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you of his promise, which I told him I should do. From his having been long connected with public business, he will be able to inform you of many things, and perhaps circumstances attending particular transactions, which may throw great light upon the transactions themselves. Don't forget snaviter in modo and fortiter in re; and should new ideas, rising in the mind, divert the conversation from a good hint, then comes in perseverando. Repeat the hint.
Remember me affectionately to Mrs. B., and be assured that, whenever it is in my power, you shall have fresh evidences of the friendship of Eben. Hazard.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, June 7, 1781 *
Dear Sir, — I have received from Mr. Libbey a second bundle, containing, as you have wrote on the outside, the remainder of the letters. On looking over the whole, I find they will be of much service to my History. I mean many of them, especially those in 1745 and 6, two of the most wonderful, critical, and important years that have passed from the Revolution to the present war. I trust it will be no breach of the confidence you have reposed in me, if I shew some of them to an intimate friend of mine, who is able to explain something in them from his personal knowledge of the transactions and events therein referred to, especially as I conceal your having any concern in procuring them. Such a communication cannot defeat any plan which you have devised for disposing of them hereafter, and is essentially necessary to my reaping the advantage from them which was the design of your entrusting them to my care. You mention some papers you were "furnished with" by Mr. Jaffrey. If he has given you the originals or copies which were in his possession, I should be much obliged by your letting me have them. But, if he only permitted you to take copies yourself, there will be no need of your putting yourself to that trouble, as I can apply to him for the same favour. With regard to Deacon Jeffries, I have applied to him by letter some time since, and engaged a friend of mine to speak to him besides; but, like many other persons with whom both you and I have been concerned in the same way, he either forgets it or has not leisure, or something else, so that I expect nothing from that quarter without a personal rummaging of his garrett. But I suspect there will not be much to pay me for my trouble, if I should do that.
* See p. 482, note t. — Eds.
I have some prospect of getting General S 's letter
to Monsieur Marbois about the natural curiosities of the county, and, if I do, you shall be acquainted with some of his flights.
I am very sorry you carried Gov. W.'s Instructions to Philadelphia, for it is absolutely necessary that I should see them. One or more in particular, relating to his consenting to emissions of paper bills, are indispensable. I must leave you to judge whether it will be most trouble to you to lend me the original or send me a copy; whichever way you determine, I shall be equally obliged. Those Instructions (many of them I mean) were carefully concealed from the people, and yet were the secret spring of many public difficulties. The Records of the United Colonies I have looked over in a cursory manner, but am much disappointed in finding so little of the public transactions during Philip's War from 1675 to 1678. There is in the whole scarce any thing that can be any use to me in my compilation, though there is much about the public dealing with the Indians, and the propagation of the Gospel among them. In one place, I observe that the Sagamore of Agawam had a coarse coat given him, to induce him to "learn to know God/' Query: Whether, if this be good policy, we can blame the Jesuits for giving the Indians a shirt as a reward for coming to baptism?
Have you ever seen Charlevoix's Journal of his travels in Canada? I remember I once mentioned to you P. Hennepin's observing a flux and reflux in the lakes. P. Charlevoix, who was a more critical observer, gives this account of the matter: "I have observed in the Lake (Ontario), and they assure me the same happens in all the others, a kind of flux and reflux almost momentaneous; some rocks, which are pretty near the shore, being covered and uncovered several times within the space of a quarter of an hour, although the surface of the lake was very calm, and there was scarce any wind. After having considered this some time, I imagined it might proceed from springs which are at the bottom of the lake, and from the shocks of those currents with those of the rivers, which flow in from all parts, and which produce these intermitting motions."
We have nothing new in these parts. Our speckled
Hen sits this week, in order to " lay " (this is the word
used in the precept) a Plan of Government. What she
will produce, time will discover. One town in this county
has sent a member on this occasion. Mrs. B. desires her
sincere regards, and you may be assured of the increasing
esteem of your affectionate and obliged friend,
Jeremy Belknap. To Ebenezer Hazard, Esq.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Philadelphia, July 2, 1781.
My Dear Sir, — Your favours of May 28th and June are both come to hand. They were detained on the road in consequence of a little irregularity occasioned by a rider's being taken some time ago. I am glad you received the papers I sent you, and happy to find they will be useful. It will be no breach of confidence if you shew some of them to an intimate friend in the cautious manner you propose. All I intended by my particular directions was to secure them for the purpose I hinted to you; and, if this is accomplished, I shall be satisfied. I can hardly deny any thing to a friend, but you must excuse my not sending the "Instructions" on account of the risk attending it. You shall have them in such a way as will be satisfactory. You must learn the lesson. Should you not be able to do it perfectly, the impudence of your friend shall assist you as opportunity offers. With regard to Deacon J , remember per sever ando, in which I suspect your friend is deficient. I shall hope for an Egg, as soon as the Hen has done laying. We are credibly informed that General Green has taken Ninety-Six, with 500 prisoners, 16 brass field-pieces, and a large quantity of ammunition and stores, and that Cornwallis is retreating from Virginia. I declare you have as much indetermination about yoti as if you were an old bachelor. You will go to Boston, and you won't go, and you don't know whether you will or not. Remember me to Mrs. B., and excuse the haste of your friend,
X. & Quekcus. I lend you the enclosed.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.*
"As much indetermination as an old bachelor!" Very curious indeed! Why then did you sign Quercus to one of your publications? That is the stiffest thing in the world, and very unbecoming your character, or else you are greatly mistaken in supposing indetermination to be the characteristic of an old bachelor. A man that determines not to marry till the war is over can hardly charge himself with this defect! But pray who is this Druid that needs so much correction ? — and to whom you have told the story of the vacation of Ty? You have undertaken a task which you will not be able to perform, if you expect to correct improprieties in language. For my own part, though I would wish to correct them in children, or rather prevent them, yet when people have got a habit of them fixed, I think it is the best way to let them alone, and make what advantage we can of their peculiarities. One advantage is the distinguishing people of different towns, counties, neighbourhoods, by their local barbarisms, or persons of different occupations by their use of technical terms. For instance, when a common person would say Stop, a military man would say Halt, a sailor Avast, a plough-jogger Whoh or Hush, and a quoter of poetry, " Stick a pin there." But enough of this.
* This letter is without signature or date. It is a copy preserved by Br. Bel* knap, and is an answer to Hazard's of July 2, 1781. — Eds.
Your reason for not sending me the " Instructions" by the conveyance of the post is fully satisfactory. I did not advert to the danger, or I should not have asked the favour. I had much rather you should bring them yourself. I have lately got a budget from another quarter, some of which I suppose would suit you. This will be a further inducement to you to come here in the fall, as you gave me some encouragement to expect. The Records of the United Colonies I shall send by Colonel Waters, who is now here, to the care of Dr. Gordon. I find very little in them to my purpose, but am greatly obliged to you for letting me see them as a matter of curiosity. The Hen has sat once. She was not4 so large, nor so speckled as heretofore. There is a prospect of something being not only laid, but hatched, that will be clever in itself. Whether it will suit the taste of the people is uncertain. September or October will produce it.