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    Sale 5822

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including the Works of Charles Dickens

    1 June 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 58

    RICHARDSON, Samuel (1689-1761). Autograph letter signed to [the Reverend Benjamin Kennicott, a rellow of Exeter College, Oxford], London, 15 July 1754, 3 pages, 8vo.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    RICHARDSON, Samuel (1689-1761). Autograph letter signed to [the Reverend Benjamin Kennicott, a rellow of Exeter College, Oxford], London, 15 July 1754, 3 pages, 8vo.

    A sardonic attack on the Jacobite principal of St Mary Hall, Oxford, Dr William King: 'What strange People are some of your leading ones, at Oxford! If your occasional Orator were to choose his Supreme Governor, he would not find a Dr King permitted to arraign the Justice of his Government, and to reflect on Laws actually passed, and in Force. There cannot be a greater Instance of the Lenity of the Government he abuses, than his pestilent Harangues so publicly made, with impunity, furnishes all his Readers with ... He is old, you say. Old, yet so abandoned of Decency! ... What Encouragement to Parents and Guardians to send their Youth to a Seminary so governed! And when your Capital Men make such poor Figures, with their short written-down speeches, and the men who have been in the World, so much out-do them, at their own Weapons; why blamed you a Friend of yours, for not using his little Powers in favour of the Universities in this Kingdom?'. Dismissing at the beginning of the letter Kennicott's excessive gratitude for Richardson's hospitality ('Why ... so many Acknowledgments for common Civilities only?'), he asks him on the last page for a preface for his volume of 'Sentiments of the Three Pieces' -- 'I hate to think of Prefaces; for I have an Aversion to all Parading' (his Sentiments, Maxims and Reflections from Clarissa, Pamela and Sir Charles Grandison was published in 1755). Published in the Correspondence, ed. A.L. Barbauld (1804), II, 68-70.


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    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that only the endorsement is in Samuel Richardson's autograph, the text of the letter and the signature being in the hand of an amanuensis, most likely his nephew William Richardson. The estimate is amended to £300-500.