To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    New York City        24 February 1788

    My dear Sally—

    In a late Letter you enquire whether I go to meeting, and how I spend my Sundies—I will tell you, my dear, very honestly—Some time last November I went to meeting one day—since which time I have never entered a church or meeting house—nor even set my feet out doors on a Sunday—If you will take the trouble of comparing the dates of my Letters, you will find the most of them to have been wrote on Sundays—Sundays I have dedicated to writing—This, to me, is a mode of spending time both more pleasing and instructive than hearing the ministers of this City preach—Time well spent is every thing, & a moment lost is a subject of perpetual grief—because however well the time to come may be improved it can never recall that which has been ill spent—

    I have never been to an Assembly, or to the Theatre,1 tho frequently invited and warmly urged to go once, if it be only out of Curiosity—But I have no curiosity for these places—my chamber has a million of charms in comparison to the meeting houses—play houses or Assembly Rooms—I am not idle either on sundays or any other days—I view my residence at this place as a temporary Banishment from happiness—and to make up for this loss I am endeavouring to lay up such improvements as will heighten the enjoyments of Domestic Life when I again return to my Sally—and our two little children—

    You inform me Tempy [Temperance Hedge] has been unwell—but was geting better—I hope the dear girl is recovered by this time—And tho she refuses to write to me—I dont know but I shall write to her if I get through my other Letters before the Mail is closed this evening—Mr. [Rufus] King has made me a visit this morning & invited me to dine with him2—but I doubt whether I shall—it will put me to the trouble of Dressing and going out—which are almost insuperable difficulties with people so fond of seting still as I am—

    I have never missed writing & sending you a Letter once a week since my recovery from the Small-pox—And if the post has been regular you will recieve one every week—But when the post omits a week—you will recieve two—

    I think the plan of turning the back room into an office is very prudent—had I been at home—I believe I should have done the same—

    Mr. [Silas] Lee tells me fine stories of Sambo [Samuel Phillips Savage Thatcher] & the little Girl [Sally]—and like other silly Fathers I believe every word—

    The manner in which you tell me Sammy went to Mr. Lee, on his coming home from Kennebeck, and enquired where his papa was, & when he would come home, took hold of my feelings more than any thing of the kind I ever met with—I hope the little creature will remember me—I shall want to see him first when he is alone—& before he hears me named—I wrote you in my last that ’tis possible I may be at home by the middle of april—but dont depend too much on my being at home so soon3—This be assured of that whether at home or abroad I am your most affectionate husband

    [P.S.] Kiss the babes for their papa—

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    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked.