Bury. Nov. 1798
Common fame speaks of the willingness that you show in giving
your counsel and advice to the poor. This benevolent trait in your character has
emboldened me to approach you, to petition you to give your opinion on the
enclosed piece. I fancy I see beauties in it, and was thinking of applying to
one of our printers to know, if from the locality of it, it would pay for
printing (for 'tis a Suffolk piece); but it struck my mind forcibly, that I
should stand a Better chance of meeting with that ingenuousness I wish for, by
begging the opinion of a man of genius and taste, than by applying to a
Since I have had the Poem in my hands I have never shown it to
any one, nor spoke of it; nor does Any one here know of this application.
If, Sir, you will deign to give your opinion, I will never
mention your name, unless by your permission. This, I hope, will not be deem'd
an impertinent intrusion; for 'tis the high rank you hold in the literary world
prompted me to this, because on your judgment I can rely with satisfaction.
Let the result of this be what it may, your petitioner will ever
revere your name.
Your most devoted servant,
P.S. The late Mr. Wm. Austin, of Sapiston, took the Author, when very
young, and kept him from motives of charity.