K7r Letters K7v 138

Letters
By the late Celebrated
Mrs Katherine Phillips.

The Fam’d Orinda,
to the
Honourable Berenice.

Your Ladiship’s last Favour from
Coll. P——’s was truly obliging,
and carried so much of the same great
Soul of yours, which loves to diffuse it
self in Expressions of Friendship to me,
that it merits a great deal more Acknowledgment
than I am able to pay at my best
Condition, and am less now when my
Head akes, and will give me no leave to enlarge, K8r 139
enlarge, though I have so much Subject
and Reason; but really if my Heart ak’d
too, I could be sensible of a very great
Kindness and Condescention in thinking
me worthy of your Concern, though I
visibly perceive most of my Letters have
lost their way to your Ladiship. I beseech
you be pleased first to believe I have
written every Post; but, secondly, since I
came, and then to enquire for them, that
they may be commended into your hands,
where alone they can hope for a favourable
residence; I am very much a Sharer by
Sympathy, in your Ladiship’s satisfaction
in the Converse you had in the Country,
and find that to that ingenious Company
Fortune hath been just, there being no
Person fitter to receive all the Admiration
of Persons best capable to pay them, than
the great Berenice: I hope your Ladiship
will speak me a real Servant of Dr. Wilkins;
and all that Converse with you,
have enrich’d all this Summer with yours.
I humbly thank your Ladiship for your
Promise of Mr. Boyle’s Book, which
indeed merits a publick, not View only,
but Universal Applause, if my Vote be
considerable in things so much above me.
If it be possible, oblige me with the sight of K8v 140
of one of them, which (if your Ladiship
command it) shall be very faithfully
return’d you. And now (Madam) why
was that a cruel Question, “When will you
come to Wales?”
’Tis cruel to me, I confess,
that it is yet in question, but I humbly
beg your Ladiship to unriddle that
part of your Letter, for I cannot understand
why you, Madam, who have no
Persons alive to whom your Birth hath
submitted you, and have already by your
Life secur’d to your self the best Opinion
the World can give you, should create
an Awe upon your own Actions, from imaginary
Inconveniencies: Happiness, I
confess, is twofac’d, and one is Opinion;
but that Opinion is certainly our own;
for it were equally ridiculous and impossible
to shape our Actions by others Opinions.
I have had so much (and some
sad) reason to discuss this Principle, that
I can speak with some confidence, That
none will ever be happy, who make their
Happiness to consist in, or be govern’d by
the Votes of other Persons.
I deny not but
the Approbation of Wife and Good Persons
is a very necessary Satisfaction; but
to forbear innocent Contentments, only
because it’s possible some Fancies may be so L1r 141
so capricious as to dispute, whether I
should have taken them, is, in my Belief,
neither better nor worse than to fast always,
because there are some so superstitious
in the World, that will abstain from
Meat, upon some Score or other, upon
every day in the Year, that is, some upon
some days, and others upon others, and
some upon all. You know, Madam, there
is nothing so various as Vulgar Opinion,
nothing so untrue to it self, who shall then
please since none can fix it, ’tis a Heresie
(this of submitting to every blast of popular
extravagancy) which I have combated
in Persons very dear to me; Dear Madam,
let them not have your Authority for a
relapse, when I had almost committed
them; but consider it without a byass,
and give Sentence as you see cause; and
in that interim put me not off (Dear Madam)
with those Chymera’s, but tell me
plainly what inconvenience is it to come?
If it be one in earnest, I will submit, but
otherwise I am so much my own Friend,
and my Friend’s Friend, as not to be satisfied
with your Ladiship’s taking measure
of your Actions by others Opinion,
when I know too that the severest could
find nothing in this Journey that they L could L1v 142
could condemn, but your excess of Charity
to me, and that Censure you have already
supported with Patience, and (notwithstanding
my own consciousness of no
ways deserving your sufferance upon that
score) I cannot beg you to recover the
Reputation of your Judgment in that
particular, since it must be my Ruine.
I should now say very much for your most
obliging Commands to me, to write, and
should beg frequent Letters from your
Ladiship with all possible importunity,
and should by command from my Lucasia
excuse her last Rudeness (as she calls it)
in giving you account of her Honour for
you under her own Hand, but I must beg
your pardon now, and out-believing all, I
can say upon every one of these accounts,
for really, Madam, you cannot tell how
to imagine any Person more to any one,
than I am,

--06-25
June the 25th,
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that cb is unmatched.
Priory of Cardigan.

Madam,
Your Ladiship’s
most faithful Servant,
and passionate Friend,

Orinda.

