« AnteriorContinuar »
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, March 25,1786.
Dear Sir, — This is the first time it has been in my power to send you my Election Sermon since my return from the southward. I know not by what policy my quota of copies was detained from me; but, after trying several ways to get them, in vain, I at length made use of a person whom I knew to be indefatigable in the pursuit of any and every thing he undertakes; and, by his means, I got 20 copies. The person I allude to is no less than General S., who stands at present candidate and competitor with J. L. for our curule chair.
Would you believe it, there is a party here who got S. L. chosen to go to Congress, and pressed and urged him exceedingly to go; and, now he is gone, pretend that he has vacated his seat as Chief Justice, and want to get W. L. into his place. If you are at a loss for quacks and jockies, in the science of government, we can abundantly supply you, and be no losers.
If it be not too much trouble, please to forward, by the mail, one of these copies to Dr. Styles, at New Haven, and one to Rev, Mr. Eliot, of Fairfield; the others are for Dr. Rogers and yourself.
Mrs. B. joins in affectionate salutations to Mr. Hazard and lady, and mother, and Sammy, with
Your truly respectful, obedient, and obliged friend,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, April 15,1786.
Dear Sir, — Since mine by last post, I have received yours of 25th ult., with two of your Election Sermons. One I delivered to Dr. Rodgers, who thanks you for it, as I do for mine. There seems to be curious shuffling and cutting among you; but I suspect S. L. will take care not to be ousted, as I understand he has returned home. I forgot to tell you, in my last, that Aitken has printed a 2d volume of the American Philosophical Transactions. I have seen part of it: it will be clever. I observe they have got your account of the White Hills in it, though I told them, when I gave it in, that you desired it might not be published. I suppose they forgot this, but, as they have given you credit for it, it cannot be deemed piracy, if you should reprint it in the 2d volume of your History. Pray, can you tell me in what forwardness the philosophers of Massachusetts have got their intended volume of Transactions? The enclosed came to hand this morning. I see the Massachusites are now attacking Bishop Seabury manibus, pedibus, unguibus, et rostro: it seems as if they thought no game under a D.D. worthy of their pursuit. We are all well, a;nd join as usual in love to Mrs. Belknap and yourself.
I am, dear sir, yours affectionately,
P. S. I have not had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Mycall yet.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, May 81, 1786.
Dear Sir, — I have been here about 3 weeks; and, finding that Dr. G. had recommended me to his people, and they were desirous of my help, I have preached to them two Sabbaths, and expect to be there again the next.* What farther may turn up I know not.
Yesterday I was present at a meeting of the American Academy. Business was conducted with great propriety, under the truly amiable and worthy gentleman who presides. Dr. Williams read us a long lecture on the "motion of heat" that the heat is communicated from the sun to the earth, and goes off from the earth into that part of space which surrounds it. If all the heat communicated from the sun had been retained, the earth must have been long since burned up: it goes off in exhalations, which form clouds; those atKthe polar regions exhibit the appearance called Aurora Borealis and Australis. One observation I never heard before, viz., that the magnetic needle is affected by these Aurorae, both in its variation and dip, being in a vibratory motion during the continuance of the vapour. We shall have the whole, some time or other, I suppose, in print. Pray was you a subscriber for the Transactions of this Academy? Let me know; and, if not, I will contrive to get you one of the books. If you were, I suppose the printers will send it. Some letters from you may have passed me, and gone on to Portsmouth. In that case, I shall probably get them next week. Pray to what part of the city are you removed? and how does your lady like her new situation? My love to her, to your mother and son. I am in an unsettled state, which, after so long domestication, is rather unnatural; but the voice of Providence must be obeyed, and the advice of friends regarded; and certainly no man ever had more valuable ones, here and elsewhere, than
* This was the parish over which the historian, Dr. Gordon, who returned to England this year, had been settled for some time. — Eds.
Your truly affectionate and obliged
The inclosed I send open, and beg you will forward it, when you write yourself.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, June 3, 1786.
Dear Sir, — If you know the custom of this city, you will not wonder that your favour of 8th May has remained so long unanswered. It is our invariable practice to hire houses until the 1st May; that is, our year terminates then, and all who are to remove must do it on that day, unless some particular circumstance (such as the houses they leave not being rented) fortunately allows a little respite. The enormous rents demanded by landlords last year obliged an unusual number of tenants to remove this year, and me among the rest. The whole city was in an uproar, and some streets almost impassable for carts loaded with furniture. Each house exhibited a scene of confusion, some furniture going into it, some coming out, at the same time, and none in its proper place; heads and servants of different families in each house, taking care of their own effects, and each watching the other, as if suspicious of theft, to prevent mistakes about the furniture; the ideas of every person as much confused as his house. From these hints, let your imagination paint the situation of New York upon the 1st of May. But the confusion1 is not of so short duration, for you go into a dirty house, and it must be cleaned from top to bottom before you can fix your furniture. Then comes whitewashing, scouring, scrubbing, and perhaps painting, washing windows, &c, &c. In the house I came to, two good hands were fully employed for nine days (equal to one person 18 days) in' this pretty business. Then comes the putting up the furniture; and, after that is done, a fortnight, at least, is necessary to get your brains in order.
This is the lot of all who move
Some have severer trials; for it happens, in many cases,
that the Mysteries of Lucina are to be celebrated about that time. IThis had nearly happened in my family; and I really feared that the thoughts and anxiety about moving, or the mental fatigue attending the operation, would have made "confusion worse confounded;" but, fortunately for me, there are philosophers among the women, as well as the men, and my daughter Betsey did not make her appearance before the 26th May, the very day on which her brother was two years old, by which time we had got pretty well prepared for her. This business has been in hand above a week; and, so far, has been satisfactorily conducted. Other matters have called for so much of my attention that my office is even yet in some measure deranged; and, when my brains will be settled, time only can determine, but I hope it will be before the 1st of next May. In the midst of the confusion, I received several things from our friend Dr. Clarkson, for you, which I now forward. In one of his letters, he intimates that he was rather behind his friend B. in polite attentions, and requests me to apologize for him; but, to you, who know the man, I fancy very little apology is necessary. I hear nothing of M. Abbeville and your books yet, but shall pay proper attention to them when they arrive. Dr. Ramsay has a copy of your History: he insisted on my selling him mine; but it will make no odds to you; for, as I shall buy another, this will make it exactly the same as an exchange upon the principle you propose. The proceeds of your sales here shall be remitted to Mr. Aitken, as you desire. I am extremely mortified and vexed at your giving up the 300 dollars; not by the goodness of heart which you discovered by the action, but by the villainy which made it necessary. Oh, how happy should I be, were it in my power to fix you among more honest folks! I have written to our friend the Doctor on the subject, but no prospect opens yet which even flatters us with promises.