1792 May 25 (Anne)
Anne Andrews, Isleworth, to Maria Grace Andrews, Salisbury, [Friday], 25 May 1792.
Isleworth May 25th 1792
My dear Grace
But stay I am half inclined to dash out that dear, in the hope that I have a right to be angry with you, and (to use the old Womens expression) “that you are no changeling” and that among your mental friends, the little Dwarf Diligence does not rank as a favorite; but that his more insinuating Mother, bears too great an ascendancy in the intellectual system: that like most courtiers she poisons the princely ear of Reason and that by contributing to his regratification and by furnishing ready excuses and expedients, sycophant like, she contrives to lull asleep this awful Monarch – but remember what one of your favorite Poets says – “Procrastination is ye thief of time” – But I will not trifle lest my hope should not be verified, and I should unintentionally wrong you lest I should be so unfortunate, as to wound a bosom so exquisitely susceptible –
Th’ explanation will no doubt be unnecessary, yet methodical proceedings are generally best, I will therefore begin by informing you that last Tuesday or Wednesday sen’night I sent you a pacquet containing a letter and the preface, by the Night Coach, which I hope you duly received to this letter I expected an Answer and the Preface return’d, in less than nine days, which are now elapsed, and the expectation yet unaccomplish’d, Mr Plomber demands one part of this wish’d for pacquet, but with a far more interesting and incessant call does my anxious, palpitating heart require the other –
I have thought it probable that one of the parcels might have miscarried, and therefore conceived it best to write immediately to prevent farther unpleasant consequences I would indeed rather think anything, than fear a return of my Grandmother’s complaint, or any indisposition on your part – Do not suppose I am the only Claimant, my Father’s solicitous countenance often excites a fear for your welfare, as a reproach for your neglect; beg therefore you will consider an immediate answer due to our mutual anxiety – If (as I have little doubt) you received my last, I think I said enough in that to deter you from concealing Illness, be assured it is a very false species of tenderness, unworthy indeed the name – The last sheets of your book now lie before me, all blunders are I believe rectified but we intend to have a set of it down, before they are stitch’d, to examine, and see if any of the material alterations are neglected –
I have really no time at present to spend in conversing with you and I have scrawl’d over the paper that I may not be induced to it – you will I hope pardon this sentiment, uncongenial indeed, and foreign from my heart I must hasten to conclude, but first let me conjure you to be careful of your health, do not needlessly hurry or agitate yourself on the receipt of this present the respectful & affectionate offerings of the heart to my dear and venerable friends and for yourself accept the love of a Parent and the devoted heart of a Sister –
Adieu my beloved – for whose dear sake ascend the ardent prayers and wishes of your
The following lines of a well known Minstrel demand your grateful acceptance
Thy Muse sweet Maid, thy absence she deplores
And pensive wanders on our winding shores –
Vainly I woo her – coyly she retires
Nor but to you, lends her poetic fires
Few she selects, few Vot’ries are her care,
But you her choicest, favor’d Pupil are
Shelter’d by her, and nurtured in her arms
Increasing Genius with increasing Charms
Shall Man perplex, (attractions so combined)
To give the preference to the Face, or Mind.
Mrs Wynne desires kind remembrances – I have not heard from our friends in Chapel St but of them & have the pleasure to inform you that they are well –
Text: Saffery/Whitaker Papers, acc. 142, I.A.(4.), Angus Library. Address: Miss Andrews | Mr Harding’s | Exeter Street | Sarum. Postmark illegible; for a complete annotated text of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, gen. ed., Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), vol. 6, pp. 28-29. Another reference here to the Preface to The Noble Enthusiast and to the Scotts in Chapel Street.