Ettrive Lake, August 21st, 1818.
I received the parcel with your kind letter, and am grieved you should have given me so much, as these books will all come against you some day, and cost you money; and the little that I did for the Mag. was not only out of pure friendship to you, but in fact as some acknowledgment for more valuable, though perhaps less lucrative, favours of the same nature. I shall, however, keep the books as a memorial of an intimacy which casualties have marred, without, I hope, affecting the hearts of either party, or in the least having the power to obliterate.
I am sorry to say that my hands have not been altogether clean of this literary persecution that has been raised against you and your friend; for though in one single instance only, yet I have been as it were the beginner of the whole mischief. I expected retaliation of the same nature, and to acknowledge it to you, and crack over it as the editors of the Courier and Morning Chronicle do. But seeing that matters took a different turn, I have done no more in the matter.
I have indeed been a good deal irritated at some things that have taken place of late — the stopping of Gray's review, the lawsuit, and the unmerited prejudice that Constable has taken against me, but in nothing so much as the illiberal awards of Lord Alloa, and indeed the stupidity of that whole process. The author of that article, I can prove, knew not that such a man as J. Graham Dalziel existed, and in fact he was not more alluded to in the part litigated than you were. But the gig is just passing that is to carry this.
Adieu, dear Pringle, and believe me,