Anne Andrews, Isleworth, to Maria Grace Andrews, Salisbury, [Saturday], 14 November .
I make no doubt but my dear Grace is waiting with an impatience strongly descriptive of the tender solicitude of her affection to hear of my safety but I am persuaded this is not all she desires to know her enquiries reach to the Mind and in this I wish to satisfy her – I will return to the past morng which was indeed an afflictive Season to me; my heart bleeds at the recollection but even in this bitter Cup how much Mercy was mixed I cannot sufficiently admire the degree of outward composure with which I was enabled to veil the agonizing emotions that oppress’d my Spirit – I shall not attempt to say what I felt when for the last time I press’d the hand of my (I had almost said) more than Father – it was well for me that curiosity about my fellow travellers engross’d some part of my attention which together with their presence obliged me to restrain those expressions of sorrow which tho at the time I should have thought an alleviation would probably have rather encreased the weakness and dejection of my Mind – While darkness continued I remain’d in much uncertainty & with various conjectures about my companions but in the midst of it found I trust real consolation in God as enabl’d to believe him mine and to perceive somewhat of the abundant grace revealed in the Word of Promise thought it good to do and suffer the whole will of God & was help’d to rejoice in his Omnipresence faithfulness and compassion.
Approaching day discover’d to me as far as dress &c: could determine it that my Company were Gentn and from further observation began to think they would prove it by their conduct We got to Stockbridge about ½ past 7 but had no time to write as the Services of the Tea Table necessarily devolved on me – nor was I much concern’d about it promising myself to do it at dinner time when as I supposed we should change Coach & Coachman but was quite mistaken as we did not change the former at all and the latter took his leave of us very abruptly at Popham Lane I felt disappointed and concern’d on your account as I fear’d you would fully expect a letter by him. – We had but little Conversation except for an hour or two after Breakfast when one of the Gentn a Military Officer who seem’d to have a pretty considerable Acquaintance with several continental Nations conversed with much good sense and moderation on Politics Manners Customs &c: and seem’d quite clear from the imputations charged on many modern travellers – I endeavour’d to pay the attention that politeness required tho’ you will easily suppose I was not in a situation to interest myself much in any relation how ever curious and entertaining –
We dined at Murrell Green about ½ past One found as I suspected the fare increased to £1.5s. & paid 3s.6d for a very indifferent Dinner and a small quantity of bad Wine so tender are the consciences of Innkeepers – At Bagshot were detain’d near half an hour with a Restive Horse & had reason to fear worse inconvenience & were again in similar circumstances with the same Horse at Staines so that I was obliged to walk a short distance to the Inn – but notwithstandg every danger thro the tender mercies of a Covenant God arrived safe about ½ past 7 – & found Mr A. waiting for me his indisposition favorable beyond my hopes & other things whh I dreaded better than my fears I had much to say about the various feelings of my Mind but was interrupted in the Morng and tis now post time –
I shall expect to hear from you immediately I long to know how you all are, do remember me most affectionately to my beloved Mr & Mrs S– tell my dear Hannah that I hope she has left weepg over to pray for me and as it respects herself the God she has chosen is a Soul satisfying portion for
When all created Streams are dry
His fullness is the same –
Love to all the dr People Mr Smith in particular I must conclude Adieu ma douce Amie – and may He whose presence is better than life be with and bless you abundantly
Text: Reeves Collection, Box 14.3.(j.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Address: Miss Andrews | Mr Harding’s | Exeter Street | Sarum. Postmark: Isleworth, 14 November 1795; 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. 104-05.