1821. Septr 4.
From H. Lee to R. Mayo (fr: original)
I am sorry I have nothing to say on the subject apparently of primary interest to you. To the advice that you wait until December & then act for yourself nothing beneficial can be added, and you must be aware that the occurrence of recent events has placed me out of all communications with the person concerned.
I shall expect to see you here early in December or in November if you choose. As, to the secondary subject of your letter, unfortunately I have neither application nor attainment adequate to the enterprise you suggest. A memoir though a limited subject is yet a substantive and entire one, & is as susceptible of those touché, of execution which give as full proof of the artists power as the achievement of any thing less an epic. And it further admits & perhaps requires a sort of mitigated, repressed & graceful energy the display of which is perhaps as felicitous as any effort short of that of invention of which the mind is capable on literary or speculative subjects.
I feel warm admiration for the benevolence of your pursuit in regard to general education & think it harmonises with the chivalry of your more recent project. Mrs. Lee & Mrs. B. and the misses are well.
Please let me hear more in explanation as to the Digest.
4th Sept. 1821
[On the margin] It is lucky you did not go up to Loudon, as a death in the family took place at that time.
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 7, M2009.134
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 16