20 September 1797

Thomas Holcroft, [Newman Street], to Mary Hays, at Mr Palmers, corner of Little John Street, Grays Inn Lane, 20 September 1797.1


       [Mr Thomas] Holcroft presents his compliments to Miss Hays and hopes he shall not incur an increase of her displeasure by avoiding all unkind contest or altercation. The observations in her note are in his opinion just: tho’ not perhaps the temper in which they were written. It is true he had understood from more than one [paper torn] that Emma Courtney did inculcate certain opinions relative to love [between] the single and the married which his judgement disapproves. His [paper torn] from the accounts given him that by the passion and energy [by whom] these sentiments were displayed they had contributed to mislead [paper torn].  And it is no less true that he ought to have been more cautious [and should] have judged for himself before he should have communicated such a fear even tho’ it was only to the single individual [con]cerned. But all people are liable to mistakes and under that [gener]al exculpatory apology he is obliged to take shelter. He hopes [how]ever no part of his conduct can have given just occasion to [beli]eve that he has considered Miss Hays as “an insignificant [bein]g” but very much the reverse[.]


Sepr 20th 1797


Address: Miss Hays | At Mr Palmers | Corner of little John St | Grays Inn Lane

Postmark: 20 September 1797, 10 o’clock

1 Misc. Ms. 2206, Pforzheimer Collection, NYPL; Brooks, Correspondence 315-16.