Unknown gentleman to Anne Cator, Trowle, 16 February 1718/19.
To the only Mrs of my heart
If my rude pen in endeavours to make known my passion should too much impose upon your goodness and do your patience wrong tis your beauty and your vertues you may only blame which is not blamable, you desir’d me to come no more to you in ways of Love and to ease my Self by placeing my affection on some other object. No my dear I love so that I neither can remove nor divide that rue and that intire affection which I have for you my heart’s but one and guided by one power and one a number not to be divided so then I desire you to credit the Lines of your sworn favorite by your favor acclaim from the gates of death my Soul which is ready to leave this wretched corpse upon your farther denial therefore my dear Mrs if you hold the life of your servant in any regard grant me your love so shall I live to honour you or die through your cruelty. I write not as a poet but as one in Love and therefore if you dislike these Lines attribute the shortness of my stile to my faithfulness which without flatterie have deliverd the sum of his misery and still I hope to be by your gracious courtesie eased to attending your answer either of Life or death I wish your joyes never to have an end and my self speedy death, without your liking
Your faithfull Lover
Feb: ye 16th 1718/19
Text: STE 2/2/1 (a). Address: To | Mrs Anne Cator | att [sic] | Trowle.; for an annotated edition of this letter, see Timothy Whelan, ed., Nonconformist Women Writers 1720-1840 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011), vol. 8, pp. 36-37. The name of the correspondent was removed from the letter. The letter predates her marriage to William Steele III.