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Letters to James Smith

These items comprise letters to Smith from various correspondents and one letter to another person which was forwarded to him (1/31).

Testimonial for James Smith by Basil Willey

Pembroke College, Cambridge.—Supports Smith’s candidature for the chair of English at Fribourg. Though he does not know him personally, his published work testifies to his wide knowledge of literature, his keen critical intelligence, and his linguistic powers. Refers to his own links with another Swiss university and his interest in promoting intellectual discourse between the two countries.

Five conferences in the U.S.A., Belgium, France, and the U.K.

American Physical Society, M.I.T., April 1946.

The Physical Society, Conference on Fundamental Particles and Low-Temperature Physics, Cambridge, July 1946.

University of Ghent Colloquium, invitation and letter of thanks from A. Berthelot, 1946-47.

Collège de France, Rutherford memorial meeting, 1947.

University of Birmingham, Conference 'Problems of Nuclear Physics', September 1948.

Letters of William Frederick, 2nd Duke of Gloucester

With 'Memoranda of that Part of the Campaign 1794 comprized between the 22nd of May & the 25th July' and battle plans drawn by William Frederick of engagements between 17-30 Apr 1794.

Also a 'Memorandum concerning the Letters of W. F. Duke of Gloucester addressed to his father Wm Henry Duke of Gloucester during the Campaigns of 1794 & 1799', by his sister Princess Sophia Matilda, 28 Dec 1837. Sophia Matilda labelled and sealed the paper wrappers in which the files of letters were originally sent, and also the linen bag in which they were all contained.

The letters date from 1794, when Prince William was fighting in Flanders, 1799, during the campaign in Holland, and 1803-1804, when Prince William was on a tour in northern Europe, and are predominantly written by him to his father.

William Frederick (1776–1834) 2nd Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Letter from R. W. Chapman to R. B. McKerrow

Wensleydale.—Submits some queries about imposition which have arisen in compiling a bibliography of Dodsley’s Collection.



In Wensleydale

My dear McKerrow

In working at a bibliography of Dodsley’s Collectionsof Poems by several Hands I have struck difficulties about imposition, and should be grateful for advice.

The original work in 3 vols. 1748 (reprinted 1748, 1751) is a duodecimo of the ordinary kind. It was imposed ‘for cutting’; a conclusion suggested to me by the fact that a whole forme (ex hypothesi) is wrongly paged, and confirmed by the watermarks, which fall on the seventh and eighth or on the eleventh and twelfth leaves (or on both pairs when there were 2 watermarks; 2 different papers were used). There are numerous cancels; and I was pleased to find my conclusions from examination of stubs etc. very prettily confirmed by the w.-marks.

The chain-lines are horizontal.

But my difficulty begins with Vols. IV (1755) and V–VI (1758). They are uniform with the earlier volumes, but are in eights. The chain-lines being (in V, VI) horizontal. I assumed that the books were 16o printed in half-sheets, so that each sheet yielded two copies of an 8-leaf quire. This would mean the use of a paper of an unusual size; but it may have occurred to Dodsley that he could economize by getting an extra four pages on to each forme.

But while reposing in this hypothesis I discovered that some of the chain-lines are vertical!

In Vol. IV they are all vertical (and of course this volume may be 8o).

In Vol. V 19 signatures, & 2 prelim. leaves, are horizontal; but A8 & C8 are vertical.

In Vol. VI 20 signatures + 2 prel. leaves are horizontal; but X8 vertical.

There are unfortunately no watermarks in these 3 volumes.

I do not know of any uncut copy. My copy of V is 6¾ x 4¼, and I suppose may have been nearly 7½ x 5 (7 x 4½ is a minimum). I cannot see what imposition would get this on to a sheet so nearly square that it could be put in either way indifferently.

Please don’t think of going to the Museum and hunting out these books. I trouble you with my difficulty only in the chance that it may be quite simple and that the solution may be already familiar.

I expect you are very busy with No I {1}—I wish it all success.

Yours sincerely
R. W. Chapman


Numbers in signatures and the 'o' in '16o' and '8o' are superscript in the original.

{1} The first number of the Review of English Studies.

† Sic.

Letter from Walter Worrall to R. B. McKerrow

Dictionary Room, Old Ashmolean, Broad Street, Oxford.—Thanks him for looking for citations of the word ‘spattania’. Refers to the use of u, v, j, and i in Philemon Holland’s translations, and to his forthcoming note on the word ‘backare’.



Dictionary Room | Old Ashmolean | Broad St | Oxford
Oct. 7. 1913

Dear McKerrow,

Many thanks for your second letter, dated 25 Sept., which I must really send you a line now to acknowledge.

The ‘Spartania’ in Textor’s Officina {1} may very well be the original & correct form of Greene’s ‘Spattania’. {2} But if no account of the plant so called is given, one can be certain of nothing. We are very much obliged to you for your search, although this time it has drawn blank.—Are any Italian books included in those you consult? After French & Latin, this is, I suppose, the next language likely to have afforded material to an Elizabethan.

As to Holland, the modern use of u, v, j & i is followed in his ‘Livy’, 1600. {3} I had a note to this effect, which I have just been verifying in the Bodleian. Whether it is followed through-out the volume consistently, I don’t pretend to say.—I have also an old note, which I have not verified, that in his ‘Camden’ 1610, {4} both the old & the modern practices are followed.

