Three Autograph Letters Signed to 'Dear Mat'.

Edward Dubois [Du Bois]
Publication details: 
Two without date or place; the third dated 'Gower Place | Euston Sq[uar]e | Wedn[esda]y.'
SKU: 3970

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. Regrets the 'contretems' of a declined invitation, 'as it deprives me of the pleasure of seeing one of the brightest lights of the Western World - I should have liked mightily to have met your "Lion - especially "at feeding time" as the man says at Exeter Change. Why, what an indestructible Chap you are - they told me not long since that you were making no very graceful exit (with the Belly ache) in Yorkshire, and now you are alive and merry playing Robin Goodfellow at Kentish Town [...]'. LETTER TWO (3 pages): 'If we can credit anything so monstrous as a Parson in Paradise, I verily believe that the Devil would never have wasted his time on Eve, when he could have got the black Gown to taste without any trouble.' Possible hints at sexual indiscretions: 'I assure you that your usual invitation always got me into hot water here, for "the flesh of my flesh" was willing, and my prudence interposing constantly made my Bone, a bone of contention.' LETTER THREE (three pages, dated as above): 'There is a Professor of Humanity in Scotland - you have been there, what does it mean? Something like our Jack Ketch perhaps - but I am sick of all Professors, let them be of humanity, Charity or whatnot; for I find those who profess nothing of the sort, but exercise their virtues in private, more worthy of the honors, monopolized by those who advertize.' Intriguing discussion of case: 'An attorney (of an uncommon breed as you will see) came to consult me about old Mrs. Richardson and I advised her to take the benefit of the act. [...] After this, I learnt that the Daughters with their School must sink or swim according to the success or failure of a subscription: £250 was wanting £150 had been raised in about a week from Raine, Montague [Basil Montague, see DNB] & a few other Lawyers - another prodigy. Dining out on Xmas day I told the story & in a little time made a purse of sixteen guineas.' Dubois finally managed to 'get the case submitted to Mrs Coutts', receiving a cheque of five pounds for his pains. All three letters signed 'Edw. Du Bois'.