Benjamin Franklin Butler to Harriet Allen, 6 May 1817
B[enjamin] F[ranklin] Butler to Harriet Allen, 6 May 1817
May 6th 1817
My dearest Harriet
I did not intend to have written you this evening. It is so shortly since I have furnished you a sheet that I thought you could dispence with a letter tomorrow. Besides I wished to devote the whole evening to study. But the arrival of Mr. & Mrs. Stanton has compelled me very willingly to give up the last plan & induced me with much pleasure to alter the first. I received your letter this afternoon & am happy to find that my phillipic of Monday left you in such a good natured condition. To be sure I was rather illnatured & gloomy when I wrote it, but you must recollect that I was not cross with you, I was angry at Mr. V. B., at myself, & in fact with everything around me. I am unable yet to give you any particular account of my intentions with regard to the visit to N.Y. I shall not know till Thursday whether I am to go down or not. If the news from N.Y. which I shall receive by that Boat is favorable I shall go on Friday to Kinderhook & on Saturday to New York. The examination will take place probably on Tuesday at all events on Wednesday evening. I have nothing to detain me in N.Y. a moment after that job is through with. I think that I must then go to Conn. if I can make suitable arrangements. I have a great inclination to visit the land of my ancestors, and I don't know when I shall find a more favorable opportunity than this spring. I can't tell when I shall be at N.Y. again, perhaps not in some time; I should like to visit New Haven & Hartford & from thence return to Hudson. But dear if you have any objections against it, if you wish me to return immediately to Hudson, I will abandon the idea with pleasure & save both my money & my time both of which will be remarkably precious to me at that time & particularly the latter. I shall have a world of business to take hold of by the 19th or 20th of May. I am glad that your Brother has returned for your sake though I am now completely driven from my calculations of staying with him at N.Y. Dear Harriet I thank you a thousand & a thousand times for your kind assurance in relation to the particular passage of your letter I mentioned. I never believed you was in earnest, I never could have harbored the thought for a moment, I know you love me, love me with an ardor I can never be able to repay. As to candor, believe me dear the more you exercise it towards me the more I will love you for it. I have always endeavoured to make use of it in my intercourse with you, and I hope to meet with a similar return from you. But dearest girl, Mr. & Mrs S. & all our family have returned to their beds and I believe I had best follow their example which I will & all the way up stairs I will wish & pray for the happiness both temporal & eternal of my beloved Harriet, Good night.
Wednesday morning. This is a cloudy morning and yet I am more pleased to see it so, than if the Sun had risen with its brightest splendor. We are suffering for Rain, our streets are so dusty that one can not walk them except at the hazard of losing his eyes, it is really intolerable. I wish you would write me a good long letter on Friday or Saturday, & if you of my going down on Friday, send it on board the steam Boat on Saturday by Robert Coffin, I shall be able to get it & I will give him one in return. I am rather ashamed to be obliged to say that the first part of Sunday evening was not spent in thinking of you quite as attentively as I generally do because I was till 7 in company with a very interesting young lady of this place, Miss Warton. Now dear before you ask How in the name of fortune, came you with her? let me tell you all about it. On Sunday afternoon after <illegible> I walked home with Mrs. V.B. and after waiting on her to the parlor I went out to join Olcott & <Martin> who were taking a walk up in our quarter & as I followed the steps who should meet exactly, but Miss W. returning alone from meeting. I was going the same way, & you know it would have been impolite to have passed her. So I concluded for the first time in a great while at Alby. to become a gallant. I walked home with her, & remained there to tea, because there was no getting off honorably. I staid there till I made one of two very ludicrous blunders which made Miss W. laugh very heartily, both of which arose from my thinking of you & your last letter. And so finding myself unfit for company, I walked off and set myself down as soon as I returned to writing you a letter. Miss W charged me while we were walking up street with being engaged as Report said, to a charming young lady from Hudson, to which with more frankness perhaps, then was really necessary I made no hesitation to plead half guilty. Dear I can't deny the fact when I am charged with it and I dont like to tell every person who asks me, that I am in love. What must I do? must I say nothing at all or must I admit the truth? What a fine Housewife you will make? Your family concerns claim your high attention, you desert even your lover for the purpose of attending to them. Well well that will do. I like that, I like good industrious, striving, active, neat & economical Housewives.