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Though I never doubted your great affection for me, yet I learn it better every day of my life, and I never forget what you once said in a letter, that you would be more zealous in shewing me attention than you had been in the province (though, to my mind, nothing could exceed your loyalty in the province), in proportion as your judgment could now be more independent. Accordingly, your former letter gave me great pleasure, because it shewed me that my arrival was affectionately looked forward to by you, and that, when things turned out differently from what you had expected, you were greatly rejoiced at the line I took. So, also, this last letter is extremely valuable to me from the expression at once of your judgment and your affection: of your judgment, because I learn that, as all gallant and good men are bound to do, you hold nothing to be expedient except what is right and virtuous; of your affection, because you promise to stand by me, whatever course of policy I shall adopt. Nothing could be more gratifying to me, nor, as I think, more honourable to yourself. My own course has long been decided. I have not written to tell you of it before, not because you were one to be kept in the dark, but because the communication of a policy at such a time seems in a certain sense to be an exhortation to duty, or rather a summons to share in either danger or labour. Seeing, however, that your goodwill, kindness, and affection for me are what they are, I gladly embrace such a heart. But I do so on this condition, for I will not abandon my habitual modesty in asking favours: if you do what you profess, I shall be grateful; if not, I shall pardon you, and consider that you were unable to deny the latter to your fears, the former to me. For it is in sober earnest an extremely difficult case. The right thing to do is clear: as to the expedient thing, though it is obscure, yet, if we are the men we ought to be, that is, worthy of our philosophical studies, we cannot entertain a doubt that the most advantageous course is the course of strictest honour. Wherefore, if you determine to join me, come at once. But if you wish to act with me and to go to the same place, but cannot do so just yet, I will keep you fully informed on every point. Whichever way you decide I shall look upon you as my friend, but as the closest possible friend if you decide on the course which I desire.

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