89. 30 April 1996 [ES] (Northumberland MS; TLS article on Sh. Arms)

previously unpublished; © the estate of eric sams and beatrice cazac (Mrs. Mathew’s letters)

Dear Hayat,

   Thanks for the budget. I'm very impressed by your knowledge of Don Quixote [...]

   Thanks again also for the invitation, which I'm happy to accept – so much so indeed that I pre-dated it by a whole month, so eager was my anticipation.

   I'm sorry I'm so blank about the Northumberland MS. It's one of my many blind spots; not even light-sensitive. So it has no Darwinian advantage for me; nothing ever seems to follow, let alone evolve. It does indeed look very like what I believe to be Shakespeare's hand. But then, everything does; that's the trouble. When that hand is writing carefully, it turns into a Tudor typewriter: and I fear I've always been basically too idle and careless (and now too old) to take a lens to the details and search for a cracked rim or a worn surface. Charles Hamilton, let's face it, isn't very good at that either. And impatience is rather hazardous in these pursuits. I'm much more at home in the draft or speedwriting style, where I find that similarities may be more significant. Indeed, I've just been working on the rough draft applications for grant (Hamilton 129f), with a view to producing a rough draft article for the TLS. I enclose the latter, with apologies for seeking your own always fertile ideas when I'm so barren. And here too is a xerox of my best-informed review so far.

   Now it's back to Edward III proofs and index, with a view to publication in late summer. I'm much looking forward to Bacon, which I'm sure will be a great success. How nice that we should appear together.

   Love, as ever,

   Yours Eric