From Sarah Crosby [and Anne Tripp] in Leeds to Madeley. Reference is made to [Elizabeth] Ritchie's visit to Leeds, which lasted a few weeks. Ritchie had received Fletcher's letter at about that time and they were very glad of hear news of her - 'her acct was a solemn entertainment to us, tho at present we live so contra. Instead of stillness & RETIREMENT we have HURRY & NOISE…& many interruptions by living in a town…we were glad to see Miss [Ritchie] & more so, as she had been at MADELEY, but this was an additional hinderance to writing'. They have also, each of them [Crosby and Tripp], been ill this winter at various times.
Indeed dear Nanny [Anne Tripp] has been more sick this last year than at any other time since they moved to Leeds. Crosby also grows much more infirm and has lately had a very sore eye, so that for some time she was unable to open it. It at least meant that she got some much-needed rest.
Crosby's sight is poor at the best of times and lately has been made worse by colds in both eyes. She has many demands on her time - constant visits as well as meeting two large classes and a band or two in a week etc. She goes about in much pain, particularly in her knees and hands. Spiritual matters are discussed.
Crosby has been unable [through ill health] to attend meetings of the Select Band on a Saturday night for four months past, nor to preaching on a Sunday many times this winter.
Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
[Anne Tripp's] lumps [in her breast?] are growing, but are pretty free from pain.
Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
The wonderful account which Fletcher sent them of the work of God was very profitable. They have had no 'etraordinary' manifestations here, but go on steadily and quietly much the same as when Fletcher was here. It would be fantastic if she could visit them this summer - they would make her stay as comfortable as possible for as long as she wished to stay.
Crosby was very grateful for Fletcher's long letter. 'I can say I wrote more than two & half sheets as yrs, as small as this is, but Mr W [John Wesley?] has lessened it: left some OUT & also put some IN; wch I thot you wd think strange. I sd nothing abt your asking his advice At marrying Mr F [John Fletcher] & sd I cd not justly say hiw long you corrisponded with him, before he came to Cross Hall, but thot some years & this was in answer to the question he asked me about it. I think my letter not mended, but WE & many this way have been much profited & thankfull for the sweet accts there in the book given of dr Mr Fletcher, but 0 we wished for the print. Pray are we NEVER to have it ?'.
They have sent [Tripp] the guinea in accordance with Fletcher's instruction.
Crosby remembers that she promised she would let Fletcher know how the business is going, once they had taken stock. [Tripp] has discovered that she has 'gone back some pounds' - not because of a fall in trade but rather an increase in domestic expenses and tax. Indeed they are afraid that they may have to give notice to give up the shop next half year, for within the last twelve months, Mr Smith's brother and daughters have started the same, sort of shop in 'Kir'gate', but a little way from [Tripp and Crosby]. However, about two months ago, T. Mitchel's widow has taken the shop which used to be Miss Koster's, close to them and sells everything which Tripp does, even tea. This has already hurt [Tripe's] trade and is likely to do more as the summer comes on - her friends and neighbours are shared with [Tripp and Crosby].
They have no reason to think that their business would be any better in another part of town, nor is there a house to be had, but they have time and God will show them the way.
'As dr Mr [Fletcher] told the frd in her dream: the way is, PRAY, PRAY, BELIEVE, BELIEVE; to get up into that glorious place; & to keep in that glorious state of mind, while on earth, that our heavenly friend, wd wish us to do…' How is Samuel's wife and the woman who said that she and Sammy would die soon? [Elizabeth] Ritchie has told them that Fletcher received the parcel safely - they were sorry that it was so late, but they did send it at the correct time.
They will be pleased to hear how Fletcher's health is and trust that she is taking care of herself.
Reference is made to Mrs Westerman and Sally [Sarah Lawrance].