Montpellier July 20. 1832.
I have received your letter of the 14th. If I could under other circumstances venture on the important and delicate task you request of me, my present condition would not permit it. I have been confined to my house for a year by a tedious chronic indisposition, and, latterly, to my bed, by the effects of an acute fever. When I add that my age is now advanced into its 82d. year you will be satisfied that I can only express my wishes for the success of your proposed "National Portrait Gallery," and of a resort to a better source than I am for the immediate object of your letter. Be pleased to accept, Sir, my respects and friendly salutations.
RC (NjP); draft (DLC).