Personal Life of Rev. Benjamin Beddome

Letter of proposal from Benjamin Beddome (1717-1795) to Anne Steele (1717-1778), 23 December 1742. Click on letter for larger version. See Wikipedia article on Anne Steele. She was also a writer of hymns.

Letter of proposal from Benjamin Beddome to Anne Steele

Dear Miss

Pardon the Boldness which prompts me to lay these few lines at your Feet. If confirmed Thoughts of you & a disrelish to every thing besides may be consider'd as Arguments of Love surely I experience the Passion & if the greatness of a Persons love will make up for Want of Wit, Wealth & 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 beautiful Descriptions of Eve Book 8, Line 471

So lovely fair!
That what seem'd fair in all the World seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd,
And in her Looks; which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before: etc.

Madm give one 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 & lay before You those Dictates of a confused Mind which cannot be represented by a trembling Hand & Pen. Would you but permit me to cast my self at your Feet & tell You much I love. Oh What an easement might you thereby afford to a burdend Spirit, & at the same time give me an opportunity of declaring more fully that I am in Sincerity

Your devoted Serv:

Benjm Beddome

Dec: 23 1742

He also wrote the following in 1742:

The Wish

Lord, in my soul implant thy fear,
Let faith, and hope, and love be there;
Preserve me from prevailing vice,
When satan tempts, or lusts entice!
Of friendships's sweets may I partake,
Nor be forsaken, nor forsake!
Let mod'rate plenty crown my board,
And God for all be still adored!
Let the companion of my youth
Be one of innocence and truth;
Let modest charms adorn her face,
And give her they superior grace;
By heavenly art first make her thine,
Then make her willing to be mine!
My dwelling place let Bourton be,
There let me live, and live to thee!

But she turned him down. In 1749, he married Elizabeth Boswell of Bourton.