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MR. JOHN NICHOLS TO MR. PINKERTON.
Jan. 22nd, 1784.
The plan you have pointed out for a little volume on Medals,* I think excellent; and, if
you think proper to pursue it, I will undertake it, on the condition of printing 750 or 1000 copies, (to sell for 2s. 6d. sewed,) and putting the books in the hands of Mr. Dodsley or Mr. Dilly, or any bookseller you shall choose, the profit to be divided in three shares; two-thirds for you and one
• This is the first notice I find in Pinkerton's Correspondence of this popular work, which was published in the course of the year 1784, and in a considerably larger form than ap
a pears to have been at first contemplated. It is a most agreeable and useful manual, and has gone through three editions ; the first two of which were anonymous.
It appears by a letter from Mr. Pinkerton, dated April 2nd, 1784, printed in the 5th Vol. of Nichols' Literary Ilustrations, p. 674, that he was much pleased with the liberality of Mr. Nichols' proposals regarding this book; and I subjoin the following extract, as an honorable testimony to the feelings of the one, and the conduct of the other, upon the occasion :
“ As in your proposal to me you mentioned that but onethird of the profits should be allotted to your share, which I confess I thought rather liberal than otherwise, I must insist that
your third be paid in the very first instance, and I shall not touch a farthing till that is done : nay, should only as much arise as will clear your third, I shall certainly impute the fault to myself, where alone it can lie, and think the loss of my labor but a proper punishment for the defects of my work.-I mentioned to you that I looked upon myself as completely paid for the Scotch Ballads, that the work was now complete, and that in any future edition my assistance should be much at your service gratis. This I now repeat; as I wish you to be satisfied that I have your interest at heart as much as my own, and would always hope that you should be no loser but a gainer (though such gains are nothing to either of us) by any trifles of mine."
This is the mode which appears to me both equitable and eligible: if you differ in opinion, I shall be glad to hear your proposal.
DR. PECKARD TO MR. PINKERTON.*
Fletton, near Peterborough,
July 18th, 1784. I have but this moment received your letter, (dated the 9th of this month) sent to me from Cambridge. What has occasioned the delay I know not. I am also this moment going upon a journey into the north, and stop only to write this hasty note to you ; lest, from hearing nothing, you should have reason to charge me with neglect or incivility. So far as the nature of the trust reposed in me will permit me to gratify your wishes, I shall be ready to do so; but indeed there are many circumstances of which you are not in the least aware, that lay me under very great difficul
• Peckard, Dr. Peter, Dean of Peterborough and Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, died at a very advanced age, in 1797. He was the author of many theological works, among others, of a Dissertation on the Revelations, Chapter XII. published A.D. 1755, in which he attempted to prove that the prophecy contained in that passage of Scripture was accomplished by the great earthquake at Lisbon,
ties. So many abuses have been committed, even to the taking away, and the defacing books of value, by the admission of persons into the Pepysian library, that I have been, much against my inclination, driven to the necessity of not permitting any stranger to copy any thing in the library, except in the presence of a Fellow of the College. And, this being the time of vacation, the Fellows, I believe, are all absent; and there is not a possibility of procuring any one to attend
Two gentlemen, on different accounts, have just now had permission to transcribe; and they did their business in a Fellow's room near at hand. When the gentlemen shall return to college, which will be in the beginning of the Term, I will endeavor to procure the same convenience for you, if that will suit your purpose. But I can only ask it as a favor ; and, if it is not granted, and I should be in college myself, I will endeavor to accommodate you at the Lodge, to which place I have the power, by the Deed of Donation, to remove a limited number of books; but, with respect to taking books out of the college, I have not the power to grant any such permission. When you see Dr. Beattie, I beg you will present my sincere and most affectionate respects to him, with my hopes that some favorable event may procure me the happiness of seeing him during his stay in England.
THE HON. HORACE WALPOLE TO MR.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 8th, 1784.
I must beg, Sir, that you will tell Mr. Pinkerton that I am much obliged to him for the honor he is willing to do me, though I must desire his leave to decline it. His book deserves an eminent patron : I am too inconsiderable to give any relief to it, and even in its own line am unworthy to be distinguished. One of my first pursuits was a collection of medals; but I early gave it over, as I
; could not afford many branches of virtù, and have since changed or given away several of my best Greek and Roman medals. What remain, I shall be glad to show Mr. Pinkerton; and, if it would not be inconvenient to him to come hither any morning by eleven o'clock, after next Thursday, that he will appoint, he shall not only see my medals, but any other baubles here that can amuse him.
THE HON. HORACE WALPOLE TO MR.
Strawberry Hill, Aug. 24th, 1784.
I am much obliged to you, Sir, for the pieces you have sent me of your own composition. There is great poetic beauty and merit in them, with great knowledge of the ancient masters and of the best of the modern. You have talents that will succeed in whatever you pursue, and industry to neglect nothing that will improve them. Despise petty critics, and confute them by making your works as perfect as you can.
I am sorry you sent me the old manuscript ; because, as I told you, I have so little time left
, to enjoy any thing, that I should think myself a miser if I coveted for a moment what I must leave
I shall be very glad, Sir, to see you here again, whenever it is convenient to you. Lest I should forget the time, be so good as to acquaint me three or four days beforehand when you wish to come, that I may not be out of the way, and I will fix a day for expecting you.
DR. PECKARD TO MR. PINKERTON.
Sept. 14th, 1784.
Your favor, dated 16th of last month, after passing and repassing six or seven different postoffices, and various delays, has at length reached me at this place. The Term commences early in October; I believe
the 10th. I will write to the librarian, as soon as I know that he is in college, that you may have access to the manuscript, and that you may have accommodation for transcribing what you want.
you want. And this is as far as I can go. I am a trustee, bound by oath; and I will