My dear Sir,—
It is long since I have seen you, but since the period when I had that pleasure, I have had a winter of repeated sicknesses, and have been but seldom in town. Now that some of the last of my poor little critical vignettes [for Specimens of the British Poets] are printing off, I often wish I had your friendly eye to look on them; but since I am denied that happiness, I dare say you will not refuse me a little assistance of a different kind. You once showed me a little volume of modern poems (one of them was on an infant which struck us both as having merit), out of which I think I could find something worth extracting. If you still have the volume, and could favour me with a short loan of it, I should send a careful person for it, and return it very soon. I should be exceedingly thankful to you to drop me a line on this subject. The poems which I mean were of a date somewhat about 1780 or 90.
Believe me, with much regard,