POPE, Alexander. Autograph letter signed (“A. Pope”) to [Samuel] Buckley, [Twickenham, undated, but probably 1735 or later], one page, 8° (179 x 112mm), on a bifolium.
Pope gives “deference” to Buckley’s “Good Will” and Good Judgment,” and promises to “do as you admonish.” Having acknowledged receipt of “ye papers,” he adds: “If you see our friend Cheselden, assure him of my true affection.” Thinking that Cheselden's health may "require better air than London," he invites him to "try Twitnam and you with him for a day or two this week.”
Pope knew Buckley, printer, editor and government agent from 1717 onwards or possibly earlier, right into the 1730s (see Corr. iv. 88). Buckley (d. 1741) was the printer of the Daily Courant, the first daily newspaper (see H.R. Plomer et al. Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers ... in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1668 to 1725 (Bibliographical Society, 1968) 56). His name also appears in the imprint of the Spectator (see lot 4). Although Buckley is listed among the subscribers to the Odyssey, Pope in fact gave him a copy for services rendered, and even lent him five of William Kent’s tail-pieces for his 1733 edition of Thuanus; the two friends shared an interest in gardening as well as publishing. The poet's friendship with William Cheselden (1688-1752), the great surgeon, was more recent. Swift wrote to Pope, 7 February 1736, enquiring about his new acquaintance: “let me know who this Cheselden is, that hath so lately sprung up in your favour?” In his answer, 25 March 1736, Pope called Cheselden “the most noted, the most deserving man, in the whole profession of chirurgery” who “has sav’d the lives of thousands by his manner of cutting for the stone” (Corr. iv. 4 and 6). The surgeon operated on Pope in 1740, and attended his last illness. This letter is not in George Sherburn’s edition of Pope’s Correspondence (1956) and appears unpublished.