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On Wednesday, the 18th, I left the great city. At the Susquehannah the wind was rude; the river, swollen by recent rains, was rapid. The ferrymen pronounced it to be impossible to pass with horses, and unsafe to attempt it. By the logic of money and brandy I persuaded them to attempt it. We embarked; the wind was, indeed, too mighty for us, and we drove on the rocks; but the boat did not bilge or fill, as in all reason it ought to have done. I left Alexis and Harry to work out their way; got my precious carcass transported in a skiff, and went on in a stage to pass a day with "thee and thou." I was received by the father with parental affection--but of "thee." How charming, how enviable is this equanimity, if real. There is one invaluable attainment in the education of this sect; one which you and I never thought of: it is 'tacere'." How particularly desirable this in a wife.
At Philadelphia, I saw many--many, who inquired after you with great interest-- 'sans doubte'. Among others I saw B., lovely and interesting; but adieu to that. It cannot, must not, will not be; and the next time I meet B., which will be in a few days, I will frankly say so.
I approached home as I would approach the sepulchre of all my friends. Dreary, solitary, comfortless. It was no longer 'home'. Natalie and ma bonne amie have been with me most of the time since my return (about twenty-four hours past). My letters from Washington broke up that cursed plan of J. B. P.; they do not go in the parliamentaire; they do not know when they go; and, in short, they rely wholly on me, so that thing is all right.
The elegant and accomplished Mrs. Edward Livingston died about ten days ago. Mrs. Allen is in town; she is in better health than for years past. As to my dear self, I am preparing with all imaginable zeal for a voyage to Charleston,. One obstacle interposes; that you can conjecture. That removed, and I shall be off in forty-eight hours. I hope to be at sea by the 20th of April; but, alas! perhaps not. In eight days you shall know more of this.
Your letters have been received as far as Halifax. We conclude that you got home on the 16th. It has been snowing here this whole day most vehemently. You are blessed with "gentler skies." May all other blessings unite.
- Aaron Burr
- Project Gutenberg's Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Volume 2., by Matthew L. Davis, 1836