|The Hague January 20. 1797.|
The last Letter which I have received from you, my lovely friend is dated the 13th: of December, since which time, and for almost a month before I have not suffered a single week to pass without writing to you. I persuade myself that you have not intermitted the regularity of your weekly Letters, and wait with patience though not without anxiety to receive them. Some days ago, Mr: White a gentleman from [. . . . ] [bro]ught me a letter of Introduction from your father of December 26. But there was [. . . .] it any one from you, nor has the Post from Bremen for the last ten days been more [. . . ] to my wishes.—At present I have nothing interesting to say, except to renew the assurance of my constant affection, and the hope that my Letter will find you in good health and Spirits, and retaining still your kindness for your friend.
In one of your last Letters you mention an apprehension that you must appear an insipid or at least a wandering correspondent, and that you are at a loss for a subject upon which to write.—To me, every thing that you should say concerning yourself, would never fail to afford gratification—Your occupations, your amusements, your observations, your reflections, a detail of any thing that should concern you would be important to me.—But do not make your correspondence a toil, and if among all the copious topics of Nature, Art and Fashion which London affords, together with the fertility of your own Imagination, you cannot readily think of any thing that may tend to amusement or Instruction, simply say that you are well, that you still think with tenderness and affection of me, and depend upon my return of Love, and be assured that the thousandth repetition of these assurances will always be received with delight.
I have no late Letters from America.—The period of my removal becomes more and more uncertain.—Anxiety—Suspense—Indeed I never had greater need of all my philosophy. My necessary occupations employ much of my time: for the remainder besides the inevitable calls of Society, I still invoke the sweet pliability of Spirits which Yorick tells of, and transport myself in idea alternately to the scenes which History has illustrated or fiction embellished, and more frequently still to those which you adorn. The active industry of Imagination can remove some of the thorns from the wilds of care and solitude, and plant here and there a rose in the avenues of Hope. But she always presents you to the mind as a companion of the way [. . . ] and alleviate its pains, while the severe necessities of real Events, still condemns [. . . .] disappointment of a lengthened separation.
Remember me kindly to your Mamma and Sisters, and believe the invariable affection of your friend.