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Elizabeth Murray Smith Inman1775-07-30Ralph InmanBrush-Hill, MA42.24871-71.1003288Dear Sir,--I had the pleasure of yours at the lines yesterday with a note wherein you say you did not deliver Mrs. Hooper's letter. The day Mrs. Forbes was at the Lines with it she expected to meet Anne and had a message for her for a key to that letter, but she was disappointed in not seeing her. The message she will write you.In my last I told you I was planing night and day. These plans were well meant and not selfish. However, as they do not suit you, I rest satisfied. If you had given Mrs. Hooper the letter and told her you would be glad if she would stay in town till I could come in, she would certainly have done it, and according to my desire she might have sent for fresh meat. I am sure it would have been granted, as G. Washington says he will do every thing in his Power to serve her.Words cannot describe my astonishment when I received your message; it was if Mrs. Hooper came out of town you would go to London with Mr. & Mrs. Rowe. If this is a return for the many anxious and fatigueing days I have had, I leave it to your better Judgement, and will endeavor to submit. To save you from every anxiety that is in my power to prevent, I enclose your order on Clark & Nightengale, as you say in your note "R. I. has received but little money since he came to town. He has been obliged to draw for his own wants, and waits to receive his account current from Lanes-- 216 --House to see if he is entitled to draw for the Providence sum, which he cannot do should his dependance on a bill remitted be returned or any failure in the house which he is anxious to hear from." Now, Sir, you have received this valuable treasure (an order for one hundred pound sterling), I beg you'll cast off your cares. Anxiety is very bad for the health, which you'll require a great share of, as well as money and good spirits, in seeing and being seen in England.You have sent a List of debts with directions to get Intrest but not principle. I hate to be insulted, therefore cannot make any demand at present, nor at any other time, without a power from you; no doubt you'll leave one with some friend before you sail. Believe me, Mr. Inman, I am not anxious about a mentinence. Experience has taught me, water-gruel and salt for supper and breakfast, with a bit of meat, a few greens or roots, are enough for me. No doubt you blame me to your numerous acquaintance for not coming to Town. I think they ought to hear my reasons before they condemn me. In the first of the bussle you wrote to me that I was better in the Country than in town, after that you wrote to me you could not command but seventy pound sterling a year, and provisions were very dear and scarce. A few weeks after that, you invited me and your large family into town, which family, I mean those you had before I lived at Cambridge, spent three hundred and twenty pound sterling a year, and the produce of the farm. This-- 217 --invitation I thought very seriously of, and would have accepted it with pleasure on my own account, but was and am certain it would have been cruel on theirs. Therefore I wrote to you that sum would not buy them the worst of provisions in the cheapest times, and proposed my staying to assist them in protecting and taking care of the crop that could be saved, in order to maintain them, till they could raise another in some quiet part of the country. The hay we were obliged to move; there was twenty-five Ton of it. I paid three pound ten shilling O. T. a load for bringing it here. At that time your carts and Brush-hill ones were employed in bringing furniture &c. The rye turns out very well, they are now thrashing it. There is but little hay any where, the drought has been very severe. I proposed, if I had disposed of the rest of the crops, to have changed houses with Mrs. Hooper, left the servants here,--Mrs. Hooper and John to have paid Mrs. Forbes enough for their board to have bought cash articles with, the produce of this farm to have been an equivalent for Mrs. F----, Betzy and the children.As to the aspersion of this being G. Lee's headquarters, I cannot imagine how it arose. I never saw him till Saturday at the Lines. None of the gentlemen have been here but Mr. Sargent once to wait on his lady. As to having letters directed to my care, I could not deny that privilege to those that asked me. They knew Mr. Sargent lived in your house, who went to head quarters every day,-- 218 --and had an opportunity to take them up and send them here. I beg to know what else I am accused of. Be assured, Dear Sir, I will with pleasure account for every action that I remember since the year seventeen hundred and twenty-six (the year of my birth).I have not had the manners to return one of the visits the Ladies paid me on my arrival here.Adieu Dear Sir.