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The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Vol I Appendix
Family History
Shelley at Eton
Taste for the Gothic
Shelley’s Juvenilia
Queen Mab
Shelley at Oxford
First Marriage
Death of Harriet
Chancery Suit
Switzerland: 1814
Alastor; Geneva: 1816
Byron and Claire
At Marlow: 1817
Italy: 1818
Naples, Rome: 1819
The Cenci
Florence: 1819
‣ Vol I Appendix
Vol II Front Matter
Pisa: 1820
Poets and Poetry
Pisa: 1821
Shelley and Keats
Williams, Hunt, Byron
Shelley and Byron
Poetry and Politics
Byron and his Friends
The Pisan Circle
Casa Magni
Death of Shelley
Lerici: 1822
Burial in Rome
Character of Shelley
Vol II Appendix
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[No. 1.]
Monday, July 18, 1803.
Miss Kate,
Horsham, Sussex.
Free P. B. Shelley.

Dear Kate,—We have proposed a day at the pond next Wednesday, and if you will come tomorrow morning I would be much obliged to you, and if you could any how bring Tom over to stay all the night, I would thank you. We are to have a cold dinner over at the pond, and come
home to eat a bit of roast chicken and peas at about nine o’clock.
Mama depends upon your bringing Tom over to-morrow, and if you don’t we shall be very much disappointed. Tell the bearer not to forget to bring me a fairing, which is some gingerbread, sweetmeat, hunting-nuts, and a pocket-book. Now I end.

I am not
Your obedient servant,

[No. 2.]

Dear Sir,—I understand that to obviate future difficulties, I ought now to make marriage settlements. I entrust this to your management, if you will be kind enough to take the matter in hand. In the course of three weeks or a month, I shall take the precaution of being remarried, before which I believe these adjustments will be necessary. I wish the sum settled on my wife in case of my death to be £700 per
annum. The maiden name is
Harriett Westbrook with two T’s—Harriett. Will you be so kind as to address me at Mr. Westbrook’s, 23, Chapel-street, Grosvenor-square? We most probably go to London to-morrow. We shall see Whitton, when I shall neither forget your good advice, nor cease to be grateful for it. With kind remembrances to your family,

Yours most gratefully,
Cuckfield, Oct, 21, 1811.
To T. C. Medwin, Esq.,

[No. 3.]
Keswick, Cumberland.
Nov. 26, 1811.

My Dear Sir,—We are now in this lovely spot, where for a time we have fixed our residence. The rent of our cottage, furnished, is £1 10s. per week. We do not intend to take
up our abode here for a perpetuity, but should wish to have a house in Sussex. Perhaps you would look out for us. Let it be in some picturesque, retired place—St. Leonard’s Forest, for instance. Let it not be nearer to London than Horsham, nor near any populous manufacturing town. We do not covet either a propinquity to barracks. Is there any possible method of raising money without exorbitant interest until my coming of age? I hear that you and my
father have had a rencontre. I was surprised that he dared to attack you, but men always hate those whom they have injured; this hatred was, I suppose, a stimulant which supplied the want of courage. Whitton has written to me to state the impropriety of my letter to my mother and sister; this letter I have returned, with a passing remark on the back of it. I find that affair on which those letters spoke is become the general gossip of the idle newsmongers of Horsham. They give me credit of having invented it. They do my invention much
honour, but greatly discredit their own penetration.

My kind remembrances to all friends, believe me, dear sir,

Yours most truly,

We dine with the Duke of N. at Graystock this week.

T. C. Medwin, Esq.

[No. 4.]
Keswick, Cumberland,
Nov. 30, 1811.

My Dear Sir,—When I last saw you, you mentioned the possibility, alluding at the same time to the imprudence, of raising money even at my present age, at seven per cent. We are now so poor as to be actually in danger of every day being deprived of the necessaries of life. In two
years, you hinted that I could obtain money at legal interest. My poverty, and not my will consents (as Romeo’s apothecary says), when I request you to tell me the readiest method of obtaining this. I could repay the principal and interest, on my coming of age, with very little detriment to my ultimate expectations. In case you see obvious methods of effecting this, I would thank you to remit me a small sum for immediate expenses; if not, on no account do so, as some degree of hazard must attend all my acts, under age, and I am resolved never again to expose you to suffer for my imprudence.
Mr. Westbrook has sent me a small sum, with an intimation, that we are to expect no more; this suffices for the immediate discharge of a few debts; and it is nearly with our very last guinea, that we visit the Duke of N., at Graystock, to-morrow. We return to Keswick on Wednesday. I have very few hopes from this visit. That reception into Abraham’s bosom appeared to me to be the consequence of some
infamous concessions, which are, I suppose, synonymous with duty.—Love to all.

