28 January 1780

Letter 113. Mary Hays to John Eccles, Friday morning, 28 January 1780.1

    Indeed I am displeasured at what you said this morning about Chissel2; what an opinion must you have formed of the sex, – or rather of your Maria. Have I not given you sufficient proofs of the constancy and sincerity of my affection? Why will you then entertain doubts so ungenerous? You seem to suppose any other man would have been equally successful (with yourself) in making an impression on my heart! How indelicate this! Has my conduct ever given cause for such a supposition? No, my dearest Eccles, with Prior’s Emma I can lay my hand on my heart, and sincerely say, that:

                     “Of all mankind I love but thee alone.”3

Be assured if adverse fate should ever occasion a separation, your little girl will never admit a second attachment, but by an inviolable fidelity and seclusion from the world, convince you of the purity and permanency of her regard. … Cease then, my dearest Eccles, to doubt an attachment which yourself have inspired, and which never, never can be transferred to another. Continue to look with tenderness on your little girl; continue to love her, and she will be all your own. –

                            Maria Hays


Friday morn: January 28, 1780.

1 Brooks, Correspondence 209; Wedd, Love Letters 186-87. Wedd's title: "Mary Again Remonstrates."

2 Most likely the brother of Mrs. Chissel's husband. 

3 Line from Matthew Prior’s Henry and Emma  (p. 8) (see letter 45).