Autograph Letter Signed ('Saml Roberts') from the philanthropist and abolitionist Samuel Roberts of Park Grange, Sheffield, to the poet James Montgomery.

Samuel Roberts (1763-1848) of Park Grange, Sheffield, silversmith, author and philanthropist, abolitionist and friend of William Wilberforce [James Montgomery (1771-1854), poet and hymn writer]
Publication details: 
Park Grange, Sheffield, Yorkshire; 20 April 1837.
SKU: 11412

3pp., 4to. Bifolium. Good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed, with broken seal in black wax, on verso of second leaf, to 'James Montgomery Esqr'. 80 lines of text. He has been twice that day to Montgomery's Sheffield mansion the Mount 'to enquire about you - the first time in vain, and the second nearly so. There they are much as heretofore - but Miss Sarah meaning to write sermons you may have it before this.' Roberts declares: 'I think the present great Lions of the town are myself and mad dogs - perhaps you may think that they might be included under one head - yes - if that head was yours! I never before (though my study almost through life) saw so deeply into human nature. The surface is bad enough but, the bottom is horrible. [...] In motive how base! in power how contracted! in effort how weak! in knowledge how limited! in malignity how like a devil!the paradox of animals! the enigma of creation!' He describes how a bust of 'our dear departed friend' had 'liked to have done what he would not have liked to have done - killed poor Mary'. He writes out six lines of verse which he has 'adapted from one of your stanzas to our friends picture'. He gives a little local news before enquiring: 'What do you think the parson will say to me and my pamphlet - as both you and my dear friend Barnet are half parsons, perhaps there may be half of it that will suit you [...] I am just now very busy with two other good jobs, one to provide a club for old members whose Clubs have failed. In fine - I have so many irons in the fire at once that it requires attention to keep them all from burning their noses off.'