1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe

William Blackwood to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, 1815; Margaret Oliphant, William Blackwood and his Sons (1897) 1:53-54.



I have only this moment on getting home opened your packet and found your note. I feel as much as you can do the necessity of our understanding each other. Till we do so I do not consider myself at liberty to read a single line of your notes, and have therefore sealed them up till I hear from you. You state as your sine qua non that you will not cancel a single line of these notes. Now, I hope you will pardon me for saying that if I understand you rightly this is so much "en cavalier" that I cannot without some explanation publish a work where I conceive myself to be so very differently treated from what I have always been by the authors with whom I have had the honour to be connected. I have always been accustomed to take an interest in the literary department of my business, and however trifling my suggestions may have been, I have had them considered and attended to by men of no small note. From the very slight glance I had of your notes on Thursday I could form no decided opinion; but I expected when you did me the honour of putting your MS. into my hands I should have been at liberty to state frankly my opinion if anything occurred to me that I conceived might be either altered or omitted. I never, however, conceived that, contrary to your own judgment, you would either have altered or omitted what you thought right. I have thus fairly stated to you what occurs to me, and if we now understand each other I shall be extremely happy to go on with a work which I hope will do credit both to Editor and publisher. I therefore wait your answer till I know whether or not I may commence the lecture of your notes, from which I expect not a little entertainment.