book production

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 23 June [1819]

I fear I have been doing a very foolish thing I thought I had as compleately made up my mind to hang my harp upon the willows* as you had to keep your three rules. But in my case, as in Hamlet’s Mother 'the lady did protest too much'.* I have been so struck with the French Mania in all classes almost of our people of the desertion of our country in the time of its deepest distress, and of the importation of French Manners, that I felt it a sort of duty not to hold my tongue. On the other hand, the Mischief done by the [unclear]ders, and its probable fatal consequences, I thought called for notice. Then the errors of religious people I think require a gentle hint; as well as the prevalence of high profession and low practice &c &c &c – to all this I have added a pretty long dissertation on prayer, and some of the errors which hinder its efficacy. In about four Months I have written (at an age when I ought to have rested) as many hundred pages. I expect to give offence to many of my friends especially by shewing the dangers of foreign association, and neglect of religion in the education of the great, but I have delivered my own Soul, and I must soon stand at a higher bar than that of this world’s judges. I have kept it so secret that I have not yet named it even to Wilberforce, but as it is now going to press I shall relax a little of my strictness.* Pray for me that it may be made useful, to a few at least.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 16 March [1815]

I have just got a long letter from dear Mary Gisborne replete with sorrow, affection and the deepest piety. How stupid, in Bowdler’s prejudiced bigoted father* to obstruct the very desirable plans of Ld. Calthorpe and Mr. Inglis to write a Memoir of the dear departed! I have written to Harriet Bowdler to try to soften her brother Bartlett’s-Buildings heart.* Poor Mrs. Thornton I hear looks sadly, has a pain in her chest and drinks Asses Milk. I tremble for her life. Her letters rather increase in sadness, but it is a sanctified sadness. – I forgot to say that Mr. H. and I agreed that nothing would so much contribute to give Mr. S. a habit of application as to give him a slight tincture of Fractions, and Algebra; not to make him a Mathematician but to tie down his attention – I know of no person likely to suit Lady Gosford’s friend as a Governess . You ask how I like W. Scott’s new Poem.* I have not seen it, but do not hear it thought equal to its predecessors. A friend has sent me Eustace’s Tour thro Italy .* It is classical & elegant in a high degree – but has too much Republicanism too little of the Manners of the people, and I think a disposition to overrate their Virtues – God be praised for the peace!* – but what Peace so long as the Witchcrafts of Bonaparte are so many. P. is in very poor health. We all join in kind remembrances to Yr. Ladyship and Miss S.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 25 March [1815]

H. Bowdler* declines interfering, but says /again/ the Gisborne’s* are the proper people if any assurance is necessary, which she does not think will be the case; but she does not /see/ the strong prejudices of her brother as I, and others see them.

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

Harriet Bowdler has been staying here. She is going to meet dear Mary Gisborne at Mr. Bowdler s the father of our lamented friend near Town. I fear, owing to the prejudices of this father, the much desired Memoir by Ld. Calthorpe and Mr. Inglis does not proceed.* What a pity! Doubtless Mrs. Henry and Miss Gisborne had promised themselves a sadly pleasing meeting. But a higher interview I trust has taken place between our dear departed with her own husband and the lover of her friend.*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 27 March [1817]

You would, were you not candor itself, think me a strange Animal, not to have thanked you, both for your kind letter and interest/ing/ present of books. But in this seeming/ly/ quiet spot I can hardly give you an idea what a scanty commodity time has been with me; the continued bad state of my two Sisters , company very frequently, and every interval filled with scribbling half penny and penny compositions. Tho I would have you to know, I am now rising in dignity and importance, having just finished (what I hope may be my last) a work that will be very costly three half pence, if not actually two pence, The Death of Mr. Fantom the new Fashioned Reformist.* If not a very learned composition, I hope it may be of some little use.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 27 March [1817]

We lately crammed in six Gisbornes; but such was the uncomfortable state of our family, that we could only keep them two or three days. Indeed it was as much as they could spare us. Poor Mary looks the picture of silent woe. She is indignant both at the Memoir and the picture which are prefixed to the two Valuable Volumes, and deeply hurt that no kind of notice is taken of herself.*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 2 October [1817]

