WILLOW LANE, ST. GILES, NORWICH,July
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, -- Owing to the culpable tardiness of the post-office people, I have received your letter so late that I have little more than a quarter of an hour to answer it in, and be in time to despatch it by this day's mail. What you have written has given me great pleasure, as it holds out hope that I may be employed usefully to the Deity, to man, and myself. I shall be very happy to visit St. Petersburg and to become the coadjutor of Mr. Lipoftsoff, and to avail myself of his acquirements in what you very happily designate a most singular language, towards obtaining a still greater proficiency in it. I flatter myself that I am for one or two reasons tolerably well adapted for the contemplated expedition, for besides a competent knowledge of French and German, I possess some acquaintance with Russian, being able to read without much difficulty any printed Russian book, and I have little doubt that after a few months' intercourse with the natives I should be able to speak it fluently. It would ill become me to bargain like a Jew or a Gypsy as to terms; all I wish to say on that point is, that I have nothing of my own, having been too long dependent on an excellent mother, who is not herself in very easy circumstances.
I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, truly yours,