Isabella Duke [Yonge], Richard Duke, of Otterton

E. S. de Beer (ed.), The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: The Correspondence of John Locke: In Eight Volumes, Vol. 3: Letters Nos. 849–1241

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855. Mrs. Isabella Duke and Richard Duke to Locke, 19/29 July 1686 (854, 857; 859)

B.L., MS. Locke c. 8, f. 2. The date of Locke's letter indicates that Mrs. Duke's date is new style.

[Mrs. Duke:]

Spa July 29th. 1686


This morning I was made happy by the receipt of Yours of the 26th from Amsterdam, which came very Seasonably to releive me, pg 16for I was then in a very ill humour, which could not have been cured by a remedy less extraordinary; not but that we have good Bread, and good Wine, and Pottage and Mutton enough; and every one a bed, and good ones too; but we have such Violent and Perpetual Rains, that we are beaten of from the use of the Waters, and lose our time here; all that's past goes for little or nothing with me, who have not tasted them this three days, though they agree very well with me when the Weather gives me leave to drink them. I once reach'd eight Glasses, and several dayes seven, but I do not yet find that keen Appetite, which Tunbridge Waters use to give me, neither do they pass so well, but I beleive all would be well if we had dry hot Weather, which I pray for on many considerations, but principally that we may return the sooner to you, whose Excellent Conversation can even at this distance charm all discontents, and make me forget all the inconveniencyes I am exposed to. there never was so much good Nature, so much Witt, so much Friendship, and so much Flattery, put together in one letter before; but the three first atone for the last, and render it as it is, most acceptable to me. I admire it extreamly, and can never read it often enough, or thank you sufficiently for it; every new Reading of it entertains me with something new, and withal so ingenious, and so soft and kind, that it gives me a new pleasure, and such gratfull resentments, as I want words to express; believe them such as you design'd to excite, and that I can never want a due sence of my many and great Obligations to you; and particularly of this last Favour. my Sister Betty1 also thinks herself very happy in your tender affection, and kind remembrances of her; and sends you her humble Thanks by my hand, but the Men will speak for themselves in the bottom of my letter, which therfore must not be to long; but I cannot have done till I have told you how glad I am that Dr Taffee2 is already come to you, not only for your sake, but for my own; for by the time we return to you I hope his Stories and Newes will be pretty well over, so that he will not ingross you wholly to himself, but will allow us our share of you, who have the greatest vallue imaginable for you, and the Truest Friendship. I am much pleas'd with your way of correction, and do hope that in this hasty scribble you will find faults enough to procure pg 17me another letter, which will be much desired, and Thankfully acknowledged by

  • Your most Obliged Friend and Faithfull humble servant
  • Isabella Duke

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Editor’s Note
1 Elizabeth Yonge, b. 1663; married Bartholomew Beale 1692: Vivian, Visitations of Devon, p. 841; nos. 1311, 1475. Letters below.
Editor’s Note
2 Taffy, a Welshman, from the Welsh form of David: O.E.D. Dr. David Thomas.
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