THE state of Mr. Van Schaack's health was now such as to demand his attention; and he determined to make a voyage to Europe, for the purpose of availing himself of the skill of an experienced oculist, in an operation upon the cataract inhis eye. In view of the numerous severe and trying scenes through which he had passed, and the reflections arising from which were preying upon his mind, a change of scene was highly desirable; nor is it surprising, that with so many grievous afflictions pressing upon him, his imagination should have "colored high and shaded deep" upon the public measures, as suggested in Mr. Jay's answer to the following letter.
Kinderhook, June 3d, 1778.
We were much disappointed in not seeing you on your return, and the more so as I fear we cannot promise ourselves the pleasure of a visit from you very soon. I intended, under your protection, to have accompanied you part of the way down, but when all hopes of seeing you were gone, I took upon me to ride as far as Claverack, for which I flatter myself it will not be difficult to procure an indemnity, if it be not justified by what has happened; however, I could wish to have a pass in form to ride about a little, for which I once before wrote you in a letter that I suspect has never reached you. My friends are continually recommending little excursions, with which my judgment, more I assure you than my inclination, coincides; but this kind of amusement becomes the more necessary, as I am directed to refrain from reading and writing, which is a restraint peculiarly hard in my present situation; but being calculated to avert a greater hardship, is to be submitted to as much as possible.