1794 May 30 (Maria)

Maria Grace Andrews, Salisbury, to Elizabeth Saffery, Portsmouth, Friday, 30 May 1794.

Friday Night May 30th 1794

The tender anxiety which my beloved Friend expresses in her late letter; constrains me to say a few words; tho’ in great haste; and I am grieved to add in much pain; from a relapse of yt affliction I endured a short time since; in which my dear Mrs S– so kindly sympathized. but I have no time for complaints; & I am sure I have no business to make any; but on the Acc:t of Sin which is indeed “a venomous disease” far more intolerable than the Head-Ache!

I communicated the pleasing intelligence of yrs & dear Mr S—y’s welfare to the Friends who listen’d with avidity & heard with smiling countenances that part of your message which respected yr desire of returning.

Yesterday I received a parcel from London directed for Mrs S– but I have not sent it, because I conceive it to be books. I however wait for your directions.

Hannah J—f. has brought me news from Mrs Houghton who has not yet written to me. She is well & has spent two day’s & nights at Isleworth. I am to have a letter to morrow. In consequence of my writing home as I inform’d you in my last, I have received an answer from my dear Sister saying that my Father alarm’d at the melancholy too visible in my letter made a voluntary offer of her visiting me, at Sarum, in the course of two or three weeks. I am almost ashamed to say, what a cordial this was to my fainting spirits. Ah! what proness do I feel, to live upon created good to rest upon an Arm of flesh! yes tho’ my wretched heart may abuse it, this dispensation is surely very kind. O! our God, is merciful!

Mr Witchurch preach’d twice for us last Sabbath. Mr D—r once. You ask about Mr B—n’s absence: nothing unpleasant; tho I don’t know particulars. He preach’d in the Mor:g of the preceding Sabbath. Mr V– I suppose caused his departure.

Mrs Harding is something I have not set up with her all Night since, but have thought it prudent to sleep with her. The S–:vt has her bed in the same Chamber; Mr H– sleeps in mine.

There has been here, a great deal of noisy triumph about our reported success in the hostile Field. O my dear Friend, yt is an awful truth, “The Sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination” it is evidently so with ye thanksgiving of the multitude & alas! as it respects my own, I am ready to question myself in those piercing words of Dr Watts & say,

Unthinking Wretch; how can’st thou hope to please,

A God, a spirit, with such toy’s as these?

So many beg their affectionate remembrances yt I cannot pretend to subjoin names only some say, yt you will expect to see on ye list, those of Berford, Norman, Hutching, Joliff & I must mention Smith & Penny, with poor Mrs H– & then leave you to guess the long &c.

The most grateful remembrance’s if you please from me to dear Mr S– I need not say how highly I esteem him, nor perhaps yt I am yrs very tenderly,

M. G. Andrews

P.S. my beloved Friend, will pardon my telling her yt she seem’s dejected in her last. She will permit [me] to say, yt it is better to lament the absence of a good husband; than to rejoice over the absence of a bad one. Love to yr Sisters.

Text: Saffery/Whitaker Papers, acc. 142, I.A.11.(d.), Angus Library. Address: Mrs Saffery, | Revd Mr Horsey | Portsea. No postmark (sent by Rook’s Wagon); for a fully annotated text of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, gen. ed., Nonconformist Women Writers, 1720-1840 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), vol. 6, pp. 73-74. James Dyer of Devizes and John Bain of Downton are mentioned here, as well asa several members at Brown Street and more comments by Maria Grace on the current political situation.