To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    New York City        10 August 1788

    My dear Sally

    This, you know, is the day of Rest—according to the Commandment—According to the Custom of most Christians tis a Day of going to meeting—And with me, you will recollect, when at home, it is also a day of Rest except now & then you worry me to meeting But when, at this place, or in general, when I am from home, I appropriate this day, in the week, for writing to my friends, & to you among the rest—And whether I can improve it more agreeably, or more profitably I am not certain—I rather think this is the best mode I can adopt, both for profit and amusement—

    It is now about a quarter after twelve—A few moments after ten, as soon as I could shave & dress after breakfast—I went to a Quaker meeting-house—near by in our neighbour-hood;1 here I was detained till after twelve—But in a manner, most wretchedly painfull—There was not a word spoke by any person during the meeting—a most profound silence reigned, which joined to the long faces, floped hats, & little old-fashioned Bonnets presented a Scene more disgusting than any I was ever at. What profit such a meeting can be to people I know not—We sat upon long benches, & had no where to lean, or loll upon, which greatly added to my pain—

    Little children are, some times, sent to School to learn to set still, & be keept out of the way of mischief & trouble—But grown people, do not need this kind of discipline—They ought to be taught by preaching & Lectures—

    After having waited an hour & an half, & nobody said any thing I gave over expecting any sermon, & began to wonder, in my own mind, in what manner they would leave the meeting house; & who would go out first, or in what manner we were to be informed of meeting being done—But while I was pondering these things, all of a sudden, &, for ought I could discover, without a signal from any particular person, the whole assembly arose, as it were by instinct at the same instant, & left the house—As I sat near the door, I was soon whirled out, and so had not time to see whether they shook hands in general or not—some I think did—

    This experiment I apprehend will nearly satisfy me as to going to Quaker meetings2—when I go to meeting I choose to hear something if it be nonsense—I shall dine to day with Sir J. Temple3—And tis possible, I may try meeting again in the afternoon—now I have got my hand in, I have some thoughts of going to the meetings & Churches all round, You know I am pleased with music, so I stand a chance not to loose my time altogether—

    Yours of the fifth Inst. came to hand last evening—

    And, as you once told me, upon my writing to you that I was not happy, it gives me pleasure to hear you are less happy at Weston than if I were with you4—Were I on a visit with you at Weston [Massachusetts], Barnstable [Cape Cod], or Boston, should you be contented to tarry there a month or six weeks after I was gone home? I think you would not—

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    ALS, TFP. Franked.