of annual compensation but I little dreamed, after reading the report of the committee appointed upon the question, that they would consent to return to their old allowance of six dollars a day. I did not look to see so easy a triumph of what seemed the publick will over the settled opinions of a very large majority of their legislators-- 3
--I see that you are not a candidate in the next election of Representatives in Congress. I expected that you would leave the theatre of publick life not only because you intimated to me a disposition to do it but because I knew you loved retirement better than distinction. 4 I should be much gratified to receive a line from you.
MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) ADDRESS: Hon William Baylies / Representative in Congress / Washington.
Great Barrington 17 March 1817
I have now on my hands about half-a dozen correspondents to whom it is my duty to write. That duty I have delayed to perform till I am ashamed of my neglect, and I have now deliberately addressed myself to the task. Your claims are superiour to those of any other and I begin by writing to you. I have heard that you are married-- Alas! Sir, I little thought when I saw you last October that the chain was then forging which was to fetter your freedom so soon. I did not dream that with all that unconsciousness of air and innocence of countenance you were meditating any special enormity. You in the mean time, I suppose, look without envy on the restless and unsatisfied liberty of us who are yet without the pale of matrimony--you hug your irons and love the blissful slavery to which you have transferred yourself--in like manner as it is said that a people are happier under the soft and easy sway of a wise & virtuous monarch than the turbulent and anxious administration of a republick-- But my dear Sir-- You say with Milton