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Why so long silent, my good friend ? Many months have elapsed since we have been favoured with a line from you. I hope want of health has not obliged you to deny us that satisfaction. Want of inclination, I am sure, has not. Of that we have received too many unequivocal proofs to entertain the most distant doubt. You have long been my faithful, steady friend. I know the value of your esteem and regard, and be assured that you possess mine in a very high degree. Much do I wish for the happy moment when we shall all meet, and when Ave shall communicate to each other many things, which, however interesting, must be very sparingly trusted to paper. The necessity of this caution has imposed upon us a long and painful reserve, for between friends, few things are more agreeable, as well as useful, than free and undisguised communications. This is a pleasure to which I have been greatly a stranger since I left America, and it is in that country only that I expect again to enjoy it. Experience has taught me reserve, but it has also taught me that with you it will he unnecessary. This is a pleasant idea, and my mind dwells upon it with great satisfaction. How few are there in this world, my dear Kate, capable of a firm, uniform attachment; much fewer, I assure you, than I once thought: but youth is credulous, and consequently must be often disappointed. I hope my disappointments are nearly at an end ; for I expect very little, except from you and a few others.
I have letters from Sally almost every week. Thank God, she continues well. She tells me our little girls grow charmingly. My absence from her has been much longer than I expected. On coming to London, I was taken ill of a dysentery, and afterward, with a sore throat. Some remains of the latter still trouble me. Upon the whole, however, I am better, and the waters of this place have done me good. I propose next week to return to London, and from thence make the best of my way to France. I am impatient to be with my little family, and to have my sweet little girls upon my knee, while their mother tells me the domestic occurrences which have happened in my absence. Believe me to be, with great and sincere regard,
Your friend and servant,
- The Life John Jay With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. by His Son, William Jay in Two Volumes. Vol. II., 1833.