To Lady Olivia Sparrow, January 7 1813

To: No name
Address: None
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Red Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

Jany. 1813

MS: MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 ff. 9-11
Published: Undetermined

My dear Lady Olivia

The books are arrived. Inclosed were some Reviews &c. which I shall send to Bruton Street by the Coach as the loss of them would break the regularity of your numbers.

And now my dearest Madam, what can I say to you for this splendid present? You are so vigilant an Observer, that I find I must be on my guard what I say before you, for you watch my words, and anticipate wishes expressed at random, per maniere de parler [sic],[1] and without any definite design. You are really my universal purveyor; and not only provide for the Animal but the rational part of your undeserving, but not ungrateful friend.

Indeed, indeed, I must learn to be more cautious or you to be less kind; the former will cost me some trouble when I am with you, as my heart has learnt to expand in your Society, but the latter will cost you more, as it is more difficult for you not to be generous than for me not to be indiscreet.

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.

I am going once more with great delight thro' Leighton's Commentary on St. Peter .[2] Yet sweet, devout, and spiritual as it is, I am not sure whether I do not prefer his Volume of Sermons.[3] I could have spared some of his other things if he had given us the rich legacy of another Volume of /the/ Sermons.

When you indulge me with a letter there is one subject you always neglect to say a word about, – I mean your health. I beg you not to overlook it next time, for tho I agree with the Apostle that it is of more importance that ' your soul should [deletion] prosper and be in health ';[4] yet health of body is so valuable a possession not only for personal comfort but is such an instrument for doing good, & such a material for active exertion that it is to be reckoned among our valuable possessions and tho I bless God you are not unhealthy, yet there is a delicacy about you which requires care, especially in the article of catching cold.

I inclose this to our excellent friend at [Ivar]. It will I hope make one among the many greetings you will meet on your arrival in town. May it please God to conduct you /while/ there, by his holy spirit, to remove your difficulties and to strengthen /you/ , and not only to bless you in yourself, but to make you a blessing to others. My poor prayers shall be presented for you and your dear Children. -

I hope that even they who believe not Moses and the Prophets who speak to them by the ear[5] , will believe with their eyes that poor persecuted Saunders does not preach extempore when they see the book.[6] Oh what a hardener of the heart is prejudice! Nothing but the grace of God can possibly subdue it root and branch; Tho some minds are more naturally candid than others, yet natural candor extends not itself to the concerns of religion; a higher principle must operate to the extermination of the rooted evil.

I run on forgetting that when you receive this, on your first arrival you will hardly find a moment to read it.

Believe me ever Your Ladyship
very faithful and truly
affectionate H More

My most affectionate remembrances to your young companion. I desire her not to forget me. I do not know if she has ever read Baron Haller's letters to his daughter which I shall take the liberty to inclose when I return your Reviews. [7]


par manière de parler 'So to speak'


Robert Leighton (1611-84), archbishop of Glasgow. No works by Leighton were published in his lifetime, but editions began to appear from 1692, edited by Henry Fall. Leighton's A Practical Commentary, upon the first two chapters of the epistle general of St. Peter was first published in 1693. Popular from their first appearance, Leighton's works continued to be valued and reprinted well into the nineteenth century, in large part because of Leighton's promotion of the Christian virtues of charity, meekness and humility. An edition by Doddridge appeared in 1748, but a new one appeared between 1805-8, edited by George Jerment.


Sermons preached by the late Dr. Robert Leighton, late arch-bishop of Glasgow published at the desire of his friends, after his death, from papers written with his own hand was first published in 1692, and included eighteen of Leighton's sermons. A total of thirty-two sermons would be published. Nineteenth-century editions printed these in one volume.


From 3 John 1:2: 'Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.'


Luke 16:31: ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets’


Isaac Saunders (fl. 1784-1816), curate at St Andrew by the Wardrobe with St Ann Blackfriars in London from 1804 until 1817. During his time in this parish Saunders established a considerable reputation as an extempore preacher, with reports of his style appearing in various metropolitan publications, including The National Register which featured Saunders as one of its 'Popular Preachers' in 1808. Saunders' preaching style was described as being 'entirely extempore', though exhibiting both 'much of the excellence of the system' as well as 'some of its disadvantages'. See The National Register Vol. 1, 1808 (p. 702). For some commentators extempore preaching was associated with the Methodists; it was therefore the source of some anxiety. In 1812 Saunders published Sermons on Various Subjects, and Letters to an Undergraduate at the University; by the late Rev. William Alphonsus Gunn. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life. The volume was poorly received in the reviews; the Monthly, for instance, lamented the 'highly Methodistic strain' of the 'bulk of the memoir' which were not 'in good taste'. See the Monthly Review, vol. 71 (May to August), pp. 439-440.


Letters from Baron Haller to his Daughter on the Truths of the Christian Religion, written by Albrecht von Haller (1708-77) in German, was published in English in 1780.