Poetic, err... dramatic even then... Letter to Tib (Bell)

Scarboro’ Nov 1st 1809

To vindicate my character my dearest

Bell from the aspersions which will I know

will bespatter it, when you find Stephens

has returned without being the bearer of a

single line. I rise half an hour earlier

than my usual time, I scribble something

in the shape of a letter to send by your

mother in law, who departs this morning

at nine o’clock, and to assure you, you

could not feel the hundredth part of the

mortification, and regret, that I did, in

suffering him to depart letterless, the re-

proaches of my conscience have kept me

awake for the last two nights, in pity

spare me therefore - and if you have

any compassion write and console

me for all I have endured-

I did at one time expect and I may say


hope, that we should have returned with

Stef, but I have received so much benefit

from bathing, that my father wishes me

to continue in my present quarters, as

long as the possibility of obtaining a dip

remains. Which will be till the latter end

of next week. On my brother’s account, I

would gladly have been at home, otherwise,

the weather is so uncommonly fine, that

I think even you will allow, a “pedestrian

excursion on the sea beach shore” preferable

to a waddle down Coney Street and back

again - during [Hrangways] and Stephen’s

stay, we had some delightful walks by

moonlight, and “oft woo'd the

gleam of Cynthia’s silver light”, but now

that is all over, for why? There is no moon,

and we have no beams, two very cogent

reasons --- I congratulate you all, on

Mary’s sudden and speedy increase, upon

my word she ought to have a patent

as a friend she might perhaps be


induced to give Harriet her receipt -

for I’m sure she does not manage as

other people do - what is it to be called 2

your intended I am grieved to say has

been extremely ill. Do not be too much

alarmed, for believe me, the melancholy

intelligence should not have been commu-

-nicated, had it not also been in my

power to assure you that he is at

present in a convalescent state”. And I[?]

not but the sight of his beloved will [---]

a cure - I have written this in a very

great hurry, which without my assistance

you perhaps might have been able to

discover - but you must receive it as

it is, with all its imperfections for I

have not time to read it over, as I fear

they have already departed - remember

us affectionately to all your party -

and believe me as ever yours -

Mariana B-


"Oft' woo'd the gleam of Cynthia's silver light"

The Scots Magazine: Volume 31

January 1, 1769

Sands, Brymer, Murray & Cochran