My Dear Wife: I have just recd a dispatch from the State department on other business but no answer to my application for Leave of absence is yet received and I shall say nothing more on the subject short of one or two weeks and you must not expect me home before the last week of this month or short of two weeks. I feel very anxious about you & the girls and shall go home without leave pretty soon if I fail to obtain it. The weather is now cold and dry. The thermometer at Zero. The houses white with frost all day. Mens' beards filled with ice from their breath and the severe weather of a Montreal winter is on us. In the mean time, my ... pains have mostly ceased and at no time have I experienced any pain in the region of the heart and I am now in better health every way except those sciatic pains there I have been for years and should enjoy life well except for anxiety ... Tell Laura or Maria to write me all about things soon as you get this. Love to all affectionately, Joshua R Giddings -- PS I have directed Lysander to send you and Molly each a set of Tins. JRG"