LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter V. 1795
Horace Walpole to William Roscoe, [January? 1795]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“Two days ago, sir, good Mr. Edwards brought me your eagerly expected, and most welcome, second volume. I must thank you for it immediately, though incapable of writing with my own hand. I have been extremely ill with the gout for above eleven weeks, and ten days ago was at the point of death with an inflammation in my bowels, but have happily lived to see the continuation of your work, of which I have already gone through two chapters, and find them fully equal to their predecessors. Indeed, as I cannot express, in words of my own, my sentiments both of your work and of you, I shall beg your leave to transcribe the character of another person, which so exactly suits my thoughts of you, that I should very awkwardly attempt to draw another portrait, which I am sure would not be so like.

“‘Although these volumes appear to be rather the amusement of the leisure hours of a polite scholar, than the researches of a professed historian, yet they display an acquaintance with the transactions of Italy, seldom acquired except by a native. To a great proficiency in the literature of that country, Mr. Tenhove united an indisputable taste in the productions of all
the fine arts, and a general knowledge of the state of manners, and the progress of science, in every period of society. The fertility of his genius, and the extent of his information, have enabled him to intersperse his narrative with a variety of interesting digressions and brilliant observations; and the most engaging work that has, perhaps, ever appeared on a subject of literary history, is written by a native of one country, in the language of another, on the affairs of a third.’

“Nothing, sir, but your own extreme modesty, and impartial justice, would have blinded you so far as to have prevented you discovering that this must be a more faithful picture of yourself than it can be of Mr. Tenhove’s imperfect performance, omitting the language of a third.

“In my own copy of your work, I shall certainly insert the quotation in lieu of Testimonia Auctorum.

“Give me leave to thank you (for your own sake too) for your improvement of the two lines beginning with imagined evils: you have completely satisfied me, sir; and since I find that you can correct as masterly as compose, I believe, that, with all my admiration and respect, I shall be impertinent enough to point out any new faults, if I can discover them, in your second volume.

“I hope, by this sincere sketch of my senti-
ments, I have so entirely convinced you of them that I can have no occasion to profess again how much

“I am, Sir,
“Your most obliged, and most delighted, and
most obedient, humble Servant,