1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Amelia Opie

Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, 19 February 1825; L'Estrange, Life of Mary Russell Mitford (1870) 2:39.



Pray, talking of tales, have you seen Mrs. Opie's "Lying"? She is all over Quakerized, as you of course know — to the great improvement, as I hear (for I have not seen her) of her appearance. It is certainly a pretty dress. She "thee's" and "thou's" people; calls Mr. Haydon "friend Benjamin"; and directs to the Rev. William Harness after the same fashion, "William Harness, Hampstead." With all this, she is just as kind and good-humored as ever; and Mr. Haydon told me that, in about a quarter of an hour's chat, she forget her "thee's" and "thou's," and became altogether as merry as she used to be. She has really sacrificed upward of a thousand pounds copy-money for a novel, which she had contracted for; and yet I believe there are difficulties still as to her admission to the sisterhood. You also may have heard say that a certain Mr. Gurney is in some sort the cause of this conversion, and that there are difficulties there also; but of this I say nothing.