The Cotman Collection | 183

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 183

  • Description

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


  • Transcription

    (3. 9. '41.)
    (2) 183

    valuable & honoured friends, and our first few hours' acquaint-
    ance proved his knowledge of my character, & his own noble, un-
    suspecting nature. Of these two, more hereafter.
    I once heard you say, very early in our acquaintance, you distrusted
    a present, and that presents were generally given not for
    past favours, but for favours to be given. I never forgot it. And I believe
    I never gave you anything. I could not, my dear Sir, after such
    an assertion. You bought all you had of me. But I endeavoured to
    let you off easily, by doing what I did for you justly at least, and
    my duty to the letter - may I say, perhaps a leetle more -
    not so much for your sake as my own - for it always gave me
    pleasure to serve you right well. For I loved my employer, his
    Family, and all their doings. You have expressed that in your
    Note, which shows me clearly you know me. Therefore I shall
    send you a little Volume that I have even held, till I obtain from others,
    Unique. This you will of course laugh at as Books cannot be so,
    otherwise than by illustrations - & this bears the autographs of [ ]
    Tillotson, thus --” Canterbury, July 26. 1680.
    {Note: Dr. J. B was 1610-1680 Canon of C his Uncle Isaac B 1586-1643 was Dean D.N.B. }
    Mrs. Bargrave gave me this Book for a remembrance of her, Dr.
    John Bargrave, Canon of this Church: [ ] Tillotson -” Bargrave was,
    if I remember rightly, afterwards Dean of Canterbury - & buried there'
    as a plate on his tomb is given in the History of Canterbury. (I once had)
    shows. The Title of the Book runs thus----
    “Degli habiti delle religioni. Etc. Opera di Odoardo Fialetti.”
    in three parts, forming one small thin quarto volume, with Plates, with
    The Arms, if any of the Houses described, in stump hand, all engraved,
    at the back of each plate-the whole executed with an artist-like
    feel - the [ ] strongly marked on each - showing the early
    State of the plates. This description you will (I hope) understand,
    till you have my gem. That only you could get from me. “These
    Sir - in the words of Sir H.C.Englefield, whether he gave a
    mouse or a mountain, “I present you with a magnificent gift”.
    Mine of course is the mouse, but one that has long nibbled my
    affections. If all this is too much nonsense, attribute it to a