Thursday, 12 June, 1828

It is a beautiful and pleasant morning and nature wears a serene smile. The fervid heat of midday is very oppressive, when exposed to a meridian sun, but in the shade is quite supportable. My little patient is slowly and steadily improving, which is all that gives me any satisfaction. I have a little better prospect in vision, predicated on a few more calls professionally. No man could be better pleased than I am because no man could be more needy. I have spent the day in reading Medical Books, this too is pleasant and draws the mind more to a center and prevents those wild excursions of fancy on subjects of less importance and more perplexing and indeed I may say less gratifying. I proposed a question to A.D. Gage this morning. In answer to which he wrote the following. The question was in relation to which should govern the action of man, "will or desire."

12 June, 1828

Bethania, Stokes Co., North Carolina

Mr Dear Sir,

Desire is a principle existing in the Human mind, when exerted is eager, desirous of wishes to obtain an object which it was not in possession of at the time when the mind was brought under its influence, or when the eye observed an object which pleases the organ of seeing, although disgusting to the sense of touch, smell, or taste, or any other sense it is capable of acting on. Desire acts according to the constitution, age, or cultivation of the mind. Therefore, when the mind is properly taught to view things as they are, in reality, it is not so prone to wish for an object as it may strike the fancy at first sight, but view it with all the success which nature has endowed it. When we become in possession of that desired object it is no longer a wish or desire, but participation. Desire may arise from numberless different sources, either from necessary want or other causes. When the mind is placed on some supremely desired object and when the will is not allowed to actwith the desire, then we see the full effects of the desire of obtaining that object of the wish or desire. When the desired object becomes an object of love, as it is very often the case, its influence often proves to the disadvantage of the possessor or otherwise an advantage as the circumstances or condition of the case may be. Then when allowed to obtain every object which it fancies, often allows the will to accompany it in all its wishes, often shows an uncultivated mind or not tutored in infancy; or it must be owing to the natural disposition of him who possesses this inordinate desire or wish. Desire is not the effect of obtaining any particular object or thing sought for, but the reverse of all this; desire is that principle of the human understanding which acts indirectly, whereas will acts directly or is limited to a certain degree of power which we may possess with regard to exerting our natural faculties. The will is choice or a command for some particular performance or act to be committed; at the command or will of him who orders or chooses to have this particular performance or act accomplished at his will or pleasure.

It is my ardent desire to see some of my friends, but it is not my will to go and see them, because there is an insurmountable obstacle with regard to my desire; therefore my will is perfectly at rest, with regard of seeing them. But if the will and wishes or desire run in the same channel should see those friends at my will. But, you will say that the will and desire do run in the same channel; why not obtain that object which you so much desire; for that can be obtained, if it is your will to accomplish it, because it lays in your power to accomplish it; which power and will are the same or coincident with each other, etc....etc....etc....

Your most obt.,

A.D. Gage

Geo. F. Wilson