Montpellier Feby. 9th. 1836.
I have received your letter of the 3d. Instant, enclosing a copy of your speech on the right of petition &c; which certainly contains very able and interesting views of the subject. I do not wonder at your difficulty in understanding, the import, of the passage cited from my speech in the first Congress, under the present Constitution, being myself at a loss, for its precise meaning, obscured as it is by the vagueness of some of its language, and the omission, which my memory cannot supply, of the “critical review” of the subject referred to which if not omitted would probably have removed the obscurity. Whist I am fully aware that in the commendations bestowed on the career of my political life, you have done me far more than justice, I cannot be insensible to the kind partiality from which it proceeded—with my recognition of which, I pray you to accept assurances of my cordial respects, and good wishes.
(signed) James Madison