MVB to [Harriet Allen] Butler, 12 April 1826
April 12th 1826
My dear Mrs Butler,
I am a sorry fellow for not sooner acknowledging the obligations I really feel for your last letter. I assure you it gave me great pleasure. Nothing serves so well to season the perpetual gossip & perpetual dissipations of this Sodom as an occasional letter from a kind hearted & sensible female friend. Christina writes me occasionally & Mrs. Taylor commenced a correspondence with me but I fear her little husband has interdicted it.
A little while ago & all here was speech making. Now fighting is the order of the day. The statement of the affair between Mr R & Mr C. does not do justice to the former. He went out with a positive determination not to take the life of his adversary on the
sole ^express^ ground of his being a husband & father of a numerous family. His determination was changed in consequence of learning that Mr. C. had determined on taking deliberate aim at him & in consequence of some altercation which took place <upon> the ground produced by the circumstance of his pistol going off accidentally & then only did he consent to fire ^aim^ the first time at Mr Clays legs in the hope of disabling him. Between the shots he told Col Benton a relative of Mrs C. & the friend of R. that he would in no event take his life. This is the strangest place in the world. This affair which on Saturday was in every mouth is now no longer spoken of & in three days will be entirely forgotten.
I take it for granted you have read my speech & of course approve of it highly. I have made one since which I like much better although by no means likely to be so favorably rcd. by others. I am glad you said a civil thing to Miss L. for me. Your good sense will of course prevent you from speaking in a form which would imply more than is thought of me or <
illegible> imagined by your self.
I have been making a purchase of Baron <Tuyls> horses, undoubtedly the handsomest in the U. States & have the use of his carriage which I have not yet bought to show them off. They cut a dash and are I find better calculated to excite favour with your eccentric son than any poor personal merits I possess. So we go. It is my intention for the future to make horses & sheep the chief objects of my career, the ladies & politics next.
Tell Miss Margaret to write me and do so your self
Truly & sincerely your