William Gifford to Edward Copleston (4/21/1810)

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William Gifford to Edward Copleston
Apr. 21, 1810
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Devon 1149M/F78. 4pp. Date at top: April 21st 1810.



James St.

April 21st. 1810


My dear Sir,

Sidney is fled—relicta non bene parmula1—absolutely fled. See what these boasters are, when met face to face! I hope, however, he is retired to write another sermon.2

I have a thousand thanks to return you for the kind concern you have taken in the unpleasant affair between Mr Penrose and myself. I see now that Murray has been guilty of great duplicity. I never heard before of Mr Penrose's conversations; never received the slightest hint of his mention of Opie's Lectures: and was led to believe, till the moment of publication that Mr Penrose had decidedly refused to be paid. What is perfectly unaccountable in this business, is the motive, or rather the want of motive. I knew Murray to be flippant, presuming, and very troublesome & even offensive in his zeal, but here he appears gratuitously mischievous. He must, somehow or other, have got wrong at first, and plunged up to the neck in absurd endeavour to recover himself. As it is, I cannot do without him; for he is, like all his country men, indefatigable—in general, too, he means well; he has, indeed, embroiled me with two or three gentlemen; but this was from a mere want of decision; and, as I have requested them to favour me with their wishes in future, the evil has been, in some degree, remedied.3

I have now earnestly to wish that every thing which has happened may be overlooked. I respect Mr Penrose as a man of talents, and as your friend, and feel very confident that, if he will only honour me with his correspondence on any future occasion, nothing unpleasant to his character or his feelings as an author or a gentleman, will ever take place. The letters in your hand I will beg you to submit to the flames, as I shall never think of them again. I have been deceived, so has Mr Penrose: we will thrust aside the agent, and meet upon even terms. It is but justice to Mr Heber to say, that he had strong suspicions of the fact: yet he thinks well of Murray on some occasions.

I have no secrets from with you; i.e. such as are honestly in my power—and you want no others. The Reviewer of the Herculanesia is Dr. Thos Young.4 The Eur [tear in paper] or [tear in paper], I do not know; but he is of  T [tear in paper] Coll. ^ Cambrige. I understand and [tear in paper] a st [ude] [tear in paper] nt.5 The writer of the Catholic Art. is an admirer of yours, G. Ellis; [tear in paper]. C[anning] certainly furnished a few hints.6 This is inter nos.

I look forward with pleasure to the assistance of your ingenious friend:7 as for you, I do not even venture to ask you at present—but, as the [?son] says, le bon temps viendre. But you, my dear Sir, that are "fond to spread friendships",8 can not you say something for us to Conybeare and my good friend Kidd, whom I really esteem?9 I believe they might have some reason to be offended with Murray:—but let them recollect what that great philosopher Western said to Jones when the mare broke his arm—"Phooh: never bear malice against a dumb animal—a Christian should forget and forgive".10 I will take care to obviate the objection to the Drafts in future, in cases like this. 

I remain my dear Sir, with very sincere regards, your obliged &

faithful friend

Wm. Gifford