March 31, 1807,
Tories, Whigs, Foxite-Whigs, oh my. What shall become of us, Lord?
The government is not stable, barely lasting two years. My fears of invasion, a total loss of the country I know and love, fills my heart.
How can Providence allow such upheavals?
Why change from Pitt, to Grenville, to Portland? Is the title of Prime Minister difficult to hold?
I know I am just a woman. I should contend myself to my needlework. Surely, there are enough ribbons to be added to little Mary’s gown to make my mind numb to fear.
Yet, how can I even think of my girl coming of age in times like these. My heart aches at seeing her cast into this society where dissension reigns. She cannot be a war bride. No! Not her.
My thumb has turned painful. I yank the needle freeing it from the swelling flesh. I’ve pricked finger and stained the satin hem.
Is this coursing of rouge a sign to come? Don’t our enemies in France lay in wait for our weakness? This turmoil is the proper time to strike.
I dispatch my maid for fresh muslin. I will not ruin anymore ribbons with my wringing of hands. Doubt will not save my country.
As I swaddle my hands in the soft cloth, my palms meet. A peace settles on my shoulders. The churning of my stomach quiets. I remember Your words.
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
So Pitt, Grenville and now Portland… You ordained them to be Prime Minister, in such a time as these?
I slump in my chair. The very thought of this contention being God’s will disheartens me. Yet, the soft words of the passage sing in my soul.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Now my heart is pricked. For I have not given tribute to the governing, just gossip and trepidation. I repent of that Lord. I uncover my hands, slapping flesh to flesh, and pay tribute. I pray for Providence’s guidance and mercy to fall upon my leaders. It is the best offering I can render.