Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington

By Joseph E. Fields; Martha Washington | Go to book overview

To Mercy Otis Warren

My Dear Madam New York December the 26th 1789

Your very friendly letter of the 27th of last month has afforded me much more satisfaction than all the formal compliments and emty ceremonies of meat etiquette could possably have done. - I am not apt to forget the feelings that have been inspired by my former society with good acquaintances, nor to be insensible to thair expressions of gratitude to the President of the United States; for you know me well enough to do me the justice to beleive that I am only fond of what comes from the heart. - Under a conviction that the demonstrations of respect and affection which have been made to the President originate from that source I cannot deny that I have taken some interest and pleasure in them. - The difficulties which presented themselves to view upon his first entering upon the Presidency, seem thus to be in some measure surmounted: it is owing to this kindness of our numerous friends in all quarters that my new and unwished for situation is not indeed a burden to me. When I was much younger I should, probably, have enjoyed the inoscent gayeties of life as much as most my age; - but I had long since placed all the prospects of my future worldly happyness in the still enjoyments of the fireside at Mount Vernon -

I little thought when the war was finished, that any circumstances could possible have happened which would call the General into public life again. I had anticipated, that from this moment we should have been left to grow old in solitude and tranquility togather: that was, my Dear madam, the first and dearest wish of my heart; - but in that I have been disapointed; I will not, however, contemplate with too much regret disapointments that were enevitable, though the generals feelings and my own were perfectly in unison with respect to our predilictions for privet life, yet I cannot blame him for having acted according to his ideas of duty in obaying the voice of his country. The consciousness of having attempted to do all the good in his power, and the pleasure of finding his fellow citizens so well satisfied with the disintrestedness of his conduct, will, doubtless, be some compensation for the great sacrifices which I know he has made; indeed in his journeys from Mount Vernon - to this place; in his late Tour through the eastern states, by every public and by every privet information which has come to him, I am persuaded that he has experienced nothing to make him repent his having acted from what he concieved to be alone a sense of indespensable duty: on the contrary, all his sensibility has been awakened in receiving such repeated and unaquivocal proofs of sincear regards from all his country men. with respect to myself, I sometimes think the arrangement is not quite as it ought to have been, that I, who had much rather be at home should

-223-

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