2 October 1752

32. Mercy “Cleora” Doddridge, Northampton, to Mary “Belinda” Doddridge, [at the Tozers, Billiter Square, London], 2 October 1752. [f. 75]

Northtn Oct ye 2 NS 1752

I think it advisible to informe you

that all that is of any importance in

this long tedious Letter you will find in

the 2 or 3 last lines

My very Dear Sister

Never was anything so dull & so stupid as when after you left us, but as I am only in humor to give you a very dull account of a very dull history I shall relate to you evry thing that has happened to us since your absence; no sooner was the Coach drove from the Door than I sent Arther to inquire how I could send your Cloase while he was gone I waited on Mrs Lewis to her Chamber & prevaild on her to lie down in order to try if she could get an napp which I hopt might a littel enirvate her spirits which were indeed very low, by this time you must imagin Arther return’d with intelligence that a Waggon would set out from the Ram Inn in ¼ of an Houre. I soon got a Direction from Mr Blake I saw it well laid on & the Postmaster sent away the Waggoner promisd to take greate care of it & to send as directed by a Porter when he got in to London which he said would be about 3 oClock on Thursday after noon whather he did as he said I cant possibly tell you as I believe you don’t expect I should, I leave you to guess how I spent how my time before Breakfast, & after breakfast we ware all in full expectation of the Leicester coach coming is as we could help entertaining a secret hope t^h^at thair would be no place for Mrs Lewis but upon enquiry we found that there was only 2 women in the coach & then no intruders could prevail on that good Lady to favour us with her Company any longer than 12 oClock then we parted with great reluctance on our side & believe some on hers to whome the thoughts of returning Home did not seem to give any great Joy, after Mrs Lewis was gon I had nothing to do but to wish for my Dear Mercy [she must mean Mary, an odd mistake here] but as I knew that wish was unkind to her & much too selfish, I indeavourd to console my self with thinking how happy she was & would be with the Agreeable Mrs Tozer whom I Love much the better for [her] obliging Behavour to my Dear Sister & I doubt not but you will find a very agreeable companion in Miss Tozer, but to return to my Journal ^in which I shall be very particular^ in the afternoon we had Mrs Steel whome I think a very good sort of woman, Wednsday Morning lay in bed till near 9 breakfasted with Mamma at ten from then to 11 did little but wip’d my Eyes, visited my own apartment thought it look’d very Dull & disagreeable at 11 sent to Miss Churchill to goe with me to Mrs Parson’s very luckily she was engagd as I was a little indispos’d & not in humor to make visits 12 found my self a little better, sent to MrsRemington from 12 till 2 made up one side of my flye-cap & Dresst Dinner eat little, pudding half cold before it came to table the vele [veal] white & well dressed, 3 oClock wrote a note for Lady Ann [Jeykll] receivd for answer that her Ladyship would be glad of my company & went to Mrs Remington call’d by the way on Mrs Bliss who has been very ill, found her below Stairs much better than I expected then 5 to 7 paid my intended visit, Supper at 9, & to bed at 11 so much for the important business of one Day, I give you this as a specimen of my abilitys & have you to determin wheather I have not Topt my part in the Character of Miss < >

on Friday Morning Cealia & I walk’d over to Dalinton attended by Arther nothing could be more Delightful then the Weather you must [k]now if you please imagin us at our Journys End & conducted into the Dining-Room by the Butler no sooner was we arriv’d at the door then the rustling of Silks & charm of Womens Tongues asaild my afrighted ears; with a sound not the most pleasing assuming all the assurance I was mistress of I enterd the room, Lady Ann accosted me in a very gentiel & obliging manner but a little confounded me by saying to me “Miss Doddridge you forget we ware Breakfast very early at this house” mind that it was past ten by their clock which were half an hour faster then ours for me a very unlucky Circumstance. This I did not fail to aquaint her Ladyship & made the best apology I was able which I belive was but a very auckward one. I was now in situation not much to be envied tho at Lady Ann’s righthand which I believe you will easly enter into when I tell you that I was with 2 Ladies & 2 Gentlemen who were entire strangers to me true one of the Gentwas blind which at another time would have exuded my compassion but now had a very different efect upon me the Ladies seem’d to be aware of this diffi^ce^ncy in the gent & did not fail to contribute all in their power to make it up but I’m [sure] I shall quite tire you by being so particular, I will therefor tell you in short that Her Ladyship behav’d to us in the most condescending & obliging maner that you can Imagin showed us evry thing about her House & Gardiens which could entertain us, you [can] scarce think of anything more Elegant & pleasent then the Gardins & all the out affairs very neat & convenient we saw the 2 Monkeys which are I think very ugly Creatures & the Sight of a Copple of Little ring Doves in a cage gave me much more pleasure

but I have said nothing of Miss Jeykill, who is indeed a [most] charming little creature, you never saw anything so entertaing & so good or so fond of Cealia, you must know she loves everything that is little so Little Miss as she calls Cealia was a charming companion for her, she was what I know miss Istid would call very rude but then she was so obedient to the le[a]st Intimations of Pappa & Mamma’s will that I think it was very excusable

but I have scarce left my self room to assure you that it gave me ^us all^ great Joy to hear of your safe arrival in town, Mama desires her love to your Ladyship with many thanks for your kind & obliging Letter, Mama has quite lost her cold & is pure well your [sic] are to [sic] good to Doubt but that I sincerely wish your Happiness so it is of less importance that I have not room to tell you so, Adieu

Ever Affectinately

Yours Cleora

[A second letter, without the opening page, is attached, beginning with an asterisk to suggest it is completing something in the letter above, but no asterisk appears in that letter.]

