Friday, July 20, 2007

Sir Thomas Browne and Many Gates

[To Elizabeth (Browne) Lyttelton]

[Sept. 15, 1681]

Deare Betty,

Thoe it were noe wonder this very Tempestious and stormy winter, yet I am sorry you had such an unComfortable sight as to behold a ship cast away, so neer you; this is noe strange tho unwelcome sight at Yarmouth, Cromer, Winterton & sea Towns; tho you Could not save them I hope they were the better for yr Prayers, both those that Perishd and those that scapd. Some wear away in Calmes, some are Caried away in storms, we Come into the World one way, there are many gates to goe out of it. God give us grace to fit and prepare our selves for that Necessity, & to be ready to leave all when and how so ever he shall call. The Prayers of health are most like to be acceptable, sickness may Choak our devotions, & we are accepted rather by our life then our death; we have a rule how to lead the one, the other is uncertain & may Come in a moment. God I hope will spare you to serve him long, who didst begin early to serve him. There dyed 36 last week in Norwich, the small pox very common, & we must refer it to Gods mercy when he pleaseth to abate or Cease it, for the last run of the small Pox lasted much longer then this has yet dun.

Yr Brother Thomas went once from Yarmouth in the evening and arrived at the Isle of White the next day at one a Clock in the afternoon, but it was with such a wind, that he was never so sick at sea as at that time. I came once from Dublin to Chester at Michaelmas & was so tossed, that nothing but milk & Possets would goe down with me 2 or 3 days after. Yr self is not impatient, you will have no Cause to be sad, give noe way unto Melancholy, wch is purely sadnes without a reasonable cause. You shall never want our dayly Prayers & also our frequent Letters. God bless you both. I rest,

Yr Loveing father,
-from The Prose of Sir Thomas Browne edited by Norman J. Endicott (Garden City, New York: Anchor, 1967) p. 495-496.

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