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My Dearest Friend
I received Yours of 22 Decbr. [John to Abigail, 22 December 1796] by the Post of the 4 of this Month containing a post Note . Genll. Lincoln left here the week before. I inquired of him if I could take up the Note in his absence. He told me it was in the office with his principle Clerk. Mr. Smith dinned with me on thursday and I gave him the Note with a request that he would transact the buisness for me. To day I expect to receive the Note and that the Buisness will be done.
Yours of 27th [John to Abigail, 27 December 1796] [John to Abigail, 27 December 1796 (second)] came to Hand at the Same time. I have not said or written any thing upon a subject which will necessarily give trouble to some one. I shall have my share in making arrangements at Home, but all those Matter I shall defer untill the [illegible] declaration is made.
I am glad to find Mrs. [illegible] is like to be a reasonable Woman. She certainly might be one of the first, but there are some licences which she has taken so repugnant to my Ideas of Chast Decorum that I shall never place her in the list of Roman Matrons, nor can she ever be an intimate of mine.
Poor Billings is off again ever since Thursday. I have not seen him since. Gone upon an
I shall write again by the next post. I am now in much haste.