Letter I. Peter Jaco, near Bradford, to George Merryweather, Yarm, 7 March 1763.
Near Bradford, Mar. 7th 1763.
My very dear Friend,
I have at last the Opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your last acceptable Favour, wch came to hand on saturday Night. As a particular Favourite, you have a right to anything which my Active Judgment, & contracted Capacity can produce. I am well acquainted with the Delicacy of the subject hinted at by my dear Friend, but at the same time should not be generous did I not send you my real Thoughts.
I must agree with you, that our worthy Friend is rather ‘too old’ [Elizabeth Hawkesworth was 36 at the time]. I think the disparity is on the wrong side. This is the sole objection which I think can be stated. As to every other thing, I think her the most unexceptionable Woman, I ever saw. And even in this, she has a great advantage. A happy Constitution, a peculiar Composure of mind, a Cool, tho’ mature Judgment, & temperate to a Proverbe!
I must freely confess to you, that had I a Competency to support her agreeable to her Intrinsick Worth, and [if] she would accept the offer, I don’t know of any that I should prefer before her! But you know how Methodist Preachers are situated.
Whether the proposal of my Friend would be embrac’d, is a Quere[y] that I cannot absolutely determine. But I think none stand in a fairer Chance than my Friend. This I know to be Fact. However the Experiment is easily made. If it should so happen, you can’t be more happy than I most Cordialy wish you. This was all I intended by the Hint in my Last. But be assur’d my dr Friend that as our Poet expresses it ‘The smootest Course of Nature, has its Pains.’ Every state has its peculiar Trials. This, recent Experience confirms me in. You have in your Family Crosses of one kind & I in mine of a different Nature. An aged and afflicted Father (the fondest of Parents) & Brothers who have long florish’d in the most properous manner, now thro’ a variety of Losses dissappointments and the Villainy of mankind, on the brink of Ruin and dissolution! This has not a little affected me lately I am sent for to come home as soon as possible, to see whether I can set the affairs which are now in Distruction. I propose setting out in abt 3 weeks.
What reason have we to be thankful that we are not always to live in this Bedlam! Lord make us fit for, and take us to the Asylum thou has provided for us! Amen!
I think that the peace of my own mind is to be preferr’d to the Content of others, and if I could not be easy in my own House to seek peace in anothers.
Get a Frank and send me the Key as soon as possible – direct as before. Let me know how far you agree or disagree with regard to D—-y [Derby?], and what steps you design to pursue.
I have endevor’d to put off the Calloway[?] in change but the Ballance is so great that I must decline the affair and make the best shift I can.
Be so kind as to make my Love and thanks acceptable to my dear and worthy Friends Messrs Waldy, Howard, Hick &c to Mrs Waters and my Little Peggy together with all ^who^ you think would be glad ot hear of, or from me.
Pleasse to accept yourself the best wishes and most Cordial Affection of yours while
Address: To Mr Geo. Merryweather | March 7 |[(]Via Northallerton Bogg) in Yarm.