[Ruggles] H[ubbbard] to MVB, 3 January 1814 
Jany. 3d 1814
Dear Van Buren,
As yours without date was recd you might naturally conclude I should not wait until this [. . .] day to wish you a happy New Year but [. . .] I have as many employments as would befit a prime minister to a necromancer and am often forced from an Epistolary Confab with a friend by the infinite variety of my business & acquaintance–but I have bolted the Door this Evening that I might have a minute or two with you. I congratulate you on the Victory obtained over the Chancellor it is clear & pertinent and he retires with merited mortification & his officious Squire was handsomely pelted by amicus Juris Consutus the Squire is a mere split-cause our friend Sanford informed me of the true combatant and as I take an interest in all things which concern you a 2d perusal gave me an increased pleasure. Verily your antagonist makes a sorry figure in this controversy & it were well for him if he had not an itching for political affairs. He speaks & writes and (afterwards thinks <illegible> his ignorance manifestly proved on this occasion. If you have read his Letter to Benjn Silliman pray read the travels & say what more could be here sayd of Anacharsis. He is Chancellor but he has no genius & but little learning for one who has been quarrelling with the <moths> for so many years for all sorts of sayings on all sorts of subjects in all sorts of Books. But if a man spends half the year writing in a Common place Book
e and the other half in reading his Learned Record he must be a dunce I will bet that the wise sayings of my Lord Coke are mixed with Recipts to make what we Yankees term hasty pudding.
But having vanquished the Giant of Law I percive you are armed from top to toe and Sword drawn not against Cato tho pent up in that little City you fight the renownd Hero of the Stone Mill as you conquered the valiant Hull you must alarm this Old Fox tho you do not slay him &c. &c. &c. As you requested I should not commit myself on the question of Senator until I saw you in albany or rather forbid my doing so. Suppose you release me from that obligation seeing you are not to be present when that advice is to be made or else name me your candidate. There is no news in Town of importance and yet evry one is busy especially Office hunters I begin to see pretty clearly that the Patriotism of the N Yorkers is no greater than it should be the mighty stir about the publick welfare is ended by about 20 applicants for every office. I perceie that we shall be run down this Winter I shall straight way secure lodgings for myself & wife lest there be no place to lay ones head. I regret your condition at Utica for peradventure you may be longer absent than your own or the interest of friends require. There will be strange doings in your absence I fear & I recommend you return to Albany as early as decency will admit you to leave Utica not in relation to your individual expectations for I will stand by “tho Hell itself should gape” But I fear many imprudent things will be done towards certain men who have no other crime to be alledged against them to justify a removal than that they were Clintonians. The same reason would prevent you or myself from the favours of a Council. I look the more earnestly for your return because I know that your expectations & prospects hereafter may be coupled with the events of this Winter & I am unwillg that you should stand ill with any section of a party which begins to look for an object on-whom they are hereafter to bestow their favour think of this & “look well to it”. If you do not stand in need of an adviser you will at least command the friendly disposition with which I write & speak to you on all occasions. For myself, I shall never fill a large space & I am content with humble obscurity—but if you fail to occupy a situation in this State congenial to your pride and for which your talents amply befit you, it will grow out of negligence and inattention to the “signs of the times” in 1815 My Wife reciprocates every friendly sentiment you was pleased to express & hopes to see you in Albany
as always I am
Jany 3. 1814