To Lady Olivia Sparrow, March 18 1813

To: The Lady Olivia B. Sparrow
Address: Bruton Street/ Berkeley Square/ London
Postmark: A20MA201813
Seal: Red Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

March 1813

MS: MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 ff. 14-5
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Lady Olivia

Being to day under the disqualifying dominion of Calomel[1] , I can only write a hasty line on the principal topics of your little /but/ kind letter. As far as two sickly human beings can venture to determine, P. and I hope to appear to you at Brampton Park by the middle of May; but the precarious state of my eldest Sister adds to our uncertainty, tho she is much /better/

I also wish not to delay giving the opinion you have the goodness to ask respecting your endeavouring to get Mrs. S ––s. I will speak frankly. As the thing appears to me, I think you had better not – There are several reasons against it, in my judgment. I ought not to notice that she is /tho sensible/ , rather a heavy companion, as an inmate because, if we could be of use to her, that should never be put into the scale – but I feel if we did not turn the time to a religious account, it would be of no benefit – if we did, she might be apt to suspect us of a stratagem Then I am a little jealous for your fame. As people would not know your pure, pious motive, one of two reports would possibly prevail, or perhaps both; those who suspect you of Saint hunting would be likely to accuse you of Saint making, and a malignant laugh would be cheaply raised; on the other hand those who are trying to sustain your worldly reputation – those who report in the Morning Post[2] and other papers, what 'a splendid dinner' or 'fashionable party' Lady O. Sparrow had such a night on Bruton Street, would not fail to report that Mrs. S –– was gone to B. Park to read Plays to a select circle of Modish Friends. – My dear Lady O – these remarks singly are frivolous but perhaps all together are not unworthy of Notice – You must expect on your charge of habits to be narrowly watched, a Providential hint perhaps for increased circumspection. Not with standing what I have presumed to hazard I hope you will push the matter as far as prudence permits, when you meet in town. Pray forgive all this freedom which proceeds from zeal for the maintenance and extension of your very important influence.

I know not what to say to D. Baillie for what I must call his elegant kindness. Do you think he would take it rightly [if] [tear] I sent him Christian Morals [3] ? – has he [tear]ren? – they at least might read it – If you think it right, perhaps you would have the goodness to order Hatchard to get /ready/ a copy of the 4th. Edition elegantly bound, but not to send it till I write to you again. Take care of your health my dearest Lady – Remember that the constant excitement of your sensibility, and the exertions of your mind, with people of the right /stamp/ , is more wearing than the uninteresting insipidity of the frivolous.

A young divine, a great friend of mine the Revd.. Henry Leeves, being lately brought to a very serious sense of religion has just entered the Church, and having preached only 4 Sermons of truly serious piety caught cold and is supposed to be consumptive – The Physicians immediately sent him abroad He is now at Gibraltar, is going to Malta, Sicily &c – He has letters to Lord W. Bentinck, should he chance to see him, but it just occurs to me that you would perhaps have the goodness to name him to Lady Wm.. – He is a very elegant young Man modest, well manner'd, &c –

Yrs. ever dearest Lady
H More


Mercury Chloride (Hg2 Cl2), used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a laxative and disinfectant


The Morning Post was published daily in London. Founded in 1772, it was owned at this time by Nicholas Byrne.


Christian Morals, published by Cadell and Davies in 1813.