William Gifford to George Ellis (12/2/1814)

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William Gifford to George Ellis
Dec. 2, 1814
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British Library Add. 28099 ff.125-261


James St

Decr 2 1814


My dear Ellis

Your summary of criticism is quite as favourable to us as I could reasonably expect. Waverly is Croker's.2 I would have laid a heavy hand upon it, had he been in England, but he is captious & capricious, and I cannot do without him: so, in doubt of consequences, I suffered his interminable quotations to pass. Badham,3 as you perhaps guess, is mine: the man made me rather angry, by his dishonesty. I had also a hand in Kett4 - but was restrained from saying as much as I wished, on Heber's account; who had hinted that if (Kett) should fall in my way he hoped he would be as leniently handled as truth would admit, for his active services in furthering his own view upon Oxford.

Majoris [?habemus] - I greatly rejoice in your kind purpose of reviewing Sismondi's pamphlet5: the subject of it, too, is not only interesting and important at the moment, but will have an air of novelty in our pages. A month we can allow - Will that be sufficient? Our last No. was too long delayed; and it would be most desirable to hasten the appearance of the present.

With respect to the Northern Book that can await your leisure - I own that I greatly wish for a review of it from you & pour cause: but this shall be as you please, and when you please.

I have written to Canning6 - but the wicked winds have laid, I fear, an embargo on any dispatches. I see no objection in pressing the Edin. Reviewers into the service, at the expense of a trifling alteration or two. The Art. Will form a decent introduction to the woe to come; for surely he will not leave these people to triumph, or to believe that they triumph, in their impudence and falsehood - fiani no potent amigo mio. Portugal would not be a bower of roses to any other man; but he will overawe the rascally ill-disposed government, and find leisure to turn his thoughts towards us.

... this letter is written under the influence of a vile fever, and the potent stimulation of roasted apples and barley water ...