1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alaric Alexander Watts

John Wilson to Alaric Alexander Watts, 29 November 1828; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 2:26-27.



Dear Sir,

Allow me to return you my kind acknowledgements for your present of the plates of your Souvenir, than which nothing can be more beautiful. You will observe in Blackwood a few words concerning them, which is no more than they richly deserve. Give my respectful regards to Mrs. Watts, and my thanks for her interesting little publication. Respecting the very handsome and flattering offer, I feel every good wish for the success of your annual, but am so situated that I cannot promise to write for it. Allan Cunningham, as a personal friend, and on other accounts, I am most anxious to serve. For him I shall certainly write something. If I do so for any other, it shall, in the next place, certainly be for you. Should I write for both, your offer, which was probably made on the understanding that I wrote for no other, falls to the ground. As to remuneration for contributions of this kind I am perfectly indifferent; nor would I, on any account, dream of accepting it, were it not that I am told all other literary men do so, in which case I might be suspected of affected contempt for money. Did I not feel that Allan Cunningham has, in nature, a claim upon every true Scotchman, no bribe could ever induce me to prefer his book to yours. Meanwhile, be assured of my esteem, and that it will always afford me satisfaction to speak as I think of your character and talents.

I am, dear sir,

Yours very truly,

John Wilson