Lot 15: Millard Fillmore
ALS, one page both sides, 4.75 x 7.75, April 14, 1861. Letter to George Lunt concerning a passage from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In part: “Under the ‘Literary’ head of ‘The World’…I perceive a criticism on a passage from Shakespeare in which your name appears. The passage is from Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 4th—‘Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves shall never tremble: Or, be alive again, And dare me to the desert with thy sword; If trembling I inhabit, then protest me, The baby of a girl.’ I observe that you and Mr. White, acting independently of each other, have come to the same conclusion in explaining this ambiguous word ‘inhabit,’ by placing the comma after the word ‘then’ and this seems to me to be right; but while I make no pretension to literature, and much less to the acumen of a critic, yet, you will pardon me for saying that, the explanation of the use of this word inhabit in this sentence, seems to me far fetched, and it has occurred to me that possibly it is a typographical error, and that the word was written exhibit instead of inhabit, a mistake that might easily occur, as your own experience must abundantly prove.” Also includes a letter by Shakespearean scholar Richard Grant White on the same subject. In fine condition. Excellent literary content from the former president.
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