28 February 1797

Henry Crabb Robinson, London, to Thomas Robinson, Bury St. Edmunds, 28 February 1797.1

Crabb Robinson writes to his brother Thomas that he has recently been rioting “in Literary Dissipations” and getting drunk “with rich draughts of intoxicating vanity,” mostly through novels he has borrowed from his Witham friend, William Pattisson, now also in London and a member of a Circulating Library. Robinson writes here about Emma Courtney, his first known reference to Hays (although he may have already known of her through their mutual contacts and friends who, like themselves, were writing at that time for Monthly Magazine):

“I easily get at light reading, And have lately read some interesting works – Emma Courtney does not stand high in my estimation, it promises more than it executes. We do not sympathise with Emma’s love for Harley, for we see no cause for Love such extreme Attachmt And we are dissatisfd with the explication of the riddle of his Conduct. Anthy Robinson thinks it superior to Anna St Ives he esteems it much.” 

1 Crabb Robinson Archive, shelfmark DWL/HCR/5/1/91, Dr. Williams's Library, London.