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Hume* applied to me last year, stating that he was in arrear; at which I expressed my surprise, as I assured him that Mr. Shelley never drew more than 2201., leaving the 30l. regularly for his use. I mentioned his application in more than one letter to Italy, and on the 14th of November wrote to Dr. Hume the following letter:

[“ In this letter f I gave an extract of P. B. S.'s letter to me, saying he had scrupulously and regularly left the 301. in the banker's hands, and they had orders to pay it regularly ; expressing my own conviction that Dr. H. would get it on application.]

“ To this letter I never received any reply; from which I very naturally concluded that the money was paid, and expressed this belief and conviction in my next communication to Mr. Shelley. Thus the affair rested till I called, on the 28th March last, with my usual order on Messrs. Brookes and Co. for 2201. ; by whom I was informed that the payment of Mr. Shelley's income was stopped whether permanently or temporarily, they could not tell me ; nor could they afford me any explanation whatever, none having been given to them. This inexplicable occurrence was made known by me to Mr. Shelley on the following day.

“It was not until after a good deal of personal trouble and inquiry that I learned the real state of the case, and the institution of legal proceedings; and, having a thorough conviction that Mr. Shelley had left the money at the bankers, I believed it to be paid. I called on Messrs. Wright and Co., and found, as I suspected, that the money had all along been

Ι lying in their hands to the amount of Dr. Hume's claim within a trifle (which I presume are postages or some petty charges, with which Mr. Shelley was unacquainted), and that they had

* The custodian of Shelley's children by his first wife. - Ep.

† The part here enclosed in brackets was inserted in a of the letter to Sir Timothy, afterwards sent by Horace Smith to his friend. A copy, in full, of the letter to Dr. Hume was of course sent to the baronet. - ED.

only been prevented paying it at once by the want of a regular, formal check or order. You will observe he says, in his letter to me:- I have regularly and scrupulously left 301.

• from my income for Dr. Hume's draft;' but it is probable that, although he told the bankers he left it for Dr. Hume, he omitted to lodge a regular credit for his drafts an oversight for which his inexperience of business supplies a sufficient explanation and excuse. Why this inquiry was not made at the bankers before the institution of law proceedings ; why no application was made to me to get the irregularity rectified, which I would have pledged myself to have done ; why nothing was said to him ; why 2501. was finally impounded to pay 1201.

are points of which I will not offer any solution.

“ I cannot find that Mr. Shelley has received from any quarter the smallest intimation of these proceedings. He has been left in a foreign country without the means of present subsistence, and must have been exposed to the most distressing suspense and anxiety from the sudden announcement of the cessation of his income without a syllable of explanation.

“ To conduct so harsh and unmerited, and evincing such a total disregard to his feelings, you, sir, I am sure, would never have become a party, but from some great misapprehension of the real circumstances of the case. It is to remove this erroneous impression, and to prove to you, as I trust I have done effectually, that Mr. Shelley has been guilty of nothing but a little ignorance of the precise forms of bankers' business, that I have ventured to trouble you with this long explanation. My sincere respect and attachment to that gentleman would not allow me to be silent when I thought him aggrieved ; and, in the hope that this feeling will plead my excuse for intruding upon your time, I beg to subscribe myself respectfully, &c., &c.,

66 H. SMITH.”



Fulham, April 17th, 1821. “ MY DEAR SHELLEY,

“I WROTE you on the 3d of this month, and I have been engaged in warlike operations for you ever since. I have a long story to tell. Determined to ferret out the mystery of this Chancery suit, I went from one place to another making inquiries; and, as Dr. Hume made no reply to my first letter, I wrote him a second, which, after an interval of several days, extorted the reply of which I send you a copy. On the same day when this came to hand, I called on Mr. Longdill, whom I understood to be your friend, when he at once confessed that he was a party to the proceedings against you, in order, as he said, to get Dr. Hume paid, whom he had himself recommended as custodian to the children.* He did not seem to believe that the 30l. had been left at Brookes's, and I found had never written to you, as he asked where you were. I went to the bankers' back to him — was told by him that the law charges were now all incurred, and that it was too late to stay proceedings. From him I came home, chewing the cud of indignation, and, on my arrival, Hume's letter was put into my hand, whence I found that Sir Timothy was also made a party, and observed the alacrity with which Mr. Whitton had recommended Chancery applications, and the impounding of 2501. to pay 1201. On a review of the whole affair, it did


