Though I shall not be fixed at Strawberry on this day fortnight, I will accept your offer, dear Sir, because my time is more at my disposal than yours, and you May not have any other day to bestow upon me later. I thank you for your second: which I shall read as carefully as I did the former. It is not your fault if you have not yet made Sir Thomas Rumbold white as driven snow to Me.(494) Nature has providentially given us a powerful antidote to eloquence, or the criminal that has the best advocate would escape. But, when rhetoric. and logic stagger my lords the judges, in steps prejudice, and, without one argument that will make a syllogism, confutes Messrs. Demosthenes, Tully, and Hardinge, and makes their lordships see as clearly as any old woman in England, that belief is a much better rule Of faith than demonstration. This is Just my case: I do believe, nay, and I will believe, that no man ever went to India with honest intentions. If he returns with 100,000 pounds it is plain that I was in the right. But I have still a stronger proof; my Lord Coke says “Set a thief to catch a thief;” my Lord Advocate(495) says, “Sir Thomas is a rogue:” ergo.—I cannot give so complete an answer to the rest of your note, as I trust I have done to your pleadings, because the latter is in print, and your note is manuscript. Now, unfortunately, I cannot read half of it; for, give me leave to say, that either your hand or my spectacles are so bad, that I generally guess at your meaning rather than decipher it, and this time the context has not served me well.
(494) The bill of pains and penalties against Sir Thomas Rumbold, late governor of Madras, was at this time in its progress through the House of Commons. On the 1st of July, the further proceedings upon the bill were adjourned to the 1st of October; by which means the whole business fell to the ground.-E.
(495) Mr. Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville. “I think him,” said Mr. Wilberforce, in June, 1781, “the first speaker on the ministerial side in the House of Commons, and there is a manliness in his character which prevents his running away from the question; he grants all his adversaries’ premises, and fights them On their own ground.” Life, vol. i. P. 21.-E.