Anne Andrews, Salisbury, to Maria Grace Andrews, Portsmouth, [c. early May 1795].
I have a very little time to spend in conversation with my dear love at the present, I would wish to improve it, but really seem altogether incapable of doing it, partly from stupidity & partly from having my Mind engross’d by a number of necessary trifles alas! how are the most refind & lawful enjoyments interrupted & embitter’d to us in this unsatisfying, peaceless World & how unspeakable a privilege to look beyond it, to a state where the noblest affections of our immortal natures shall find unlimited exercise & those seeds of genuine friendship whh here were sown in & continually water’d with the tears of sorrow shall there under the fostering beams, the life giving influences of divine love, spring up & blossom with increasing beauty thro’ eternal ages – well my love is not this delightful anticipation sufficient to < > & beguile the most tedious and painful hours of our Pilgrimage & smooth every path however rugged –
The intelligence I received yesterday morng tho’ I cannot say it exceeded my hopes was yet better than my fears; for I was indeed very much cast down & disquieted with apprehensions for the safety of my dear beloved Friend – her parting wounded me much more in retrospect than at the moment and the expression of pain & languor so visible on her countenance when seated in the Chaise was presented continually to my Mind – Your letter was not so satisfactory as my anxious heart desired, tho perhaps as much as I could reasonably expect so soon after your arrival – I am now pleasing myself with the hope of being indulged with a few lines by Rook intend calling at the office before meeting & shall therefore leave this till my return –
½ past nine – I need not express to you my disappointment as you will forsee it as a consequence of the expectation I had cherish’d but suppose I were to talk of displeasure you would perhaps condemn it as causeless – I think howsoever if you had consulted my feelings you might have known that intelligence once a day would scarcely satisfy my solicitude – I beg you will let me hear from you Monday Eveng –
I am sorry to disappoint you in the Slippers which depended on getting them at the place you mention’d but find they have left off selling them as I had left it < > to procure others hope you will be able to do it without much inconvenience –
Mrs Frampton is safe in Bed with a little Girl she is to take Betty Baker –
Do remember me most affectionately to dear Mrs Saffery tell her I enjoy the thoughts of seeing her return with renew’d health & spirits – I live in hopes of pleasing tidings from you affecte respects to Mr Saffery Mr Horsey &c: &c: &c. Mr & Mrs Blatch call’d here on their return home Wednesday they beg to be remember’d –
Good night my beloved that the God of all Grace may prosper your Soul abundantly & his guardian providence preserve & prosper your body also is the sincere & earnest prayer of
Your Friend & Sister
Hannah begs love
I am concern’d to send you the Petticoat unfinish’d & still more so made wrong but did not take of my error till it was too late to alter it – I have had more to do since you left me than I could accomplish – the Edging also is not as I could wish
Text: Reeves Collection, Box 14.2.(k.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Address: Miss Andrews; 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. 91-92. References here to Jane Attwater Blatch and her husband, Joseph Blatch, who knew both Andrews sisters through their connections with the Brown Street congregation.