Rev. James Stanier Clarke

Deirdre Le Faye (ed.), Jane Austen's Letters (Fourth Edition)

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pg 320Editor’s Note132(A). From James Stanier Clarke

  • Thursday ?21 December 1815
  • Carlton House Thursday, 1815

My dear Madam,

The Letter you were so obliging as to do me the Honour of sending, was forwarded to me in Kent, where in a Village, Chiddingstone near Sevenoaks, I had been hiding myself from all bustle and turmoil—and getting Spirits for a Winter Campaign—and Strength to stand the sharp knives which many a Shylock is wetting to cut more than a Pound of Flesh from my heart, on the appearance of James the Second.1

On Monday I go to Lord Egremonts at Petworth—where your Praises have long been sounded as they ought to be. I shall then look in on the Party at the Pavilion2 for a couple of nights—and return to preach at Park Street Chapel Green St. on the Thanksgiving Day.

You were very good to send me Emma—which I have in no respect deserved. It is gone to the Prince Regent. I have read only a few Pages which I very much admired—there is so much nature—and excellent description of Character in every thing you describe.

Pray continue to write, & make all your friends send Sketches to help you—and Memoires pour servir—as the French term it. Do let us have an English Clergyman after your fancy—much novelty may be introduced—shew dear Madam what good would be done if Tythes were taken away entirely, and describe him burying his own mother—as I did—because the High Priest of the Parish in which she died—did not pay her remains the respect he ought to do. I have never recovered the Shock. Carry your Clergyman to Sea as the Friend of some distinguished Naval Character about a Court—you can then bring foreward like Le Sage3 many interesting Scenes of Character & Interest.

But forgive me, I cannot write to you without wishing to elicit your Genius;—& I fear I cannot do that, without trespassing on your Patience and Good Nature.

I have desired Mr. Murray to procure, if he can, two little Works4 I ventured to publish from being at Sea—Sermons which I wrote & preached on the Ocean—& the Edition which I published of Falconers Shipwreck.

pg 321Pray, dear Madam, remember, that besides My Cell at Carlton House, I have another which Dr Barne procured for me at No 37, Golden Square—where I often hide myself. There is a small Library there much at your Service—and if you can make the Cell render you any service as a sort of Half-way House, when you come to Town—I shall be most happy. There is a Maid Servant of mine always there.

I hope to have the honour of sending you James the 2d when it reaches a second Ed:—as some few Notes may possibly be then added.

Yours dear Madam, very sincerely

J. S. Clarke.

[No address]

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Notes

Editor’s Note
Description. Two leaves quarto plus single quarto leaf, wove; watermark c wilmott 1814; no seal or wafer; no address.
Postmark. None.
Provenance. Bequeathed by CEA to CJA in 1845; descended to CJA's granddaughters and sold by them in 1925; J. P. Morgan; Morgan Lib&Mus, New York (MA 1034-12).
Publication. Life 320; Chapman (1st & 2nd).
Editor’s Note
1. James the Second. Life of King James II (1816); there was no second edition.
Editor’s Note
2. the Pavilion. The Prince Regent's seaside palace at Brighton.
Editor’s Note
3. Le Sage. Alain-René Lesage (1668–1747), French novelist and playwright; Clarke was probably thinking of his Gil Bias (1715–35), English translation by Smollett, 1749.
Editor’s Note
4. two little Works. Sermons preached in the Western Squadron during its services off Brest, on board HM ship Impetueux (1798), and Clarke's edition of William Falconer's poem The Shipwreck (1804).
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