourself and good weather. But now I have told you our present condition : to say a little of the past,-really do think, if I could have imagined the illness of the journey, it would have discouraged me: it is not to be expressed how bad the way is from Sevenoaks ; but our horses did exceeding well, and Spencer, very diligent, often off his horse, to lay hold of the coach. I have not much more to say this night: I hope the quilt is remembered; and Frances must remember to send more biscuits, either when you come, or soon after. I long to hear from you, my dearest soul, and truly think your absence already an age. I have no mind to my gold plate ; here is no table to set it on; but if that does not come, I desire you would bid Betty Foster send the silver glass I use every day. In discretion I haste to bed, longing for Monday, I assure you. From your Past ten o'clock.

R. RUSSELL. Lady Margaret says we are not glutted with company yet; you will let Northumberland know we are well; and Allie.


London, 4th January, 1679. It is now between eleven and twelve o'clock; an hour, I guess, you are in full employment, and I at the most delightful I can choose, considering my present circumstances. If yours be not so easy to-day *, to-morrow, I hope, will make you some amends; and by this day se'nnight, the remembrance of the toil past, and the expectation of the enjoyments at sweet Stratton, will recompense all. Your father sent me two letters to read this morning; one was Tom Gregory's, the

other Lord Bolingbroke's to him, with mighty · compliments to you in it. Poor Lord Ailesbury

had a doleful face yesterday t, Lady Mary told me. Since Tuesday night I heard nothing, but I will try this afternoon, add what I can get, but I would begin lest my time should be short in the evening. Mr. Montagu had a letter yesterday from the council board to be there at his leisure, to see his cabinets opened ; so to-morrow he goes. I have sent you my sister's (Lady Northumberland's) letter to read; the poor man is delivered out of a peck of troubles, one may perceive. I would not end this epistle till I had coasted the town for news, but I met none at home to furnish me with any; and being now at Montague House, find as little there. Sir Robert is in discontent to-day; and swears if he knew

The day of the election for Bedfordshire. + On account of his son's failure at the Bedfordshire election.

as much as he does to-day a fortnight ago, he would bave been a parliament man, whatever it had cost him : he is out of favour, he says. Sir William Temple, it is believed, will be the other secretary, and not Mr. Hide. To give you all reports, my Lord Bath, they say, is to be treasurer; and some other remove, I heard, as not unlikely, but have forgot it; and here is such a buzz at cards, and with the child, that I can remember none; and to help, Mr. Stukely is come in. Your sister (Lady Margaret) is well, but I hear nothing of sister Alinton; their porter has been missed a week ; they have changed the lock, and I hope take care ; I send to them to know if they take care to watch, but I get no good answer; you know my concern. They will let me say no more ; our girls are very well and good. I am my Lord Russell's creature entirely, Thursday night.

R. RUSSELL. Williamson is gone with his lady into the country.

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London, April 3, 1680. To be absent from the best and most loved thing and friend in the world, and now, I may almost say, the only one I have in it, must cause some alteration in a person sensible of her condition ; but for any other, I praise God I can complain of none. I have kept close to my easy chair this very ill stormy day ; but been upeasy in my thoughts for the two travellers. God grant you

keep from cold, and preserve you from all other ills! I have staid till past eight to get news, and now Lady Southampton and Mr. Darcy is come in, so I must shorten my converse with my best and only true joy. Charlton is, I believe, out of town, and so is all the world to me, I think, for I have seen nobody but your father and brother Ned: all I can hear is, the king has forbid the duke of Monmouth to see Nell (Nell Gwynne); that is, I should say, Nelly to see him. The princess of Orange is not likely to last long, as is said. Lady Inchiquin was here last night : she meant to go to-day, and get a doctor to go with her. There is a report that the witness whom they secured about this Irish plot is got away: this is our neighbour's news, Lady Southampton brought it. I hope, by Tues. day, to do better things. Our girls are, I hope, as well as you can wish them. The widow and I are going to a partridge and Woburn rabbits. My sister Allington is not very well yet, but no fear, I hope, of miscarrying. Good night, my dearest love, I am inviolably yours,



London, 1680. Ten o'clock, Sunday night. My thoughts being ever best pleased when I, in some kind or other, entertain myself with the dearest of men, you may be sure I do most willingly prepare this for Mr. Chandler. If I do bear to-morrow from you, it will be a great pleaVOL. V.


sure to know you got well to Stratton, though I fear for you every day, knowing you will frisk out abroad. Mr. James (Russell) I hope airs your rooms well with good fires. Your father sighs with the prospect of his journey. Mrs. Herbert, the doctors conclude, cannot live : Scarborough only has some hopes : he is now called in. Mr. Montagu was to see her, and says she is as her sister Denham was. The Lord Shrewsbury is like to lose both eyes. It is very true the gentleman that was put into the messenger's hands is gone; but, as I have it from a privy counsellor, he was first put there, by his own desires, for safety, pretending fear of his life, but is now sent into Ireland with the messenger, as I gather, to be hanged for other crimes, he being, as my author has it, the greatest rogue alive, and witnessed to be so by a man Lord Essex broughť to see him, who he was confident must know him; and so he did, saying he would not, for a world, be one hour alone with him, so dangerous a man he was; at which character Lord Essex was much confounded, having appeared so much before for him, and seemed to credit his informations. Another witness, he named, is sent for out of Ireland, where he is in gaol for horrid crimes; they are both Tories, so was the fellow they pretend was poisoned, another villainalso, for this person Lord Essex brought knows them all : this man was kept so private, none ever saw him since the messenger took him, but themselves, nor know what is become of him, but those so happily informed as myself. A lady out of the city told me it is certain there was

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