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the installation of Brother Evans at Concord, New Hamp-
Mr. A. has been the subject of some "abuse," as he thinks, in Dr. G.'s History.
Suppose I was to pay Jonathan Hastings thirty dollars. Is the connection such that his order would be paid by Mr. Bryson to Mr. Spotswood? Or can you help in any other way towards my paying him?
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, June 20, 1789.
MY DEAR SIR,-I thank you -I thank you for your care of my interest, when you are under so much affliction. It is, indeed, a proof of the truest friendship, and, as such, I esteem and accept it. But I do not fully agree with you in the idea of property which you have suggested, though I am far from regarding it as an ægri somnium. You suppose that "the copyright of that part of the F. which has been purchased is his, and that, in good conscience, I ought not to use any part of it without his consent, though there is no statute for securing it to him." Now, admitting that my asking and obtaining his consent is a decent step previous to my making up of the pieces already published, let me ask, What exclusive right he can have to them, if they are not secured by statute? Are they not common property? What objection (in a legal sense) could he make, if a third person was to quote, extract, or copy them in another publication? Well, if he has no exclusive right, what right has he? For what purpose did he pay for them? The answer is, For the purpose of publishing in his Magazine. He has done it, and, I presume,
has, by the sale of the work, repaid himself the expence, which was all his view. That he himself has no such idea of an exclusive right I conclude, partly from his own silence when I made him the proposal, and partly from the nature of the thing; for he must know that the parts of that Magazine lie at the mercy of every printer. And if it should be discontinued, as Aitken's is, Carey would pluck it, as he has done with respect to that. I suppose A. paid for many of those pieces (indeed, he told me so) which Carey now uses without scruple, and, I suppose, without censure. When the Columbian is a little more out of date, it may be retailed out in the same manner; and the F. may perhaps be taken among the rest, and who can help it? Now have not I as good a right as any person to make use of them in this manner? Certainly, Mr. S. cannot object to it. His letters to me express a sense of obligation for the help which I have afforded him; that he could not have kept up his Magazine (especially the last year) without me; and that he wished the profits of it would allow him to make me a better compensation than he has. The man has certainly conducted with much decency, respect, and gratitude towards me; and I have conceived a very favourable idea of him from the intercourse I have had with him. Considering this connection, I thought it most proper to consult him on the republication of what has already appeared, and of a continuation of it. His answer must be understood as implying a consent; so that I have no difficulty in point of conscience about it, and I apprehend that I shall do him no wrong in reprinting it by his assistance. The only question is, whether it be adviseable to accept his proposal, or make another; and here you have given your opinion with much judgment and candour, according to your idea of the property. But perhaps you will alter your idea after considering what I have suggested. If you should not, let me submit the following to you. I have received
9 guineas for the pieces already published. The whole, when completed, may be estimated at a certain sum. Let it be considered what advantage I have received by the payment of 9 guineas, and what advantage he has received by the sale of the Magazine in which these pieces are contained; and, if the advantage is on my side, let it be deducted out of the certain sum at which the copy shall be valued. This sum shall be my compensation for an American edition, or for the copyright in America. Or let the whole 9 guineas be deducted out of it, and the profits which he has made of the Magazine be considered only as the interest of his money, if it can be fairly so stated. In either of these cases shall I not stand fair in foro conscientiæ; and my application in England be no infringement on the right of any person in America? If it be not too much trouble, please to revolve the matter again, and give me your opinion. I shall wish to see the new Act of Congress before I determine on any thing. I have had some conference with Mr. Morse on this subject, and shall consult him farther, as I think his judgment is good.
Last Wednesday, Mrs. B. went with me, and dined at Mr. Carey's in company with the new bridegroom and bride. She appeared very pretty, and we were much pleased with her. This day, she has been at our house, and Mrs. B. has been about shopping with her. I did not see her, being obliged to attend a Committee of the General Court on College affairs. To-morrow, I am to exchange with Mr. Morse, A.M.; shall then see her again.
Adieu. It is very hot, and I shall not close my letter till to-morrow evening. I thank you for your anecdote of Hutchins, and shall be glad of more. I am in earnest about the biography. Have got another portion of William Penn roughed out, but can't as yet get time to copy it.
This morning before 9, the inclosed note arrived from Mr. Morse, which prevented my change with him. I had expected that he would be sick for some days, but I hope Nature is only making an effort to restore the equilibrium, and he will find the benefit of his present indisposition. Adieu.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
The gout has delayed the enclosed a little.
NEW YORK, June 21, 1789.
DEAR SIR, -We were happy to hear of Mr. and Mrs. Morse's safe arrival at Charlestown, of which both you and he informed us. Your wish to be within speaking distance of me exactly agrees with my own. I know few things that would give me greater pleasure at any time, but especially at this. When the sight of anybody in addition to my own family is refreshing, that of my friend must be peculiarly so. What does Solomon mean by "as iron sharpeneth iron, so does the countenance of a man his friend"? Should it not be rendered "brighteneth"?
My gout is not" of the worst kind;" but I assure you candidly it is so bad that I would never wish for even such a fit merely for the sake of enjoying the "pleasure of recovery." The pain at times made me quite spiteful, and that is much for a man of my philosophy; especially one who studies to be free from vexation, like a true disciple of Cadogan. I never have tried the beefsteak poultice. All I do for the gout, as yet, is to have quantum sufficit of well-carded wool wrapped loosely round the foot, and then add a decent integument of flannel, so as to keep the foot in a constant perspiration, and then as
patiently as possible wait the issue. If I find the pain intolerable, I take about 25 drops of Warner's anodyne elixir. Apropos, have you ever read Warner "On the Gout"? He writes well from experience, and, though a divine, exceeds all writers on the gout. He is my magnus Apollo; and, having followed his directions, I am now in a convalescent state. I have this day put on shoes for the first [time]; but they have been bravely enlarged by scarifying all the upper leather. The short slits in alternate rows look very well over a piece of clean bright-red flannel.
I have no doubt Congress will attend to those things Lieutenant-Governour A. mentioned, and to others; but there are things which demand their more immediate attention. They appear to me to proceed upon right principles, and really to aim at the public good.
I am glad my friend Evans is likely to be fixed at last. He has been so long erratic, that I fear his character for stability has suffered. Did you ever hear him talk of his wife? What a monster of perfection she is! I have not yet had time to read Dr. G.'s History. By the last London ship, he sent me, as a present, a copy on what is called wove paper, very elegantly bound. I have read only the two 1st volumes. The Doctor is a valuable friend, but an indifferent historian. His collection of facts will be useful to some future writer who will hold a better pen.
I cannot help you in the remittance, as you propose; but I shall have money to pay Levi Pease (the stage-man) the 1st of next month. Perhaps it will be agreeable to him to receive the 30 dollars of you. If so, you can pay them to him, and take his receipt for so much paid by me through you, on account of the carriage of the mail for the quarter ending 1st July, and I can pay Spotswood in Philadelphia. Mrs. H. joins me in thanking Mrs. B. for her sympathy, and in love to you both. I am, dear sir, Your friend,