April 17 1825
I have waited a long while for a proof of the book & my patience being exhausted I must write tho I have neither the inclination or wish to be offended — Artis brought down a story that made me perfectly satisfied that letter writing was but waste time & paper a thing is easily written tho it is never to be done & he said that he found on his second application for the M.S.S. which I have written for about twelve times that you did not mean to send them for what reason I cannot tell — I shall want them & cannot get on with my present occupation without them tho I have been unable latly to do anything if I had them — another thing that surprised me very much was the confession that Van Dyk made at my plan for the new book by saying that he had not many of the poems mentioned therein — now this is very strange that an editor should be employed by Taylor to get out my poems & that he should still neglect even to make him aquainted with the M.S.S. this is a very odd way of taking in a substitute for tho he could not find time to correct them himself he might certainly have found time to have put them in his hands — I felt very vext at the time & I am far from satisfied with the neglecting manner that has been going on latly Van Dyk said I should have a proof in three days it is now three weeks & none, has yet come if this is to be the plan of proceeding I would really from my heart that my M.S.S. were returned Altogether & I left to do them myself — I cannot meet with worse success than I have lately be as it will — my friends have been long busy with advice & cautions &c but I did not heed it then tho I find at the wrong end of the story that it would have been much better as a preventive to an often uneasy mind of restless anxietys had I taken an earlier heed of what they told me as to the determined neglect & mysterious manner of the profession in general I do not wish to hurt the feelings of anyone nor do I wish they should hurt mine — but when delay is carried into a system its cause must grow a substitute for a worse name — I will go on no further but I will just ask you to give a moments reflection to my situation & see how you would like it yourself
These never were returned nor accounted for*
How this comment of Clare's appears on a sent letter is a mystery. The only solution is that Clare looked over his letters to Taylor and Hessey while in London in 1828.