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STEELE. call upon his Lincolnshire friend, and request the loan of a hundred pounds for a few days. The baronet received him with much civility, and respect, began to renew his offers of service, and begged Sir Richard would give him some occasion to shew his friendship and regard. “Why Sir, says Sir Richard, “I came for, that very purpose, and if you can lend me a hundred pounds for a few days, I shall consider it as a signal favour." Had Sir Richard clapped a pistol to his breast, and made a peremptory demand of the money, the gentleman could not have appeared in a greater surprise, than , at this unexpected request. His offers of friendship had been only made on a supposition of their never being accepted, and intended only as so many baits for Sir Richard's intimacy and acquaintance, Recovering from his surprise, he stammered out; " Why really, Sir Richard, I would serve you to the utinost of my power, but at present I have not twenty guineas in the house.” Sir Richard, who saw through the pitiful evasion, was heartily vexed. “And so Sir," says he, “you have drawn me in to expose the situation of my affairs, with a promise of assistance, and now refuse me any mark of your friendship or esteem.-A disappointment I can bear, but will by no means put up with an insult; therefore consider, whether it is more agreeable to comply with my request, or to submit to the consequence of my resentment.” Sir Richard spoke this in so determined a tone, that the ba
ronet was startled, and said, seeming to recollect himself ; “ Lord, my dear Sir Richard, I beg ten thousand pardons ; upon my honour, F did n remember ;-bless me, I have a hundred pound note in my pocket, which is entirely at your service." . So saying, he produced the note, which Sir Richard immediately put into his pocket, and then addressed the baronet as follows; “ Though I despise an obligation from a person of so mean a cast as I am satisfied you are, yet rather than be made a fool of, I choose to accept of the hundred pounds, which I shall return when it suits my convenience.—But, that the next favour you confer may be done with a better grace, I must take the liberty of pulling you by the nose, as a proper expedient to preserve your recollection.” Which he accordingly did, and then took his leave, wbilst the poor baronet stood astonished at the oddity of his friend's behaviour, and heartily ashamed of the meanness of his own.
Steele was twice married. His first wife, who died young, brought him a good fortune and a plantation in the island of Barbadoes. On her death he paid his addresses successfully to the daughter and sole heiress of Jonathan Scurlock, Esq. of Langunnor Park, in Caermarthenshire. Atter running a round of extravagance, inculcating prudence by his writings, and setting the example of folly in his life, this singular genius experienced a shock of his mental faculties, occasioned by a paralytick affection. He then re2 F 4
tired to his wife's estate, in Wales, where he spent the short remainder of his variegated life, ending as he had begun, but it is to be hoped with better effect, in warm professions of virtue and religion, not suffering any books to be read to bim but the Bible and Common Prayer Book. He died in 1729; but it is remarkable, that neither to Steele nor Addison has private friendship or publick gratitude, given a monumental tablet.