The fist number of L. refer to the standard CtP edition published in 1987. The following number shows correspondence between letters in the new 2010 edition. Note that on this website CtP is available only 1987 edition with minor additions.

[L. 77 | 84] 18 December 1963

Yes, yet another letter from me!

As a concession to the Venerable Objector, I have altered the offending 'rot' to 'decay', which is perhaps less of an irritant. For my part, I have no wish to irritate anybody at all. On the other hand, if it seems necessary to do so in order that some definite benefit may result elsewhere, then I don't shrink from it. (It is not I who set out to irritate so-and-so, but so-and-so who allows himself to be irritated at what I write; and that is his responsibility.) In any case, I am not prepared to be blackmailed or threatened into silence by pontifical tantrums, though I am prepared to be silent if I think no good will come of speaking. The question is, are people seriously interested in the Notes, or merely nikang[1] interested? In any case, we are not obliged to decide immediately, and we can afford to wait until we see if there are further objections to printing. (It seems rather a pity, now, that I was not able to cut the stencils on the Venerable Objector's own typewriter—a very interesting situation might have arisen.[2])

Editorial notes:

[77.1] nikang: The Sinhalese word nikang means both 'simply', 'for no reason' ('I simply came to see') and 'nothing' ('there is nothing in the pot'; 'something for nothing'). Many times, as in this letter, the meanings of nikang are combined to convey a slightly derogatory connotation. [Back to text]

[77.2] typewriter: The stencils were cut on a typewriter belonging to the 'Colombo Thera' (i.e. Kheminda Thera) who, later, was the recipient of L. 1, 93a, and 93b. [Back to text]