From Mason Locke Weems
Charleston. S.Ca. [21 February 1823]
Mi Suavissime Rerum!1 Most Honord of friends,
This is just to tell you that the Life of Wm. Penn is launchd. and, thank Heaven, nearly half seas over,2 of the 1st. Edition. It is not for me to open my lips about it—but I am happy to know that sundry great men—of the Bench, also, to my huge amazement, of the Pulpit, are pleasd to say of it, as Mr Monroe at first reading of it said of my Marion—that, it is a book that will travel. However be that as it may I have taken the liberty to send you a copy of it for Mrs. Madison,3 who I have been told was brought up a “Friend.” I had hopes of coming myself to bring it to you—and for the same reason have all this time neglected to ask for the small ballance due of a little Religious Book Agency wherin Mrs. Madison was so public Spirited as to aid me two years ago, viz
|2 Hunters Sacred Biogy.4||22|
|1 Life of Washington5—for the Miller Broun||1|
|1 Copy Stevens French Wars6—subscribd for by Mr. Todd—& sent to him by the Stage||16|
Now If you coud be so good as to order this to be paid by some friend of yours in the Federal dist. or Dumfries—or Fredericksburg—or Richmond—givg. one single line of notice of the same to my son Jesse Ewell Weems Dumfries,7 you will very singularly & seasonably Oblige, yours, With the Utmost Resp. & Esteem
10,000 good wishes to Mrs. M & Mother &c.
RC (DLC). Undated; conjectural date supplied based on JM’s docket. Addressed by Weems to JM, and franked.
1. Mi Suavissime Rerum: this is a variant of the common greeting “dulcissime rerum,” translated as “my dearest fellow.” Here Weems uses “suavissime,” which can be translated as agreeable, charming, or pleasant (Edward P. Morris, ed., Horace: The Satires [New York, 1909], 122 n. 4).
3. Mason Locke Weems, The Life of William Penn, the Settler of Pennsylvania, the Founder of Philadelphia … (Philadelphia, 1822; Shoemaker 11390).
4. See Weems to JM, 22 Jan. 1819, PJM-RS description begins David B. Mattern et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Retirement Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 2009–). description ends 1:404 and n. 3, and Weems to Dolley Madison, 22 July 1813, DMDE description begins The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, ed. Holly C. Shulman (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2004), http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/dmde/default.xqy. description ends .
6. Alexander Stephens, The History of the Wars Which Arose Out of the French Revolution: To Which is Prefixed, a Review of the Causes of That Event (2 vols.; Philadelphia, 1804; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 7305).