Mrs. M. J. Green Springfield, Ills.
My dear Madam. Sep. 22. 1860
Your kind congratulatory letter, of August, was received in due course—and should have been answered sooner. The truth is I have never corresponded much with ladies; and hence I postpone writing letters to them, as a business which I do not understand. I can only say now I thank you for the good opinion you express of me, fearing, at the same time, I may not be able to maintain it through life.
Yours very truly,
[The text of the song is exactly the same as the letter, beginning with “Your kind…”]