such a cowardly cabal against an absent man - it evinced such an insulting indifference to your feelings — it appeared so cruel that, amid so many parties (some calling themselves your friends), not one could be found to give a hint to you or me — - that, in a towering passion, I sat down and wrote to Dr. Hume, finding the utmost difficulty to

* It will be recollected that, at the time of Lord Eldon's decree Mr. Longdill was Shelley's legal adviser; which renders his subsequent conduct very extraordinary. – Ed.


restrain my indignation within civil bounds. Read this letter, and tell me whether I do not deserve credit for subduing my feelings to such temperate language.

“ Yesterday, I wrote to Sir Timothy, of which also you have a copy, and in which no want of respect can be imputed to

This night, I have received the enclosed from Mr. Longdill, whose conscience, I suppose, has directed some of my innuendoes to his own bosom, and, with the usual self-betrayal of a man who feels he has done wrong, he has recourse to vulgarity and abuse.

“ From Sir Timothy I do not expect any reply, and here, therefore, so far as I am concerned, the matter will probably end. My bitter and uncontrollable scorn of all paltry underhand proceedings may have led me to interfere unnecessarily or intemperately ; but, as I thought it very likely that your conduct had been blazoned to Sir Timothy in the blackest colors, I determined on letting him know how the matter really stood. Perhaps it might not be amiss if you were to write him a respectful, explanatory letter.

" You will observe that Mr. Westbrooke is a party to the suit, and probably, as there can be no defence, it will be decided against you; but I suppose they will make some arrangement for cancelling the order in the event of the death of one or both of the children. I suppose, also, you will have the pleasure of paying the law charges of this application; but, as I have cut myself off from the honor of any

communication with the gentlemen who have treated you with so much respect, I must receive my next intelligence from you, which pray give me, soon as you can.

“ As affairs seem all settling in Italy, I resume my intention of taking you by the hand. My wife has a daughter, and is doing perfectly well. I expect we shall be ready to start in July or August. Will that be too hot, and would you preferably recommend October ? Let me hear from you fully, and believe me always, My dear Shelley,

“ Yours very sincerely,



London, April 19th, 1821. “ DEAR SHELLEY,

“I wrote you on the 17th inst., with a budget of letters relative to this lawsuit; and annexed I hand you a copy of Sir Timothy's reply, received yesterday. I am most glad that I wrote to him, for it turns out that my conjecture that he was unacquainted with the affair is correct, and that the law proceedings were literally cooked up by the lawyers. It appears a most scandalous liberty in Mr. Whitton, not only to make your father a party without his privity, but actually to stop your money on his own authority. I have this day written a few lines to Sir Timothy, stating that I had seen a letter at Wright's from Whitton, certainly implying that he had communicated with Sir T.; and I leave the lawyer to get out of this dilemma as well as he can. Of Whitton I know nothing ; but I seem to dislike him by instinct. Having written you so many letters lately, I have nothing further to say than to repeat the pleasant assurance that I shall this summer or autumn take you by the band, when we can talk over all these matters

“I am, my dear Shelley,

“ Ever yours,

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“ Your letter of the 13th inst. I received this day. 'Tis the first intimation I have had of the business you allude to, either in law proceedings or otherwise, more than last year

I did hear the payment had been countermanded; but, hearing nothing further, I concluded it had been rectified.

“I shall lay your letter before my solicitor, to be informed

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