NPG 2515(30) (1a)

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Letter from Walter Scott to William Brockedon, dated 12 February (1830), apologising for failing to acknowledge the gift of a copy of Brockedon's book.


Dear Sir

I have given myself the appearance of ingratitude in not more early acknowledging the very agreeable compliment which you did me the honour of sending me as your beautiful and valuable account of the Alps supplying to me as far as descriptions and delineation can which I have long wished to see with my own eyes which I fear will never now be in my power. The reason of my silence is the disobedience of my fingers I was foolish enough forgetting that the blood at sixty must run colder than in younger years to go calling (illegible) during the severe frost without gloves and as I (illegible) and my fingers were frost-bitt for my pains. I could make (illegible) a bad scawl of what I was necessary to write but I chiefly resorted to an amanuensis and you know it is difficult to use one in such letters where one desires to say more than "yours received & note the contents."

Now I wanted besides the common places of gratitude & acknowledgement to tell you the real pleasure I had on receiving & perusing your work which must have cost you no small though pleasing trouble to execute. My friend the late George Ellis one of the most accomplished scholars & delightful companions