1752 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Richardson

James Harris to Samuel Richardson, 19 January 1752; Correspondence of Samuel Richardson, ed. Barbauld (1804) 1:162-63.



Sarum, Jan. 19, 1752.

DEAR SIR,

I am glad that Hermes has been able to merit the approbation of so worthy a man, and so rational a reader, as yourself. It would be hard, indeed, if the notion of learning were confined to the mere knowledge of one or two dead languages. Whoever surely possesses a good understanding, duly exercised upon becoming subjects, may justly aspire both to the name and to the character. In this light I consider yourself, having withal this farther reason to applaud you, that the sordid views of trade have not (as usual) been so far able to engross you, as to withdraw you from the contemplation of more rational, more ingenuous, and (what perhaps may sound strange to many of your neighbours) more interesting subjects.

Your kind wishes for my family I accept with thanks. Be pleased to accept, in return, the sincerest wishes both of myself and wife, for the prosperity of all that you call your's, believing me to be, as I truly am,

Dear Sir,

Your very sincere friend,

and humble servant,

JAMES HARRIS.