June 16th, '47.
My relations, Ellis and Acton Bell, and myself, heedless of the repeated warnings of various respectable publishers, have committed the rash act of printing a volume of poems. The consequences predicted have, of course, overtaken us; our book is found to be a drug; no man needs it or heeds it; in the space of a year our publisher has disposed but of two copies, and by what painful efforts he succeeded in getting rid of those two, himself only knows.
Before transferring the edition to the trunk-makers we have decided on distributing as presents a few copies of what we cannot sell: and we beg to offer you one in acknowledgment of the pleasure and profit we have often and long derived from your works.
I am, Sir, yours very respectfully,
-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