1806 May 3

Eliza Fenwick, Portsmouth, to Mary Hays, 3 Park Street, Islington, 3 May [1806].1

Portsmouth May 3d

Dear Mary

I shd have written to you sooner but I thought I might find an opportunity of sending by a private hand which has not however occurd since I have been here.

My duty will surprise you. A sudden & <-> urgent business brought me thither at only a few hours notice during which I was so occupied & hurried that I had not time to apprize either you or any one else of my Journey. Nor did the people of the house know where I was coming. Indeed I had particular reasons for not naming it to them, which of course has prevented any letters being forwarded if you have been so good as to write to me. Next week I expect to return but Eliza I leave behind me.

I have not been altogether well since the indisposition I had in town. It will indeed require a more tranquil life than that which has been, or is likely to be my lot to restore me to full health – I almost wonder you, who appear <-> of so delicate a habit have not been shaken to pieces by the buffetings of so many storms.

The more I look into the tempers & feelings of those who surround me the more I become convinced that misery preponderates in society – The vicious cannot possess happiness, & the virtuous have it not.

When I return will you accept me for a day or two after the repeated disappointments I have given you?

Adieu God bless you

prays your affectionate friend

E Fenwick

Address: Miss Hays | 3 Park Street | Islington | near London.

Postmark: 5 May 1806, 10 o’clock

1 S’ana 988, Pforzheimer Collection, NYPL; not in Wedd, Fate, or Brooks, Correspondence.