Letter from Erasmus Darwin to Matthew Boulton, 1766
Darwin’s letter introducting Boulton to Richard Lovell Edgeworth.
I have got with me a mechanical Friend, Mr Edgeworth from Oxfordshire – The greatest Conjurer I ever saw – G-d send fair Weather, and pray come to my assistance, and prevail on Dr Small and Mrs Boulton to attend you, tomorrow Morning, and we will reconvoy you to Birmingham on Monday, if the D—l permit, adieu
He has the principles of Nature in his Palm, and moulds them as He pleases.
Can take away Polarity or give it the needle by rubbing it thrice on the Palm of his Hand.
And can see through two solid Oak Boards without Glasses, wonderful! astonishing! diabolical!!! Pray tell Dr Small He must come to see these miracles.
Please give the Post-Boy six Pence if He delivers it to night (Saturday)
Mr and Mrs Boulton depart at 7 on Sunday morning to Litchfd. and Wichnor in order to dine with Mr Levett they should be glad to place Dr Small in the middle of the Chaise and drop him at Litchd. where he may enjoy a philosophical feast and return with Boulton and Wife on Monday Noon at Birmingham.”