Montpellier May 4th. 1833
I recd. in due time your letter of the 17th. Ult: with the Copy of your two Vols. entitled "year in Europe. I have made some progress in the perusal of them; eno’ to satisfy me that the objects & observations which they present, well merit the entire perusal I have in view. But as I may be much retarded in it by the feeble state to which age & desease have reduced me, and by other claims on my time, I will not postpone the acknowledgment of your kind communication; and I make it with my own hand as you seem to wish; tho’ in the habit now, required by the effect of Chronic Rheumatism on my fingers, of substituting as much as possible, a borrowed pen. A further effect of the same cause, is that what I now write, is in a character essentially different from what it was in middle life; and even from what it was at the latest date of my healthy condition.
Mrs. Madison is gratified by the interest you express in her health which is generally good, & joins me in tendering the respects & friendly salutations which I pray you to accept.
RC (MBU: Edward C. Stone Collection); draft (DLC).