Hannah More to Marianne Sykes Thornton, 28 November 1814

To: Mrs. H. Thornton
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: None
Watermarks: IVY MILL/ 1809

H. More

MS: Cambridge University Library, Add.7674/1/E/3
Published: Undetermined

My very dear Friend

Most heartily have I sympathized, and still do sympathize with you, under this tedious and trying attack of Mr. T. We talk of it almost continually, and having heard nothing for some time, I was willing to flatter myself that he was getting on, but a letter from Mr. Babington yesterday does not give so favourable a report of his progress as we had hoped. This induces me to write rather in a hurry to ask you to let one of the young ones, send a line now and then till he is better.

This is my first letter since my visitation. – not but that I could write, for my Sword Arm escaped the fire. But thro’ the extreme and undeserved kindness of my friends, I suppose there have been not much less than a hundred letters of inquiry to answer, and tho it sadly overloads P. who is not well and assisted by S – yet I forbear writing to those to whom I wishd that I might conscientiously say I had written to none – this has given me a little time for my other business. I have generally managed in the same way with visitors, which I believe includes every creature /(visitible)/ within ten Miles, so that having so good an excuse I have rather gained time than lost.

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.

Thank you for noticing my young friend Leeves. He writes with much gratitude at the kindness he has received, and the honour of being admitted to the Society of so much piety and talent. How did he come off at Clapham in preeching? Much condideration [sic] is due to him as he never before was in any /truly/ religious Society. Does Bowdler’s health stand this Winter?

How our young friends are marrying away! I wish you could see Mr. Stephens excellent letter on the marriages in his family. So much wit! Mary Gisborne delighted me in hers by an honest and frank confession of her happiness That Match was made in heaven. But in this chequered life all [deletion] are not rejoycing or marrying. Our friend George Sandford is coming to us to day for a few days, as soon as he deposited the remains of a young creature his adopted daughter aged Nineteen on whom he doated; and over whom he has watched with fond Solicitude for a year and a half in a dropsy – She was an amiable girl and piously inclined, but he had dragged her so much into the great and gay world, that it impeded her progress. I hope this privation will have a good effect on his own mind. He loves religion and religious people, but then he dearly loves the world and after having laboured hard to make both loves agree, I trust this blow will shew him the vanity of that attempt. Miss Roberts s [sic] will be good sympathizing company for him, as they are expecting to night to hear of the death of a Niece past nineteen also, but are of the most matured Christians I have heard of; her sweet and extraordinary piety has made a considerable impression on her own family, and many who knew her.

I have heard twice lately from Lady Olivia but have not yet written to her . The excursion to the Lakes seems to have quite answered; tho it appears she found every thing in it, except that rest which was the professed Object of the tour. More on her Subject when I have more time

I have seen part of a letter from the Duchess of Wellington in which she says that Perigord the great Paris Banker has 25,000 pound a day pass thro his hands for the Use of the English!! She also gives an account of a long formal speech which was sent to her in French to make to the king on her first public reception. I do not like making our ladies Public Orators in this way. Still less do I like the most unrighteous Speed with which half our Country are crouding that city of Sin – even Bristol Merchants are taking houses in France for whole years.

I know a lady just returned who says the English had raised the price of Cambric there from half a crown to 7:6 a Yard, while our own looms are standing still – I must say with Hamlet – ‘It cannot nor it will not come to good’, and that /war/ was not worse than such a peace – Especially if our dear Africans are rescued. – I hear of a book of Mr. Wilberforce to the French? What is it about? and how is his health.

If I sent you all the good wishes I am desired to send, my paper would not hold them I am very anxious about your own health which I fear must suffer . I fear too that mind has had a good deal to do with Mr. T. illness, or rather that previous feeling had disposed his body to receive any illness more severely than might otherwise have been the case I am so hurried I know not what I write –

God bless and comfort You all. Pray for me, that my late alarm may more and more remind me that in the midst of life we are in death –
Yours my dear friend
most affectly. H More