14 October 1805

Eliza Flower at Harlow to Benjamin Flower at Mr. Creak’s, 69 Cornhill, London, Monday, [14] October 1805.

Monday Harlow Octr 1805

My dear Benjamin

Eliza is at my Elbow & if [I] send you a list of all her commissions I shall leave my self but little room to add anything on my own account she is quite well & very gay—you would have been delighted with her sensible inquisitiveness had you been present at our conversation yesterday. “Abroad in the meadow” said she—Pray mamma what is meadow? a field Eliza—she then continued to repeat the whole of the Hymn pausing at every unintelligible word as DarnFleeces&c to enquire of mamma what was meant & what was very remarkable every pause she made caused her of her own accord to begin the Hymn again so that she voluntarily repeated it seven or eight times. Sarah is charming I find she has another tooth almost through thus making the fourth.

I went yesterday & heard a bungling sermon at Severn’s you fared better I dare say. I heard from Mary yesterday & received a letter also from Conder—my sister is at Dodbrook my brother John accompanied her down & rode a Horse which was sent for the purpose of her taking Horse exercise it being she adds “a safe one” by which observation I suppose she means to take more care in future & not to ride again in a manner so likely to hazard her life. John went on with this Horse to Plymouth intending to have returned in a few days ten days have elapsed & they have neither seen nor heard anything of him. Poor Mary has suffered a vast deal indeed a variety of surgical operations & is now prohibited from reading writing or working. I suppose that nothing but her affectionate curiosity would have prompted her to transgress—she is all on tiptoe to know how matters stand with you—she says My Genie strongly suggests & my wishes eagerly believe that your Brother has died intestate. Oh might my desires concerning you be realized but be it as it may you have a mind as superior to disapp­ointments of this kind as to the fallacious smiles of prosperity. Mary is quite right in her opinion & my prayer is give me neither poverty nor riches to be in easy circumstances is a great blessing because the harassing cares of the world is very unfavorable to the growth of true piety but it is my prayer that providence may never bless me in temporal affairs without in his wisdom he also sees fit to make me a blessing & I rank among one of the greatest mercies of my life that you my dear Benjamin are one with me. I do not expect you home to morr­ow—unless you go again soon you might take the opinion of your friends as to the propriety of my attending the funeral sermon. It will greatly inconvenience me to do it as Betsey Adams cannot be here & I shall not leave Home with any satisfaction on account of Sarah unless she were kind to all friends.

adieu yours ever

E Flower

I have recd a note from Mr Conder—Mr James Dobson takes this & will deliver it this evening.

Note: In the above letter is an early reference to the musical talent for which Eliza Flower would later receive considerable recognition. For the complete annotated text, see Timothy Whelan, ed., Politics, Religion, and Romance: The Letters of Benjamin Flower and Eliza Gould Flower, 1794-1808 (Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 2008), pp. 309-10.