The Cotman Collection | 167

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 167

  • Description

    Letter of John Sell Cotman to Dawson Turner, 12 August 1841


  • Transcription

    To Dawson Turner. 167
    Aug: 12. 1841.

    My dear Sir,
    It was my intention to have been at the Atheneum by 10 o'clock
    this morning, with my letter, in the hope of seeing you, & thanking you in
    person for the handsome compliments bestowed on me in your beautiful &
    interesting catalogue. But I could not do so - for I am but just down, at
    11 o'clock - feeling the effects of the excitement caused by your present.
    I received your book at 8 o'clock p.m. Yesterday, dipped into it, took my
    tea & afterwards dipped into it again - laid it down & commenced
    my Epistle. A little piece of tart & a glass of water was placed by my side at
    11 o'clock. I wrote on, looked at my watch - found it was not so very
    late - took up my pen again, & never laid it down till I heard the
    Church Clock strike 3!!!!! My watch had stopt. My supper forgotten
    entirely. I again laid your book before me on my table, remembering old
    habits & maxims of yours on this important print - all sweet to me.
    Retired to my room at 4 o'clock, slept but little - & less refreshed - took
    my breakfast as a done yup invalid - but am now better.
    Fortunately for me I have not such a Book presented to me every
    day - for the consequences would be fearful, as I am not what I was,
    I find convincingly. I am engaged till 5 o'clock. In the afternoon
    I will leave this, and take my chance of seeing you for a moment or
    two. I now regret my poor, unfortunate Norfolk was sold, with
    all its illustrations, for £10 - the book itself costing £11!!! What a
    book yours might have been had you interlaid each leaf of a
    fine old copy of Bloomfield, & each leaf pressed flat - a tall copy with
    spledid margins. The expense would have been nothing to its incurred
    value. I once thought of doing so, & had the Book, & even calculated the expense.
    But it wd. have cost me time - as well as hard cash, and that I was
    more economical {crossed out – in} than I should have been in the latter print.
    Aug: 12. 1841.
    J. S. C.

    Dear Sir,
    Can you afford to add your favours by giving me a few impressions
    of my portraits - as I can again give them to those who w[oul]d value the
    gift highly. J. S. C.