It gave him much pleasure that she enjoys reasonable health and that she is enabled to continue ‘that path of duty which you had embraced for so long a period. Even from your early life…’
The day of their departure from this life cannot be long distant. Reference is made to Ireland’s dead wife. Spiritual matters are discussed in detail.
Ireland refrained from writing to Fletcher for the following reasons; he met some years ago in Germany a Mr Bosanquet who he assumed was her brother. He was remarkably kind to Ireland in a variety of circumstances and the two corresponded for some years. Ireland then heard nothing more from him until a short time ago, he learned the man’s ‘meloncholy history’, which prevented Ireland from writing to Fletcher as he supposed him to be Fletcher’s brother.
Ireland is sending this hasty letter via Mr Hunt who he has discovered is sending some [unreadable word] to Fletcher by the ‘Trow’. If Ireland is not too late, he will send by the same means a dozen bottles of old wine from the district of France where Fletcher’s family comes from [The Bosanquets were a Huguenot family originally from the Languedoc region of France.] and imported from there in the ‘year of peace’ . [The Treaty of Amiens was signed in May 1802 between Britain and France. The peace was however short-lived and within a year, the two countries were again at war.]
Ireland is now in his eighty-sixth year and is grateful to God for his remaining faculties. He often recounts anecdotes of their dear friend [John Fletcher], his humility and ‘secret walk with God…The stained wall (with his breath) at Trevecka [Welsh College established by the Countess of Huntingdon for the training of ministers. Fletcher served as its President between 1768 and 1771.]. I shall not forget where he breathed out supplication & prayer to God for direction in a critical case…’