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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Sir James Edward Smith to William Roscoe, [7 September 1812]

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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“We have been spending ten days at Holk-
ham, and I write now at the earnest desire of
Mr. Coke to try to persuade you to come and see him and us. He says you have given him some hopes, but have as yet only disappointed him. Now I can conceive nothing more delightful than spending a fortnight with you under this roof, and have promised him to do so, whenever you come. To contemplate his pictures and statues, to rummage amongst his books, drawings, manuscripts, and prints (where we every day find treasures unknown before), is extremely agreeable, and he kindly entrusts all his keys to me in full confidence. I found a case of the earliest printed books, which no one had examined since the time of his great uncle, Lord Leicester. Such MSS. of Dante, drawings of the old Italian masters, treasures of European history—you have no idea! The house is one of the finest in Europe, and its riches are inexhaustible. But of all things its owner is the best worth your seeing and knowing. He is so amiable, with all the first gloss of human affection and feeling upon his heart; so devoid of all selfishness, that with the early and constant prosperity he has experienced, his character is next to a miracle; and he has such an agreeable liveliness and playfulness of manners, that nobody is more entertaining. You would exactly suit, in all your ideas of men and things. Do give me some hopes that you will
come over this autumn with
Mrs. Roscoe, or some of your family. We will meet at Holkham; and if you can descend (without breaking your neck) to our ‘low estate,’ we will strive to rival even Holkham in the heartiness of our welcome. I shall show you the Linnæan reliques, and we shall consult you about a new Botanic Garden now projecting. Do, my dear friend, think of all this.”