Letter 20: 18 February 1806

Letter 20: 18 February 1806

  • Physical form: One sheet folded into 2 leaves (18.4 x 23.5 cm); fol 2r is blank, 2v is cover
  • Cover: Miss Rickards / Church Row / Hampstead
  • PMs: 7 o’Clock / FE 18 / 1806 N.T
  • TwoPy Post / Unpaid [illegible]
  • WM: JELLYM[x]AN / 1804
  • SM: Misc MS 4361

My dear Miss Rickards,

Is it convenient for you now to pay your debts? I mean, to fulfill the promise you made of giving me the pleasure of your company for a week at Newington? Any day this week, or, if this week does not suit you, of the next, we shall be happy to receive you, if you can take up with half a bed, which you will share with a very good girl &, as her mother affirms, a very quiet bed fellow, Miss Estlin [1]—Now is this to be a note or a letter for having really said all I wanted to say it would be much more convenient to me to make it a note & if I had begun note stile Mrs Barbauld’s Compts begs the favour &c the business

[fol 1v] would have been done, but unluckily I have begun a letter, & have nothing more to tell you. What shall I say? you are not much of a politician & do not expect a place otherwise I would give you joy of the new ministry [2]—I could tell you of Valentines & verses flying about our house, but as you are not in love to my knowledge, you would not care for them—I could tell you of the lamentable situation of poor Charles, [3] bereft of his love who is flown away to Yorkshire, (he does not eat I believe above two or three times a day) but then I know you consider him as an old batchelor, & have no sympathy for him—I will therefore content myself with telling you an old truth, that I am affy


AL Barbauld

Kindest remembrances to Mrs Rickards & Miss Harrop


[1] "Miss Estlin": A daughter of John Prior Estlin, a friend of RB from Warrington Academy; probably Laetitia Estlin, named for ALB as an Estlin son was named for RB. Perhaps she was a pupil. BACK

[2] "place": A position in government. The new ministry was headed by Charles James Fox, a hero of political Reform. BACK

[3] "Charles": CRA, deeply in love with Anne Wakefield, whom he married in August 1806. BACK