My Dearest Friend
How much is comprised in that short sentance? How fondly can I call you mine, bound by every tie, which consecrates the most inviolable Friendship, yet seperated by a cruel destiny, I feel the pangs of absence sometimes too sensibly for my own repose.
There are times when the heart is peculiarly awake to tender impressions, when philosophy slumbers, or is overpowerd by sentiments more conformable to Nature. It is then that I feel myself alone in the wide world, without any one to tenderly care for me, or lend me an assisting hand through the difficulties that surround me, yet my cooler reason dissaproofs the repineing thought, and bids me bless the hand from whence my comforts flow.
More independant by Nature, he can scarcly realize all those ties which bind our sex to his. Is it not natural to suppose that as our dependance is greater, our attachment is stronger? -- I find in my own breast a sympathetic power always operating upon the near approach of Letters from my dear absent Friend. I cannot determine the exact distance when this secret charm begins to operate. The time is some times longer and sometimes shorter, the Busy Sylphs are ever at my ear, no sooner does Morpheus close my Eyes, than "my whole Soul, unbounded flies to thee."
A Mr. Ross arrived lately at Philadelphia and punctually deliverd your Letter's. At the same time a vessel arrived from Holland, and brought me yours from Amsterdam of the 25 of Sepbr. [John to Abigail, 25 September 1780] which Mr. Lovell was kind enough to forward to me. I have written you largely since Davis arrived here, tho not in reply to Letters brought by him, for old Neptune alone had the handling of them. He was chased and foolishly threw over all his Letters into the sea, to my no small mortification. A Brig which came out with him arrived at Providence and brought me yours of Sepbr. 15th [John to Abigail, 15 September 1780] , together with some for from Mr. Thaxter. -- The things you sent came safe to hand. Jones not yet arrived. I suppose he may have the much wanted trunk on Board, which you suppose came in the Alliance. You call upon me to write, by every opportunity. I do not omit any, yet my Letters many of them must take so circuitous a Route, that they must cost you much more than they are worth. This I hope will go direct to France by Col. Pallfry, if he does not sail before it reaches Philadelphia. -- The Enemy have met with many disastrous events in Charlestown. As much as they Boast, they have more occasion to mourn. We have had several successes there which do honour to American Arms.
If the people can strugle through the demands this year made upon them,
I told you in a former letter that our Season was embitterd by a most distressing drought, yet the year is crowned with universal Health. We have reason to sing of Mercy and judgment.
Admiral de Ternay died last week with a Fever at Road Island. Our Friends are all well, so is your ever affectionate Portia
Complements to Mr. Dana. Love to my dear John and Charles. I mourn the loss of their Letters by Davis.
[Endorsement -- see page image]
My Dear Si [Text breaks off.]
Stevens'ens Brother has received a Letter from him dated in Amsterdam in August, in which he tells him that he had sent a Number of hankerchifs, some for Mr. Bracket and some for Mr. Bass and a Letter with them directing him what to do with the remainder, but is so stupid as not to say, by whom he sent them nor from whence, neither the vessels Name nor captains -- they are not come to hand. The owners come to me to inquire. I cannot give them the least direction, know not a word about them. In future if he does Buisness, he had better be more correct -- he must write to them about them.[It is not certain that this second postscript belongs with the foregoing letter. It is on a detached fragment of paper, and though filed with this letter may have been sent at another time.]