1792 November 27 (Anne)

Anne Andrews, Isleworth, to Maria Grace Andrews, Salisbury, [Tuesday], 27 November [1792].

My dear Grace

Tho’ I have learn’d from painful experience the vanity of taking any sudden alarm from the silence of an absent Friend when so many trivial circumstances not even to be supposed by another may almost insensibly occasion Procrastination & delay yet I cannot help feeling a mixture of surprise and uneasiness when I reflect on the length of time which has elapsed since we had the pleasure of hearing from you and I fear indeed that my ground of apprehension is just since my Father whose knowledge of these uncertainties is so much greater than mine fully participated in my anxiety –

I know not what most to dread with respect to your own health you received from me a charge I flatter myself you would preserve inviolably and have immediately inform’d us if it had been materially affected the next fear is for that of our dear Friends as supposing either of them were indisposed we conceive you might defer writing in hopes of being enabled to convey more pleasing intelligence sometimes my solicitude fixes on your mind as its chief object but when I consider the noble impressions which have been stamp’d upon that mind and the store of self instruction with which it is replete my fears on that account are in great measure dissipated. The deeply infixed Thorn hath indeed fill’d your Heart with anguish but do not suppose the smart irremediable you carry with you the balm if you will but apply it tho’ Fortitude or invincible courage like a desperate Quack may not prevail to tare [sic] it out yet Resignation as an healing Unguent shall draw it out with slow and gentle but certain force – Possibly some letter may have miscarried or the parcel which my Father sent with a letter from himself enclosed –

I have no time to write more at present than merely to beg you to return an immede answer as we shall barely exist till relieved from this painful suspence remember us suitably to our venerable Friends my Father would have you fully sensible of his affection which like mine has been so often offer’d and so intirely bestow’d that we have nothing more to give

your’s devotedly

Anne Andrews


Text: Reeves Collection, Box 14.1.(b.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Address: Miss Andrews | Mr Harding’s | Exeter Street | Sarum. Postmark: Isleworth, 27 [November]; 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. 43-44.