17 August 1792
Hugh Worthington, Leicester, to Mary Hays, Gainsford Street, 17 August 1792.1
Leicester Aug. 17, 92
Having just heard of a private conveyance, I seize one moment to apologise for not personally calling on you, before my journey commenced. As unexpected circumstances rendered it impossible to reach Gainsford Street, I did not chuse to trust yr valuable papers with a penny post, wch has more than once deceived me. Therefore they remain locked up in my Study till I return. Those pages wch you last put into my hand, particularly please me; they form an Introduction wch naturally elegantly and pathetically will bring forward the Letters2 you were so kind as to lend me, till I saw that Introdn I could form no clear idea of ye mould or cast of ye work. I have great confidence of its success both in pleasing and improving ye reader. Go on at yr leisure, & get yr sister to dip her pen in ye same inkstand.
I beg to be affectionately remembered to her, and with much respect to all your Family. Hoping soon for ye fulfilment of yr Promise, I remain wth growing Esteem,
Yr faithful & affectionate Friend
Address: Miss Hayes | Gainsford Street | Southwark
1 A. F. Wedd Collection, shelfmark 24.93(14), Dr. Williams's Library, London; Brooks, Correspondence 275.
2 During the late summer and autumn of 1792, Hays circulated her forthcoming Letters and Essays, Moral and Miscellaneous (1793) among her friends, including Worthington and Mary Wollstonecraft. Worthington's comments about Elizabeth Hays dipping "her pen in the same inkstand" will prove prescient, as she will contribute two tales to the volume. The comment also reveals that Worthington at this time perceived both Hays sisters to be writers, not just Mary.