To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    Philadelphia        10 April 1798

    My dear

    [. . . .]

    You complain of the shortness of my Letter wrote on the 17th March, & say you were well disposed to throw it away without reading, Remember, my dear, the old proverb, that half a loaf is better than no bread, and I think you will not neglect to dine on a single dish because you have not three or four. If my Letters are short they are frequent, and make up in number what they loose in length1

    I cannot yet fix the time of adjournment; but I hope early in may—Various opinions are entertained here about our public affairs—some look upon a French-war as already begun—others, with whom I do yet & always have agreed in opinion, expect to avoide it—But the real fact is the French act so much worse than ever the Devil did, that ’tis almost impossible to make any probable calculation on the subject of their future conduct—

    Mr. Isaac Parker of Penobscot left us on saturday with a heavy heart—He recieved a Letter the day before that Mrs. [Rebecca Hall] Parker was very ill—it was wrote in such a manner that it left no doubt on his mind but the Doctor considered her very dangerous—she had been put to bead [bed] about a fortnight before,2 & he was rejoicing a few days at the agreeable news—

    I am most affectionately your

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked; postmarked. Omitted text refers to SST’s letters of 25 and 28 March and discusses her procuring eighteen bushels of corn; “I think you have done well, . . . ’tis a very convenient thing always to have bread enough.”