for the twilight is gathering around our lives. I am again fairly settled down to the pleasant duties of an old fashioned Virginia house-keeper, steady as a clock, busy as a bee, and as cheerful as a cricket. 6
Text taken from Mary and Martha, p. 313-14.
Dear Sir 1 Mount Vernon June 26th 1797
Your Polite & obliging letter of the 18th of Feby came safe to my hands as did the Gold Chain which you have had the kindness to present me with as a token of your remembrance.
I wanted nothing to remind me of the pleasure we have had in your company at this place; but shall receive the chain, nevertheless as an emblem of your friendship, & shall value it accordingly, - about the middle of March we once more (and I am very sure never to quit it again) got seated under our own Roof, more like new beginners than old established residenters, as we found every thing in a deranged (sic), & all the buildings in a decaying state. 2
Poor Mrs Stuart has had very ill health for the last 6 or 8 months but is better now - Her two oldest daughters as you know, or have heard, are both married & each have a daughter 3 - Nelly lives as usual with us - to all of whom I have presented you in the terms you required, and all reciprocate your kind wishes in an affectionate manner
- Our circle of friends of course is contracted without any disposition on our part to enter into new friendships, though we have an abundance of acquaintances and a variety of visitors. - Doctr Craik6 is well and enjoying tolerably good health, but Mrs Craik declines fast 7 - they have lately lost their second daughter, Mrs. West, 8 who has left five young children -
Perceiving by your letter to Mr W - that you were - on the eve of an important change I wish you every possible happiness in it. 9 - With very great esteem & regard