Commend me to the good wishes of your father, your mother, although I can claim no right for so doing—and the same, likewise, to cousin MM. Farewell, honored T. I wish you all that is good and beautiful in life. Keep me, and willingly, in remembrance—forget my wild behavior. Be convinced that no one more than myself can desire to know that your life is joyous, prosperous, even though you take no interest in
Your most devoted servant and friend,
N.B.—It would really be very nice on your part to send me a few lines to say in what way I can be of service here.
TO THE BIGOTS
(Probably Summer, 1808)
Dear Marie, Dear Bigot:
Only with the deepest regret am I forced to perceive that the purest, most innocent, feelings can often be misconstrued. As you have received me so kindly, it never occurred to me to explain it otherwise than that you bestow on me your friendship. You must think me very vain or small-minded, if you suppose that the civility itself of such excellent persons as you are could lead me to believe that—I had at once won your affection. Besides, it is one of my first principles never to stand in other than friendly relationship with the wife of another man. Never by such a relationship (as you suggest) would I fill my breast with distrust against her who may one day share my fate with me—and so taint for myself the most beautiful, the purest life.
It is perhaps possible that sometimes I have not joked with Bigot in a sufficiently refined way; I have indeed told both of you that occasionally I am very free in speech. I am perfectly natural with all my friends, and hate all restraint. I now also count Bigot among them, and if anything I do displeases him, friendship demands from him and you to tell me so—and I will certainly take care not to offend him again; but how can good Marie put such bad meaning on my actions!