Tuesday, September 2, 2008

unreal folios

The Duke of Devonshire to Thomas Hood

[February 8th, 1831.]

Accept my best thanks for the beautiful copies of the "Comic Annual," which I have had the pleasure of receiving from you; you could not have selected a person who has enjoyed more the perusal of your works.

I am almost afraid of making the following request, but perhaps it may be as amusing as it must be easy to you to comply with it, in which case alone I beg you to do it.

It is necessary to construct a door of sham books, for the entrance of a library at Chatsworth: your assistance in giving me inscriptions for these unreal folios, quartos, and 12mos, is what I now ask.

One is tired of the "Plain Dealings," "Essays on "Wood," and "Perpetual Motion" on such doors,--on one I have seen the names of "Don Quixote's Library," and on others impossibilities, such as "Virgilii Odaria,"-- "Herodoti Poemata"--"Byron's Sermons"--&c., &c.; but from you I venture to hope for more attractive titles--at your perfect leisure and convenience. I have the honour to be, Sir, with many excuses.
Your sincere humble servant,

-from Memorials of Thomas Hood collected, arranged, and edited by his daughter with a preface and notes by his son / 2 volumes (Boston: Tichnor and Fields, 1860) pp. 28-29.

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