[26 Feb. 1802]
“And then to dinner
You are in danger a dreadful plot is forming against you— p—n. the method
—Julius Cæsar was cautioned for the Ides of March—I caution you for the last of April
NB. a curly headed
RC (DLC); undated; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson President of Ud. Ss. Aa. City of Washington”; franked; postmarked New York, 26 Feb.; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Mch. and “assassination” and so recorded in SJL.
With what appetite you may: a quotation popularized by the English poet Alexander Pope: “from thence (as Shakespear has it) To dinner with what appetite they may” (Letters of Mr. Pope, and Several Eminent Persons, From the Year 1705, to 1711, 2 vols. [Dublin, 1735], 1:176). Pope’s source, and possibly that of the author above, was William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, act 3, scene 2, in which an angry King Henry presents incriminating papers to Cardinal Wolsey with the command to “Read o’er this; And after this: and then to breakfast with what appetite you have.”