I am engaged in the very vapid and dry employment of revising some of my own Works, ‘Cœlebs and Practical Piety’ for New Editions;* rectifying commas and colo[n]s [tear] and correcting points and particles suits not my impatient pen, tho I am thankful for the success which imposes on me such dull work.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 11 August [1819]

Such a letter as your last should not have been unanswered a day, if I could have commanded my time, but in different ways I have really been working double tides. So much company, such an over-flow of letters, to say nothing of a presumptuous book of between 5 and 6 hundred pages hurried over in a few Months.* – It will be abused, and I am prepared for it. I hope Hatchard has by this time sent it you as I directed before publication Professor Farish who was here the other day gave us an interesting account of your Bible Meeting. I rejoyce that Episcopal tyranny could not defeat your pious labours. I have heard such stories lately from that quarter, as I had rather repeat than write.*We too in our little way had a most prosperous Meeting* 40 Clergymen &c – 120 dined at Barley Wood in the Garden chiefly, and 200 drank tea – I shall thankfully forwards your kind Subscriptions to the French Translation, as soon as I am informed that my former one was received. * They frightened me by calling the Tracts Contes Moraux, that Rogue Mamontal’s Title I have as I think I told you prefixed the Epithet Nouveaux which I think will obviate it.* The priests are very watchful and we must be prudent. I have got in the Conservateur, as well as the News papers of Paris, such abuse of the Bible Society!* – Poor Dr. Hamilton ! his society was rather too much for you! Painful recollections must have been inseparable from the sight of him. – And there is no hope!*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [28? October 1819]

I was so absorbed in my sorrow, that a second and third Edition of my book* have been nearly sold without my being able to make one correction. I never expected even the first Edition which was a large one would go off,* & my book seller writes me there never was a Season more particularly bad for the Sale of books on account of the state of the Country, so that I am astonished at a success I so little expected.* It was written in great haste. I now hope to make the next Edition if it reaches another, a little more correct.*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 1826 (incomplete)

Among several interesting Visitors I have had from the East, Constantinople, Jerusalem Egypt &c none has been more interesting than Doctor Marshman from Serampore. He has made himself Master of 22 Indian Dialects, into which he has translated the Scriptures. He has finished the Penteteuch for the 2d. Edition in Chinese;* and he has not only written all these but has printed them himself at his own Printing Press.* When I asked how he could survive such labours, his answer was "in the 27 Years I have spent in this Mission, I have never known one day’s head ach or heart ach. I had missed seeing him for three or four Months, and when I asked him where he had been, he told me he had been paying a Visit to the King of Denmark of whom he obtained an Audience with the greatest ease; he granted his petition at once, which was to allow him to erect a College and chuse their own Professors.* I did not know that Serampore had been a Danish Island.*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [No date, but likely March/April 1817]

I write a hasty line to take advantage of Mr. Addington ’s Patent Frank * to send you a Specimen of my learned labours. I was earnestly desired by some high persons to do something towards an Antidote for the evil Spirit of insurrection which is at work more busily perhaps than you are aware. The Tract inclosed I have adapted to the present times , and it is widely circulated.* Perhaps you would like to order some copies from Hatchard, and recommend Your Friends to do the same.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, [No date, but likely March/April 1817]

Hunt’s alarming Visit to Bristol terminated to his own disgrace. His party was very small, very shabby and very quiet. Not an Innkeeper would let him into their houses, and 14 Printers refused to print any of his papers.*

To Lady Olivia Sparrow from Mary Roberts on behalf of Hannah More, 14 April [1832]

I would therefore take the liberty of proposing a reciprocal exchange of your Ladyship’s & Ly. Mandeville’s letters to dear Mrs H More, & of her’s to you, all those passages in her’s which relate to any private or confidential matters being of course previously obliterated: our dear Friend has authorized us to make similar applications to some of her Friends which we have done in many instances successfully. It will very much add to the interest of her future Memoir, the materials for (which we propose to place in the hands of an able Editor) that it should be enriched by a selection of her letters & we candidly avow that it would be highly desirable & serviceable to us, to obtain thro’ the kindness of some of her intimate correspondents an early possession of as large a portion of her letters as is possible, in order that we may while we have leisure select a few from each parcel of those which are the most interesting & worthy of insertion –