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Dr. Gordon's History is reprinting here, in 3 vols., 8vo, at half the price of the London edition, and is daily retailed in two of our newspapers. It is not done in either case “by the Doctor's desire,” or with his knowledge; though I am inclined to think he expected it would be done. He is amply secured by European and good American subscriptions, and will probably make something handsome by his sales.
The birthday of the new Constitution was celebrated by the ringing of bells here, too; but we had no ideas of a conflagration. . Congress is meeting, but sufficient numbers to form an house have not yet got together. Four Senators and eight Representatives are wanted to make a quorum. It is probable there will be enough next week to tell us who are President and Vice-President.
I am just informed that Trenchard is in town, and that he has come here to try to contract with the corporation of this city to supply it with water by conduits. I have not seen him, but suppose I shall.
There is nothing new among us. We are all anxious for Congress to get to work. The members present meet daily in the new Federal Hall, though it is not yet quite finished. It is really an elegant and magnificent struct
Some of the houses in its vicinity are to be pulled down to-morrow, and trees are to be planted where they now stand.
I am, with love to Mrs. Belknap, in which Mrs. H. cordially joins me, Dear sir, yours affectionately,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, March 28, 1789, 11 at night.
MY DEAR SIR, - I have received yours of 18th, and delivered Mr. Trenchard the one it enclosed, for he is in this city at present.
We have talked a good deal about you, and I find his fears are alarmed lest he should lose you. He is very sorry he was opposed to the first plan of inducing you to settle in Philadelphia, when you left Dover; and, in short, you appear to have become in a sort necessary to him. He intends to write you that you may use the biographical pieces as you propose, and says the entry of his Magazine in the office was merely to prevent Carey's from taking liberties with him. I am mistaken, if he will not make you a generous offer. He seems to fear that my influence will unite you with the Americans; and, whether they proceed or not, you will probably be a gainer. If so, one of my ends will be answered. The Americans are in statu quo; and, from what I have seen, I suspect Th—s had better be there too.
The new Government is not yet organized. Neither Senate nor Representatives have been able to make a quorum, owing to bad roads, sickness in their families, &c. &c. I understand that only one Senator and two Representatives are wanting ; so that we may hope to know with certainty in a day or two who are chosen President and Vice-President, and to see the beginnings of good government. Notwithstanding Juvenal remarks that Fronti nulla fides, I confess I cannot help feeling a little prejudiced in favour of our new legislators from their appearance. Those who are here, in general look like men of business, and appear. to feel the importance of the business they have come here upon. They complain much of their being kept so long idle. As I feel under obligations to Russel, and it will be of importance to him to have the latest intelligence, I wish you to communicate this to him, and let him know that it is by my desire; but he is not to mention who it comes from.
I will try to find out what T. gives his writers.
Mr. Morse is here on his way to Charlestown. He is gone to bed, and expects to sail for Newhaven in the morning, and to be with his flock to-morrow week. He is just returned from Shrewsbury. He must be there again in May.
Your situation calls forth our tenderest sympathy. Faint not under Divine rebukes; eye not only the rod, but the hand that hath appointed it. Afflictions, we know, spring not out of the dust; and, though they may be severe, they are proofs of a Father's love. They should lead us nearer to him; and, if they do, the time will come when even the remembrance of them will be sweet.
Give my love to Mrs. B. Mrs. H. would add hers, if she were here; but she and all the family are gone to bed, and I can hardly keep my eyes open long enough to write. Good-night.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, April 4, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, The plan of Boston which you sent came safe, and shall be forwarded to Dr. G. with the subsequent remarks. I wish you may find leisure to compleat your 2d Vol. There is a spirit of reading and enquiry prevailing now, which, I think, will make a demand for it. The “better plan” I thought of was to agree with some bookseller in London for the copyright for European sales. I think you might get something handsome for it; and, as the book is printing here, you could send over the sheets to him, so that he might publish these nearly as soon as
you would here. This appears to me very feasible, as I understand your 1st Volume is much approved in England. Many people in America, I am told, will not purchase the first, because the work is incomplete. Stockdale and Dilly seem to be the two London booksellers who are most eager after American publications. I will see if I can find any thing about Penn for you, particularly upon the subject you hint at. The Manor of Pennsbury lies on this side Bristol. Don't you recollect riding through a large tract of wood pretty soon after you left Bristol in coming to New York ? That is it. I have never seen the house, but am informed it is near the river; and I have lately seen it advertised for sale. I have never heard of the river's running three times round it. With respect to the degrees of latitude, I have been told Penn intended to play Lord Baltimore a' trick, but fell himself into the snare. The anecdote was lately communicated to me, but I do not recollect it fully: you shall have it hereafter.
The death of your son is an event we have expected for some time past. From the strength of our own attachment to our children, we can have some idea of the pain which you must have felt on this occasion ; and, when nature is unsupported in such trying circumstances, the prospect of a separation must be dreadful. But this was not your case. We thank our Heavenly Father that he gave you consolation in the midst of your distress, and such comfortable evidence of your son's interest in a Redeemer's love. The reflection must alleviate your grief: it should wipe all tears on account of this bereavement from your eyes. It rests with you to make a suitable improvement of this dispensation, nor will you neglect it; and, while from this chastisement you may argue your interest in your Father's love, endeavour to find out the cause of the affliction, that it may be guarded against in future. Through the strength of temptation, the allurements of the world, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts we are prone to wander from God; and the corrections of his hand are as necessary to reclaim us as the restraints of his grace to prevent our wanderings.*
April 5th. Please to give my compliments to Mr. Russel, and inform him that, in consequence of the arrival of Col. Richard Henry Lee this day from Virginia, there is a quorum of the Senate in town, so that we may expect the new government to go into immediate operation.
Mr. Wingate has this moment come in, and desires me to give his love to you, to which I add that of Mrs. H. and Your very sincere friend,
EBEN. HAZARD. P.S. Thank you for the sermon.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, April 20, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR, - Lest I should not be able to write you a letter at the end of the week, when it is most natural and usual, I will begin one now, on Monday morning; though, from a cold of some days' continuance, my head does not feel in tune for any kind of exercise. I have three of yours among my unanswered letters.
With respect to the plan of Boston which Dr. Gordon desires, I sent you the latest that has been engraved here. It is an appendage to “a Directory” which has just come out. Both the book and the plan are very imperfect; and I believe there is no more correct one than Mr. Pelham's, a brother-in-law or nephew of Mr. Copley, the celebrated painter. I have it now by me (a borrowed one). Dr.
* Samuel Belknap, Dr. Belknap's second son, died on the 28th March, 1789, after a lingering illness, in the eighteenth year of his age. He had been for some years in the store or counting-house of his uncle, Samuel Eliot, in Boston. See “Life of Jeremy Belknap, D.D.," pp. 171, 172. -EDs.