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permitted, we know how he fell. what is yet left for him to perform, time must unveil.
I thank you, my Dear Madam, for your inquiries after my Daughter. she was well a few days since. she had Letters from her son dated in Novbr. he was then at Trinidad where he expected to pass the winter. a don Quixot expedition 1 which could never have met with his Grandfathers or my assent or consent, if it had been known to us before he had saild. it has been a source of much anxiety to us, and to his Mother.
I cannot close this Letter, without droping a sympathizing tear with you over the remains of your belovd Neice, and my valued Friend. She was from her youth all that was amiable Lovely and good, the youthful companion of my daughter, I always saw her with pleasure, and parted from her with regret. She was endeard to me by the misfortunes of her youth which from her strong sensibility and dutifull affection, I was frequently made the depositary of her sorrow and tears. She always exprest for me a sincere Regard. when I learnt her new engagement, knowing the delicate state of her Health, I feard she might find it too arduous for her, but her companion she had long known, esteemd and valued as his many virtues deserved.
Heaven spared her to act well the Mothers part towards her sons, to whom she devoted herself and having reared them to Manhood, for wise ends which we cannot comprehend, took her out of Life, what can we say, but that the ways of Heaven are dark and intricate.
I pray you to present Mr. Adams's and my regards to Genll, Warren. we both of us rejoice to hear that he enjoys so much health at his advanced period of Life. we shall always be happy to hear of the welfare of Friends whom we have loved from our early years and with whom we have past many, very many social hours of pleasing converse, in unity of Bond and Spirit. with Sincere Regard I subscribe your Friend
I That of Francisco Miranda.
2 Mary Otis, widow of Benjamin Lincoln, Jr., and wife of Rev. Henry Ware of Cambridge. She died February 17, 1807.
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE II March, 1807
Your letter of 4th Feb. I was favored with, and I need not add gratified by receiving on the tenth of that month. It was written at the same time with mine and gave me additional pleasure when I recollected that we thought of writing at once.
There was no doubt in my mind, that you had sufficient evidence to justify the statement made in your history respecting Mr. Bernard's civil promotion. The Remembrancer does not contradict my idea, that he was made a baronet before he quitted his government. This is an high and the only hereditary order of knighthood. The Remembrancer states that after his leaving America he was still further promoted to the title of Baron Nettleham. This was ennobling him. I had never, till the receipt of your valuable letter, any knowledge of this last promotion, and do now rather suspect that the compilers of the Remembrancer, tho' in general they may be correct, have in this instance confounded the two things and that Mr. B. remained Sir Francis till his death, without acquiring the degree of My Lord. At any rate an historian in following the documents, is intitled to the respect of the reader, and is exempted from any charge of inattention or carelessness. But when a work so extensive as yours discovers such long continued attention in arranging multiplied materials into an elegant and well formed narrative, there is not only a freedom from blame, but a great degree of praise attached to the author. The Major, I presume, told you of the other part of my remark, made to him at the same conversation, "that if I was about to review the book, for the public eye, such a minute criticism I should be ashamed to insert."
Please to present my respects to the General and your young friends, whom I also claim as belonging to my list.
Accept my sincere condolance on the death of Mrs. Ware. It is a melancholy proof that even the best principles when carried to excess terminate in evil. Nobody doubts her being a woman whose conduct was regulated by piety and good conscience; yet perhaps a fear that she had not come up to her own standard, by occupying
too much of her attention, produced such a dreadful subversion of mind.1 I am, Madam, very sincerely Your most obedient servant JAMES WINTHROP
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, 3 May, 1808
MADAM, -A few days ago I received the honor of your letter of 20th April, and need not add, was flattered by the sentiments of friendship contained [in] it. The pleasure it gave me by the assurance, that all our Plymouth Friends are in health, was very great, and next in degree to the enjoyment of my own health. Your polite invitation to take a trip to Plymouth, I hope, will take effect some time in July. Our Courts will hold on till the latter part of June, as they have for two months past, every second week, and sometimes oftener. They hardly leave me time to rest myself between them. From the end of June to the middle of August, we shall have a vacation, and hope to improve part of it in a tour to the old Colony, and to have the honor of paying my respects in person to you and the General. Not that I consider the reason assigned in your letter as the most operative; tho' generally I feel disposed to adopt your reasoning, but in this instance it would grieve me to have it just. The reason implied in the question "Do you not wish to see your old friend General Warren once more before he is gathered to the band of worthy patriots who are swept off before him?" is, that the time may be short. True, it may be short, but I hope otherwise. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing him many times, and enjoying his conversation often, before our separation.
