Letter 15 - 29 July 1780
TO MISS MULALLY, 29 JULY 1780
I believe my long silence has surprised you. Be assured it was not for want of a sincere love and respect. The delay was owing to my waiting to give an account that we were fixed in the new house, which I thought we would have been there at Christmas. [It] was prevented by part of the wall of our yard being broken down to make room for cars to come in to bring stones to make the garden wall for the Ladies—which if I prevented, must have cost them a vast deal on this. I did [not] leave my old habitation, as I could not have the back part of our house exposed, it was not safe to venture. We have dieted ourselves there since Ash Wednesday, which we found more convenient.
Then when the disturbances broke out in London, I was afraid to venture, imagining the same contagious frenzy may break out in this kingdom. So [I] waited till the times seemed quite peaceful, yet notwithstanding we stole like thieves. I got up before three in the morning [and] had all our beds taken down and sent to the house, before any was up in the street. [I] begged of the Ladies not to say a word about it to anyone of their company that would come to see them. Nor did [I] not let any person know it in the town of my friends, as I was sure [that by] acting in this manner the good work could be carried on much better than in making any noise about it. We removed [on the] 15 [July], so were there on the festival of our Blessed Lady, under whose protection we are. I hope she will preserve us from our visible and invisible enemies and make this house prosper and others of the same Charitable Institution in time.
I imagine the lady you had hopes would settle something towards a founda¬tion for this Society, will defer it at present. And you may rely on me that I shall never send you any from this that I should not think proper for the place. 1 have some thoughts of taking two in soon. I shall not say anything of them till we live some time under the same roof, then one would be a much better judge. I know great fault was found with me for dismissing Miss Wolf. I never told, my reasons to the public, only to a few that I could not avoid— though I was accused of doing what was very uncharitable in her regard—for fear of being, any detriment to her. She was taken in at Mrs. Moran's to teach the young ladies; and if they liked her, she intended to take her to be a nun. They did not keep her a month, as they found she was not fit for that state of life. I pity her, as it's not her fault, only her misfortune. Dr Moylan: I gave him your letter to read, and he desired me to assure you of the high esteem he had for you, and at the same time to beg you would ask Father Austin if he did not tell him, at the time he made Dublin his way when coming from England, the same faults that were found in your friend here, and [if he did not] beg he would write to her on them to see if she would change. And I believe there is not one that lives with her thinks she has the least zeal, as they are all very good religious and very exact to keep up to their rule. I believe they would be glad to live in more peace than she is disposed to do.
As you were so good as to desire to know how my eyes were that was so many months very sore, I, thank God, got the better of them. And I must tell you how I was cured, which [though] I believe few will try this receipt that had such a wonderful effect on me! One of the coldest days last winter and a most sharp piercing wind—and [I] found nothing affected them so much as the wind—though I thought I might on account of them plead some excuse, yet at the same time it was not giving good example not to go through as much as the others, and I walked out to the school at North Gate. And, so far from any bad effect on them, I did not find them worse, and [but], I may say with truth, vastly better; and ever since, thank God, [they] have continued so. I think any little labour I have, the Almighty has given me health to go through it; and if I did not make use of it in His service, He may soon deprive me of it.
I hope yours is better. We all pray for your long life, and your Sisters beg I will assure you of their sincere love, and mine to Miss Corballis. I thought to send this by Miss Creagh that was. She has married a young gentleman who [with whom] I hope she will be very happy, as he has so good a character and I know him to be mighty charitable. Her uncle is to leave her at his death the best part of his fortune; she will have, I am sure, above £6,000. I must beg you will present my best respects to Mr Mullan.