1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

Alaric Alexander Watts to J. H. Wiffen, 7 September 1819; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 1:98-99.



Brompton, Sept. 7, 1819.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

As I have the offer of a frank, I take the opportunity of acknowledging your kind letter and Bion's. I have enclosed a few lines for Zilla, and shall write again in my next parcel; meanwhile, allow me to observe that I see the propriety of most of your remarks, and shall endeavour to conform to your wishes. My desire of corresponding with your sister is natural, inasmuch as it is the only means of communicating I can possibly have with her. It is a privilege I enjoy with Mary, which may be extended to another sister without any breach of decorum. Full explanations you have a right to receive from me on various points; but I can speak better of these things than write about them. I am happy to believe that my desolate situation as to friends may be accepted, when you know all, as affording me an additional claim to your sympathy and friendship.

I shall borrow Crabbe's "Tales" for you, also "Don Juan." It is a most unprincipled performance; and we must henceforth give up all hopes of being able to defend Lord Byron's morality, or to regard him with respect. The exquisite talent displayed in it increases the measure of the offence.

Ever affectionately yours,

A. A. WATTS.