Anne Andrews, Salisbury, to Maria Grace Andrews, Isleworth, Tuesday [16 September 1794].
Now my dr Sister I can no longer forbear < > sit down with a full intention of reproaching you < > for expressg that uneasiness you < > attention to the promise contain’d in your last laconic Epistle had caused here and wh.h has indeed been the only reason why I have not written as I had many things I wish’d to say to you – I have been waiting day after day for this long letter and could find no liberty to address you till I should by this means be informed of your situation designs, prospects, &c &c to wh.h at present I am a perfect Stranger – I seem every way in the dark, I expected to have learn’d from you whether Mrs Scott is return’d from Margate, by what you said going to Town I conjectured she was & in the anxiety of my mind on your account during your late indisposition prevented me from writing as proposed I wrote about a fortnight since & having recd no answer, tho I press’d an immediate one, I remain in doubt as it respects her abode, health, &c wh.h is not nor ever was a matter of indifference to me. It seems indeed a peculiar hardship to be thus situated with both my dr Sisters at the same time – such indeed is the viscissitous nature of all sublunary enjoyments, that even that wh.h is generally esteem’d the most refined, arising from the love or friendship of Creatures; is so nearly connected with Pain that on an impartial estimation it can hardly be deemed a good – oh my dr Friend! how loudly does every thing in the natural, moral or intellectual World, leaving an especial or overruling Providence out of the survey, call to that miserable Heart of Man & say this is not your rest; but from the admonition when only thus informed surely in nothing, do we display so much constancy & courage, tho’ it does not deserve such names, as we do in pursuit of earthly pleasures for such is our attachment to the things of Time & Sense, that tho’ repulsed, disappointed, fatigued, wounded, pierced thro’ with many arrows it is not sufficient to make us relinquish the hope of attainment or let go our hold of this World –
But to return from this diversion – I have not now told you all my solicitude; for in addition to that whh I have already express’d, I am exceedingly fearful for your health, and tho’ I think an emotion something like displeasure has arisen in my mind, yet tender concern for your well being in every sense of the Word predominates in the most unequivocal manner in my breast; but I am sure my dr Grace needs not to be informed of this; it will however yield me but little consolation if you know it unless you return it with a suitable degree of sympathy and affection whh I would wish not to prove by an immediate reply to this. I must hasten to bring my letter to a conclusion. Mr & Mrs Saffery desire love, they leave Sarum next week & will be absent five or six [weeks] Mrs S– says she thinks you should come to keep me company while they are from home I shall indeed have a great loss in their society – She laments much her not seeing you before their Journey as we expected.
Perhaps you are surprised that I do not say more myself about your return, the reason is simply this, I am sure you do not want urging, neither do I wish you to suppose that I am in any very [disagreeable] circumstances; no my dr Love I am < > inured to Solitude, & tho’ no one can more highly value your society, yet some experience in the ills of life has taught me to submit with patience to a deprivation of this nature so greatly alleviated by the hope of future enjoyment.
Remember me to my Father – & suitably to all inquirers. Adieu my beloved Friend and believe me to be with the tenderest concern for your present peace & future felicity
Your affec:te Sister
Text: Reeves Collection, Box 14.1.(d.), Bodleian. Address: Miss Andrews | Isleworth | Midd.x Postmark: 17 September 1794; 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. 79-81.