William Gifford to Edward Copleston (2/11/1811)

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William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Feb. 11, 1811
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Devon 1149M/F81. 4pp. Date at top Feb. 11, 1811


James St.

Feby 11th. 1811


My dear Sir

Unluckily I have been out on Lottery business, and am returned barely in time to take a running notice of your obliging letter.

I hope it will be in your power to finish your Article by to-morrow fortnight,1 as by that time we shall have nearly all our materials in hand. I know not what to say as to its length. I shall think with regret of your altering any thing, but we must conform to circumstances, & somewhat to opinion. I should venture to hint that we ought not perhaps to exceed twenty pages [?much]. We have a tremendously long Article in this No. as you know. But the writer has laid out his whole soul in it, and no further abridgement can take place—though I lament that nature has not endowed our Bath friend2 with the faculty of compression.

I am glad to find that it will be in your power to speak kindly of Whitaker. I believe I mentioned to you the disgust which I felt at the abject attempt to ridicule him in the British Critick. I know Nares, and I am willing to persuade myself that the Article escaped him.3

I shall receive your friend's Critics on Roscoe with great pleasure,4 and will promise to make no alterations—at least, if, which I by no means think will be the case, any should appear necessary, the m.s. shall be sent to him for his concurrence. I am quite satisfied with his passing over the republished speeches—as the most judicious Holofernes expresses it satis quod sufficit.5 

I thank you very sincerely for the mention of Mr Vaux: every recruit that we can raise is valuable & this gentleman from the manner in which you mention him, promises to be highly so. You have had not said, how he is to be reached: but I shall ask Heber, who to my utter amazement walked in here last night—Such a hic & ubique,6 I never knew—to one of my locomotive powers, he appears a very prodigy.7

I flattered myself that Mr Davison was at work for us. Heber told me that he felt inclined to say something on Edgeworth.8 I have an article on him but I fear somewhat too feeble & I postponed it in the hope that the subject would by taken up by our friend. Will you have the goodness to make my respects to him & say that nothing can give me more pleasure than to find [tear] disposed to assist us—But what [tear] will he prefer? What book shall I send?

In great haste, I conclude &

am ever, dear Sir, your

faithful & obliged friend

& servt

Wm Gifford


Address: same

Postmark: Feb. 11 1811