It is to me surprizing that a political faction should have been able to produce so great an effect on the mind of the community, by their misrepresentations of the embargo. The election of Senators seems to be so far influenced as to deprive the republicans of
I The series of letters exchanged between Mrs. Warren and John Adams in July and August, 1807, on her History, is printed in 5 Collections, IV. 317. In the same volumes are letters from Elbridge Gerry to Mrs. Warren on the controversy and breach of intercourse to which it led and on the eventual reconciliation, largely due to Gerry's tactful handling.
their majority at that board, and merely to gratify a few traders, who depend on the commercial credit given them by Great Britain. Those merchants, whose large capitals enable them to trade to all parts of the World, are represented as acknowledging the wisdom of the embargo. A few men, whose politics reach no further than their own counting house, and their habitual course of negotiation, seem to think the whole world is going to overset, because they are for a little while interrupted. A very little attention would shew them how to employ their stock in a different mode, by which the community would be enriched and the nations who have interrupted our old modes of supply would be punished by the permanent loss of our customs.1
Mrs. Hilliard joins in respects to the General and you, and is much gratified to find by the friendly inquiries you made respecting her that she has not slipt through your memory. Please to present my remembrances to your Sons, who sometimes dot in upon us, but will not be prevailed on to make a visit. I intend to be better in this respect than they. I am, Madam, with much respect, Your most obedient Servant,
JAMES WINTHROP TO MERCY WARREN
CAMBRIDGE, I Octo., 1808
DEAR MADAM, -I am much gratified by a visit from your eldest son, who is now here. He did me the honor of presenting your letter, which contains a review of my book consistent with your habitual politeness. I will not teaze you with a long argument on this subject, for to be honest about the matter, we all of us have our own courses of reasoning, and I cannot expect those, who have been used to a different theory, at once to abandon it for I This situation led to the election of James Lloyd, Jr., and the resignation of John Quincy Adams as United States Senator from Massachusetts. See "The Recall of John Quincy Adams in 1808," Proceedings, XLV. 354.
2 This could refer to his Attempt to translate the Prophetic Part of the Apocalypse of St. John into Familiar Language, Boston, 1794, or Attempt to arrange in the Order of Time those Scripture Prophecies yet remaining to be fulfilled, Cambridge, 1803, or his essay, about to be published, Appendix to the New Testament.
the sake of supporting mine. I confess therefore that I did not expect so many complimentary expressions, where I did not hope so much for conviction, as to lay open what I think a connected System. What the clergy consider as a political statement, I consider as the application of prophecy to the visible church comprehending the whole body of believers. The raising of the new order of things in their favor, as is now going on, I consider as the Kingdoms of the World becoming the Kingdoms of the Lord, and the resistance of the Popish and British powers as producing that time of trouble of which Daniel speaks in the beginning of his last chapter.
In Justification of this mode of applying it, I will at present only state, that all the commentaries on the Revelation, that I have seen, begin with applying the prophecy to the visible church, and to human empires, until their stock of history was run out. Many of the boldest figures of the Apocalypse are agreed to apply to events that have already taken place. The beginning of the ninth chapter is agreed to shew the rise of the Mohometans, and that of the thirteenth to relate in the same manner to Popery. Yet, as if the Commentators were afraid to trust their own principles of construction, they have supposed both these powers destined to a miraculous fall. I have taken the same principles and read the whole book by them, and find them true and the book also intelligible, consistent and true.
Let me ask, where would have been the surprise, if the whole matter had been expected, as it has happened? Yet you will find toward the conclusion of each series, into which John divides his book, abrupt warnings to be upon the watch. That the book shall remain obscure till toward the conclusion, when it shall become plain. Charge not my opinion with vanity, If I say the book now under consideration resolves the problem.
Pardon my having trespassed so long upon your patience. It was not intended at the setting out.
By Mr. Warren I send for your perusal two small volumes containing the poems of Sir William Jones.1 Knowing your taste for fine writing, I have presumed, that you will incline to look into 1 Poems, consisting chiefly of Translations from the Asiatick Languages, 1772.