I have this Moment (as I was employed in the pleasure of writing to my Sister Nessy in answer to hers which I received in the Morning) been agreeably interrupted by Mr. Larkham, who was so obliging as to bring me your Letter from Mrs. Bertie, whose kind Behaviour to me at all Times merits my most sincere Gratitude — Along with your Answer my dear Mary I expected one from James, but am disappointed, I wish to hear from him, therefore desire he will, (if it is not too much Trouble) write to me. — I am happy to find by Nessy's *Letter that she has relinquished that most affectionate Design of coming to Portsmouth — Oh! Mary! what a sincere Mark was that, of her Affection: — how I feed myself with the Hopes of once more, (when Fortune shall call me free) embracing, & enjoying the Society of you, & all my dear Sisters. — I am sorry to find by your Letter my dear Sister that you all seem to be very ignorant of the Nature of a Naval Court Martial by supposing, that the Assistance of Counsellors can be of any Use — Mr. Larkham has this Moment desired me to assure you that Council to a Naval
* see No. 40.
Prisoner is of no Effect, as they are not allowed to speak, their Eloquence is not of the least Efficacy, therefore request you will desire my dear Mother to revoke the Letter she has been so good as to write to retain Mr. Erskine, and Mr. Mingay, & to forbear putting herself to so great & needless an Expence, from which no Good can accrue. — No! No! Mary! it is not the same as a Trial on shore; it wou'd then be highly requisite; but in this Case, I alone, must fight my own Battle — & I think my telling the Truth undisguised, in a plain, short, & concise Manner, is as likely to be deserving the Victory, as the most elaborate Eloquence of a Cicero upon the same subject. — I have not the least Fear of being at a Loss on my Trial, as my Uncle Pasley has most generously promised to be with me, & will I make no Doubt assist if permitted
your fondly aff't. Brother