WIT

[Sydney Smith, 'The Smith of Smiths', wit and author.] Four Autograph Letters Signed to 'Mrs Cunliffe' [Elizabeth Emma Cunliffe Offley, daughter of Lord Crewe], good natured and vivacious.

Author: 
Sydney Smith (1771-1845), 'The Smith of Smiths', wit, author and cleric [Elizabeth Emma Cunliffe Offley (1780-1850), daughter of Lord Crewe and wife of MP Foster Cunliffe Offley]
Publication details: 
Three letters from London addresses: 3 Weymouth Street [Portland Place], no date [c. 1835]; 33 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, 31 April 1839; 56 Green Street, Grosvenor Square, 18 February 1842. Last letter with no place or date [London, c. 1824].
£450.00

The four items in good condition, lightly aged, with stubs from mounts still adhering. The first three are bifoliums, carrying seals in red wax (that to the third letter broken). The second letter is addressed to her at Grosvenor Square; the third and fourth to her at Upper Brook Street. ONE: No place or date. [London, on paper with watermark of 'J GREEN & SON | 1824'.] 1p, 12mo.

[Sydney Smith, 'The Smith of Smiths', wit and author, on losing 'the inestimable advantage of being a Yorkshireman'.] Autograph Letter Signed to Richard Monckton Milnes, the future Lord Houghton, on several topics.]

Author: 
Sydney Smith (1771-1845), 'The Smith of Smiths', wit, author and cleric [Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885), Lord Houghton, poet, politician and patron of the arts; James Garth Marshall (1802-1873)]
Publication details: 
Combe Florey, Taunton [Somerset]. 14 July 1841.
£200.00

2pp, 4to. Bifolium, addressed, with broken seal in red wax, on reverse of second leaf, to 'R. M. Milnes Esq | Pall Mall | London'. In fair condition, lightly aged, with stub from mount adhering. Folded three times. The earlier part of the letter is reproduced in Smith's daughter Lady Holland's 1855 memoir of him. Smith begins the letter by stating that he is 'very much oblig'd' by Milnes's 'kindness in procuring for me the papier Chimique – pray let me know what I am in your debt it is best to be scrupulous and punctilious in trifles'.

[Joseph Jekyll, lawyer, politician and wit.] Autograph jeu d'esprit, signed 'J Jekyll.', addressed to 'Mr Erskine' [i.e. Thomas Erskine, future Lord Chancellor], short poem regarding 'Mrs. Crewe' and Jekyll sitting 'on Lunacy'.

Author: 
Joseph Jekyll (1754-1837), Scottish lawyer, politician and wit [Lord Erskine [Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine] (1750-1823), Lord Chancellor]
Publication details: 
No place. Dated 30 June 1800.
£220.00

1p, 8vo. On bifolium addressed on verso of second leaf to 'Mr. Erskine'. In good condition, lightly aged. Autograph jeu d'esprit, signed at foot 'J. Jekyll. | June 30th. 1800'. A short poem reading: 'Tell Mrs. Crewe | I envy You. | But sit on Lu- | nacy. || Yet Mrs. Crewe | will think I'm stu | pid in my lu | -cid Intervals.' Jekyll's entry in the Oxford DNB concludes, perhaps unkindly: 'If he is remembered by later generations, it is chiefly as a wit. It has to be said, however, that his wit, which consisted in large measure of excruciating puns, has not lasted well.'

[Sir Edward Marsh, Winston Churchill's friend and private secretary, classical scholar and patron of Georgian poetry.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Edward Marsh') to 'Mrs Young', regarding his gift of a stick to 'Lance'.

Author: 
Sir Edward Marsh [Sir Edward Howard Marsh] (1872-1953), civil servant, promoter of Georgian poetry, classical scholar, friend and secretary to Winston Churchill
Publication details: 
20 West Road, Cambridge. 5 August [no year].
£56.00

1p, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged, with two folds and one crease line. Written in a stylish and assured hand, the note reads: 'Dear Mrs Young, | Yes, I was Lance's friend - & I am glad to hear that the stick I gave him has descended to your son, to whom I wish all good. | Yours sincerely | Edward Marsh'.

[ Margot Asquith, socialite and author, wife of Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. ] Autograph Note Signed ('Margot Oxford') acknowledging receipt of a letter and a book.

Author: 
Margot Asquith [ Emma Alice Margaret Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith; née Tennant ] (1864-1945), Scottish socialite and author, wife of Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 44 Bedford Square, WC1 [ London ]. 13 February 1936.
£28.00

1p., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Reads: 'Thank you very much for yr. letter & the book | Yrs | Margot Asquith | 13 Feb 36'.

Autograph Letter Signed ('Sydney Smith') from Rev. Sydney Smith to the future Lord Chancellor Henry Brougham, regarding his ambitions and 'objects in the Church'. With annotations by Brougham.

Author: 
Rev. Sydney Smith (1771-1845), author and wit ['the Smith of Smiths'], member of the Holland House Circle [Henry Brougham (1778-1868), Scottish lawyer, Whig politician and Lord Chancellor]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. Docketted by Brougham '1830 or 31', but in fact circa 1827.
£450.00

2pp., 4to. Bifolium. A thin strip has been torn from the head of the first leaf, resulting in loss to two lines of text, otherwise in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. A significant letter, in which Smith discusses his ambitions with a close and influential friend, and former colleague on the 'Edinburgh Review'.

Fragment of Autograph Letter Signed to unnamed correspondent.

Author: 
Theodore Edward Hook
Publication details: 
Without date or place.
£23.00

Novelist and wit (1788-1841). On piece of paper roughly four inches square. Folded twice and lightly creased and with traces of glue and paper from previous mounting adhering to four corners of reverse, and affecting text. Typed title neatly attached at foot. Reads 'Will you give our kindest regards to Your Family and always believe me | Yrs Very Sincerely | The: E. Hook'. Reverse reads '<...> club.

Three Autograph Letters Signed to 'Dear Mat'.

Author: 
Edward Dubois [Du Bois]
Publication details: 
Two without date or place; the third dated 'Gower Place | Euston Sq[uar]e | Wedn[esda]y.'
£200.00

English wit and man of letters (1774-1850). All three letters in octavo and skilfully mounted onto quarto paper. Two letters of three pages and one of two pages. All three in very good condition. Playful, witty communications to an intimate friend, characteristic of a droll, caustic wit, 'capital at the dinner table', who 'loved a joke, even in court' (Dictionary of National Biography). LETTER ONE (2 pages): Declines an invitation.

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