My dear Cousin.

It will be a fortnight tomorrow since I have been almost wholly confined to my Room with a severe stroke of the Influenza that had nearly dispatched me to that Country from whose Bourne no Traveller returns – I thank God that my present state of health, tho feeble, is yet such as promises to be good in a reasonable Time with proper care – I hope you have long since received my letter by young Graham, & that he has safely carried on the Bracelets.

You will have the goodness to inform me of this & of my other commissions to you – Is the “Widow of Malabar”* really a thing of genius & entertainment? or does your Theatre, in a spirit of Politeness state it so? I rely on your judgement as a Critic Sound, if not Severe – When I propose you to get it for me & if you will stake your taste upon it – The enclosed supposed you might be here – The plaguey Influenza Cough sticks faster than a blister, for the latter has quitted me but the former yet distresses – Is your whole Soul absorbed – Absolutely engrossed, so that you cannot write but of Love, & to your Love – Love does not forbid friendship from sliding in for a Moment or so – Under this idea I may hope an answer – My best affections where you know they are due I pray you to present – Sincerely yours.

Richard Henry Lee

Shippen Collection

*The Widow of Malabar is a 1790 tragedy by the British writer Mariana Starke.

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 513 – 14.