blessings, (More counts her own)

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, April 5th 1809

I write a few lines to thank you for your kind solicitude about me, when you yourself were probably suffering so much more. Mrs. R. T. confirms the account of your very oppressive cold, Which I hope /will be removd by/ the blessing of God on this fine change in the weather, for it is now raining green pease and goosebery Tarts: and our grass, which on Sunday was as brown as a Mat is now as green as an Emerald. I thank God my fever has given way and I am again much better, tho I had an ague fit the night before last, as I generally have on every change of weather. I heartily rejoyce at the improvd account of Mr. T. Lady Waldegrave who spent a long day here Yesterday (which prevented my writing) thinks he looks tolerably. In addition to her heavy sorrows,2 she is now involv’d in two or three /law/ suits which are this moment trying at Our Assizes, and in which, as her Antagonist (her late Steward) a friend of Mr. Bere’s3 a deep designing Man has made a party against her, I fear she will be cast. Every thing however which relates to money is a trifle compared with her other causes of sorrow.4

Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, 28 November 1814

How mercifully have I been dealt with! and how often has that promise occurred to me – ‘When thou passest thro the fire’ &c! I often wonder I was not more overcome with terror at seeing myself one Sheet of flame. Miss Roberts’s grievous wounds, for she was entirely burnt from her wrists to her fingers ends and was obliged to have her ring filed off, are healed sooner than my slight ones. My shoulder and Arm only were burnt, not a single thread of the Sleeve of my Chemise remained; it is however at present only an inconvenience, and not a suffering – I cannot yet put on a gown – but it is nothing more.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, December 1812

I feel quite thankful that I was enabled to keep us so stoutly while you were with us, as I have fallen back into my natural, that is my bad state ever since. I am however better to day; I fancy I feel more thankful for a day’s ease and a night’s rest than those can do whose days and nights suffer no such interruptions. Yet I am conscious of not feeling half grateful enough for the unnumbered and undeseved [sic] mercies I enjoy.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, January 7 1813

With such a provision as you have furnished for my body and mind, added to my many mercies, I must not complain of solitude and silence, for tho I have been so ill the last ten days as scarcely to be able to see any body, much less to talk to them I can read and drink Soda, two luxuries which so many invalids have not, or having, cannot enjoy.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 25 March [1815]

Death has again been thinning the ranks of my beloved friends. Mrs. Porteus has followed her dear Bishop, I trust to the land of everlasting rest. She was to me a faithful and attached friend for 35 Years, and one of that sure and steady character that, in that long period, I never experienced from her a wry word; /or a cold look. I always spent June with them./ She had been thro life the healthiest Woman I ever knew, and her fine person and sound health gave you no idea of age. She taken, and I spared! Such is the dispensation of infinite wisdom!

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [20? October 1815] [incomplete]

I have delayed writing from day to day till it should please our gracious father to determine the fate of our beloved Mrs. Thornton . That afflicting event has now taken place near a week, and yet I have not had the heart to write. * You doubtless have been informed by the same kind hand with myself, of the fatal progress and final termination! God’s will be done! This we must not only say but submissively assent to under dispensations the most trying. And surely the removal of our dear friend is a very trying as well as Mysterious dispensation. To herself the charge is most blessed. To her children the loss is most irreparable. Poor dear Orphans! little did we think a year ago of this double bereavement! but let us bless the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ that he enabled this suffering friend to bear her dying testimony to his faithfulness and truth . Never was a sweeter death than that so feelingly painted by Mr. Wilberforce How strong must have been that faith which not only lifted her so much above all worldly considerations /but/ which enabled /her/ to commit her beloved children, about whom her anxiety had been so excessive, to the father of the fatherless. It has pleased God to raise them, among many friends, Mr. and Mrs. Inglis to whose care she consigned, and who have generously accepted the charge. They are peculiarly fitted for the purpose, sensible, pious, amiable, strongly attached to the Thorntons and without children of their own. Thus is the saying illustrated that the Seed of the Righteous shall never be forsaken.* My opinion is that Mrs. T is dead of suppressed grief. She reminds me of part of an Epitaph I have seen, only changing the word day for Year

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 2 October [1817]

You have I presume already been some time at Sea, exposed to an element which whatever benefit it may afford to your beloved patient is not I fear good for your own delicate health. An Object which it is more than ever your duty to consult and of which I hope your [sic] are very careful. I shall feel anxious to know the result of this new Voyage on the beloved Object of your attention* You did right not to delay your setting out, as it is at present extremely cold here; but blessed be the giver of every good gift the weather is very dry and has been so for near a Month. I say we ought to live upon our knees in continual praises for this seasonable relief. The fruits of the earth are abundant, and trade reviving every where but in my two poor Mining Villages* whose very existence depends on the Brass Trade, the only species of Commerce which is totally dead.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, 28 January 1819

