3 March 1808

Eliza Flower at Harlow to Benjamin Flower at the Creaks, 69 Cornhill, London, Tuesday, 3 March 1808.

Harlow March 3 1808

My dear Benjamin

Mr John Barnard has just called and quite thrown me into the fidgets, by informg me that your magazine was not come down with his other publications, and that the person who serves him wrote him a line to say he had called for your P M R and was told it was not ready. After my first agitation was over I began to reason on the matter and I should hope that he, by calling too early, was on that account disappointed of it & tho it might not have been ready for him that it was in time for the Booksellersparcels—and if Mr [Maurice] Jones had not received the sheets in time that he would have written immediately—again I have feared lest in the hurry of moving the neglect might have originated with him, & in that case he might not have liked to write to you on the subject. However as you are on the spot, you will endeavour to ascertain how the matter stands. If they were not in time for country circulation, it is of the utmost consequence that they should be forwarded by you, & the Carriage of the parcels paid, especially to those places where Book parcels are only sent once a month. If I were you in case the magazine was not duly forwarded I would call on Crosby & Symonds as most of them go thro their hands, & see what was best to be done. I long for your letter to morrow both for information respecting yourself, & how you proceeded in your journey last night, & also respecting the magazine on which amount I cannot help feeling uneasy.

Yesterday I was thrown into considerable alarm by a cry of fire, & particularly so when we found it was at Mrs Goodwyns [in] Matching. After the first fright was over I found myself quite collected, & in five minutes arranged in my own mind how to act but I am happy to inform you that it was soon extinguished.

The circumstance afforded Eliza quite a new subject for reasoning & speculation, it was new to her, & she could not think what was meant by a House being on fire, and an engine she thought had been a black man, but she did not cease to question me untill she made herself thoroughly acquainted with the subject, & she says she should not be at all frightened, should our house be on fire, if I were to take her out of bed & put her out of the window, only she would rather I should let her down in the Blanket than in the sheet, because it would be warmer.

Poor Sara says “I so frightened Mamma I dont know what to do with myself” & they both anticipate the pleasure they shall have in telling you of this most extraordinary affair. They are calculating to a very great extent in the supposed contents of the Bag, & have both been bargaining on not going to bed till you return. Sarah is now going to Bed very reluctantly on the supposition that you are coming home to night. You will not fail my dear love to let us see you quite early, you must be home before it is dark or you know I shall be uneasy & we will have tea on [the] table, a bright fire & welcome you home with a kiss a piece.

Joseph has had some copy of Towgood but I have not yet had a proof. Mr Jennings of Stortford brought a Tax Bill to print this evening.

You will remember me kindly to all friends & believe me your affectionate

E Flower

You will not forget to buy me something to [get] out grease spots. Eliza has been very good and written her copy very well & very willingly. Sarah has had a freak or two but she has more than once enjoined me to tell you how good she has been—that green bag of yours must possess most singular virtues.

Note: 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. 332-33.