Letter VI. Peter Jaco, at the Methodist “Hospital” in Birstal, to George Merryweather, Yarm, 12 September 1764.
My dear Friend,
The following account is the only Apology I can make for my silence. I hope you will admit it as a tolerable Excuse.
Soon after I came back from my Yarm visit, I was taken with wt the Doctors call St Anthony’s Fire, which so raged that after the most excruciating pains, my right Arm and side where [sic] rendered useless for near a fortnight. When I began to mend my dear little Girl fell into the Small Pox, and was soon given over by the Doctor that attended her. Her affliction so affected her mother who was obliged to attend her night and day, that she has had a very bad time, so that our House has been an Infirmary. Blessed be the Father of Mercies we are all at present in a hopeful way, and trusty that a few weeks will set us on our Legs again. How justly applicable that weighty Observation of our favourite Poet? ‘Know Smiler, at thy peril art thou pleased! thy pleasure is the promise of thy pain. Misfortune, like a Creditor severe, but rises in demand for her delay: she makes a scourge of past prosperity, to sting us more and double our distress!’
But what a mercy my dr Friend, that we are in the hands and under the care of so skillful a Physician? who alone is able to correct with judgment! May we be always able to submit with cheerfulness to his divine Prescriptions ’till the Cure is perfected. Amen.
One of the preachers appointed for this Round is not come into it, so that I have at present the Work of Two on my hands. I have therefore little prospect of seeing my Friends at Yarm, but hope my poor prayers will always attend you.
I hope yourself, Mrs Merryweather, Miss Nancy, Mr Waldey, Mrs Watters, Mr and Mrs Hicks and all Friends, are well. My Wife joins me in Love to you. Let me be favoured with a line from you the first Opportunity and direct for me at the Preaching House Birstal. In the mean time believe me to be
Your ever affectionate Friend
From my Hospital
in Birstal Sep 12, 1764.
Please to send the enclosed as soon as possible.
To | Mr Geo. Merrryweather | Mercht in | Yarm.