Lucasia L2r 143

Lucasia is most faithfully your Servant,
I am very glad of Mr. Cowley’s success,
and will concern my self so much as to
thank your Ladiship for your endeavour
in it.
L2 To L2v 144

To the Honourable
Berenice.

Dear Madam,

I Have been so long silent, that I profess
I am now asham’d almost to beg
your Pardon, and were not confidence in
your Ladiship’s Goodness a greater respect
then the best Address in the World,
I should scarce believe my self capable of
remission, but when your Ladiship shall
know more fully thenthan Papers can express,
how much and how many ways I have
suffered, you will rather wonder that I
write at all, then that I have not written
in a Week, when you shall hear that my
Dear Lucasia by a strange unfortunate
Sickness of her Mother’s hath been kept
from me, for three Weeks longer than I
expected, and is not yet come: I have
had some difficulty to live, and truly,
Madam, so I have, and more difficulty to be L3r 145
be silent to you, but that in earnest my
disorder was too great to write: Dear
Madam
, pardon and pity me, and to express
that you do both be pleased to hasten
hither, where I shall pour all my
Trouble into your Bosom, and receive
thence all that Consolation which I never
in my Life more needed than I now do.
You see, Madam, my Presumption, or
rather Distraction to leap from Confessions
into Petitions, and those for advantages
so much above my merit; but what
is that that the dear Great Berenice can
deny her faithful Orinda? And what is it
that Orinda would not do or suffer to obtain
that sweet and desired Converse, she
now begs of you, I am confident my
Lucasia will suddenly be here to thank
you for your Charity, which you will by
coming express to me, and the Obligation
you will put upon her by it, both which
shall be equally and constantly acknowledged
(if you will please to hasten it)
by

1658-11-02
Nov. 2.
1658.

Your Faithfully
affectionate Friend,
and humble Servant,


Orinda.

L3 To L3v 146

To the Honourable
Berenice.


I Must confess my self extreamly troubled,
to miss a Letter from your Ladiship
in a whole Fortnight, but I must
beg you to beleive your silence did not occasion
mine; for my Ambition to converse
with you, and advantage in being
allow’d it, is too great for me to decline
any opportunity which I can improve to
obtain so much happiness; But really
the box of Gloves and Ribbons miss’d
a conveniency of going, and a Letter
that attended them partak’d in the same
misfortune; by this time and some days
before it I hope they have reach’d you,
for they were sent away above a week
ago, and if so, all that I can tell you
of my Desires to see your Ladiship will
be repetition, for I had with as much earnest- L4r 147
earnestness as I was capable of, Begg’d
it then, and yet have so much of the
Beggar in me, that I must redouble that
importunity now, and tell you, That
I Gasp for you with an impatience that
is not to be imagin’d by any Soul
wound up to a less concern in Friendship
then yours is, and therefore I cannot
hope to make others sensible of my
vast desires to enjoy you, but I can
safely appeal to your own illustrious
Heart, where I am sure of a Court of
Equity to relieve me in all the Complaints
and Suplications my Friendship
can put up: Madam, I am assured you
love me, and that being once granted,
’tis out of dispute, that your Love must
have nobler circumstances then mine, but
because the greatness and reallity of it
must be always disputed with you, by
me there must of necessity remain the
obligingness of your Love to weigh
down the ballance, and give you that
advantage over me in friendship, which
you unquestionably have in all things
else, and if this reasoning be true (as
sure there are all Sciences in Friendship,
and then Logick cannot be excluded) I L4 have L4v 148
have argued my self into a handsome
necessity of being eternally on the receiving
hand, but let me qualifie that
seeming meanness, by assuring you, that
even that is the greatest testimony of
my esteem for your Ladaiship, that
ever I can give; for I have a natural
pride (that I cannot much repent of)
which makes me very unwilling to be
obliged, and more curious from whom
I receive kindnesses then where I confer
them, so that being Contented to be
perpetually in your debt, is the greatest
Confession I can make of the Empire
you have over me, and really that priviledge
is the last which I can submit to
part with all, to be just done in acts
of Friendship, and that I do not only
yeild you in all my life past, but can
beg to have it continued by your doing
me the greatest favour that ever I receiv’d
from you by restoring me my dear and
honoured Berenice; this, Madam, is
but one action, but like the Summ of
an Account, it contains the value of all
the rest, and will so oblige and refresh
me, that I cannot express the satisfaction I L5r 149
I shall receive in it; I humbly thank
your Ladiship for the assurance you have
given me, that you suddenly intend it,
and that you were pleased to be accountable
to me for your stay till
Christmass, which being now at hand,
I hope you will have neither reason,
importunity, nor inclinations to retard
the happiness you intend me; Really,
Madam, I shall and must expect it in
these Holydays, and a disappointment
to me is the greatest of Miseries: and
then, Madam, I trust you will be
convinc’d of this necessity there is of
your life and health, since Heaven it
self appears so much concern’d in it, as
to restore it by a Miracle: and truly
had you been still in danger, I should
have look’d upon that as more ominous
then the Blazing-Star, so much discours’d
of, but you are one of those extraordinary
Blessings which are the publick concernments,
and are, I trust, reserv’d to be yet
many Years an Example of Honour and
Ornament to Religion.

