New York December [12?]
Disappointment, my dear Margaret, is not always to be the lot of your friend. Hope shall again be my goddess, she has seldom deceived me, perhaps now she will be uniformly kind, and only place in view those objects which my own industry can obtain. One of my warmest wishes is at length accomplished, by the assistance of Dr. Miller, I have gained the acquaintance of Mrs. Higginson. You well know my high [?] expectations in regard to this lady, if possible, they have been reshaped. I had often dwelt with delight on the portrait I had received of her, and was impatient to see [one ?], whom I had heard so much commended. But this delight was checked by reflecting that when we trace the resemblance of a friend, to delineate their beauties affords no such a sweet satisfaction, we think it would be a pity to mar the picture by introducing my defect. On Tuesday a note from Dr. Miller conveyed the glad tidings that he would call for me in the afternoon to visit Mrs. Rodgers, where I would his good friend [Mrs ?] Higginson. For the first time in three months pure, [? mmised] joy, warmed my heart and exhilarated my spirits.
"My [?] lord sat lightly on his throne,
"And all that day, in unaccustomed spirit,
"Raised me above the ground with cheerful thoughts."
But at the moment of introduction it [ha ?] given place to apprehension I [recollected ?] the force of first [?], and remembered with sorrow, that they were not [? nently] in my favour. I will not attempt
to describe my feelings, or their effect on my behavior, if I did you would think her whom you have always supposed so moderate, extravagant and ridiculous. To the course of the evening, I was amply rewarded for all my tormenting fears, by the bewitching sweetness, with which she addressed me. [Twice ?] then, the happiest part of each day, has been enjoyed in her society. How fortunate you are, my dear Margaret, to live in the same place with the most fascinating being I ever knew; [?] to be allowed to call her a friend. There is a [im ?] [plaintiveness ?] in her voice, which [?] her [?], sometimes even painfully interesting. It penetrates to the [inn ?] recesses of my heart, and sounds in my ears like [s ?] of a departed spirit mourning the [mis ?] of those it left on earth. How happy would she make Dr. Miller! She only can make him as happy as he deserves to be. No other could sufficiently recompense him for all his sufferings. [?] in her society he would less keenly [regard ?] the [untimely ?] fate of his brother, and his friend. Of that lamented [friend ?] I am constantly reminded. Last evening, whilst I was congratulating myself upon my good fortune in [?] with Ms. Higginson, Dr. Rodgers introduced the dreadful subject, all my pleasure fled, and I could scarcely restrain my emotions. Why am I now so feelingly alive to pain? It was formerly a stranger to my bosom. Is it because the like of youthful spirits, that carried me so gayly down the current of life, has subsided? It must be so, for the tempest to which I was exposed, was not uncommonly severe
Yesterday brought me a sweet letter from Mary Smith. Ms. Higginson wishes me to write by [?], but I do not imagine I shall have time. Well, you want to hear of Mr. Brown, he is well, visits me frequently, and often enquires after you. He had written another novel. It is the history of a female reduced from affluence to poverty. He says he is very desirous to know my opinion of her conduct. It will be published in a month. When you have read it, let me know yours [and ?] we will make comparisons. The name is "Ormond, or the Secret Witness." His friends in New York wish him to become the editor of a monthly magazine, they think it will afford him a comfortable support. He will be aided by Dr. J W Miller, Dr. [Mil ?], Dr. [?], J W Hopkins, I believe they have opened the subscription, I hope they will meet with success. A magazine so respectably supported, cannot be otherwise [then?] valuable.
I do not see Mr. [Bleecker ?] very often. I like him as well as [?] [?], but I fancy that is not the case with him. If he be not happy and [contented ?], he is well [?] in the art of concealing his feelings. I have not heard of his beautiful little favourite since my return. But one doubts he has written to you about her. He told me had written, and when I enquired the subject, answered "I do not know [?] [?] that what people say when they do not want to tell?" Ms. Higgison says, he has the handsomest face she ever saw. Mr. McIntosh arrived, a day or two since, [?] [?] [?] it is said he and his wife will return to Savanah. Ms. Liney has arrived. She is Maria's favorite sister, and will compensate for the loss of Mrs. [Ma ?]. Remember me to Mr. A Bayard and Mrs. [Pe ?]
and let half your next letter be about Ms. Higginson.
Mr. Brown [?] [?] compliment
Mrs. Bayard Arch Street above Fourth [?]