*no pain to hear Mrs Tozer was in, in short my Dear & without any farther preamble, she is Breeding & I beleive pretty far gone & since I have enterd accedentaly in to the Subject I must tell you that I immagin Mrs Reynolds is in the same way, I’m not certain but by the answer Mr Bezly (who has been latly at Meridon) gave me when I inguird after her Health I should guess it to be so, pray may I aske without being very impertinent how your Agreeable Charlotta stands affected ^in^ with ^this^ Circumstance pray do you know whether Mrs Sp[a]ggs is in the wish’d for way or not, I think I’ve manag’d very well to put so many impertinan[c]ies togather as one ^answer^ may perhaps do for all,

Mrs Istid’s Servant has been here just now & I have the pleasure to tell you both families are ^well^ well I saw Miss Rappit last night she desird her Compliments I put ym in here lest I should forget now My Dear for a 2d return to your Letter, as to the affair of Dr S [Stonhouse] & Mr Powis I know so little that I must say nothing, tho I have often heard them both blam’d prehaps with reason you tell me evry body is of opinion that the Dr [&] Miss [E] will make a match of it at last, I wonder the world’s not tird of the Subject, I agree with you in thinking Greek & Hebrew (not Latin & Greek pray remember another time & give the good Gentleman all the Honours of his Title) stands the best chance for Carrying off the prize, The Bath Schem sucseeded to their Wishes Poor Mr Ch [Churchill] went with them on Horseback but I think thay had compation on him & took him into the Coach or else I think he stu’d [stood] but a poor Chance of ever seeing Dear Northn again for the wather was so extreamly bad & it raind so excessively for the 3 first Days that Mrs Isted said she immagin’d they would be oblig’d to stop at St Albans for that the water would be so much out that road it would be impossible thay should past the Consequence of this mud & naturely be that the roads must be quite intolerable & none more fearful in a Coach than our 2 Ladyes but all these & many more that I could mention are mear Triffels to a Woman of Spirit when let but her Heart be thoroughly in a thing (& if she will stick at Nothing) she must have but a poor Head Peice if she can’t Compass it, O, the strange metemorphases a Womans Will can make at one time. Traveling in the Winter is the Most Dreadful thing imaginable & the thought quite shocking but is their a place me Lady has a mind to visit in the Month of December, thair is, ’tis at a great Distance but that’s so very a triffel its not worth mentioning. the roads are almost impassable, the Coach-man must take the more care, the wather is severely cold & we must wrap the warmer thus is evry objection answerd as soon as started & evry difficulty Vanishes in a Moment but I must now leave the Subject it being now Thursday Morning & many of your Ques still unanswered. you may call on Mrs Room when you please or make her an afternoons visit if she desires it, but Momma would not Chuse you should go very often,

Mama cant tell how much of the Linnen she shall want but I will take care to let you know next time I write

You will please to secure the watch for Mr Schoelfild as I mentiond in my last,

We are still waiting for [Frabins?] House, but fear he will not get out of it by Lady Day as that he is building goes on very slowly.

Mama’s sorry you had the Trouble of searching the box for her Mitt as she forgot to send it I fancy the Gloves must be more than a size larger than yours or they’ll be too small I think I’ve answd all your Quesns & have paper & a few minutes to spare, the fear of the contrary made me break of[f] very abruptly the subject which by your leave I shall now resume, I must tell you in the first place that Madm governess (as you call her) & my young Lady arriv’d safe at Bath, & Mr Churchill to is returnd to Northn but was detain’d when the road by the return of his Ague which has given him a thorough shaking, poor man I realy pitty him with all my Heart. We he[a]r by Little Philly (who you remember is at the Bath) that our Young Lady makes an excellent Nurs, she supposes as she has not yet made her apearance in any of the publick rooms or walks, Miss M. Isted told me wn I was last to visit [h]er, that if Miss E. does not alter her manner of Dress & behavour & leave of[f] that whining ringling which she has got Nash will as cirtainly tell her of it as ever he sees yes says the old Lady & I wish he may with [all] my heart. Miss I. has found a Husband for her a Handsome Irish man one who can Cringe & Flatter & is thoughly in every secret of intrigue he has had 5 or 6 wives & amongst the rest a distant relation of Mrs Istids a Lady of Good Fortain who was trapand by him to her ruin, but I cant say I have any fears of this sort, for be he Cunning as he [is] I dare ingage for’t our Governess is a match for him, but I must hasten to Conclud.

I thank you for your pretty railery on my writing & following a Sisters bright example & it is indeed a very friendly hint & I [hope] to improve by it sometime. We are all greatly concerned to hear of the Misfortuine the Kings have met with

but I must add no more. May the best of blessings ever be yours a good Consience Health peace plenty & a Friend. I am

My Dearest Belinda

with equal sincerity & Affection

ever yours Cleora

Address: none

Postmark: none

Note: On page 4 of this letter, the note “No. 29 | Oct 2 1752” appears in a different hand