Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
To his Daughter
By Francis Atterbury (16621732)
Then in a Dying State, and about to Journey to See Him
MONTPELIER, 3rd September 1729.
MY DEAR HEART,I have so much to say to you, that I can hardly say anything to you till I see you. My heart is full; but it is in vain to begin upon paper what I can never end. I have a thousand desires to see you, which are checked by a thousand fears lest any ill accident should happen to you in the journey. God preserve you in every step of it, and send you safe hither! And I will endeavour, by his blessing and assistance, to send you well back again, and to accompany you in the journey, as far as the law of England will suffer me. I stay here only to receive and take care of you (for no other view should have hindered my coming into the North of France this autumn); and I live only to help towards lengthening your life, and rendering it, if I can, more agreeable unto you: for I see not of what use I am, or can be, in other respects. I shall be impatient till I hear you are safely landed, and as impatient after that till you are safely arrived in your winter quarters. God, I hope, will favour you with good weather, and all manner of good accidents on the way; and I will take care, my dear love, to make you as easy and happy as I can at the end of your journey.
I have written to Mr. Morice about everything I can think of relating to your accommodation on the road, and shall not therefore repeat any part of it in this letter, which is intended only to acknowledge a mistake under which I find myself. I thought I loved you before as much as I could possibly. But I feel such new degrees of tenderness arising in me upon this terrible long journey, as I was never before acquainted with. God will reward you, I hope, for your piety to me, which had, I doubt not, its share in producing this resolution, and will in rewarding you, reward me also; that being the chief thing I have to beg of Him.
Adieu, my dear heart, till I see you! and till then satisfy yourself, that, whatever uneasiness your journey may give you, my expectation of you, and concern for you, will give me more. I am got to another page, and must do violence to myself to stop hereBut I willand abruptly bid you, my dear heart, adieu, till I bid you welcome to Montpelier.