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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIV. 1816
William Roscoe to William Shepherd, [September? 1816]

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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“My dear Sir,

“I know not how to express to you the various sensations to which your letter and its inclosures have given rise in my mind. From the moment that it became necessary to dispose of my library, I resolved, as I believe I informed you, not to repurchase any part of it on my own account; and accordingly not a single book was to my knowledge bought for me: those bid for in the name of Mr. Coke being for his library at Holkham, although, by his permission, I retain for the present such of them as appear to be necessary in the arrangement of his valuable manuscripts.

“Judge, then, of my surprise on finding what
had been done, and of the difficulties I feel in availing myself of the liberality of my friends in the manner I am sure they would wish. Be assured, my dear Sir, no one can be more deeply sensible than myself of the motives which gave rise to this measure, and of the delicacy with which it has been conducted; and if I cannot exactly conform to the terms proposed, I trust I shall be allowed to receive the kindness intended me in a manner less troublesome to my friends, and more satisfactory to myself. I am aware that when my library was first advertised, apprehensions were entertained that our proposed arrangements might not be accomplished; and that this measure was intended to prevent my being entirely deprived of those literary treasures which had constituted so great a portion of my happiness. Had such an event unfortunately occurred, I should most gratefully have accepted their friendly assistance; but the aspect of our affairs is now more favourable, the sale of my property has been made under my own directions, and if those distinguished and ever respected friends, to whose timely and considerate assistance I owe the most heartfelt obligations, will permit me to avail myself of the alternative mentioned in your letter, and repurchase the works bought for my use, it will relieve me from my present anxiety, and infinitely add to the obligations I already feel. In this point of view
I shall think myself fortunate that such a measure has been resorted to; the books purchased (as might be expected from their being chosen by the long and confidential associate of my studies) being selected with the greatest judgment, and such as I should, for the most part, certainly have retained, had I not thought it necessary to the character of the sale that the entire library should be offered to the public. May I beg you, my dear friend, to communicate this my request to your constituents, and at the same time to assure them, not only of my warmest gratitude, but of the satisfaction I must ever feel in the reflection, that, on such an occasion, I have been honoured by so distinguished a proof of the approbation of those, who, by their former kindness and friendship, had entitled themselves to my highest esteem, affection, and respect.

“I am always, my dear Sir,
“Most faithfully yours,
W. Roscoe.”