Transcription of Letter sent by Captain Sterling 18 February 1712

Transcription:
Mistress Mason,
My cherish’d Friend, my most belov’d Heart, my dearest Alice,

Please excuse the Liberty I have taken in writing these few Lines, hoping this will find thee in good Health. I pray also that all is well indeed, with thy Sister Ella and my dear Soul Kitty. I trust in God, that all is truly well with thee, as, thanks be to God, I find myself, though anxious, am I, to see thee.

As I sit and pen this, t’s  a raw &  windy night and I wish that my dearest Heart where here beside me.
I am currently addressing the final Details before the Archangel must put back to Sea, to cruise once more that we may do our Duty in the continuing War.  I and my Officers have made Arrangements with Edward Hyde to entertain a recruiting Party at his Establishment upon the 14, 15, & 16 March.  With such in Mind, I would entreat thee that thou wouldst consider traveling down to Wapping so that I may spend the Week’s End in thy Company, for I would see thee again before I must take my Leave.  

I have miss’d thee my dearest Heart, my beloved Lady, and such dismay at thy Absence I cannot give a sad enough Name. I have been too long depriv’d of the Sight of thine Eyes in which I was wont to see so much Love, which made me feel so full of Joy, and Peace, which took the Place of all else to me and which, in a Word, were all that I desir’d and continue thus..Sweetheart, do not deny me the Pleasure of thy most loving Person. I beseech thee for the love ye bear me,  to give an answer to this, mine crude Letter that I may know how far I may depend on thy coming. Send Word and make haste, I beg thee, to get thee to the Hyde before I must make sail.

But if it does not please thee to answer me in writing, then, I pray God, to hold thee in mine arms within the week.  With my heart I kiss thy hand, since I cannot with my lips, renewing my vows that I love thee more than health, or any happiness here upon this earth.
I pray God that the hours may not be long whilst we are apart.

I conclude with my Love to thee & I remane thy ever loving

John
and waite impationt for thy return.

Copyright 2014 C.A.Salone

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