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Saturday, 20 June, 1829

And the result of tomorrow will show how I shall succeed. I have passed the day in visiting several patients. Returned home and spent the night with my intended wife and Miss Licetta Conrad, her cousin. We all were cheerful and the night passed pleasantly. I, however, in the morning saw an unfavorable symptom, but it is now too late to seek for remedies.

I cannot attempt to describe my sensations today. I have indeed, as I have often done before, looked back on my past life in order to satisfy myself of the propriety of that step which I was now about to take. I am fully sensible of its importance and its binding obligation, and of many of the causes that may put a negative on all my anticipation of happiness or benefit. My own disposition may create an obstacle of magnitude and unless a corresponding reverse may be found in my companion, that amity, will not follow which should characterize the domestic fireside. And if the female disposition shouuld be unyielding and determined on courses which to me were, or may be deemed, improper, I may now declare that happiness will take her departure; yet I now feel determined to "bear and forbear" if any difficulty should arise. It may not be improper now to give you an indication of my disposition during my single life that you may avoid the errors I have fallen into from that cause and be the better able to form a more correct estimate of any change that may occur during the continuance of my marriage existence. I am disposed to be serious and contemplative and not easily roused to the expression of inordinate passion, always enduring reproach with apparent mildness as I have for several years had the control of the passion of anger, so much that I could refrain from the manifestation of feelings. But when I gave vent to my resentment, it was like the wind. I had no thought of consequences, but was always willing to come to an understanding and when·that was done that difficulty was behind. But if any individual attempted to injure me in a secret way, when I had given no provocation, I could never forgive or forget until that injury was repaid, and in the accomplishment of these ends I was equally regardless of the consequences to those whom I was determined to effect. Yet could never resort to falsehood or misrepresentation. I conceal within my own bosom the storm that is there collected, never intimating that I regard what may have been done to injuriously effect me, and become intimate with the individual against whom I indulge the most bitter animosity. My most intimate and real friends never receive the most distant allusion to the object I have in view. By this course I extracted from those who had done me wrong all their plans and intentions, and then sought my satisfaction in a way unsuspected. I was never outdone in any attempt of this kind, though in one case it required five long years to accomplish my design. But I cannot recommend to you the adoption of such a course because experience has proved to my sorrow it is unjurious even when successful. It requires time and much thought and often expense, all of which could and should be better employed. It is much more preferable to go and tell him if there be not a proper satisfaction of explantion that you look upon him as destitute of the principles of honor and deserved the most severe contempt. My mind sometimes was so intensely applied on the means to be employed and the way to be followed that I could neither eat or sleep. I was always after having reflected sufficiently on any course, determined to go through it and believed I could overcome every obstacle, however great. My attachments were warm and sincere, though I never made any great pretensions to my friends because it was one of the symptoms of deceit. To them I often appeared cold, when at the same time the warm glow of friendship was burning in my bosom, and if difficulties assailed them I was ready and willing to help.

I am averse to noise, uproar, and confusion and fond of retirement. Opposed to every species of trifling amusement or show without benefit. Opposed to all attempts at gaudy decorations, but more particularly so in people of low circumstances, like myself. Opposed to extravagance, and for the last few years ave been disposed to do good for evil and in distress ready to give relief to most bitter enemies. I have from the exercise 

I cannot attempt to describe my sensations today. I have indeed, as I have often done before, looked back on my past life in order to satisfy myself of the propriety of that step which I was now about to take. I am fully sensible of its importance and its binding obligation, and of many of the causes that may put a negative on all my anticipation of happiness or benefit. My own disposition may create an obstacle of magnitude and unless a corresponding reverse may be found in my companion, that amity, will not follow which should characterize the domestic fireside. And if the female disposition shouuld be unyielding and determined on courses which to me were, or may be deemed, improper, I may now declare that happiness will take her departure; yet I now feel determined to "bear and forbear" if any difficulty should arise. It may not be improper now to give you an indication of my disposition during my single life that you may avoid the errors I have fallen into from that cause and be the better able to form a more correct estimate of any change that may occur during the continuance of my marriage existence. I am disposed to be serious and contemplative and not easily roused to the expression of inordinate passion, always enduring reproach with apparent mildness as I have for several years had the control of the passion of anger, so much that I could refrain from the manifestation of feelings. But when I gave vent to my resentment, it was like the wind. I had no thought of consequences, but was always willing to come to an understanding and when·that was done that difficulty was behind. But if any individual attempted to injure me in a secret way, when I had given no provocation, I could never forgive or forget until that injury was repaid, and in the accomplishment of these ends I was equally regardless of the consequences to those whom I was determined to effect. Yet could never resort to falsehood or misrepresentation. I conceal within my own bosom the storm that is there collected, never intimating that I regard what may have been done to injuriously effect me, and become intimate with the individual against whom I indulge the most bitter animosity. My most intimate and real friends never receive the most distant allusion to the object I have in view. By this course I extracted from those who had done me wrong all their plans and intentions, and then sought my satisfaction in a way unsuspected. I was never outdone in any attempt of this kind, though in one case it required five long years to accomplish my design. But I cannot recommend to you the adoption of such a course because experience has proved to my sorrow it is unjurious even when successful. It requires time and much thought and often expense, all of which could and should be better employed. It is much more preferable to go and tell him if there be not a proper satisfaction of explantion that you look upon him as destitute of the principles of honor and deserved the most severe contempt. My mind sometimes was so intensely applied on the means to be employed and the way to be followed that I could neither eat or sleep. I was always after having reflected sufficiently on any course, determined to go through it and believed I could overcome every obstacle, however great. My attachments were warm and sincere, though I never made any great pretensions to my friends because it was one of the symptoms of deceit. To them I often appeared cold, when at the same time the warm glow of friendship was burning in my bosom, and if difficulties assailed them I was ready and willing to help.

I am averse to noise, uproar, and confusion and fond of retirement. Opposed to every species of trifling amusement or show without benefit. Opposed to all attempts at gaudy decorations, but more particularly so in people of low circumstances, like myself. Opposed to extravagance, and for the last few years ave been disposed to do good for evil and in distress ready to give relief to most bitter enemies. I have from the exercise of these two last feelings found more satisfaction than in harboring revenge. And I would strongly recommend it to you. You may be assured that a good act done for a bad one is productive of more real felicity, the most complete success the revenge can accomplish. And nothing will more tend to create pungent remorse in the mind of your enemy than to be made sensible that he has done you injury and that you never could have deserved any unkind treatment. I really should be glad that this feeling would never occupy my mind, and that under all situations I might feel a disposition to do good for evil. But let an individual have as good a disposition as nature can bestow. A constant application of irritant will, at last, denude the surface and cause the unpleasant opposite to assume a very unpleasant aspect. Indeed I believe it is worse than not to have forced down from its natural stand or elevation. Because the man has double cause for imitation; irritated because he had to give way to improper feelings, and the cause he did give way.