L[ouis] McL[ane] to MVB, 10 April 1825
April 10, '25
My Dear Sir,
Your letter found me in my bed, from which, I assure you, I have risen with some difficulty. My exposure in the trial of a canal cause, in the lower part of the county, brought on a violent cold, accompanied with chills & fevers, and for the first time in six years, I had a violent bilious attack. I have happily survived it however, and hope now to live to fight an other day.
We all regretted to hear of the Judges relapse; for his short acquaintance left with us many sympathies, naturally arising from his own merit & his friendly relations with you. I only regret that the unfortunate situation of my family hurried you both away so soon. I beg you to say to ^the^ Judge that we all look forward to some other opportunity, when similar disasters will not stand in the way.
I can more nearly <unclear words> feelings for you, than any he is pleased to profess for me, and the former are doubtful only, when found in such company. He has every reason not merely to respect, but to love you. Without yielding your dignity, you have consulted even his whims which to an old man are his strong points, and now, when he retires from the envy & jealousies of political conflict in the full tide of successful experiment, his better feelings only, will abi[d]e with him. With me, the care is somewhat different. Vanity is his ruling passion—and the wish to be looked upon as the tall tree of the old forest was his consolation for the loss of power & office. He expected the sapplings of that forest, especially, to bend to him; and he will not easily forgive a young hickory for treating this old oak as a naked trunk, despoiled of its best ornaments. I am not sensible of having ever behaved with impropriety toward him, but I could not profess regard which I did not feel. I sincerely pray, however that he may be shielded from the ^future^ storms of life, and live in the undisturbed <
unclear word> contemplation of that enviable fame, which he, at one time, undoubtedly, enjoyed.
What think you of Clay’s authorizing the statement in the “journal” that at no period of the late Presidential contest, he preferred Mr Crawford to Adams! I do not doubt its truth, but who would have expected him to make the avowal? If he can attract any of Crawford’s friends to him, after that, I shall lose all confidence in human ^no, in political^ integrity. Markley & Binns are fairly in for it, but I will dare whisper to you that I share some misgivings of <unclear word>. He is one of those light materials whom the presidential storm threw into the air, and he has ^not^ yet entirely settled down upon terra firma. He is
yet ^still^ kept floating by those eddies which sometimes continue to prevail ^<unclear word>^ after the elements have taken a steady direction below—and he talks of all manner of things & ^in^ all manner of ways, according to the current <unclear word> which moves him. If his preference for me is sincere I thank him, and if I find my present impression erroneous I will make ample amends, but, cras credemus, hodie nihil. By the way, My Dear Sir, on this subject of speaker, you may be of vast service to me. As it regards your own friends, I would not dare offer a suggestion, because I know your capacity & have the fullest confidence in your friendly dispositions to <unclear word> the whole <unclear word>, & to <direct> measures, to produce concert on the meeting of congress, but < unclear word> it is not certain to me, that the federal votes, will not have a material influence in that election. Webster will I am pretty sure endeavour to carry them to the admin. candidate, if they can be diverted from that course, Taylor cannot be elected, and their preferen[c]es for <Dr. C> wou[l]d have a material effect upon the claims of other opposing candidates. Now, is there no fed. in N. Yk. who could be induced in a proper way to bring this about by a correspondence with various parts of the union? If there be, cannot measures be taken to effect it? I hope you will pardon me for thus troubling you.
Mrs. M L. I am happy to say, is entirely recovered from her sickness, and is acquiring better health than she has enjoyed for years. Be pleased to accept her best regards. We all talk of you here, at all hours of the day, and I hope you to be assured that none does so with more sincere regard & esteem than
L. M L.