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thank you. I have been wth Dr Hough who
received yr letter and Enquired very Civilly
after You and my Ladye's health. When I
took my leave of him he desired me to inform
him, if at any time he could be servicable or
assistant to me for he would very readily do it.
Dr Aldridge Gives he's Service to yu, and told
me he should write to you himself by this post.
This is all at present from yr most humble Servt
and ever-obedient nephew R. STEELE.

Pray Sr direct letters to me myself for 'tis
something troublesome to my Tutour yt I am and
have been very much indisposed by a bile just
over my left eye; but I think it mends now.

Postmark March 31 [1690].
Sr,—I received your letter, and gave Mr.
Sherwin his paper from you. Most of the
money he had in his hands was before disposed
of, therefore he gave me but five pounds, but
he will give the rest next Wednesday, till
which time I defer my giving ye A true and
particular account how my Tutour and I design
to dispose of the whole; the night after I writ
my last Mr. Horne sent for me to the tavern,
where he and Mr. Wood a fellow of that Coll.,
treated me with Claret and Oysters. I went to
give him an account of what you commanded
me, but I shall Do at the first Opportunity.
Our Dean whome you expected Is, I suppose
now at London, the election for students is not
very far of now; if ye would be pleased to speak
to him or purchace from my Lord a word or
two; it would perhaps get me the most Creditable
preferment for young men in the whole
university there are many here that think of it,
but none speak their mind; the places are
wholly in the Dean and Cannon's dispose without
respect to Scholarship; but if you will
vouchsafe to use your interest in my behalf
there shall be nothing wanting in the endeavours
of Your most obedient nephew
                                 and most humble servant
                                           R. STEELE.

The Dean has two in his gift. My most
humble duty to my lady.

May 14.
Sr,—I have received the Bundle My Lady
sent to me And do most humbly thank ye for
that and all the rest of yr favours, but my
request to you now is that you would compleat
all the rest by solliciting the Dean who is now
in London in my behalfe for a student's place
here; I am satisfied that I stand very fair in
his favour. He saw one of my Exercises in the
House and commended it very much and said
yt if I went on in me Study he did not question
but I should make something more than ordinary.
I had this from my Tutour. I have I
think a good character throughout the whole
Coll; I speake not this fr out of any vanity or
affectation but to let you know that I have not
been altogether negligent on my part: these
places are not given by merit but acquired by
friends, though I question not but so generous a
man as our Dean would rather prefer one that
was a Scholar before another. I have had so
great advantage in being* *** my own abilities
are so very mean I believe there are very few of
the Gown in the Coll. so good scholars as I am.
My Tutour before told me that if you should be
pleased to use your interest for me, or pt my
lord's letter or word in my behalfe; it would
certainly do my businesse. And yr Friend Dr.
Hough the new Bishop of Oxon, I believe may
doe much now, for Dr. Aldrich is, as it were,
his Dean. Perhaps, Sir, you may be modest in
solliciting him, because you may think others
trouble him for the same thing; But pray, Sr ,
don't let that hinder you for it will be the same
case next Election, and if we misse this opportunity
'tis ten to one whether we ever have such
another; besides the Dean won't have a place
again this three year; therefore I beseech you
Sr as you have been always heretofore very good
to me to use your utmost Endeavour now in my
behalfe And assure yrself that whatever preferment
I ever attain to shall never make me ingratefully
forget, and not acknowledge the
authour of all my advancement but I shall ever
be proud of writing myself Your most obliged
                                       Hum: Servt
                                                 RICH: STEELE.

On a sheet of drafted letters on various matters
in Henry Gascoigne's writing, one of
which bears date May 27, 1690 (commencing,
"I was on ship-board about 3 weeks ago,
when I sprained my right arm," which may
account for the delay), is the following memorandum:
"That your Idship will be pleased to
befriend Dick Steele, who is now entered in
Ch. Ch., by getting him a student's place there,
or something else, to Exse: mee of charges
beside what is allowed him by the Charter
House." The Duke of Ormond was Chancellor
of the University of Oxford.

This request was not granted, but an equivalent
was obtained. Steele eventually became a
postmaster of Merton College. This letter is
addressed to Gascoigne's wife.

Honoured Madam,
Out of a deep sense of yr ladyship's Goodnesse
Towards me, I could not forbear accusing
myselfe of Ingratitude in omitting my duty, by
not acknowledging yr ladyship's favours by frequent
letters; but how to excuse myself as to that
point I know not, but must humbly hope yt as
you have been alwaies soe bountiful to me as to
encourage my endeavours, so ye will be soe mercifull
to me as to pardon my faults and neglects,
but, Madam, should I expresse my gratitude for
every benefit yt I receive at yr ladyship's and my
good Unkle, I should never sit down to meat
but I must write a letter when I rise from
table; for to his goodnesse I humbly acknowledge
my being, but, Madam , not to be too
tedious, I shall only subscribe myself Madam ,
yr ladyship's
Humble servant and obedient though unworthy
                                                        R. STEELE.

* End of page torn away, and one line illegible.