Letter from Mary Mitford (nee Russell), 1751-1830
Transcribed by Fiona Mitford, 2006
Three Mile Cross. 14th July 1823.
I take an early opportunity my dear friend to enquire after your dear interesting invalid, and hope (unfavourable as the weather certainly is for a complaint like his) that your unwearied attention, will preserve him from feeling the ill effects of these sudden transitions from heat to cold. You know dear Charles kindly promised me, to write for his dear Mother, who has so many demands on her time every hour of the day, and to give me an account of you all, my daughter feels equally interested with her Father and myself about you and all yours. We talk much of you all, in another fortnight we imagine Caroline & Chas Potter will be returning to Misses Lucas & Hayward, but you will probably hear before their Holidays are expired through the medium of Mr Hayward of Wantage how your too lively, most Indian Guard bore up under the unexpected, certainly undesired summons to quit the hospitalities of Lockinge, for the restraints Mrs Mackenzie and her Grandmother may feel necessary. Your beloved girls will I hope meet her in good health and spirits, and I will thank them to present my remembrances to her. The inclosed pattern is for Miss Tull who expressed a wish that she might copy it from my work, but I think she did not. You hinted dear Mrs Tull that you might come to Reading, and kindly added that if you did so you would call here, indeed we should feel mortified if you did not, for however we may regret, that our little cottage will not afford us a spare bed for so highly valued a friend, yet we could send our Poney and Gig into Reading to bring you hither to pass a day with us if you will only have the goodness to give us a few days notice, lest the mare or its master should be engaged.
Were we not very fortunate in the weather for our journey home, indeed there has been no day since that we could have escaped a wetting. We had the satisfaction to find our treasure guide well; much obliged to you for the two clips of your Lesnon plant, and to her young friends for the Roses, Pinks, &c.
My husband leaves us at six tomorrow morning for Abingdon, for the Quarter Sessions, he goes by Wallingford, and intending to return as soon as the business is finished it will not be in his power to look in even to say how do you do? I have to ask your excuse for a most stupid Epistle, but I was interrupted before I had written six lines, by a friend dropping in who literally talked me into a bad headache, and a story of Thunder completed my dismay, and rendered me quite unfit to set pen to paper for some hours. To your two [?] friends Mr George & Mr Robert Dyke [?] say every thing kind, assure them we shall remember with pleasure, their attentions; to the eldest I owe very grateful acknowledgments, for his attentive care in driving us so carefully to Mr Peacokes, and his beguiling the time so sweetly with the sweet sounds of his flute in the evening of that day.
That John & Caroline, Charles & Charlotte may realize their excellent Mothers fondest expectation is the sincere wish of all here, with love to her and them I must conclude
Ever my dear Madam
Most truly yours
p.s. [torn page, text missing] attachment of your servants, and those of your [?] good mother was very pleasing, and reminded me strongly of that passage in Scripture, where a good woman on being asked by some potentate what he should do for her, emphatically answers I dwell among mine own people, signifying that nothing could add to the comfort their attachment afforded her yours would I hope do every thing in their power for you, and should I ever revisit you, I should hope to find you surrounded by the same happy faces.
God Bless you adieu.
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 3-14-06, ca.