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||William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Apr. 13, 1811
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Devon 1149M/F88. 4pp. Date at top: April 13, 1811
April 13th. 1811
My dear Sir,
I cannot tell you how much I am gratified by your obliging letter—I came home just in time to save the post, and I trouble you with a line to say that unfortunately Southey has taken up Paisley,1 & sent me an article on it, which I am endeavouring by all possible means to make safe and readable—I say unfortunately from my heart; for nothing would have pleased me so much as to put Paisley in to your friend's hands,2 who is evidently well informed on what is passing in politicks, whereas poor Southey knows little about them but what he gathers from the papers &c.
He is, in consequence, erroneous and unsafe—but his zeal & his true English heart call for all my respect, & I am therefore trying to fit up his article. You will see that my object in saying this, is to prevent our admirable correspondent from taking up Paisley, at least, for the present. At the same time, I am quite pleased that you thought of the book for him, as it proves to me that you justly appreciate his talents, & the precise line in which they may be turned not only to our advantage but to that of the country. There is, I am told, a very foolish speech of a very foolish fellow, Gen. Tarleton, also a Liverpool man:3 but perhaps it is not worth our friend's notice—yet it might furnish something on Portugal. Will you have the goodness to add, when you write, that if a sight of the proof be required on any future occasion, I will send it to his address, when informed of it.
I never entertained a thought of giving up theology, & indeed, omitted the subject this time with regret—but our India article ran to a greater length than I expected,4 & it was impossible to [?further] it down. I shall always be most happy to receive assistance, and let me truly add [,] advice from you on this, & every other subject. I could wish for a short article (a short one it needs must be) on Dr Evely's vol of Sermons.5 Ireland wishes it too, but he loves the Dr. & hesitates to trust himself. I fear the same feel [seal tear] may exist with you—other[wise] [seal tear] I shall venture to solicit a few pages. We have had no Hebrew criticism, & there seems to be much shallow writing on it abroad. Could your worthy Provost be prevailed upon, think you, to give us something?6 He is a sound man—I would wait his own time, & keep his secret, if he wished it. I had some doubts myself about the concluding page of Sir John. Unfortunately the writer was out of the way, & his cousin Charles seemed to wish to retain it. Canning also hesitated; but Frere preferred its insertion—some of it, is his own.7 But whatever may be thought of this part, surely the neatness, elegance, & beauty of the rest of the article were never surpassed. It is quite refreshing to turn to it, after the vile and common writing in some of our Rival's articles. Adieu, my dear Sir, I really write stans pede in uno8, but I was unwilling to lose a moment to thank you vale memor nostri9—ever yours most
truly Wm. Gifford
Postmark: 13 Apr. 1811