Montpellier Jany. 5. 1828
Your letter of Octr. 20. on the subject of Professor Long having met with delays, I had not the honor of receiving it till a few days ago.
The great respect due to the wishes on the part of the London University, and the disposition felt here to accommodate the views of Mr. Long, create much reluctance at holding him to engagements at variance with both. On the other hand the great importance of his services where he is, and the known difficulty of replacing them, even with the aid kindly proffered by him, make us anxious to avoid, if possible, the parting with him prematurely.
When his appointment in the London University & his desire to avail himself of it became known, our hope was that his attendance would not be called for, before his stipulated term would have expired. Since it has been understood to be the wish of the Council that he might be released from his engagement in time to be in London within the autumn of the present year, we have not despaired that he might be allowed, without renouncing his new prospects, to remain with us till a successor could be provided. I learn from Mr. Long that he has written two letters on this view of the subject, neither of which could have been recd. at the date of yours. As they will have brought the subject again to the attention of the council, an opportunity will have been presented of comparing the circumstances of the two Institutions, and of inferring the greater difficulty here of providing a temporary substitute than where adequate Instructors are so much more numerous. Whilst it is our wish that Mr. Long may not be ultimately disappointed in what he appears to have so much at heart, we cannot be insensible of the disadvantage to our Infant Institution from his departure before provision can be made for the occurrence.
I beg you, Sir, to be assured of the value placed on the friendly sentiments expressed towards our University, and of the sincerity with wch. the best wishes are returned for the prosperity of that now rising up in a position & under auspices, which promise such aids to the cause of intellectual and social improvement. The two Institutions having kindred views may well have the feelings mutually expressed by them.