[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]
To the Rev. PHILIP MOORE.
Bishops-Court, Dec. 23, 1763.
My good Friend,
I think it fortunate at this juncture, that you have occasion and authority, by being admitted a member, to write to the Society ; and that you are as well qualified as any of our brethren, to signify your sentiments to the board, upon the design in favour of this diocese, which the treasurer and the rest of the members have been extremely generous to forward and promote , And, as some of. my friends in England write me they propose to do, it might not be amiss, if you desred your~guinea-subscription las paid might be applied to the like purpose. I suppose you know, that the members of the Society are to be addreffed through their secretary, the Rev. Mr. Broughton. Our corrector, [Mr. Corlett], I suppofse, is, now nearly on the return ; unless the Acts take up more time than one of the Gospels, as I fear it will. In your letter to Mr. Broughton, what will you fay to the obje6tion flung at , Us, by fome, who were applied to for their contributions to the Manks impression of Scripture, &c ? " They are nothing but a nest of smugglers, and can have no religion !" ~.
The doloroi~a ~.ccount you give, of the marine disasters* at your port, is~ very affecting indeed. The last is always the worst, and most dismal; because the :.j~prefl~~~i; ~ ~ strongest. But what think you of that vessel, whereon the poor creatures hung almost within reach of the shore, and perished at last ?That night, I think, was a far higher storm. The most shocking part of all the scene is, the taking up the dead bodies: that a man would venture hard to save a live one, is a noble instance of courage and humanity. If the danger was real, as you suppose and relate it, I think the names of those men who actually saved any lives, at the hazard of their own, should be transmitted with distinguithed honour and applause to posterity, besides being handsomely rewarded for the present ; especially, if they ventured without previous stipulation for the danger they were about to incur. Pray let me know, whether the persons saved have been grateful, so far as able, or not ? It is too often found otherwise in such cases.
Will none of you gay citizens forego the merriments, and gambols, and fine feastings of the town at the ensuing holidays, to spend a week or fortnight with us two solitary foreigners at Bishops-Court ? Do but think you see the bishop and his sister, at each end of a table, eating roast-beef and plumb-pudding by themselves !!!
Mr. Wilks, and family perhaps, we may get one day to us ; but they have many of kin to visit and receive. What, if Mr. and Mrs. Black, weather and health permitting, should be so charitable as to bestow some of their surplus time on their brother and sister-foreigners here ? Must none, but kindred by blood stir out to see one another in this land ? for that they will do, from point of Ayre to port Erin , men, women, and children,to visit their dear brothers, and sisters, and cousins? If we are not to be owned, for want of title to such alliance, I must endeavour to amuse myself with my ~eathern companions * ; and, in other respects, to remain your exotick friend,
* The two extremities, nearly, the Dan and Beertheba of the Isle of Mann. Port Erin is so called from its lying opposite to Ireland.
:~ ~ ~ eicg~it fufliciency, Content; Retirement, rural quiet, friendchip, Books; Ease and alternate labour ; useful life, Progressive Virtue, and approving Heaven !"