Letter to Anne Steele

This is the letter sent (some time in the early 1740s) by Beddome still a young man to his contemporary Anne Steele, as found in Michael Haykin's book The Christian Lover
Dear Miss
Pardon the Boldness which prompts me to lay these few lines at your feet. If continued thoughts of you and a disrelish to everything besides may be considered as arguments of love, surely I experience the passion. If the greatness of a person's love will make up for the want of wit, wealth and beauty, then may I humbly lay claim to your favour. Since I had the happiness of seeing you how often have I thought of Milton's full description of Eve, book 8, line 471:
. . . so lovely fair!
That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained,
And in her looks, which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before. . .
Madam, give me leave to tell you that these words speak the very experience of my soul, nor do I find it possible to forbear loving you. Would you but suffer me to come and lay before you those dictates of a confused mind which cannot be represented by a trembling hand and pen? Would you but permit me to cast myself at your feet and tell you how much I love you, what an easement might you thereby afford to a burdened spirit and at the same time give me an opportunity of declaring more fully that l am in sincerity, Your devoted servant,
— Benjamin Beddome
Dec 23 1742
(Steele Papers STE 3/13 Angus Library)
See original here.

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