27 November 1779

Letter 105. Mary Hays to John Eccles, Saturday morning, 27 November 1779.1


    I detest the very name of Chissel! From henceforth let us hear no more of so contemptible a creature! No, my dearest Eccles, think not I will exchange my interest in your heart! Think not that I will ever resign you, however willing you might be to part with your little girl. … Pardon my jealousies; they do not proceed from a want of confidence in your honor, but from a diffidence of myself; I own the folly of it, but cannot bear the idea that another should possess the smallest share in your affections; I must have your whole, your undivided heart. – I love you, ah! how tenderly, or should I be thus anxious, thus watchful even of your looks? Let that tenderness plead my excuse; – can love subsist without jealousy? – I think not; for where the affections are engaged, everything alarms; but I will banish these doubts; you have promised to be only mine, and I know you sincere; only one request, my dear Eccles, will your little girl make; – endeavor to avoid everything that may awaken her jealousy in future; any trifling circumstance I mean, for I am persuaded you have too much generosity to do it intentionally; I will once more own my weakness, that where I am sincerely attached, I am too apt to conceive myself slighted, when there is little reason for it; but I will try to conquer this folly, at least I will not perplex you with it; perhaps I ought to suffer a little for indulging such foolish chimeras; believe me, I would rather undergo the severest pains, than for one moment disturb your peace of mind; how often at the beginning of our acquaintance have I met you with a smiling countenance, when the traces of my tears have been scarcely obliterated, and my heart was oppressed with distress, from the apprehension of being eternally separated from you; but if then I carefully concealed sorrows that were real, shall I now disturb you with imaginary ones? …

     The first part of your letter (last night) shocked me, and a tear would not be suppressed on the occasion, although I perceived it was not written seriously; but the conclusion of it, restored my peace to me again. ….

     Pardon the shabbiness of my paper, I am quite out of it, but intend today to get a new recruit. – Adieu! Notwithstanding my fingers are almost froze with the cold, my heart glows with the most fervent affection for the most amiable of men; ever will I be all his own

                                                     Maria Hays


Saturday morning. Nov. 27, 1779.

1  Brooks, Correspondence 203-04; Wedd, Love Letters 178-79. Wedd's title: "Mary’s Indignant Repudiation."