Hannah More to William Wilberforce

To: W. Wilberforce Esq M P
Address: Lyme/ Dorsetshire
Postmark: BRISTOL SEP 4
Seal: Red wax

MS: Weston Library, University of Oxford, MS Wilberforce d. 15, ff. 70-1.
Published: Undetermined

My dear Sir

I was much gratified with Your letter, all communication between us having been suspended so long. I rejoyce that You are at last got to pure sea Air and refreshing quiet – I thank you much for your corrections. I inclose my intended 1st. Chapter copied close that it might come within the frank. I really do look on the work I have undertaken as so important in itself, and so very much above my head that it woud be a very great thing to me, if you cou’d contrive time to look it over – I know how you are press’d for time nor woud I break in on it for any ordinary business /but you know more exactly than any one the very thing I want/ Can your Servant inquire what communication there is between Lyme and Bristol that I might convey You a few Chapters at a time – I know how desirable it is that I shou’d take more time to finish it but when you consider the state of things, there is not a month to be lost – The poor child is going on most miserably, and the change talked of is likely to be from bad to worse – much worse – the Dss of Devon being actually talked of by the unworthy Father as the next directress – God forbid it shou’d be really so. I have little expectation but that my attempt will be sconted [sic] – But it will be a duty done. I work so hard at it that I hardly allow myself to write a letter. But have had great interruptions from Company – Clifton and the Wells having sent us more visitors this Summer than I ever remember to have had. Patty and I have been but poorly the whole Summer, with continued Stomach complaints. While on the Subject of My book I forgot to say that I am quite convinc’d of the wisdom of concealing my Name, there is still no inconsiderable party who wou’d read it with a prejudice if they knew it to be mine – You have doubtless heard of our misfortune at Cheddar – The worthy Rector who was so attach’d to us as to give me full permission to chuse a Curate, by getting better preferment has been forced to resign Cheddar which is thus fallen into the hands of our worst Enemies the Chapter of W – I hear it is given to a very poor creature, I must however endeavour to sooth and propitiate him and intend to make him a visit when I go to the Palace where I am going to spend a few days with my Diocesan – His Lordship having already made a Visit to Barley Wood I gave your Message to Mr. Knox who kindly felt that part of it which related to himself, and for his Noble friend lamented how much politics and the World impair’d all Virtue that was not guarded by Religion – He has left for you a nice little book of which he is the Editor – It is Burnett’s Lives of which he is very fond, with some Additions and a preface by himself – I will watch for an Opportunity to send it you. He is /a/ most extraordinary Man And now that he is in tolerable health, and has surmounted those dreadful nervous complaints [that] [tear] when last in England made him at times almost [as] [tear] bad /as/ Cowper, constantly possesses that chearful happiness which is the fruit of his piety – He is the almost the /most/ intellectual /and spiritual/ Man I ever knew not a thought or care is given to the world – Having been a grand Instrument in accomplishing the great Work of the Union, he turn’d his back on politics and Politicians, and lives in a religious retirement. His taste is exquisite his knowledge, particularly in Theology profound and various. His chief delight is in contemplation and inward religion – But he is not in all points in our way – He is of the Platonic Christian School, a disciple of Cudworth Lucas, Whichcote, Scongal, Worthington and Joseph Made In our disputes however I tell him that while Leighton and Baxter are his first favorites we shall not quarrel much. He passd near three weeks with us – We often wish’d for you. I hope he will return for a day or two before he goes to Ireland.

Our kindest love to Mrs. W – Dont forget to enquire how I can send You a little work

May God bless You all
Yrs. affecy. HM

I dined lately at my neighbour Hiley’s who is in no good Spirits