Monday, April 7, 2008

flourishing the goosequill

Thomas Love Peacock to Edward T. Hookham

Chertsey, August 3rd, 1807.

My Dear Sir,
I know not how to thank you sufficiently for your numerous favours; but I shall avail myself of your generous offer, and put my little vessel again on the stocks. I fear you will find me rather troublesome in the course of my undertaking; at present I have only to require Volney's Voyage en Syrie (No. 17469), and Montesquieu sur la Grandeur et Decadence des Romains (No. 16218).

I have some thought of arranging the poem* in four divisions, but of this hereafter. Perhaps I have undertaken more than I can perform, and shall be obliged at last to leave the work unfinished. However, as I have no better occupation, I will return to the idle trade of writing verses.

I am writing in a great hurry, and after dinner, a time at which I am not very fond of flourishing the goosequill. Brevity, as Polonius says, is the soul of wit, but I apprehend, in the present instance it is the soul without a body.
Yours sincerely,
T. L. Peacock
*The Genius of the Thames: A Lyrical Poem, in Two Parts. (London: T. Hookham Jr. & E.T. Hookham, 1810.)

To: Mr. E. T. HOOKHAM,
15 Old Bond St., London.
[Bookseller, stationer, bookbinder, publisher and purveyor of a circulating library]

-from Thomas Love Peacock Letters to Edward Hookham and Percy B. Shelley with Fragments of Unpublished MSS edited by Richard Garnett (Boston: Bibliophile Society, MCMX)

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