Thursday, December 1, 2016

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, August 24, 1861

Washington, Aug. 24 (1861).

Yours of the 22d received this morning. I don't wish to hurry you, but write simply to say that Dr. Pope’s prediction has been realized.

I am flat on my back with bilious fever. I had a gay, old delirium yesterday, but am some better to-day. Doctor thinks I will be round in a day or two. Bob Lincoln came this morning bringing positive orders from his mother for me to join her at New York for an extension of her trip. Of course I can't go — as things look. There is no necessity whatever for you to return just now. There is no business in the office, and Stoddard is here all the time. He can do as well as either of us. As soon as I get able I shall leave. The air here is stifling. You had better stay as long as you like, for there is nothing but idleness here. As soon as I get on my pins I shall start. It will be a sort of breach of etiquette, but as Joe Gargery feelingly observes: — “Manners is manners, but your ’elth ’s your ’elth!”

Don't come till you get ready.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 39; Michael Burlingtame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p.12-3.

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