26 September 1797
Thomas Holcroft, Newman Street, to Mary Hays, corner of Little John Street and Grays Inn Lane, 26 September 1797.1
Few things dear Madam are more afflicting than to see persons who are as it were delegated to the high office of instructing the world so far forget their own benevolent precepts as to contend in very bitterness of spirit with each other. Yet this is a spectacle which such persons have too frequently exhibited. They ^are^ generally, indeed, people of uncommon sensibility; whose peculiar misfortune it is to feel with tenfold poignancy every act of real or supposed injustice under which they are doomed to suffer. The frequently experienced anguish of such emotions has at length somewhat guarded me against the errors to which they lead. In the present instance I had an additional inducement for I could not entirely approve my own inadvertency. I say entirely because there are many books concerning which I hear the opinions of others from which I am inevitably obliged to form some shadowy opinion of my own although I have never read the books in question; and the mind must be very powerfully curbed indeed which can under all circumstances perceive and recollect the precise boundaries of <-> truth. Pardon the intrusion of these thoughts which have been excited by the occurrence and believe me to be very sincerely your well wisher
Newman Street Sepr 26th 1797
Address: Miss Hays | Corner of Little John Street | Grays Inn Lane
1 Misc. Ms. 2207, Pforzheimer Collection, NYPL; Brooks, Correspondence 316.