Sometimes in her letters, FR reproduced the colloquialisms of the people she visited. February 16, 1841 she recorded some lines spoken by an inmate of the workhouse in Scarborough:
"There's a change come over me,—just afore ha'arst [harvest] I thought the Lord was striving with me, but I could not get started in praying then, but at the end of ha'arst I felt it again, and I said now's the time, and I got prayer, and I went to prayer-meetings,—prayer-meetings is best for them as is no scholars, one don't know what preacher says, though it's all very fine like,—but at prayer-meetings, one says, and another says, and it's all like as our own. My husband had it all in him once, but he got into the world again,—but I shall have him! I shall have him yet! He says, 'pray, my lass, and thou'lt not go back.' He is a scholar, and likes a book. I bought him a Testament out of my ha'arst work, and I want to save up to buy him a Bible; but they are dear at our place, it's an out-of-the-way place, no super-scription [subscription] there."
Here's a short clip for hearing accents from all around England.
February 15, 1828 in a letter to her friend the Rev. Henry Thompson: I am "much pleased that you have come to the same conclusion with myself, that he who said religious poetry was a hopeless attempt, was neither truly poetical, nor . . . truly pious."
At this time FR was 46 and already writing religious poetry. Her love of poetry and of religious subjects never diminished. In her eighties she spent many happy hours putting Hebrew poetry (the Psalms and other Bible portions) into English, maintaining the meter of the original.
On February 11, 1862 (age 80) she enclosed in a letter the following:
The Great Physician
Take thy sick heart to Jesus, He will heal it,
The Great Physician He, I know and feel it.
Oh, seek no other help, in self no cure,
He knows, He feels, what suffering hearts endure.
My Lord and Saviour, lo, for help I faint,
There is no help in man, nor sage, nor saint,
And least of all in self; oh, I am weak,
Therefore, my Lord, for strength in Thee I seek;
Strength from the strong, and mercy from the kind,
Love from the Loving One in Thee I find.
Without Thee light were darkness, day were night,
Here walk I but by faith, and not by sight.
Oh, rise on my deep darkness, heavenly Sun,
So shall my night be ended, day begun.
In Thee is help and cure, I know and feel it;
My heart is in Thine hand, Oh, take and heal it.
Although Frances, by the description by others, was beautiful, intelligent, gracious, and a fascinating conversationalist, she never married, and as far as is known, never received an offer.
Although the following quotes from her letters were not written on Valentine's Day, they seem appropriate for the subject at hand.
"Surely we are tried with just that very form of evil most searching to us, and loneliness of the heart is mine, because it is the only privation I deeply feel—His will be done!"
"Moralists and metaphysicians spend volumes in trying to account for the common observation, that disappointment, or, indeed, love in any form, makes a woman's destiny, while it is only an incident in that of a man; there may be exceptions to the latter observation, I know of none to the first."
"Is there not a lost, stray sort of feeling in belonging to nobody?"
And on an acquaintance to was married after some anxiety: "The natural and inevitable ills of life must come on dear ____, but she will have lost the worst of them—chronic heart-ache."
FR had a strong love of infants all her life, and all that love seemed now (at age 74) to be focused on little Lewie, the child of the pastor of the little chapel FR attended. She took it upon herself to educate the little one, giving an hour a day to this endeavor. But Lewie died suddenly, and FR was deeply shaken.
"I have wept myself almost blind, since sudden death on Sunday last removed 'the delight of my eyes.' . . . I cannot recover the daily blank of the dear babe I was educating—as it proved—for heaven. I weep daily . . . ."
The previous July, seven months before, she had written, "The Dallows have a little got over their troubles, though the baby is very weakly, and I think too sweet tempered to live." And in September, "Mrs. Dallow's baby was given over last week with inflammation of the lungs, but is now recovered, though still miserably delicate, and too good to live." FR was well familiar with the expression "The good die young."
FR desired to be buried beside the Dallow baby, but before she died, the Dallows lost another baby and then Mr. Dallow himself was taken. There was plenty of grief to go around.