The Cotman Collection | 181

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 181

  • Description

    Letter of John Sell Cotman to Dawson Turner, 3 September 1841


  • Transcription

    To Dawson Turner Esq
    Yarmouth. Sept: 3. 1841. 181

    My dear, my very dear Friend,
    I cannot suffer another post to pass (though God knows at this
    moment I am ill-prepared to write to anyone in consequence of the
    ill condition state of my poor son Alfred, who has been for a long time a
    maniac - and I am almost certain a confined one for life.) with-
    out acknowledging briefly your last valuable present* so sprightly,
    elegantly, manly, naturally & originally within. I consider it a perfect
    gem and the author a very great credit to his master. Though I more
    than suspect he is no great hand at my weapon. Still I proudly
    own him a peer in the same art - though wielding a different
    one, a double-edged one - poetry & history.
    Your kind note accompanying the present pierced unto the quick.
    You said you would visit me & shake me by the hand once again before
    we died. It spoke volumes. It shall be sincerely clasped-for I know no
    man, save Hudson Gurney, whose esteem I more truly value & always
    did, than yourself.* You have assisted me with advice only given
    by a father, sincere & just-by which it will please you to know I
    have greatly profited, tho' not to the extent I might have done, certainly.
    Hudson Gurney supplied me with money like a Prince, when for
    my fanily's sake I begged it of him as a Beggar - almost as a
    maniac. Indeed I am not certain I was not one - for after sleeping
    for only three hours, exactly, per night for many months, that
    flood of honors only known to the embarrassed man, pound instantly down
    my brain, like only to the cataracts of Niagara - sweeping all
    before it. Hudson Gurney saved me from actual ruin - nobly
    saved me. I know you opinions of him therefore I need not
    fear (what wd. be perhaps in woman) jealousy in being my
    friend in connection with such (a …..I was going to say)
    a MAN. His left hand knows not what his right hand did. My
    kind & late valued friend Sir Henry Englefield was just such
    another - The late Mr. Haniott must be added to my list of
    *Note. It was love at first sight. So it was with John Gurney of Lynn.
    Their eyes, full of sense & human kindness, won me quite before a
    single favour had been shewn. I cannot account for it otherwise than as
    love at first sight!!!!!