30 November 1779

Letter 107. John Eccles to Mary Hays, Tuesday, 30 November 1779.1

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1779.

     Neither the pressure of the air, nor the weight of the atmosphere used to prevent my Eccles from writing with fervor and pleasure to his Maria. Examine your heart, are there not some other reasons? – But one letter in a week, instead of three, and that so short! I cannot help thinking that times are altered; but I will not, I do not reproach you; you shall not write oftener than is agreeable; for though I have no pleasure so exquisitely delightful, as that of reading your professions of fidelity to me, yet will I suffer the deprivation of it, rather than seem to impose a task upon you. – Do you love me, my dearest Eccles? But why do I ask that question? I do not, I would not for worlds doubt the sincerity of your repeated assurances of affection; but I am not happy; neither can I in the least account for my present anxiety. … Hasten to comfort your little girl; your presence always has power to chace away all her cares; you know not the tenderness that at this moment possesses her whole soul! … I blush not to acknowledge my love for a man so worthy of it, so amiable as he is; sure am I of his tenderness, of his honor. Gracious heaven, continue to me his affection, make him eternally constant, and I ask no more! …

    Adieu! With the tenderest esteem, I am and ever will be yours, and only yours

                                 Maria Hays

1 Brooks, Correspondence 205; Wedd, Love Letters 181. Wedd's title: "Renewed Reproaches."