Shipake, 13th March 1770,
I received the honour and favour of yours, which I have taken the first opportunity of answering, though I have missed one post. I was at Oxford when it came to Shiplake, and was at that time in Mr. Huddesford's room, at Trinity College. If I had known any thing of my obligation to you, I should certainly, Sir, have thanked you in person, as I now most heartily do. It is a great satisfaction to me that my book has not been disapproved of by several persons of distinguished names, and I am very happy, Sir, in adding yours to the number. It has been received by the public with much more favour than I ever expected; but the sale, of late, has not answered the sanguine expectation of Mr. Davies the bookseller, who is by no means pleased with me for talking of a second edition, though he himself put the words into my mouth. He told me, but few months since, that he did not question but he must begin reprinting it within a year from the publication. But he is now assured that a second edition is at a much greater distance; and tells me that a great number of copies remain unsold in his hands, and especially in the hands of the booksellers, his subscribers. After all, he owns that the book has been well received, and has sold well, for a book of such a price, and says, that "the sale of 500 in ten months is no inconsiderable thing." He has very generously promised to give me a gratuity of £50 besides his present of 13 copies, to say nothing of smaller presents. He is very much afraid that what I have said to Mr. Huddesford, and other gentlemen, in relation to a second edition, may be circulated to his disadvantage. I therefore think it incumbent upon me to check any reports of that kind, as they will doubtless prejudice the sale of the work. Mr. Davies tells me that the additional emendations will be printed by the Autumn — I am, Rev. Sir, with very great respect,
Your most obliged, and
truly grateful humble servant,
Mr. Davies wonders that the book has sold so much better at Cambridge than it has at Oxford.