In the forthcoming number of the Mod. Lang. Review there are some observations of mine, called forth by a note on ‘Backare’ in the July number. {5}

Please accept my hearty thanks for the kind expressions of sympathy in your letter, & believe me

very sincerely yours
Walter Worrall


This letter was written on black-edged paper, in token of the death of the writer’s father, the artist Joseph Edward Worrall, who had died on 7 September. It was formerly inserted in an off-print of McKerrow’s article ‘Some Notes on the Letters i, j, u and v in Sixteenth Century Printing’, reprinted from The Library, 3rd series, i. 239–59 (July 1910) (Adv. c. 25. 80). At the foot of p. 21 of this offprint (corresponding to p. 251 in The Library) McKerrow has written the following note, derived from the present letter: ‘The modern usage is also found in Holland’s Livy 1600—also in Pliny—? in Camden 1610 (W. Worrall)’.

{1} Joannes Ravisius Textor (Jean Tixier de Ravisi), Officina partim historiis partim poeticis referta disciplinis (1520, etc.), a Latin commonplace book, frequently reprinted.

{2} Worrall had evidently consulted McKerrow in connection with the article on this word for the New English Dictionary; see vol. ix, part i (1919). The dictionary’s earliest citation of the word is from Greene’s Mamillia (Works, ed. Grosart, ii. 23). Its origin is obscure.

{3} Titus Livius, The Romane History … Also, the Breviaries of L. Florus, tr. Philemon Holland (1600) (STC 16613).

{4} William Camden, Britain, or, A Chorographicall Description of England, Scotland, and Ireland, tr. Philemon Holland (1610) (STC 4509).

{5} The note was submitted by Percy W. Long (Modern Language Review, vii. 373). Worrall’s response appeared in the October number (ibid., 544–5).

Letter from A. E. Housman to W. H. Semple

(With an envelope.)



Trinity College.
21 Oct. 1925

Dear Mr Semple,

Perhaps you would let me have the translations by Saturday the 31st.

Yours sincerely
A. E. Housman.

I. 5. 10: Transalpino—uisum
[I.] 11. 8: perge—desistant
[I. 11.] 10: par—geminatis
[I. 11.] 13: obiecta—cassauerimus
[I. 11.] 15: contionatoris mei
II. 2. 1: iam uer … porrigitur
[II. 2.] 2: concaua—compressus
[II. 2.] 3: nisi—uerere
[III. 3.] 7: tamquam—truncatum
[III.] 14. 2: non amplius—rideat
IV. 11. 3: hinc etiam—laudabilis
[IV.] 21. 2: ecce habes—existimabis
[IV.] 22. 3: itaque—opportunitas
V. 8. 2: nisi quod—appenso
[V.] 10. 4: quapropter—adhiberi
[V.] 13. 1: iam Clausetiam—insorduit
[V.] 15. 2: restat—mercedem
[V.] 19. 1: nutricis—impunitatem
[V.] 20. 4: praeterea—uenitur
[V. 20. 4]: namque erit—uideris
VI. 12. 6: illum dubia—complesti
VII. 1. 4: miraculo—naturam
[VII.] 12. 4: haec omnia—adiungi
[VII.] 14. 11: nostram quoque—exhorruit
*[VII.] 15. 1: sed et ille—possessio {1}
VIII[.] 6. 2: insuper—supergressus
[VIII. 6.] 8: quid multa—audiui
[VIII. 6.] 16: dein, quod—fortuitis
[VIII.] 8. 2: redde te patri—affectus
[VIII.] 9. 3: ago laboriosum—impetro
[VIII. 9.] 5: lines 48–51
[VIII.] 11. 9.
[VIII.] 12. 7: quid multa—epulones
[VIII.] 16. 3: si refutamur―simpliciter {2}
IX. 2. 1: iubetis―incipitur
[IX.] 9. 13: huic copulatum―philosophari
[IX. 9.] 14: curua ceruice―cute distenta
[IX.] 13. 1: crederem―fallere
[IX] 16. 3: de reliquo―munerabor
[IX. 16. 3]: lines 33–36.

[On the back of the letter are some pencil notes, presumably by Semple.]

[Direction on envelope:] W. H. Semple Esq. | St John’s College


The references in the postscript are to the letters of Sidonius Apollinaris, which are referred to by book, letter, and section. Elements of references repeated from the previous line are omitted in the MS, but they have been supplied above in square brackets. The colons in these references have also been supplied.

{1} The significance of the asterisk is unclear.

{2} Altered to ‘simplicitas’ in pencil.

Letter from W. K. Clifford to [Lucy Lane]

(Place of writing not indicated.)—Thanks her for her long letter. Discusses arrangements for going to a play, and refers to his negotiations about the house. Mrs Sitwell has invited them to tea. Points out that they only need to understand each other to agree on what is important, and refers to his loneliness since losing ‘the only mind that had really grown up with my own [Crotch]’. Discusses in detail his views on Christianity.

(This letter was written some time between Crotch’s death on 16 June 1874 and Clifford's marriage on 7 April 1875. The Sunday lecture referred to may have been ‘Body and Mind’, read before the Sunday Lecture Society on 1 November 1874.)

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