James Joseph Sylvester to Barbara Leigh Bodichon

Scope and Content

Autograph letter, signed, 4pp., 8vo, 26 Lincolns Inn Fields.

'Dear Miss Smith, Let me hope that you may not be offended at what I venture to express in this note however surprised you may be and are likely to be at its tenor. I fear / / that the avowal may on many grounds appear to you to be most presumptuous -- still it is true that I am conscious of an ever increasing charm in your society and conversation and that I should regard myself as most favored by Providence were it possible for me to believe that you could accept the offer of my attachment and earnest and lifelong devotion. I could not bring myself under any inducement to say what I do not think & feel; no one can know you without being made the better by the influence of your example and to love you is to love / / goodness of heart generosity and all that ennobles our nature. Let me hope that whatever other ill effect this note may produce it may not occasion me the loss of your friendship which I know how to prize at its full worth. I remain, Dear Miss Smith With all possible regard Yours faithfully JJ Sylvester.' Miss Barbara Smith.