Hazlitt is going to make your book a basis for a review of De Foe’s Novels in the “Edinbro’.” I wish I had health and spirits to do it. Hone I have not seen, but I doubt not he will be much pleased with your performance. I very much hope you will give us an account of Dunton, &c. But what I should more like to see would be a Life and Times of Bunyan. Wishing health to you and long life to your healthy book, again I subscribe me,
Yours in verity,
[Wilson’s Memoirs of the Life and Times of Daniel De Foe had just been published in three volumes, with the date 1830.
Defoe’s Review was started in February, 1704, under the title, A Review of the Affairs of France.... purged from the Errors and Partiality of News-writers, and Petty-Statesmen, of all sides. It continued until May, 1713. The Consolidator; or, Memoirs of sundry Transactions from the world in the moon. Translated from the Lunar Language, was published in 1765, a political satire, which, it has been thought, gave hints to Swift for Gulliver.
Lamb had sent Wilson his “Ode to the Treadmill.” The substance of his letter of December 16, 1822, was printed by Wilson in Chapter XXII. of Vol. III.; the new material which he wrote especially for the book, was printed in Chapter XVII. of the same volume. The space dividing them was not fifteen years but seven.
“Diuternity.” Spelt “diuturnity.” A rare word signifying long duration.
“Fellow-journalist.” The other instance would be in connection with the journals of the India House, where Wilson had once been a clerk with Lamb.
Hazlitt’s review of Wilson’s book is in the Edinburgh for January, 1830, with this reference to Lamb’s criticisms: “Captain Singleton is a hardened, brutal desperado, without one redeeming trait, or almost human feeling; and, in spite of what Mr. Lamb says of his lonely musings and agonies of a conscience-stricken repentance, we find nothing of this in the text.”
“Dunton.” This would be John Dunton (1659-1733), the bookseller, and author of The Athenian Gazette, Dunton’s Whipping-Post, and scores of pamphlets and satires.]