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MY OWN DEAR NIECE, I have been the most disconsolate of persons these three or four days, and all because of a violent toothache. The book you mention I will keep unless you say no, while I read the second volume, and send them both to you by Walter, who is summoned to Philadelphia on the first Monday in January, and will stop in WASHINGTON to see you.
In my last I informed you that Walter and Payne had been detained abroad by bad weather, but now they are safe and sound with us, and we have played chess and talked together all this time without the appearance of ennui. Thank my dear Dolly for her kind letter ; and I rejoice in her recovery, which is due in a great measure to the judicious nursing of a good mother.
I hope you will soon be going to parties, and give me a detailed account of what is going forward amongst the various characters in WASHINGTON.
I have so long been confined by the side of my dear sick husband, never seeing or hearing outside of his room, that I make a dull correspondent.
Your uncle is better now than he was three days ago, and I trust will continue to mend, but his poor hands are still sore, and so swollen as to be almost useless, and so I lend him mine. The music -box is playing beside me, and seems well adapted to solitude, as I look out at our mountains, white with snow, and the winter's wind sounding loud and cold. I hope you will take more than usual care of yourself this weather, and wish I could cover you with furs ; but ah ! if I dare indulge in wishes
Good night, my love. Your fond aunt,
- Dolly Madison