[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]
Mrs. HESTER HILDESLEY
Rev. PHILLIP MOORE.
Covent-Garden, Sept. 13, 1782.
Dear Mr. Moore,
With this I send you a direction to my new lodging ; and now let me certify to you, that I am as well as an old maiden can be, that is also most blind, deaf, and toothless. I follow you fast, threescore and fifteen within a few weeks; much at your service. I have never said so much to any one yet. We have gone hand in hand together a good while ; but you must give leave for ladies to go first. I have lost my old landlord, and have got another, about our own age. Youll say, why dont I get a young land-lord ? The reason is, no one will have me.
I dont know which is worse, my eyes, paper, or pen all are bad, but you must take me for better for worse. I know I am addressing to one, who, if I give Latin or Greek, bad English, or bad writing, will easily make it out. I do preserve all your letters, as old gold, that posterity may see how near and dear we have been to each other.
Since I left town last year, I was given over, at Dr. Dickens's, with a fever, which raged for several months ; and, then, recovered amazingly. I am very thankful to Divine Goodness for granting me a few days, or weeks, or months longer; but the longer cannot now be long. Shall I make a better use of this short time spared me, than if it had pleased God to have taken me then ? Pray GOD, that as I decrease in strength, I may increase in faith, to attain eternal life through Christ ! , My prime-minister begs to be remembered to yours. One cannot get such faithful servants now-a-days, at least they are but thinly sown : though I have no reason to complain of my second ; who came very young has lived with me between five and six years, is a very good girl, and almost prime minister to us both.
My eyes and head will not permit me more than respects to all friends ;
Ever your obedient servant,