Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 06-09-1800
Correspondent : Dugald StewartCorrespondent Location : Edinburgh
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : Dugald Stewart introduces Currie to Messrs Ward and Webb, and thanks the editor for the present of 'your late publication'.
Dear Sir

          I take the liberty of intro--ducing to your acquaintance my friend Mr. Ward (Son of Lord Dudley & Ward), and his companion Mr. Webb, nephew & Heir of the late Daniel Webb with whose literary merits you are well acquainted. They are now on their return to Oxford from the Highlands where they have made a pretty extensive Tour; and as they propose to pass thro’ Liverpool, I have requested them to deliver this letter, in hopes of affording them an opportunity of enjoying ↑for↓ a few minutes your conversation. Allow me more particularly to recommend Mr. Ward to your attention, as he was a member of my Family for more than a year, previous to his going to Oxford, & as I can venture to assure you that his ardor for knowledge & his literary attainments are very uncommon for his years.
          I ought long before now to have thanked you for the very great pleasure I have received from your late publication, which reflects equal honour on your benevolence & on your literary Talents. The strong & faithful picture you have given of Burns is an important accession to <[?]> our stock of literary Biography, and the incidental reflections you have contrived to interweave with the narrative, cannot fail to be of essential utility to the very different descriptions of persons who are likely to be your Readers. I have much yet to say on the subject; but every moment of my time is at present so completely occupied, that I have little prospect of being able soon to offer more than [MS torn: very?] general expressions of my Satis-:faction. If I should be able to command a little more leisure before the conclusion of Autumn, I shall trouble you with another letter. Believe me ever, with great regard, Dear Sir

          yours most faithfully

          Dugald Stewart

Notes :

[Mr Webb]:
Daniel James Webb, nephew of Daniel Webb, who bequeathed to him his collection of pictures and books.

Daniel Webb (c.1719-1798):
art critic, born co, Limerick. In An Inquiry into the Beauties of Painting (1760) he defined taste as a natural sense responsive to the beauty of moral ideas in art; translated into French (1765) and German (1766). Also wrote Observations on the Correspondence between Music and Poetry (1769).

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