G. C. Moore Smith (ed.), The Letters of Dorothy Osborne to William Temple
She had been out dining the day before [with H. O. and Lady Gargrave] and had been out of humour. Lady Tollemache's claim to will-power. Col. R. Hammond going to Ireland. Lady Vavasour sent to the Tower. D.'s distaste to a public wedding. Sir J. T. and Sir T. Peyton will act together in the marriage-treaty. Visit to Suffolk abandoned. Goes into Kent next week. Sends verses from Cowley's Davideis.
London, [Thursday 15 June 1654].
I promised in my last to write againe before I went out of Towne, and now i'le bee as good as my word, they are all gon this morning1 and have left mee much more at liberty then I have bin of late, therfore I beleeve this will bee a long letter, perhaps too long; at least if my letters are as litle entertaining as my company is. I was carryed yester-pg 168day abroade to a dinner2 that was designed for mirth, but it seem's one ill humord person in the company is enough to put all the rest out of tune, for I never saw People performe what they intended worse and could not forbear telling them soe, but to Excuse themselv's and silence my reproaches they all agreed to say that I spoyled theire Jollity by wearing the most unseasonable look's that could bee put on for such an occasion; I tolde them I knew noe remedy3 but leaving mee behinde next time, and could have told them that my looks were sutable to my fortune, though not to a feast. fye I am gott into my complaining humor that tyres my self as well as every body else and wch (as you observe) help's not at all. would it would leave mee and that I could beleeve I shall not alway's have occasion for it, but thats in nobody's power, and my Lady Talmach4 that say's she can doe whatsoever she will, cannot beleive whatsoever she pleases. tis not unpleasant mee thinks to hear her talke how at such a Time she was sick and the Phisitians iolde her she would have the small Poxe and shewed her where they5 were comeing out upon her, but she bethought her self that it was not at all convenient for her to have them at that time; some buisnesse she had that required her goeing abroade, and soe shee resolved shee would not bee sick; nor was not. twenty such storry's as these she tell's and then fall's into discourses of ye strengh6 of reason and the power of Philosophy till she confound's her self and all that hear her; You have noe such Lady's in Irlande. Oh mee but I heard to day Your Cousin Hamond is goeing thither to bee in Ludlows place,7 is it true? you tell mee nothing what is don there, but tis noe matter, the lesse one knows of State affayr's I finde it is the better; my Poore Lady Vavasor8 is carryed to ye Tower & her great belly could not Excuse her because she was acquainted by somebody that there was a plott9 against ye Prottector and did not discover it, she has tolde now all that was tolde her but vow's she will never say from whence she had it; wee shall see whither her resolutions are as unalterable as those of my Lady Talmach. I wonder how shee behaved10 her self when she was marryed. I never pg 169saw any body yet that did not look simply and out of Countenanc[e]11 nor ever knew a wedding well designed but one, and that was of two person's whoe had time enough I confesse to contrive it; and noebody to please int but themselves. hee came downe into the Country where she was upon a Visett and one morning marryed her, as soone as they cam out of the Church they took coach and cam for the Towne, dined at an Inne by the way and at night cam into Lodgings that were provided for them, where nobody knew them and where they passed for marryed People of seven years standing; the truth is I could not indure to bee Mrs Bride in a Publick wedding12 to bee made ye happiest person on Earth. doe not take it ill, for I would indure it if I could rather then faile, but in Earnest I doe not think it were posible for mee. You cannot aprehende ye Formality's of a Treaty more then I doe, nor soe much the successe on't. Yet in Earnest your f: will not finde my B: Peyton wanting in civility (though hee is not a man of much complement unlesse it bee in his letters to mee) nor an unreasonable Person in any thing, soe hee will allowe him out of his Kindnesse to his wife to sett a higher valew upon her sister then she deserv's. I know not how hee may bee prejudiced as to the buisnesse, but hee is not deaf to reason when tis civily deliverd and is as easily gained wth compliance and good usage as any body I know, but by noe other way; when hee is roughly dealt with hee is like mee ten times the worse fort. I make it a case of consciens to discover my faults to you as fast as I know them that you may consider what you have to doe, my Aunt told mee noe longer agon then Yesterday13 that I was the most willfull woman that ever she knew and had an obstinacy of spirritt nothing could overcome. Take heed, you see I give you faire warning.
I have missed a letter this monday, what is the reason? by the next I shall bee gon into Kent and my other Journy14 is layed aside, wch I am not displeased at because it would have broken our intercourse very much. heer are some Verses of Cowry's,15 tell mee how you like them. tis only a peece taken out of a new thing of his, the whole is very pg 170longe & is a discription of, or rather a paraphrase upon the friendships of David and Jonathon, tis I think ye best I have seen of his, and I like ye subject because tis that I would bee perfect In. Adieu
Je suis vostre.
- 'They mingled fates, and both in each did share,
- They both were servants, they both princes were.
- If any joy to one of them was sent,
- It was most his, to whom it least was meant;
- And Fortune's malice betwixt both was crost,
- For, striking one, it wounded th'other most.'