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MY DEAREST FRIEND,
I WENT last night to the ball, where the company suffered more by the cold, which was excessive, than I ever knew any company suffer in my life. The dancers only were comfortable. I came home and went into a warm bed and had a fine perspiration, occasioned, I believe, by my drinking three glasses of Madeira wine at supper, and. two more after I came home, which has relieved me from all cold and I feel very well this morning. The company, owing to the weather, was not large.
I am very anxious to hear from you, having no letter since the 10th. Your sickness last summer, fall, and winter, has been to me the severest trial I ever endured. Not that I am at this moment without other trials enough for one man. I may adopt the words of a celebrated statesman, whom, however, I should not wish to resemble in many things : " And now, good judge," says he, " let me ask you whether you believe that my situation in the world is perfectly as I could wish it ; whether you imagine that I meet with no shock from my superiors, no perverseness from my equals, no impertinence from my inferiors ? If you fancy me in such a state of bliss you are wide from the mark."
I have planned out so much work for myself that I shall not be able to go eastward till some time after the rising of Congress. But every day will seem long. I am, my dearest friend,