May 27th, 1847 (Thursday)

May 27, 2009

Captain Haskoll & I went into Oxford. Sewell had just received a letter from Richard Gibbings to say that Mr Nash would not sell the Library for less than £800, and that it was so near the day fixed for the auction that he doubted whether it could be sold privately at all. Gibbings strongly advised not giving more than £600, which seemed to us a very small sum for so fine a collection: but then books in Ireland are much cheaper than in England. Sewell wrote to say that he might offer £600, to be paid at the end of 6 months, for the whole, or if that would not be accepted, – he was at liberty to expend £200 in the Fathers & Standard Classics, provided they went cheap. I think that the auction will be allowed to proceed, and we shall not much regret it, as there is considerable interest in the gradual accumulation of what is valuable. Our prospects from Mr Swale & elsewhere we thought justified this step.

In the afternoon Sewell got a letter from Mrs Sheppard announcing the gift of £1000, 3 per cent Stock. Deo Optimo Maximae Gratiae.1 She likewise mentioned that she had given the same to Stackallan. How heartily should I rejoice in this, did I not fear that it will encourage them in their present course. Sewell does not share this fear: I hope he may be right.

Met Allen Cliffe coming out to Radley. I had not seen him for many years, except for a moment in Dublin, in Dame Street. He was very glad at my coming to England.

Dined at Exeter with Sewell & Captain Haskoll & Monk. A guest of Mr Tweed’s gave a horrible account of cruelty to a snake, which made the whole company to writhe, & quite knocked Sewell up for the rest of the evening. The gentleman seemed quite unconscious of the sufferings which he was inflicting on his neighbours, though every means were resorted to, which politeness would allow to exhibit their disgust. He only became the more minute in his details.

1: The greatest thanks be to God.

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