Any present from you charms me; but I cannot tell you what pleasure it gave me to find that you had already introduced me to so great and celebrated a person as Jeremy Bentham. At such a distance, amid so many new and interesting objects, to think constantly of me; that I should be present to your thoughts, and the subject of your conversations during your first interview with a man so calculated to absorb all your attention, and so likely to converse on things of a very different order from me and my concerns, delights and flatters me really more than I can express.
…Why, then, it may be asked, is this journal published? Because, unless the editor deceives himself, unambitious as it is, it will amuse the reader; because it illustrates the character of a distinguished man, whose influence has been felt in his country’s fortunes and whose name will live in her history; and because the character illustrated is amiable, interesting, and not without instruction to the observer. This man of dark intrigue and remorseless design, as it has pleased politicians and reviewers, clerical and lay, to represent him, is here shown in an artless auto-biographic narrative, which could not be feigned, to have been one of the most amiable and playful of men; like the little children whom he so remarkably and characteristically loved, he was pleased with the slightest incidents, lively and happy in the humblest circumstances, and incapable of harbouring a lasting resentment…Let those who may object to the absence of philosophic remark in the following pages answer whether, in such exhibitions of temper and control of mind, there was not the highest and most admirable philosophy?
It is very kind indeed to write me so often. Your last is from
Petersburgh. ‘Like gods,’ forsooth; why, you travel like—; that,
however, was a very pretty allusion. I have repeated it a dozen times and more. Your other letters also contain now and then a spark of Promethean fire: a spark, mind ye; don’t be vain.
I have a very beautiful elegy on a lady whom you love better than any one in the world; even better, I suspect, than L. N., and I was about to send it, but I won’t till I hear from you: a nice, handsome letter; none of your little white ink scrawls. They talk of adjourning. No; I won’t tell you that either. I have nothing to say of myself, nor any thing to ask of you which has not been often asked. Tell me that Mari is happy, and I shall know that you are so. Adieu, my dear little negligent baggage. Yes; one question. Do you leave your cards T. B. A. or Joseph A.? What are L. N.’s? And one injunction repeated. Do not suffer a tooth to be drawn, or any operation to be performed on your teeth.