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TO THOMAS MITCHELL, ESQ.
LATE FELLOW OF SYDNEY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
MY DEAR MITCHELL,
ALLOW me to surprise you with a Dedication. It is not quite so disinterested a one as you may imagine, for it is a cheap way of paying my debts for many an hour of enjoyment in health, and refreshment in sickness; and besides, I wish to show that alarming body of people, called "some persons," that the most unaccommodating politician need not absolutely want friends, and warm ones,
even among those who have minds of their own. You and I differ upon more than one point of importance, public as well as private; but on the subject of poetry, with some little exception perhaps as to your old friend Ben Jonson, we are generally agreed; and no two persons can be more firmly persuaded, that there is but one thing happier than friendship, and nothing better than principle.
Yours most sincerely,
January 10th, 1814.