Edward Clarke to

Mary Clarke

London 9th November 1695

my deare

If I were only to seeke my own pleasure and happynesse in this life, and were only to pursue my own inclynations and desires, I should thinke of nothing but how to spend the remaining part of my dayes with you, in whose company and society is the only true comfort and enjoymt of my life, and therefore you may easily imagine that it was not without reale reluctancy and uneasinesse of mind, that I was at this time forced from you, but I hope God of his infinite mercy to us both, as well as all or children will preserve you and restore you againe to yr former health and strength wch shall bee my constant and earnest prayer for you. I bless God, Nanny and I with Mr Dyke and the rest of or fellow-travellers arrived safe and well here last night in ye evening, we found Mr Stringer and or daughter Betty verie well in Salisbury, the two sisters were much surprised to meete each other and Nanny offered to exchange with Betty, and to stay at Ivychurch with Mrs Stringer, soe as Miss Betty would take her place to London, theire dialogue upon that subject was pleasant enough as was most of theire other conversation, Miss Betty was verie thankefull for yr kind token you bidd mee deliver to her, and desired mee to return you her duty and humble thankes; Mrs Stringer was indisposed of a cold, soe that I could not see her, but Mr Stringer is as well as ever I saw him (his lamenesse excepted) in all my life, hee and his lady (by him and by Betty) sent you theire hearty service and verie frankly and kindly promise the continuance of theire care and kindness to Miss Betty, who held up her head verie well all the while shee was with us, wch was till neare nine at night, and then they went home by the cleere moon-shine; and the next day by three in the morning we proceeded in or journey and gott safe and well thither about five in the evening yesterday; I went directly to Mrs Smithsby lodgeings wth Nanny, where wee were verie kindly recd by her, wth all the kind inquieryes after yr wellfare, and the rest of my children, imaginable and after haveing spent an hour there, I went to Mr Locke and luckily enough found him at home, where all our time together was spent in his inquieryes into all the circumstance of yr case, and yr present state of health, and he desires (by Mrs Burgess ) to have a constant accott from you.

When I acquainted him how often you had been purged, and in what manner and with all the particular circumstance of its operation, he seem'd to bee of the opinion that you had been purg'd enough, saying that continueing to purge oftner would keep you weake, and hinder the strengthening of yr bloode and therefore thought it proper to purge but seldome for the future, unless Doctor Musgrave requires it as absolutely necessary, but to procure a stoole in two or three days at most, by suppositer glister of some such other gentler way, and hee doubts not but strength will increase, and that you will be restored to yr former health, which is the hearty prayer of yr truly and tenderly affectionate and faithfull husband

Edw Clarke

My true love to you and my children and service to all the rest of my freinds.

I was verie kindly recd by Mr Freke who presents his hearty service to you, and sayes hee can best express his respects to you by takeing care of mee, wch hee does with all the kindness imaginable.

The King is not yett return'd to town, soe that there is noe news at present here but hee is expected Tuesday next.

I shall as constantly as possible write to you but would not have you undergoe the fatigue of answering any otherwise than by yr secretary's Mrs Burgess or John Spreate, unless there be need of communicating anything to mee, wch you thinke is improper for either of them to know.