1790 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmond Malone

Edmund Burke to Edmond Malone, 1790 ca.; in Sir James Prior, Life of Edmond Malone (1860) 163.



I beg leave to send you a pamphlet which I have just published [Reflections on the Revolution in France]. It is of an edition more correct I think, than any of the first; and rendered more clear in points where I thought, in looking over again what I had written, there was some obscurity. Pray do not think my not having done this more early was owing to neglect or oblivion, or from any want of the highest and most sincere respect to you; but the truth is (and I have no doubt you will believe me) that it was a point of delicacy which prevented me from doing myself that honour. I well knew that the publication of your Shakspeare was hourly expected; and I thought if I had sent that small donum, the fruit of a few weeks, I might have subjected myself to the suspicion of a little Diomedean policy, in drawing from you a return of the value of a hundred cows for nine. But you have led the way, and have sent me gold, which I can only repay in brass. But pray admit it on your shelves; and you will show yourself generous in your acceptance as well as your gift.