Wednesday, April 2, 2008

in confidence

Thomas De Quincey to John Wilson, Esq., Elleray

Grasmere, Friday, September 22nd, 1814.

My Dear Wilson,

I am expecting Mr. and Mrs. Merritt this evening on their return from Keswick where I left them on Tuesday last: so that to-night I cannot possibly come over. Moreover, it appears to me that Elleray is not in the way from this place to Wastwater; but rather vice versa. However, if you and Mr Hogg will come to Grasmere to-morrow and dine with us at half past 2 o'clock [I hope that hour will not be too early], we can arrange a plan for going thither in which possibly Merritt might be included; and that would delight him. He can't walk ['damn his body!' as he says]; but I think I can get a horse for him from Allan Bank.

Mrs. S [damn her body!] has it in contemplation to run away from old S [damn his body!]. She told this in confidence to Mrs. Merritt who told it in confidence to me who hereby, my friend, tell it in confidence to you. Mind that you keep the secret as well as I have done; and then it will stand a chance of coming round to old S to-morrow morning, by the Whitehaven coach. Faithfully yours,
Thos. De Quincey

-from The de Quincey Memorials: Being Letters and other Records, here first Published from Communications from Coleridge, the Wordsworths, Hannah More, Professor Wilson, and Others. Edited, with Introduction, Notes, and Narrative by Alexander H. Japp in Two Volumes (London: William Heinemann, 1891) vol. ii

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