The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt: With Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries - Vol. 2

By Walter Scott | Go to book overview

gleams of it. My forefathers were of the other side of the question in Charles's days, and the fruit of it was a title and the loss of an enormous property.

If the old struggle comes on, I may lose the one, and shall never regain the other; but no matter; there are things, even in this world, better than either.

Very truly, ever yours, B.

-----


LETTER XI.
[Domestic affairs.--Dedication of the Story of Rimini.--Pamphlets.]

Feb. 26, 1816.

DEAR HUNT--Your letter would have been answered before, had I not thought it probable that, as you were in town for a day or so, I should have seen you. I don't mean this as a hint at reproach for not calling, but merely that of course I should have been very glad if you had called in your way home or abroad, as I always would have been, and always shall be.* With regard to the circumstances to which you allude, there is no reason why you should not speak openly to me on a subject already sufficiently rife in the mouths and minds of what is called "the world." Of the "fifty reports," it follows that fortynine must have more or less error and exaggeration; but I am sorry to say, that on the main and essential point of an intended, and, it may be, an inevitable separation, I can contradict none. At present I shall say no more--but this is not from want of confidence; in the mean time, I shall merely request a suspension of opinion. Your prefatory letter to Rimini, I accepted as it was meant--as a public compliment and a private kindness. I am only sorry that it may, perhaps, operate against you as an inducement, and, with some, a pretext, for attack on the part of the political and personal enemies of both: not that this can be of much consequence, for in the end the work must be judged by its merits, and in that respect you are well armed. Murray tells me it is going on well, and, you may depend upon it, there is a substratum of poetry, which is a foundation for solid and durable fame. The objections (if there be objections, for this is a presumption, and not an assumption) will be merely as to the mechanical part, and such, as I stated before, the usual consequence of either novelty or revival. I desired Murray to forward to you a pamphlet with two things of mine in it, the most part of both of them, and of one in particular, written before others of my composing, which have preceded them in publication; they are neither of them of much pretension, nor intended for it. You will, perhaps, wonder at my dwelling so much and so frequently

____________________
*
I was never in town "for a day or two;"--never for a longer time than I could help. I was too ill.

-118-

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