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MY DEAR PATERSON,
I this day received your kind letter. It gave me a pleasure I seldom experience. Can it be that you have still in memory the vagrant Burr? Some fatality has ever attended our endeavours to meet. Why I have not written to you I cannot tell. It has not been for want of friendship, of inclination, or always of opportunity; but some unavoidable accidents prevented so long, that I began to fear a letter from me must be ushered in by some previous introduction, some anecdotes of the writer, which might renew your remembrance, and authorize a freedom of this nature. But your frank and kind epistle precludes fulsome apologies, which; though sometimes necessary, I esteem, at best, but a drug in letters.
I am exceedingly pleased with your friends, Messrs. Hugg and Learning, but was unfortunate enough to be from home the day they came in town, and had not the pleasure of seeing them till this afternoon. I felt myself so nearly interested in the welfare of the province whose constitution you are now framing, that I did not urge their stay with the warmth my inclination prompted. If any other of our Jersey friends should be coming this way, I should be happy in showing them every civility in my power.
As to promises of writing, I shall make you none, my dear Bill, till those already on hand, and of long standing, are discharged. I am no epistolary politician or newsmonger; and as to sentiments, a variety of novelties and follies has entirely dissipated them. This, however, is only a new apology for an old misfortune. But why this to you, who know me better than I know myself? This epistolary chat, though agreeable, is by no means satisfactory. The sincerity of my long-smothered affections is not to be thus expressed. I must contrive to shake you by the hand. Perhaps I may, ere long, be sent to Elizabethtown or Amboy on business, and will, undoubtedly, take Brunswick in my way. I have, or had once, an agreeable female acquaintance with Miss S. D., now Mrs. S., and with Miss S. was on tolerable terms of intimacy. Could I but reconnoitre a while, and find how the land lay, I might, perhaps, be able to graduate my compliments with some propriety, from cold respects to affectionate regards. I think I must leave you discretionary orders on this head, begging you to make use of all the policy of war. There is no knowing of what importance it may be to
- New York
- Project Gutenberg's Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Volume 1., by Matthew L. Davis, 1836