But, Sir, if I can tell you nothing good of myself, I can at least tell you something bad; and, after the obligation you have conferred on me by your letter, I should blush if you heard it from any body but myself. I had rather incur your indignation than deceive you. Some time ago I took the liberty to find fault in print with the criticisms you had made on our Shakspeare. This freedom, and no wonder, never came to your knowledge. It was in a preface to a trifling romance, much unworthy of your regard, but which I shall send you, because I cannot accept even the honour of your correspondence, without making you judge whether I deserve it. I might retract, I might beg your pardon; but having said nothing but what I thought, nothing illiberal or unbecoming a gentleman, it would be treating you with ingratitude and impertinence, to suppose that you would either be offended with my remarks, or pleased with my recantation. You are as much above wanting flattery, as I am above offering it to you. You would despise me, and I should despise myself—a sacrifice I cannot make, Sir, even to you.
Though it is impossible not to know you, Sir, I must confess my ignorance on the other part of your letter. I know nothing of the history of Monsieur de Jumonville, nor can tell whether it is true or false, as this is the first time I ever heard of it. But I will take care to inform myself as well as I can, and, if you allow me to trouble you again, will send you the exact account as far as I can obtain It. I love my country, but I do not love any of my countrymen that have been capable, if they have been so, of a foul assassination. I should have made this inquiry directly, and informed you of the result of it in this letter, had I been in London; but the respect I owe you, Sir, and my impatience to thank you for so unexpected a mark of your favour, made me choose not to delay my gratitude for a single post. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obliged and most obedient humble servant.
(1036) Voltaire had said, “Vous pardonnerez encore plus `a mon ignorance de vos titres; je n’en respecte pas moins votre personne; je connais plus votre m`erite que les dignit`es dont il doit `etre rev`etu."-E.
You ordered me, my dear Lord, to write to you, and I am ready to obey you, and to give you every proof of attachment in my power: but it is a very barren season for all but cabalists, who can compound, divide, multiply No. 45 forty-five thousand different ways. I saw in the papers to-day, that somehow or other this famous number and the number of the beast in the Revelations is the same—an observation from which different persons will draw various conclusions. For my part, who have no ill wishes to Wilkes, I wish he was in Patmos, or the New Jerusalem, for I am exceedingly tired of his name. The only good thing I have heard in all this Controversy was of a man who began his letter thus: “I take the Wilkes-and-liberty to assure you,” etc.