Oh, Madam, I have abundance to
tell you and ask you, and if you will
not hasten to hear it, you will be almost as L5v 150
as cruel as Arsaces; but you will come,
and if you find any thing in this Letter
that seems to question it, impute it to
the continual distrust of my own merit,
which will not permit me easily to
believe my self favoured: Dear Madam,
if you think me too timerous, confute
me by the welcome Experiment of your
Company, which really I perpetually
long for, and again beg as you love
me, and claim as you would have me
beleive it; I am glad your Ladiship has
pitch’d on a place so near me, you
shall be sufficiently persecuted with
Orinda. I know you will pardon me for
not acquainting you with the News you
heard from other hands, when I tell
you there is nothing of it true, and
the Town is now full of very different
Discourse, but I shall tell you more
particularly when I have the honour
to see you, and till then cannot with
conveniency do it. I easily believe
Dous factious, but in those Disputes
I think he discovers more Wit than
Wisdom, and your Ladiship knows
they are inseperable; I shall loose the
Post if I do not now hasten to subscribe,scribe L6r 151
what I am always ready to
make good, that I am more than any
one living,

Your Ladiship’s most Faithful,
and most Passionate
Friend and Servant,


Orinda.

1658-12-30
Decemb. 30.
1658.
To L6v 152

To the Honourable
BenericeBERENICE.

With the greatest Joy and Confusion
in the World, I received,
Dear Madam, your Ladiship’s most obliging
Letter from Kew, and thus far
I am reconcil’d to my own Omissions,
that they have produc’d a Shame
which serves me now to allay a Transport,
which had otherwise been excessive
at the knowledge that I am to
receive, that notwithstanding all my
Failings, you can look upon me with
so generous a Concern: I could make
many Apologies for my self, and with
truth tell you, That I have ventured Papers
to kiss your Ladiship’s Hand, since I L7v 153
I receiv’d one from it, but really,
Madam, I had rather owe my restitution
wholly to your Bounty, than
seem to have any pretence to it my
self, and I will therefore allow my self
utterly unworthy of having any room
in your Thoughts, in that I have not
perpetually begg’d it of you, with
that Assiduity as is sutable to so great
and so valu’d a Blessing; and I know
that though a Sea have divided our
Persons, and many other Accidents
made your Ladiship’s Residence uncertain
to me, yet I ought to have
been restless in my Enquiries how to
make my approaches to you, and all
the Varieties and Wandrings and Troubles
that I have undergone since I had
the honour to see your Ladiship, ought
not to have distracted me one moment
from the payment of that Devotion to
you, which, if you please, I will swear
never to have been one jot lessen’d in
my Heart, as ill and as seldom as I
have express’d it, but now that my
good Fortune has brought me once
more so near your Ladiship, I hope
to redeem my Time, by so constant and l7r 154
and fervent Addresses to you, as shall
both witness how unalterably I have
ever lov’d and honour’d you, and how
extreamly glad I am still to be preserved
in so noble and so priz’d a Heart
as yours, and that I may the sooner
be secur’d of that and restor’d to your
Converse, I must beg your Ladiship to
find some occasion that may bring you
to London, where I may cast my self at
your Feet, both in repentance of my
own Faults, and acknowledgment of
your Goodness, and assure you that
neither Lucasia, nor any other Person,
ever had the Will, the Power, or the
Confidence to hinder the Justice of my
most affectionate Service to your Ladiship,
and though you fright me with
telling me how much you have considered
me of late, yet I will venture upon
all the Severity that Reflection can
produce; and if it be as great as I may
reasonably fear, yet I will submit to it
for the Expiation of my Failings, and
think my self sufficiently happy if after
any Pennance you will once more receive
me into your Friendship, and allow
me to be that same Orinda, whom with so w155
so much goodness you were once pleased
to own as most faithfully yours,
and who have ever been, and ever
will be so; and, Dear, Dear Madam,

Your Ladiship’s
most affectionate
humble Servant and Friend,


K. Phillips.

This was wrote but a Month before
Orinda died.