Longford Castle near Salisbury Jany 19. 1797
Tho’ of Necessity a Stranger to You, I cannot deny myself the Satisfaction among the Many, who will probably even from this Country intrude upon your Retirement, of offering to You my Congratulations on your withdrawing yourself from the Scene of public Affairs with a Character, which appears to me perfectly unrivalled in History. The voluntary Resignation of Authority, wielded as it was, while You thought fit to wield it, for the Advantage of your Country is the universal Opinion of Mankind, confirms the Judgement I had presumed to form of your Moderation, and completes the Glory of your Life.
Permit me, Sir, who enlisted, in no political Party have as a public Man looked up to You with Veneration; Who have seen the Begining of your Career against England with Approbation, because I felt England was unjust; Who have seen You discontinue your Hostility towards England, when in good Faith she was no longer acting as an Enemy to America, but was by honest Councels endeavouring to be as closely connected in Amity, as she is by natural, & mutual Interests; Who have seen You the Instrument in the Hand of Providence of wresting from the British Minister an Influence destructive of the just Rights of both Countries, and of establishing the Independence of America, which I am persuaded will eventually, if your Principles, & your Wisdom shall actuate your Successors, be the Means of securing these respectively to us both; Who have seen You in Adiversity, and in Prosperity alike the good, the firm, the moderate, the honest, and the disinterested Patriot; Permit me I say, as an Englishman, and as a Man to rejoice at the Completion of such a Character, and to offer my unfeigned Wishes dictated by Respect for a peaceful Evening of your Life, and the Realization (as is my sincere Belief) of your posthumous Fame, and your eternal Happiness. I have the Honor, Sir, to subscribe myself your very obedient humble [St]
PHi: Gratz Collection.