1795 May 28 (Maria)

Maria Grace Andrews, Portsmouth, to Anne Andrews, Salisbury, [Thursday], 28 May 1795.

My ever dear Correspondent is too great an adept in ye soft science of Sympathy to require my saying much on ye Subject of yt disappointment I experienced when Rook contradicted ye assertion I had presumed to make yt he had a letter for me, on Tuesday Night – such however is ye Constitution of ye human heart yt surprise added either to its pains, or pleasures, renders them more extreme I partook (indeed I may speak in ye plural: for our dr little Friend had not philosophy to spare) of a mortifying Breakfast on Wed:g Mor:g & withdrew to my Chamber – in a few minutes my late fellow sufferer enter’d with a smile brightening ye usual serenity of her Countenance, & archly said “I tell you what I have been thinking of! I cannot help thinking our Anne will go to ye Association with Mr S– & E–” &c. on my venturing to suggest it was improbable, she replied with a triumph resulting from her affection & good temper, “but I am sure it is so” – ye vivacity of her expression here betray’d ye secret her benevolence was unwilling to detain she gave me ye pacquet – for ye reason assign’d above I forbear describing ye emotions with which I read ye sweet, unstudied language of piety, of friendship, of my Anne. –

I will indeed my love endeavor to obey ye tender admonition which forbids me to indulge anxiety about ye future I will because you have a claim a powerful claim on my obedience. But O my my Love, still yours is but a Creature claim. I have an higher, yes an infinitely sweeter Call to cheerful resignation, a Covenant God has an everlasting claim upon my gratitude & even in ye day of Comparative adversity I must say with Young, “The Consolation cancels ye Complaint” –

Need I say anything concerning my participation of yr happiness in ye present Season – may ye purest ye most refined enjoyment attend the solemn services of ye day. May Truth come with all its holy Eloquence, from ye Preachers tongues; & rest with all its glowing energy, upon ye hearers heart!

I lament yt I have only time for a hasty close – yt I can express nothing of ye fullnes of my heart respecting our friends in Chapel St. Farewell my sweet Friend may ye truest bliss attend your social hours & retired, may you exclaim as enraptured with superior Converse, “it is not Solitude to be alone” –

once more farewell, yrs unfeignedly,

Maria Grace Andrews

Mrs P–s family wd be suitably remember’d to you & other Friends & I hope there will be nothing left to exercise our dr Friends industrious spirit at their return – as to ye house Bed &c understand me –

[Do not] forget to mention me in yr of love &c to all friends < > Mr & Mrs Hannah – Mrs S– writes to Mr S– to whom I beg affectionate respects & particular thanks for his late indulgent attention to your happiness – I have no time to say anything concerning dr Mrs Houghton or ye bathing –

I must not be disappointed of a letter by Rook on Saturday

Text: Saffery/Whitaker Papers, acc. 142, I.B.4.(4.), Angus Library. Address: Miss Andrews | Exeter Street | Sarum | May 28th. No postmark; 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. 98-99.