While William is away, a friend "presses" Eliza "exceedingly" to come for dinner, but she decides to decline because Mrs Bull, who's staying with them "absolutely makes me sick". Although, on the upside, "she has been very ill & low with a sore throat so I hope she is less talkative…"
The next letter describes how she and Sally Steele (the daughter, I think, of William Hayley's godfather) have, after a major falling out, now returned their relationship to a civil footing. Eliza "heartily rejoiced at having ended a very unpleasant affair (that has given me infinite vexation) entirely to my satisfaction." One problem with this quarrel was that it looked like William's close friend John Thornton was about to propose to Sally.
Eliza addresses this issue head on. She doesn't think it's right for Thornton "to sacrifice his Happiness to a private Pique" of hers and seeks to assure him that, whilst she and Sally could never be bosom buddies, "I dare say we shall like each other as much as is necessary."
She's slightly more vehement - and no less acerbic - on the matter in a subsequent letter. "I absolutely wish," she writes, for Thornton "to marry Sally (if he means to marry at all) that he may not add an other such to our acquaintance."
|Eliza by George Romney|