« PreviousContinue »
Have the kindness, Sir, to let me know, if after your leaving Dorchester I have to direct my letters at Hackney, near London, or elsewhere.
[On the envelope is the following:] Professor Timaens, of the Royal College, Luneburg, presents his most respectful compliments to Mr. Wakefield, and will be very happy if he can be of any service to him in forwarding any letters or parcels to Professor Jacobs, of Gotha.
Luneburg, May 17, 1801.
In case this letter should not find Mr. Wakefield at Dorchester, the Rev. Dr. Geddes, Alsop's Buildings, Mary bone, London, is most respectfully desired to take care of this letter, and forward it to Mr. Wakefield.
Gotha, June 20, 1801,
I HAVE the honour to inform you by this letter that a few days after I had dispatched my last, your Lucretius, post multa
discrimina rerum, has finally reached the continent, and is now in my hands. I cannot describe you the pleasure I felt at the view of this excellent work, the intrinsic value of which corresponds so perfectly with its external beauty. This is so generally acknowledged amongst the literati in Germany, that your text of Lucretius, being considered as the most correct by far, has been reprinted, with a few occasional alterations, in a new edition of this poet, undertaken by one Professor Eichstaedt at Jena, an Humanist of merit.
In the preface he has these words. Insperanti mihi, sed valde optanti, cecidit, ut, dum de novo illo instituto consilia agitaremus, prelis tandem Britannicis exiret diu promissa Wakefieldi editio, tot tantisque virtutibus exsplendescens, ut exspectationem quantumvis magnam, non æquasse, sed longe superasse, jure existimaretur.-Ac vere mihi videor hoc esse dicturus, ante W. cum librariorum stupor, et editorum audacia Lucretium nobis pæne eripuissent, hunc demum criticum, dijudicatis revocatisque optimorum librorum lectionibus præclare effecisse, ut Lucretium in Lucretio agnosceremus.
It is with the utmost pleasure, that I am informed, by your kind favour of 26th May, of
your leaving the place of your confinement.
Be persuaded, dear Sir, that I heartily partake of the joy you must feel on your being restored to your friends and family. May no misfortune ever befall you again! and may you enjoy, in return for those past displeasures, all the ease and tranquillity, the possession of which is, without doubt, the greatest blessing Heaven can bestow on us feeble mortals !
With this letter you will receive a new volume of my Commentaries, which I beg you to accept with your usual kindness. If you have any observations to make upon them, as I don't doubt you have, you will highly oblige me by the communication of them.
You may be persuaded that nothing is so agreeable to me, as the proofs of friendship and benevolence you have the kindness to give me. I shall endeavour to merit them by every return it will be in my power to make.
I remain, dear Sir,
EXTRACT FROM THE APPENDIX
MR. WAKEFIELD'S PRINTED DEFENCE.
Hackney, February 23, 1799.
When my trial was notified for decision dụring the sittings after last term, I wrote to the Duke of Grafton, the Bishops of Gloucester, Lincoln, and Norwich, the Dean of Ely, George Hibbert, Esq. and Mr. Vince, to request of them a general attestation to the integrity and sincerity of my manners; as a measure which might be essentially contributive to my acquittal, and perhaps save me from a rigorous imprisonment. The following is the Duke of Grafton's letter;a which, I am persuaded, he will not be displeased with me for presenting to the reader, as a testimonial very honourable to me, and, I hope, not disgraceful to himself.
a Read by Mr. Wakefield on his defence.
Euston, Feb. 2, 1799.
I am rendered, by a most irksome disorder, which has not allowed me to stir out of the house, except for air and a little exercise, for many months past, totally incapable of appearing any where in public. This will deprive me of the satisfaction I should otherwise have had in giving my personal testimony of that consideration, in which I hold your character, esteeming you for that integrity, conscientiousness, and sincerity, which direct you in all your actions; and which add much lustre to your learned labours in the cause of virtue and religion.
The same grievous complaint, which disables me from being present at the trial, rendered me unfit to attend my duty last session in parliament; and, I fear, will likewise prevent me this year from the discharge of that as well as other functions.
I am, Rev. Sir,
Your faithful and obedient servant,
To the Rev. Gilbert Wakefield,
Mare Street, Hackney.