12 January 1808

Eliza Fenwick to Mary Hays, 3 Park Street, Islington, Tuesday morning [12 January 1808].1


    I did not receive your letter till this morning for I had quitted Skinner Street early. I cannot express what I feel. Unwell & depressed during yesterday the sight of your benefit has almost overpowered me. I have been obliged to take Hartshorn to repel a species of Hysterick that assail’d me, & now my head feels light & my heart heavy. You will not misunderstand that phrase for you know how strangely human nature acts & feels in peculiar cases. I could not have come last night because I was forced to go up to Bond Street. I have the same journey to take this evening for I am endeavouring to arrange a plan with him ^Mr Tabart^2 for some future employment. As I foresaw, my occupation here does not last. I told them from the beginning the expence was too heavy for their extent of business & therefore I came reluctantly. They find it to be so & discard me, entre nous, without much ceremony. They will need me no longer than till the school Holidays close – about a fortnight. Then I shall be once more adrift, but with your kind aid I hope to struggle through. Perhaps if we are frugal in our outlay’s your fund may perhaps afford me a little assistance on the sudden ceasing of my Salary here till I can finish what I am going to work upon. Do not think this a bold or unreasonable demand proposition. I seem to feel as if I was to be rescued from the misery that has of late & so long oppress’d me & to be at once led into that situation which will enable me to reap the reward of my industry.

    I will endeavour to come one evening this week but cannot stay all night, for the Lady whom I hoped would assist Eliza to get to the Haymarket is arrived in town & has sent word she will call some morning before 10 oClock to tell me what chance she has of success.

    Thank you my dear friend for your kind enquiries after my wet walk from your house. The greatest injury I sustain’d was walking the soles off my shoes which hard times have not yet suffer’d me to repair: I caught no cold unless a severe pain in my side was the effect of one for two or three days. I am not well just now but this is fine weather & your kindness when the first emotions are subsided will brace me.

        God bless you

                    yrs gratefully

                            E Fenwick

Tuesday Morning


Address: Miss Hays | No 3 Park Street | Islington

Postmark: 12 January



1 Fenwick Family Papers, Correspondence, 1798-1855, New York Historical Library; Wedd, Fate of the Fenwicks 21-22; not in Brooks, Correspondence. 

2 The printer/bookseller Benjamin Tabart (c. 1767-1833) operated The Juvenile and School Library (1801-1820) at 157 New Bond Street, prior to the Godwin's entrance into the market for young readers. Fenwick's first works in children's literature were published by Tabart: Little Mary and her Cat (1804), Visits to the Juvenile Library (1805), and Songs for the Nursery (1806).