I have taken up my pen again to relieve the anxiety of a Heart too susceptable for its own repose, nor can I help complaining to my Dearest Friend that his painfull absence is not as formerly alleiviated by the tender tokens of his Friendship, 3 very short Letters only have reachd my Hands during 9 months absence.
I cannot be so unjust to his affection as to suppose he has not wrote much oftener and more perticularly, but must sit down to the Score of misfortune that so few have reachd me.
I cannot charge myself with any deficiency in this perticular as I have never let an opportunity slip without writing to you since we parted, tho you make no mention of having received a line from me; 119if they are become of so little importance as not to be worth noticeing with your own Hand, be so kind as to direct your Secretary
I will not finish the sentance, my Heart denies the justice of the acqusation, nor does it believe your affection in the least diminished by distance or absence, but my Soul is wounded at a Seperation from you, and my fortitude all dissolved in frailty and weakness. When I cast my
Eye thoughts across the Atlantick and view the distance, the dangers and Hazards which you have already passd through, and to which you must probably be again exposed, e'er we shall meet, the Time of your absence unlimitted, all all conspire to cast a Gloom over my solitary hours, and bereave me of all domestick felicity. In vain do I strive to through of
Thus far I wrote more than ten day
I was not a little mortified to find that the few Lin
and led me to suppose that many of your Letters to me must have shared the same fate.
But this circumstance will make me more cautious how I suffer such cruel Ideas to
Heaven continue to be propitious to our Friends and allies for whom I have contracted a most sincere regard. If chastity, temperance, industery, frugality, sobriety and purity of morals, added to politeness and complasance can entitle any people to Friendship and respect, the Behaviour of this whole Fleet whilst they lay in this harbour which was more than two months, demand from every unprejudiced person an acknowledgment of their merrit. If I ever had any national prejudices they are done away and I am ashamed to own I was ever possessd of so narrow a spirit—and I blush to find so many of my country men possessd with such low vulgar prejudices and capable of such mean reflections as I have heard thrown out against the Nation of our allies though the unblamable conduct of this Fleet left them not one personal reflexion to cast.
Let me Imitate and instill it into my children the Liberal Spirit of that great Man4 who declared he had no Local attachments. It is indifferent to me say
Dated from references within the text. The first of the days of the month is approximate, the second exact.
It was actually JA's letter of this date (q.v. above), delivered by Henry Archer on or within a day or so of 20 Nov., which so greatly relieved AA's feelings between writing the two parts of the present letter.
Her letter of 25 March,