Had I written a few days ago I could have given you a favourable report of my Sister.* but she has had another of her alarming attacks in the lungs and is just now now faint and weak. I thank God, who is always better to me than I deserve, that I have been tolerably for some weeks. Your account of the increasing excesses of the Baringites is shocking.* I begin to think now that the worse they are the delirium they have excited will be the sooner cooled. What between the blaze of these new lights and the frost of the worldly clergy our poor church is sadly threatened. I would not send off this which I cannot ever look over but that to morrow there is no post, and Mr. D. may be in suspense. Mr. Dunn has been false-hearted, for I thought he would have looked in upon us again . I rejoyce Charles Grant is so popular. He cannot be more so than he deserves. if he woud talk more he would be perfect. I am glad his rare talents have such a field. I am afraid tho, that it is a weedy, tho far from being a barren field. I long to know whither the School for the Sons of the great at which Mr. Grant sent me the prospectus prospers, if it does I shall hail the omen for poor Ireland. I grieve for dear Mrs. Grants illness. I do love her. I am glad you nursed her so kindly

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, October 11th 1819

I have received about a hundred letters full of kindness and condolence, and many of them, of piety – but I have felt myself utterly unable to answer them – You will be so kind as make this true apology to any friends who may think themselves neglected. My health has been very bad, and neither body or mind has yet made much progress, the former I hope is most in fault, for I bless God my mind is I trust unrepining and submissive, but it is still very weak. I am forbid by my Doctor to see company, for which I am thankful as I have no heart to see any but two or three particular friends in my own room – for talking brings back the complaint in my chest. Your excellent Mr. Dealtry kindly promises to come to see me from Bath I hope it will not be till I am much better, as I should be sorry to see him only for an hour in my chamber which is all I can yet do. It is grievous too that Lord and Lady Teignmouth should be at Clifton at this time – It is many years that we both looked forward to seeing those dear friends for a few days, and [deletion] now I can so little profit by their neighbourhood is painful to me.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, October 11th 1819

I spare myself entering on the details of her four dying days – They were exquisitely painful; but blessed be God, the trial was not long, and every interval of reason exhibited. the strength of her faith and the resignation of her Soul* – She cast herself entirely on the mercies of God, and the merits of a crucified Saviour. I believe never was an obscure individual more generally lamented – this is only gratifying as it bears such a testimony to her worth. The kindness of the good is very soothing, but real consolation must come from a higher source.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, November 5th 1823

What is become of you? Where are you? What are you doing? It would indeed be more ‘germain to the Matter’ to put these interrogations to me, as I have long been in your debt for a delightful letter . There is another reason for your not asking where I am, as I am sure to be found in the bow window in my bed chamber. It is now about two years since I have been down stairs, and I think four years and a quarter since I have been in any house besides my own. It is not at present that my locomotive powers are not equal to travel down stairs, but that this unmannerly summer – as Charles Hoare calls it, made my good Dr. Carrick order me to run no risque . I have however a pleasant prison, and am not anxious for a jail delivery. My health is much /better/ , thro the great mercy of God, than there was any human probability would ever be the case; with frequent solitary interruptions of bad nights. This is necessary to remind me that this is not my rest, and that this short reprieve is granted me for the great work of repentance and preparation. I see a good deal of company in the middle of the day, too much my Doctor thinks, but have yet had no one to sleep but the Hoares,* and another friend. But the Post occupies and fatigues me much /more/ than my guests. If you saw my table most days, you would think, if I were not a Minister of State, I was at least a Clerk in a public Office and these pretty businesses it is, that so often prevent my writing to those dear friends with whom it would be my delight to have more intercourse I find however a good deal of time to work with my hands, while Miss Frowd reads for the entertainment of my head. The learned labours of my knitting Needle are now amassing to be sent to America to the Missionary Society* who sell them there, and send the produce to the Barley Wood School at Ceylon .* So you see I am still /good/ for something.

Hannah More to Marianne Thornton, August 5th 1824

You are become a good creature, to be so considerate as not to wait for an answer, which my heart is more ready to make than my hand. Thank God I am just now tolerably well, but I have been much otherwise on the whole. I have however had some occasional good days, on which I have seen, what my kind Doctor thinks too much company