March 4, 1812 Aaron Burr

For March 4, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:  
4.    Castella came in at 10, and talked an hour on old subjects. Having nothing to do, he agreed to walk with me to continue the conversation. Went first to Graves's ; out. Wrote him a note to keep in his hands till I should call to-morrow, the letter which Elms will address to him for me about the dents. Am in hopes to make something of that affair, for the man seems "delighted" with Fonzi's "principles." This, however, cannot be in season for the present exigencies. Passed by Joyce's, but would not call for the silver repeater, having nothing to pay his bill. Then to J. Bentham's. Castella left me at Covent Garden. R. Morris came in at 3 with la belle E.A.C. I was wrong in stating that she had been six months out of prison; it is but a few days, and she has been but six days in England. She is tall, well made; fine, large, long blue eyes; a mouth that does not please me; blond; well made; but the marks of sufferings are visible. She is a mere skeleton, pale, and a cadaverous jaunatre. When in health, and with a reasonable embonpoint, she must be imposing and attractive. As R. Morris talked all the while, and for the most part incoherently, had little opportunity of judging of her understanding or acquirements. But her letters, which, among other papers, I had occasion to peruse, are well written. They staid an hour, and I promised to give her written instructions. She did not offer, nor did I ask for money; if she had offered, I should, in the present dilemma, have accepted. It would have been the first time that I ever took from distressed innocence; and such I believe to be her case. She will go instantly to America if I advise it, which I believe I shall ; and she appeared extremely grateful for the interest I took in her concerns. Poor Jeremy Bentham is overwhelmed with trouble. The ministry are about to take away, in a manner the most horribly unjust, the whole of his little income, a bare competence, and he is seriously apprehensive that he shall be obliged to abandon the paternal mansion in which he has lived sixty years. To me, however, it appears that they will never dare to commit this outrage on justice, and law, and reason. The story is too long and too intricate now to be written, but you shall have ore tenus . Came off at 9, deliberating whether to go home at the hazard of finding my weekly bill on my table, or to lodge abroad, and try the events of another day. Had still D. M. R.'s 3-shilling piece unbroken ; but my bill for this week will be at least 25 shillings. To the ordinary expenses is to be added a pair of boots mended, 6 shillings. Passing near the Godwin's, went in and sat 1/2 hour, and then ventured home. Complained of a headache, which is true, owing to two glasses of wine drank at J. Bentham's. Did not find my bill on the table, nor a word said about it. Now, to-morrow must either be sick, and lay abed all day, or go out before breakfast. Which do you advise ? " Why, go out early, to be sure. If you lay on your back waiting for miracles, it may be some time before they come to your relief." You are right ma Min. 1 I will be out stirring ; if nothing else should succeed, will pawn the picture-watch for 3 pounds. Have not yet got the ring-watch. I am pretty sure that ma hotesse has no suspicion of the state of the treasury ; for, on coming in, I find a stock of coal and wood bought this day. Past i ; must prepare for couche. A vile, chilly, drizzling day. Yesterday ditto. Mem. : Holcroft, the poet, bred a shomaker ; Perry, proprietor of the " Morning Chronicle," and having now an income of 10,000 pounds per annum; his history, and that of his wife, will amuse, if not interest. Yet, as I am not sleepy, and fear I shall not sleep like a blockhead and gourmand, drank high-burned strong coffee at J. Bentham's I will tell you that at J. B.'s found a letter from John Edw. Browne (doubtless the late Governor spoken of by Mrs. Thorpe), avowing the utmost respect and desire to serve me, and full of flattering expressions. It was written yesterday, at the moment he was leaving London for Gosport, where he was to embark for Sierra Leone, where he knew I had friends to whom I wished to write confidentially. He gives me his address at Gosport. I think Madame Thorpe must have told him an incident which took place on our passage from the United States ; one exactly calculated to captivate the heart of an Irishman. That story is not written, but shall be for your amusement and Gampillo's instruction. Now ought I to be writing all day to-morrow to my intrepid friend Captain J.; instead of which, must be coursing for 25 shillings. But I will write at every resting-place. We may as well now say a word more of Perry (Perrie was the name originally). Born in the north of Scotland, and having received a good classical education, at the age of 20 he walked to London to seek his fortune. He had left on his arrival 2 shillings and 6 pence. For some time he nearly starved. At length he got employment and small wages with the editor of the " Morning Chronicle," and subsequently he became principal editor ; then a partner, and, finally, sole proprietor. At the age of 40 he was wealthy. Happening to make a journey in the country, he saw in a milliner's shop a girl with whose beauty and manner he was greatly smitten. He begged leave to repeat his visit; and, at the second interview, he told her he would marry her, but added, "I am a man of fortune, and wish to live hospitably, and to make my friends happy at my house. I am not accustomed to society, and must have a wife who can do the honors of my house with grace, and dignity, and fashion. Now you have seen nothing of the world, you know even less of these matters than I do ; but you have talents, and would presently become a lady if you were under proper advantages. Then, if you will go to Paris, and spend two years there to perfect yourself, I will furnish the means and marry you on your return." The lady, who was 17, was not long balancing on so hard a condition. She went to Paris, passed the two years under every advantage which money could procure, returned an accomplished lady, and all that Perry could wish. They married ; have six lovely children. She has been the pride of his heart, the ornament of his house, and the admiration of his friends. I know an Irishman who did something of the same kind, but I doubt whether there be anything similar in the history of any Englishman. I have been smoking and drinking toast water, and, at inter vals, writing these scraps, till the watchman has proclaimed 1/2 p. 2. Now you may ask, why have I not all this while been writing to Captain J.? So I have, Madame ; that letter is going on, and will be all ready before I rise in the morning. Once formed, it never goes out of my head, and the mechanical part can be performed anywhere and at any time. Salut .

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