[ Agitated letter from a Georgian coffeehouse. ] Autograph Letter Signed from 'H. Leigh' to 'Miss Mary Leigh' (his sister?), describing an argument about religion in a coffee house, and giving information regarding a forthcoming funeral.

Author: 
H. Leigh [ Miss Mary Leigh; New Hummums Coffeehouse, Covent Garden, London ]
Publication details: 
'New Hummums [ the New Hummums Coffee House, Covent Garden, London ] | Friday night | 1/2 past 11'. Postmark of 18 February 1834.
£56.00
SKU: 18490

4pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with seal in black wax and two postmarks. Addressed to 'Miss Mary Leigh | 3 | Blandford Square | Regents Park'. The letter is addressed to 'My dearest soul', and begins: 'I am now, as I have been so many hundreds of times, without profiting by the experience, bitterly suffering for my excitement and agitation. But the scenes of this morning, so perfectly different as they were from those of the remainder of the week, were more extraordinary and unexpected than I could explain, even when you were here to hear them.' He refers to his 'necessary attendance upon my poor suffering friend, the expectation of seeing Mr Throckmorton, the parcel from Barden', and his pleasure 'at seeing Mrs Col Oliver and her daughters (how altered are

and Caroline - Mary is the same dear as ever"!)'. He wonders why Mrs Col Oliver 'should have drawn me into all my discussions and theories in the presence of such a man, who was to spring upon me like a tiger, about pride of human learning, the deadly sin of talking about Religion in Coffee Rooms (which he called a branch of the third Commandment!) the dishonesty of pretending to expoused Scripture, or critically studying St. Paul, (which he likened to the dishonesty of not paying one's debts) the few that could be saved [...] has altogether shaken me more than I can describe. It lasted till near 4 oClock!!!' The second half of the letter relates to a funeral, beginning with a reference to the closure of the 'leaden coffin'. He hopes the argumentative individual may be 'more tranquil to-morrow [...] The Squire will join him here to-morrow, and on the day of the funeral, whilst I, the apothecary, & the Roue Brother

with the corpse'. He hopes she may come the following day, and that he might see her 'while the Brothers should be gone to the House'. He ends with fulsome thanks: 'God bless you - God bless you - I have not powers to say more'. In a postscript he asks her to send 'John Lethbridge's letter' if she cannot come.