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Stockbridge. From this period his life ceases to be particularly interesting ; for, although he returned to Parliament in 1722 as member for Wendover-the place for which Edmund Burke afterwards sat-he does not appear to have taken any share in debate, and, so far as his literary career is concerned, it was practically over.
It was a strenuous and, although tempestuous, on the whole a happy life which closed at Carmarthen in 1725, seven years after Lady Steele, his 'dear, little, peevish, beautiful, wise governess,' had been taken from him. There were many to shed tears for kindly, warm-hearted Richard Steele ; and what they, doubtless, thought of him has been summed up by one of his fairest modern critics :-'He was unswerving in his loyalty to his friends; he was the most loving of fathers; and, in days when marriage was lighter tie than now, his devotion to his wife may be called romantic. There have been wiser, stronger, greater
But many a strong man would have been stronger for a touch of Steele's indulgent sympathy ; many a great man has wanted his genuine largeness of heart; many a wise man might learn something from his deep and wide humanity.' And as Steele was a man who wore his heart upon his sleeve, it will not be easy to miss the charm which these good qualities have imparted to the following Essays.