c. Early December 1779

Letter 108. Mary Hays to John Eccles, c. early December 1779.1

     Your last letter was dated November 28 – Alas! how long! But I will drop the subject; too well I love you to give you a moment’s uneasiness. –

    If you should be at home tomorrow at half-past four o’clock, I should be happy to see you; but don’t come unless it be perfectly convenient, because I cannot be certain that my Mamma will be out, as she is apt to change her mind upon these occasions; if she should do so tomorrow, I will let you know by a line; but if you hear nothing further from me (and no business prevents you), why, I will come to the door precisely at half-past four – don’t make me wait.

     Why did you doubt my forgiveness this morning? ’tis impossible for me long to be angry with my Eccles; you would indeed be flattered did you know the extent of my affection. …

     I hardly know what I have written, only this I know, my heart is firmly yours in all its disquietudes, alarms and fears; it never has (even in thought) strayed from you. – I intended only to have written a few lines, but have insensibly filled up my paper; writing to my Eccles is never a task, but a pleasing employment to his little girl.

     I dare not re-peruse this epistle, – pardon all I have said in it, and be assured it proceeded from my affection. –

                                                                      Maria Hays

1 Brooks, Correspondence 205-06; Wedd, Love Letters 181-82. Wedd's title: "Mary Gives an Invitation."