„Dear Sir Joshua, - I am just to write what I fear you will not read - after lying in a dying state for 6 months [in reality much shorter]. The extreme affection which I am informed of by a Friend which Sir Joshua has expresd induces me to beg a last favor, which is to come once under my Roof and look at my things, my woodman you never saw, if what I ask now is not disagreeable to your feeling that I may have the honour to speak to you. I can from a sincere Heart say that I always admired and sincerely loved Sir Joshua Reynolds. 'Tho. Gainsborough'.“

—  Thomas Gainsborough, A last letter of Gainsborough to Sir Joshua Reynolds, End of July 1788; as cited in Thomas Gainsborough, by William T, Whitley https://ia800204.us.archive.org/6/items/thomasgainsborou00whitrich/thomasgainsborou00whitrich.pdf; New York, Charles Scribner's Sons – London, Smith, Elder & Co, Sept. 1915, p. 307 Gainsborough, on the occasion of that last visit, actually had many of his unfinished canvases brought to his bedside to show to Sir Joshua
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„Grace and peace from God to you, respected, honoured, wise clement, gracious and beloved Masters: An exceedingly unfortunate affair has happened to me, in that I have been publicly accused before your worships of having reviled you in unseemly words and, be it said with all respect, of having called you heretics, my gracious rulers of the State. I am so far from applying this name to you, that I should as soon think of calling heaven hell. For all my life I have thought and spoken of you in terms of praise and honour, gentlemen of Abtzell, as I do to-day, and, as God favours me, shall do to the end of my days. But it happened not long ago when I was preaching against the Catabaptists that I used these words: 'The Catabaptists are now doing so much mischief to the upright citizens of Abtzell and are showing so great insolence, that nothing could be more infamous. You see, gentle sirs, with what modesty I grieved on your account, because the turbulent Catabaptists caused you so much trouble. Indeed I suspect that the Catabaptists are the very people who have set this sermon against me in circulation among you, for they do many of those things which do not become true Christians. Therefore, gentle and wise sirs, I beg most earnestly that you will have me exculpated before the whole community, and, if occasion arise, that you will have this letter read in public assembly. Sirs, I assure you in the name of God our Saviour, in these perilous times you have never been our of my thoughts and my solicitious anxiety; and if in any way I shall be able to serve you I will spare no pains to do so. In addition to the fact that I never use such terms even against my enemies, let me say that it never entered my mind to apply such insulting epithets to you, pious and wise sirs. Sufficient of this. May God preserve you in safety, and may He put a curb on these unbridled falsehoods which are being scattered everywhere, which is an evidence of some great peril - and may He hold your worships and the whole state in the true faith of Christ@ Take this letter of mine in good part, for I could not suffer that so base a falsehood against me should lie uncontradicted.“

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