17th Century Letter

To Cecil, my beloved sister

I hope this letter finds you well.

How’s life in London? How are you enjoying being married? Was it everything that you imagined? How’s the weather? Does it compare to the dark, soupy fog that settled in valleys and covered the Highlands. And what are living conditions like? I have often heard that the streets leave much to be desired, with the streets grimy and filthy, and full of crime. Do you ever regret moving there? I know it was necessary for your husband’s business, but I much prefer life in the country. The clean, fresh air, and self-sufficiency that you could never have in the city.

Well, not quite self-sufficient. It’s hard to scrape together a living as an old, unmarried spinster. I have been working as a wise woman, selling folk remedies at the town market. In my spare time I embroider fancy handkerchiefs with little roses, but even with the long, long hours that I work, it’s barely enough for a chicken, or a piece of meat.

Oh well, I wouldn’t give up my life for the world. The old pastor always tells us to be happy with what we have, because it is what God has given to us, and He is wise and all-knowing. I think that I am much happier as a spinster, even though it’s safer as a married woman.

Did you hear of the Pendle witches, from Lancaster? Old spinsters, maybe a few years younger than me. You know, I could be next. I’m scared of passion that the English have when it comes to persecuting those who are not like them. I’ve seen women, like myself, save for the fact that they had a limp or a mole. I can only hope that I remain unobtrusive enough to pass through the year without some immoral accusations being slandered against our family’s name

From your dearest sister,

Rosemary

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