William Gifford to Edward Copleston (9/3/1811)

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William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Sep. 3, 1811
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[Devon 1149M/F95. 5pp. Date at top: Sept. 3, 1811]


James St

Septr 3rd 1811


My dear Sir,

I am delighted with your account of Lord Charlemont,1 and will follow your friendly advice, in every instance, in regard to it. The writer is, indeed, a treasure to us. The critique shall be printed the instant in arrives.

I have heard that Ensor was a gentleman-comr. of Maudlin—but I know not how truly. Heber once told me that he remembered a pragmatical sort of a person there, about his time—perhaps this is the man.2

I do not believe that he is much known in London; he probably resides in the country—His work has been noticed in several low publications which you never see, & in some of the Reviews with extravagant praise—undoubtedly, for the worst of purposes. He is vain of his scholarship, (this Heber told me that Ensor whom he knew also was,) and I really think that if you could find leisure to give him the castigation which he deserves, it would be useful to us, & still more to the world. These moles work in secret, but actively—when they are once laid open to day, their mischievous power is at an end. It is in obscurity they delight, for thus they wriggle among the half informed.—I should really feel truly obliged to you if—always supposing that your avocations admit it—you could give a few pages on it for this No. as I think we stand in want of something piquant.

Our hic & ubique3 friend (he was with me this morning before I received your letter) "His wicked conscience smited him"4 he told me, for not writing to you. He has just called in London on his way to Norfolk! He has procured a number of valuable books from the Continent via Paris—among the rest some Strabos of which you will hear from himself—He appears highly delighted with his purchases.

I presume that the copying of which you speak is principally to conceal the pen of the composer—if so, it is well: but if it is only to obtain a fairer hand, it is scarcely necessary—for our printers can make out any thing.—One word more,—If your friend honours me with his correspondence, I will venture to p promise, in the most solemn manner, that his secret shall never escape me:—but this, as he pleases; I am satisfied.

I am ever, my dear Sir,

your faithful &

affectionate friend &


Wm. Gifford


It is only the longer parcels which I will trouble you to send to the Admiralty. To John Barrow &c.—for Croker is now at Ryde.


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Published @ RC

February 2005