Most noble Baron
Treptow on the Baltic in Pomerania 1st Septr 1796.
Your Excellency will be graciously pleased to permit me to wait upon you with this letter.
It is more than a year since I saw in a gazette of Berlin the account of the death of my only and dearly beloved brother: God knows how much I was affected by this afflicting intelligence.
In the mean time, however much I should have been gratified by a continuance of his life, if it had depended upon me, notwithstanding any advantages which may fall to my lot through his decease; yet since it has pleased providence to take him from this world, it is a duty inculcated by my interest, in the needy circumstances in which I find myself, to enquire whether before his death he made any provision for me as his only brother living, in the will which I presume he left.
Shall I venture humbly to request from your Excellency intelligence on this subject.
My heart informs me, and the acknowledged goodness of your Excellency induces me to hope, that my humble request will not be fruitless. On account of the dangers of the sea, I have written by duplicate, the better to insure a safe conveyance, for which your Excellency will be pleased to pardon me. In the mean time I remain with the most profound respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant