To Lady Olivia Sparrow, October 26 1813

To: The Lady, Olivia Barnard Sparrow
Address: None
Stamped: None
Postmark: None
Seal: Red Wax
Watermarks: Undetermined

Feby. 1814

MS: MS: British Library, Egerton 1965 ff. 16-7
Published: Undetermined

My dearest Lady Olivia

A thousand thanks for your kindness of all sorts to me, for remembering to write to me as soon as you got home, and for your attention both to my body and Mind in the Soda Water[1] which came safe, and for Dr. Clarke who is arrived but not read. I was thinking how I could get this Third Volume, your kindness having furnished me with the two preceeding; and lo! like my attendant Sylph you guessed at my wants and supplied them.[2]

Your tour indeed appears to have been abundant in delight, and the recital makes my mouth water – but as to the repose of it, I cannot exactly see where you found that article, of which you professed to go in search. – And so you not only saw the picturesque beauties of the Lakes, but the Poets also. Instead of the common stream, nothing but Helicon and Aganippe would do for you.[3] I suppose Millicent was in raptures with all this Etherial Society. I remember when I was of her age the sight of a live poet used to make me wild. Your travelling companions were more to my /present/ taste than the bards of the Lakes; for tho I really admire their talents, the taste of their compositions does not exactly fall in /with/ my old fashioned Notions. I was formed in another School.

We have had a more quiet Autumn than usual, which I ascribe to our friends being almost all gone to France. I do not much admire this unrighteous speed; till there is something like society formed, I think the impatience childish and irrational. I have seen many who are returned, and have had many letters, all concur in giving the same deplorable account of the state of Morals. Of religion there appears to be none. What amazed me most was a friend went to an English Methodist Meeting in Paris!! it was crouded.

Our poor dear Thorntons have suffered intensely on account of their unhappy brother. Henry never was so deeply afflicted at any event. I am glad they change the Scene a little by going to Brighton. Wilberforce has been totally absorbed by Abolition business the whole Summer. He had projected a Visit to Barley Wood. The disappointment to me was great. I have a letter from Mr. Stephen which says their hopes are revived respecting the Slaves, but he is not sanguine nor am I.

Adieu my dear Lady Olivia – My Sisters[4] desire to be presented to you with respect and kindness – P. and I often talk of Brampton,[5] when Mr. Obins is never forgotten –

Yours ever dearest Madam
H More.

23 Febry.

Did you see Methuin?


Soda water was a very recent luxury, with a patent being granted to W. F. Hamilton in 1809, though soda water was advertised for sale in the Dublin Journal of 28 April 1801 at the rate of 13s per dozen pints.


See Canto I of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1712).


In Greek mythology Mount Helicon was the source of the rive Aganippe. Both mountain and river were associated with the nine Muses.


More’s three remaining sisters, Betty (Elizabeth), Sally (Sarah) and Patty (Martha), Mary having died earlier in the year.


In the summer of 1813 More and her sister Patty had undertaken a tour, stopping first at Lady Sparrow’s home at Brampton Park before heading to London to visit several old friends.