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Winchester, Sept. 14, 1762. My LORD, I
Left Winchester, with lord * Effing
ham's leave, on the second of August, and did not return to this city till the 12th of this month. My drum-major brought me your lordship’s letter yesterday. I now return it with the seal unbroke, as the clearest demonstration that I never have read the contents of it.
I suppose they are the same with the letter I had the honour of receiving and answering by Mr. Secker.
I am, my lord,
Directed to Earl Talbot.
Commander in chief of the troops in and near Winchelter.
I Suppose you have by this time found
the letter I wrote directed to you at Winchester, and that hath acquainted you why I addressed myself to Mr. Wilkes, to enquire if the North Briton of the 21st of August was written by him. I well know every gentleman who contributes to support periodical papers by his pen, is not answerable for all the papers that appear under the title of that which he aslists, but I cannot conceive that any man should refuse to affure a person who hath been the object of the wit of any paper, that he was not the author of a paper he did not write. Every man's sense of honour ought to direct his conduct; if you prefer a personal engagenient to the denying being the author of a paper that hath been so free with my name, I,
who am publickly affronted by that paper, cannot in honour avoid requiring the satisfaction you seem most desirous to give. Be pleased to write or send to me as soon as you liave determined what part you will act. I shall be in London Thursday and Friday next, and this day fe’ennight, after which I shall not be in London till Thursday the 23d.
I am, Sir, your humble Servant,
Bolton-Street, Sept. 12, 1762.
Dire&ted to Col. Wilkes.
Winchester, Sept. 16, 1762. My Lord, I Had not till yesterday the honour of
your lordship's letter of the 12th, and embrace this earliest opportunity of acknowledging it. Your lordship has not yet, in my poor idea, ascertained the right you claim of interrogating me about the paper of the 21st of August, and I will first know the very good authority on which I am thus questioned, before I will return any answer whatever.
Your lordship desires me to write or send to you as soon as I have determined what part I shall act. I intended
first letter should have made that sufficiently clear.
I am, my lord,
JOHN WILKE S. Directed to Earl Talbot,
Have this instant received your's of I
the 16th. It is your own declaration before men of truth and honor, that you occasionally affifted the paper called the North Briton with your pen, that is the foundation of my interrogating you about the North Briton of the 21st of August--and whatever may
be your idea, mine is that when a gentleman owns himself an occasional author of an anonymous satirical paper, any person by name ridiculed in such an hebdomadal performance hath a right to ask the occasional avowed writer, if he was the author of the offending paper.
You may now, Sir, answer my question or not, I have offered to put myself upon that footing with you that became a man who hath spirit, and is in