1830 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Howitt

Barbara Hofland to Thomas Ramsay, 1830 ca.; Ramsay, Life and Literary Remains of Barbara Hofland (1849) 121.



Mr. and Mrs. H— were in town; they are "Friends", you know, and both very sweet writers in the annuals, and both good and agreeable. He has not any thing of the Quaker in his personal appearance, but she is so, decidedly, yet with an air of ease and gentility, of just sufficient fashion to banish stiffness. None of these common-place terms, however, ought to enter one's vocabulary in speaking of so sweet a creature as Mary H—. She has all the simplicity of a child, the enthusiasm of poet, and the quiet good sense of a wife and mother; whilst true Christian piety throws over all her lively manners and conversation a kind of veil, that softens and beautifies that which is already engaging. I shall always regret that I saw so little of her; she was one evening at Mrs. [S. C.] Hall's when I met her, and the next day she came to see me for one hour; it was the day of her departure.