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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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William Spencer


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William Spencer : Latin epitaph on Mr Sargent

Lady Harriet Cavendish to her sister, Lady Georgiana Morpeth, 28 November 1807: 'I attribute my cold to going to Jermyn Street [grandmother's London residence] last night in a thick fog. 'I found Mr. Spencer and Mr. Preedy there. William Spencer just come to town in a violent hurry as he says he is going to have a share in Drury Lane [...] He was brilliant with rouge and spirits, but must have been rather disappointed in his audience's behaviour. I did nothing but blow my nose and wink my eyes; Mr. Preedy had one of his lethargic fits upon him and never had his open for a minute and my grandmother [the Dowager Countess Spencer] was nodding the whole evening in a comfortable nap. He repeated to us however (just as if we had been awake) quantities of his own poetry, of which, by the bye, he is going to publish a small volume, his bookseller having offered him two hundred pound for it, and read us a Latin epitaph he has just written upon the death of poor Mr. Sargent and contrived to introduce in the course of the conversation, all the compliments that have ever been paid him, de part a l'autre for the last twelvemonth.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: William Spencer      Manuscript: Unknown


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