Anna Letitia Barbauld

Poetess Archive: Anna Barbauld's Prose Works

"Letter to Miss F." (1811)     TEI-encoded version


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Letter to Miss F.

Stoke Newington, Sept. 1813.

1.         "And when did you hear from Miss F.?" "Pray, madam, when did you hear from Miss F.?" "I hope Miss F. is well! Is she got to E---- yet?" This is a specimen of the questions often asked me by those who have been too much interested in the hours they enjoyed of your company while you were in this part of the world, not to feel an interest in you when you had left it.

2.         To these I reply, that I have not heard; that I shall be most happy at any time to hear, when dear Miss F. feels any inclination to write; that I do not think she is particularly fond of writing letters; and that I have myself too much of her taste in this respect, and am conscious of too many sins of my own in this matter, to urge any claims on other people, supposing I had them, which in this instance I do not pretend to have. At present, however, I cannot resist taking the opportunity, as the children say, of Mr. ----'s conveyance ........ chiefly to express the affectionate remem-


brance which must always dwell in my heart of one so dear to me .....

3.          We have had the very beautiful and interesting sight of a balloon sent off from the neighbouring fields. The carriages of all sorts, eager countenances exhibited from windows, tops of houses and church steeples, made a gayer spectacle, I think, than any exhibition within walls could have been made. I saw it like a majestic dome among the trees; it swelled, it rose gently, it vibrated; then it sprung up into the sky, light as -- what shall I say? what can I say of a substance that is itself lighter than air? I must say, I believe, as light as thought -- as your thoughts, I mean, for mine are often heavy. &c. &c.

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Date: 1825 (revised 01/28/2005) Author: Anna Letitia Barbauld (revised Zach Weir).
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