29 January 1780

Letter 114. John Eccles to Mary Hays, Saturday, 29 January 1780.1

     … As to what I said about C-------2 I had not the most distant idea of applying it to you, nor even to your sex; but on the contrary, ’twas meant to ridicule the coxcombical part of ours, who think almost every woman, however engaged, and however amiable, within their power, till convinced of the contrary, and even then they have the vanity to impute their disappointment, not to any defects in themselves, but to the want of discernment in the ladies. I assure [you] I shall never be jealous of poor C------.

    I rejoice with my Maria on the late changes in our circumstances; with sincere delight do I see any of those obstacles removed which part us; yet still I fear, but I know not for what; this I know, should anything unforeseen again separate us, I shall not be able to support the shock. Good heaven avert the trial! ’Twas you filled me with these melancholy thoughts, by the supposition in your letter. But ’tis folly to entertain such cruel fears without any foundation. However, though all things change, be assured that my affections to my Maria can never admit of any variation. Adieu! Yours for ever and ever

                                                             J. Eccles


Saturday, Jan 29, 1780

1 Brooks, Correspondence 209-10; Wedd, Love Letters 187. Wedd's title: "Eccles Disclaims."

2 Chissel.