The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,055 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4.
the reverse.  If I would live to seventy-two, ought I not to compound for the encumbrances of old age?  And who has fewer?  And who has more cause to be thankful to Providence for his lot?  The gout, it is true, comes frequently, but the fits are short, and very tolerable; the intervals are full health.  My eyes are perfect, my hearing but little impaired, chiefly to whispers, for which I certainly have little occasion:  my spirits never fail; and though my hands and feet are crippled, I can use both, and do not wish to box, wrestle, or dance a hornpipe.  In short, I am just infirm enough to enjoy all the prerogatives of old age, and to plead them against any thing I have not a mind to do.  Young men must conform to every folly in fashion — drink when they had rather be sober; fight a duel if somebody else is wrong-headed; marry to please their fathers, not themselves; and shiver in a white waistcoat, because ancient almanacks, copying the Arabian, placed the month of June after May; though, when the style was reformed, it ought to have been intercalated between December and January.  Indeed, I have been so childish as to cut my hay for the same reason, and am now weeping over it by the fireside.  But to come to business.

You must suffer me to print two hundred copies; and if you approve it, I will send thirty to the Bishop of London out of your quota.  You may afterwards give him more, if you please.  I do not propose putting your name, unless you desire it; as I think it would swear with the air of ancientry you have adopted in the signature and notes.  The authoress will be no secret; and as It will certainly get into magazines, why should not you deal privately beforehand with some bookseller, and have a second edition ready to appear soon after mine is finished?  The difficulty of getting my edition at first, from the paucity of the number and from being only given as presents, will make the second edition eagerly sought for; and I do not see why my anticipating the publication should deprive you of the profit.  Rather than do that, I would print a smaller number.  I wish to raise an additional appetite to that which every body has for your writings; I am sure I did not mean to injure you.  Pray think of this; there ’Is time enough; I cannot begin to print under a week:  my press has lain fallow for some time, and my printer must prepare ink, balls, etc.; and as I have but one man, he cannot be expeditious.  I seriously do advise you to have a second edition ready; why should covetous booksellers run away with all the advantages of your genius?  They get enough by their ample share of the sale.

I will say no more, but to repeat my thanks for your consent, which truly obliges me; and I am happy to have been the instrument of’ preserving what your modesty would have sunk.  My esteem could not increase:  but one likes to be connected by favours to those one highly values.

Letter 333 To Miss Berry.  Strawberry Hill, July 9, 1789. (PAGE 422)

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The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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