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Letter from Dr. Patrick Curtis to the Duke of Wellington

The following report is taken from the Edinburgh Review of December 1828; the Review reproduced reports from other newspapers.

[From Dr Patrick Curtis to the Duke of Wellington]

Drogheda, Dec. 29, 1828

"I have been honoured by the receipt of Your Grace's note of the 26th instant, but at the same time extremely mortified by your severe rebuke, charging me with publishing Your Grace's former letter to me, without your permission, and with having given an inaccurate copy of it.

Were I really guilty of such indiscretion or unreasonable levity I should now feel not only much hurt but quite confounded at my error, and not endeavour to screen it by any weak apology. But, I beg leave to assure Your Grace, without fear of being contradicted, that I neither published nor assented directly or indirectly to the publication of the said letter, nor did I give any inaccurate copy of it. In the reply that I had the honor of addressing to Your Grace I explained fairly and candidly what happenend and was an unavoidable effect, easy to be foreseen, that the public, being apprised of the letter and much excited at the news, came in crowds praying to be informed in general terms of the ostensible part at least of its contents. In order to satisfy their very reasonable curiosity (though carried indeed a little too far), I found it necessary to permit two or three gentlemen to read, and one of them take a literal and most accurate copy of the letter, and communicate its purport to the people assembled, but under the express condition that it should not be published, which, I am persuaded, they meant to observe, but they were probably afterwards unable to perform, so great was the general wish to know Your Grace's intentions. I soon after saw with great surprise and pain the letter appear in the public papers, but most accurately copied, nor have I seen or heard of the slightest discrepancy having occurred. Whereas, if I had absolutely refused to make any communication of its contents the people would have been alarmed, begun to form notions of their own, and the public prints would have teemed with fabrications.

On this day also, a similar scene was again exhibited. The people having seen Your Grace's letter to me, franked by yourself, in the post office became quite impatient to know something about it, and in the course of the day great numbers came to my house for that purpose. My answer was that Your Grace was very justly displeased that your former letter had been published.

I confide, therefore, Your Grace will have the kind condescension to relieve my feelings by mentioning no blame is imputable to me on the occasion.

The publication of the letter, besides, has been attended with no unpleasant consequences, but on the contrary, has done a great deal of good, on all sides contribted to mitigate party spirit, and will, I hope, effect conciliation so desireable and necessary at present.

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