Great Barrington 30 Sept. 1817
To punish you for not having returned long since to Great Barrington, I have at length determined to put you to the penance of reading another of my letters. I have heard with much pleasure, the favourable accounts which have been received amongst us, concerning your health, 1 and the restoration of your tranquility--and though at first I was half inclined to be angry with you for being contented in a place so far to the west, yet the warm interest which I take in your welfare soon reconciled me to the idea. It is whispered that you have lost much of that interesting pensiveness of countenance which you used to exhibit here so often in the morning, and that you have acquired a plumpness of figure which would not disgrace a Turkish beauty who had gone through a course of camel's milk. I have been long in doubt to what cause to impute this alteration, for I am sure it cannot be owing to any particular influence of your western air and climate. The fat old Falstaff ascribed his corpulence to sighing and grief, which he said had blown him up like a bladder;--but if they could have had any such effect upon you, you would have exceeded all reasonable dimensions before you left us. 2 It must therefore be attributed to some other cause. Is there no young Adonis of the West, who is permitted to sun himself in the brilliance of your eyes, and to whisper soft things in your ear, and who, in your case, has successfully taken upon himself the office of restoring your serenity of mind, and of "ministering to a mind diseased"? 3
You will receive this letter by the hand of Capt. Hopkins, with whom I hope you will conclude to return to Great Barrington. 4 As an inducement, I must acquaint you that matrimonial business has taken a sudden spring here--young ladies are in great demand--the continual cry is, "going, gentlemen, going--gone!"--and the list of those who have been married this fall, or are about to be married, is too long to insert in this letter. 5 I must tell you however that Parson Griswold has attended the auction--outbid the unfortunate Mr. Brooks--and had struck off to him the fair Maria R.---------- 6
If, however, you should not find a sudden market amongst us, you will at least see many faces wearing their warmest smiles to welcome your return--smiles which are not those of the countenance merely, but which come from the heart. The general regret which attended your departure, and to which I then called your notice, I can assure you has not diminished. You too, if I have rightly interpreted a disposition so open as yours, must sometimes think with strong emotion on the friends you have left, and often indulge the wish of returning to the place where your earliest years were past, and to which belong your tenderest and most delightful recollections.