1792 September 21 (Anne)

Anne Andrews, Isleworth, to Maria Grace Andrews, Salisbury, [Friday], 21 September [1792].

My dear Sister will I know forgive the delay in writing, which I hope has not occasion’d her any disquietude, when she considers the various employments and avocations which occupy those hours that would otherwise be so much more agreeably devoted to the calls of Friendship: employments which tho’ singly unimportant – yet like a Mole derive consequence from their number: I have now but a short time to spend in your service, or rather in that of my own Heart, which glowing with a secret fire would < > a lambent flame that by the < > sympathy, might be communicated to your Bosom there to assimilate with that, which fond Idea pictures to me as burning with congenial ardor on < > fair Altar – You may remember that I have no letter to answer; this would have served some people less ingenuous for an excuse –

As I can say but little at present I must promise to make amends next Week, when I purpose writing, as my Father intends sending you a hat (and some other things which I think you will stand in need of) he has not been in Town since his return from Sarum. He desires to be affectionately remember’d to you – I have heard from Chapel Street and have the pleasure to inform you that our dr friends are well, but suppose by this time you have heard from them – Miss Ovenden and other of your acquaintance desire love &c &c the Ladies included –

Now as I suppose you will be anxious to know we are hitherto very well satisfied with your choice of a servant, you will easily guess the conjectures which follow’d on her not making her appearance on Monday Eveng as was expected, nor indeed on Tuesday till it was so late that we had given up all thought of her: you may suppose I welcomed her gladly – I had some particular conversation with my Father after his return, but cannot now say anything on [that subject].

I hear you are much affected by the affairs of France; it is indeed terrible, but need I suggest to you the proper grounds of consolation: in the first place, these Revolutions are certainly, morally and politically, inevitable; in the second place they are overuled by an all wise and gracious Providence; and tend to the accomplishment of Scriptural Truths and Prophecies; and, (as we are induced to hope) to the spread of true and vital Christianity, and consequently to advance that happy period, when “the Kingdoms of the Earth shall become the Kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ.” Let us not then grieve my beloved Friend, but wait patiently in the exercise of humble Faith; and tho’ we may pray for an alleviation of these Calamities yet should we learn to acquiesce in His dispensations be they ever so afflictive “who ordereth every [thing] according to his Will” and who disposeth all events to the fulfilment of his righteous and unspeakably gracious Purposes –

But I must hasten to conclude first desiring you to express our sentiments of duty and affection to our dear and venerable Parents and to accept for yourself the tenderest love and esteem with which Nature or Christianity has endow’d the Heart of

Your affectionate Friend and Sister

Anne Andrews

Isleworth Sept 21st

Text: Reeves Collection, Box 14.1.(o.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Address: Miss Andrews | Mr Harding’s | Exeter Street | Sarum. No postmark; 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. 39-40.