James Madison Papers

James Madison to H[ugh Francis] Rose, November 1831

Novr 1831

Dr Sr.

I have recd. yr. letr. of the 4th. The former one did not miscarry, and an answer wd not have been delayd. but for a severe Rheumatism which has deeply affected my general health & so crippled my hands & fingers as to make writing equally difficult & painful. It is proper howevr. that you shd. not be left to indulge expectations which can not be fulfilled. I am glad to find you so anxious for the improvement of your mind, & for the advantages of a Classical Education, I wish I cd. aid you in it as well as others having a like share in my affectn. But such is the condition of my affairs, that they can spare nothing from imperious claims on my reduced resources. Be not discouraged howevr in pursuits wch with yr own exertions which promise an acquisition of the comforts, independence, & respectability, so material to a happy life. Classical Studies, howevr highly to be valued, are not essential to such a one. And the examples are not few, where a capacity & taste for them have carried them a great extent, in the portions of time, spared by industry from professed occupations. You may possibly be an addition to such examples; and if that be impracticable, can be one of the greater no., who wth. more limited acquirements have done well for themselves and been distinguished by their usefulness in social life. Your Aunt unites with me in affect. regards, and in all good wishes.

Draft (DLC).

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