My dear Sir,
Yours most truly,
T. C. Medwin, Esq.

[No. 5.]
Dublin, No. 17, Grafton Street,
March 20th, 1812.

My Dear Sir,—The tumult of business and travelling has prevented my addressing you before.

I am now engaged with a literary friend in the publication of a voluminous History of Ireland, of which two hundred and fifty pages are already printed, and for the completion of which, I wish to raise two hundred and fifty pounds. I could obtain undeniable security for its pay-
ment at the expiration of eighteen months. Can you tell me how I ought to proceed? The work will produce great profits. As you will see by the Lewes paper, I am in the midst of overwhelming engagements. My kindest regards to all your family. Be assured I shall not forget you or them.

My dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
T. C. Medwin, Esq.,

[No. 6.]
Nantgwillt Rhayador, Radnorshire,
April 25th, 1812.

My Dear Sir,—After all my wanderings, I have at length arrived at Nantgwillt, near Mr. T. Groves. I could find no house throughout
the north of Wales, and the merest chance Has conducted me to this spot. Mr. Hooper, the present proprietor, is a bankrupt, and his assignees are empowered to dispose of the lease, stock, and furniture, which I am anxious to purchase. They will all be taken at a valuation, and Mr. T. Grove has kindly promised to find a proper person to stand on my side. The assignees are willing to give me credit for eighteen months, or longer; but being a minor, my signature is invalid. Would you object to join your name in my bond, or rather, to pledge yourself for my standing by the agreement when I come of age? The sum is likely to be six or seven hundred pounds.

The farm is about two hundred acres, one hundred and thirty acres arable, the rest wood and mountain. The house is a very good one, the rent ninety-eight pounds, which appears abundantly cheap. My dear sir, now pray answer me by return of post, as I am at present in an unpleasant state of suspense with regard to this
affair, as so eligible an opportunity for settling in a cheap, retired, romantic spot will scarcely occur again.

Remember me most kindly to all your family.

Yours very truly,
T. C. Medwin, Esq.
Horsham, Sussex.

[No. 7.]

[Post-mark, 16th June, 1813.]
Cooke’s Hotel, Albemarle Street.

My Dear Sir,—It is some time since I have addressed you, but as our interests are interwoven in a certain degree by a community of disappointment, I shall do so now, without ceremony.

I was desirous of seeing you on the subject of the approaching expiration of my minority, but hourly expecting Mrs. Shelley’s confinement, I am not able to leave her for the present.

I wished to know whether at that epoch, you would object to see me through the difficulties with which I am surrounded.


You may depend on my grateful remembrance of what you have already done for me, and suffered on my account, whether you consent or refuse to add to the list of my obligations to you. The late negociations between myself and my father have been abruptly broken off by the latter. This I do not regret, as his caprice and intolerance would not have suffered the wound to heal.

I know that I am the heir to large property. Now are the papers to be seen? have you the least doubt but that I am the safe heir to a large landed property? Have you any certain knowledge on the subject?

If you are coming to town soon, I should be most happy to see you; or after Mrs. Shelley’s confinement, I will visit you at Horsham.

Mrs. S. unites in her remembrances to all your family.

Yours very sincerely,
[No. 8.]
Cooke’s Hotel, Dover Street,
“June 21st, 1813.

My Dear Sir,—Mrs. Shelley’s confinement may take place in one day, or not until six weeks. In this state of uncertainty, I would unwillingly leave town even for a few hours. I therefore should be happy to see you so soon as you could make a journey to town convenient. Depend upon it, that no artifice of my father’s shall seduce me to take a life interest in the estate. I feel with sufficient force, that I should not by such conduct be guilty alone of injustice to myself, but to those who have assisted me by kind offices and advice during my adversity.

Mrs. S. unites with me in best wishes to you and yours.

My dear Sir,
Your very obliged,
T. C. Medwin, Esq.
[No. 9.]
[No. 10.]

My Dear Sir,—I shall be most happy to see you, at six o’clock, to dinner, to-morrow. I think this plan is the best. Mrs. Shelley unites with me in best remembrances to all your family.

I remain,
Yours very faithfully,
Cooke’s Hotel, Dover Street.
July 6, 1813.
T. C. Medwin, Esq.
Horsham, Sussex.

London: Printed by G. Lilley, 148, Holborn-bars.