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HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, June 25,1789.
My Dear Sir, — I have seen Mr. Pease, and told him of your thirty dollars, which he has agreed to receive. For this purpose I have given him a draught on you for that sum, which please to pay; and, on my receiving your orders, I will pay a like sum for you in Philadelphia.
Something is the matter with Trenchard. He mentions "family difficulties/' and talks of coming to live here; but " for several very important reasons, best known to" himself, "begs it as a particular favor that" I will not let the purport of his letter be known to my "most sacred friend, except it is to the Rev. Mr. Belknap/'
Mr. H. and family are well. I am in my office again, but cannot wear shoes yet. Shod or unshod, I am
Your affectionate Eben. Hazard.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, June 27, 1789.
Dear Sir, — Your reasonings upon the copyright of the P. have converted me. I had different ideas before, but now conceive it belonged to S. only, quoad hoc the right of being the first publisher. This right he has enjoyed, and probably has derived advantage from it; and the work now seems to have become common property, except where secured by an entry in the Prothonotary's office, which, as you have his consent for republishing, can be no bar to you.
Mr. Morse's disorder, I apprehend, is of the bilious kind, and intend to advise him to an emetic whenever he may find it approaching. He had something of the same sort when he was here. We hope it will not be of long continuance.
Penn's Life, received with yours of June 23d last evening, shall be forwarded to-morrow. I think it will be too late for the June Magazine. I never heard that any of his descendants were more famous for any thing than for their wealth. The estate (except the Manors) was taken from the family at the late Revolution by the State, and (I think) £120,000 sterling was to be paid them as a compensation, by instalments. One payment, 1 believe, has been made. The estate was taken under the idea of the danger arising to the public from one citizen's possessing so much wealth. I have heard the act condemned as unjust. I don't know whether any of the family now reside in Pennsylvania, but have an idea that one does.
My gout is so far gone that I have made out to hobble to church once to-day, to hear a Mr. McKnight preach, of whom our people appear to think highly. He seems to be a very sensible, judicious man, and such a preacher as I think the congregation will be pleased with, though he is plain in his manner.
Our good Dr. Rodgers is in a bad state of health, and I fear will not be much longer useful as a minister.
We are glad Mrs. M. proves so acceptable to you. How is it on t'other side of the water? It is very uncertain when, or whether ever, we shall visit Boston. Should Mrs. Breese go there, Mrs H. would strive hard to accompany her; but I suspect she will find other employment. Give love to Mrs. B. from Mrs. H. and your friend,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, July 4,1789.
My Dear Sir, — Last evening I returned from Concord, in New Hampshire, where I assisted in the installation of our friend Evans, on Wednesday last. He has got a very good parish at last. The town is much improved since I saw it, which is now 15 years. His wife is very agreeable, both in her person and manners. Some of his parishioners live handsomely, and are very polite (you know it is the court town of the State).. We had a generous and elegant entertainment, at the expenee of two gentlemen only, who by this exertion eased the town of the trouble of raising money to defrey the expenee. The weather was severely hot all the time of the journey. Mr. Morse was my travelling companion; and he has picked up some hints for the improvement of his Geography, as well as I have for my intended History.
Mr. Pease called here yesterday. This morning I sent for him, and paid him the 30 dollars. I now send Mr. Spotswood an order, as you see. Be so kind as to give directions to Mr. Bryson along with it, and I will exchange receipts with you.
This day we have a fine rain. The bells are ringing for independence, and I am just going to hear the orations.
We have had two orations this day, — one by Dr. Stillman. This is called the town oration. It was a middling performance, too narrative, too many quotations in it, and some of them trite, but pretty well delivered. The other, to the Cincinnati, by a Dr. Whitwell, who has been a surgeon in the army, — a puerile performance, not well committed to memory, ungrammatical, wretchedly delivered, the orator not being used to speak in public. D. Rea was to have sung us a song, which you will see in Russel's Sentinel, but was indisposed, and it was indifferently sung by a Mr. Eaton. The whole ceremony of the day much below par.
As to Trenchard, he has never made himself much known to me. What you say of him renders him an object of pity. Spotswood wrote to me that he believed "the dissolution of the Columbian Magazine was approaching," but did not say how nor why. To your question, "How is it on t'other side of the water?" I answer that both Mr. M. and his wife are very agreeable to the people, and I hope and trust it will continue. If Mrs. Breese should come, Mrs. Hazard must come with her. Perhaps her "other employment" may receive no injury from a previous journey. A lady of my acquaintance was the other day taken in travail in a chaise, and I believe the motion contributed to a very easy, safe, and happy delivery. Exercise is certainly very salutary during the state of pregnancy; and I believe, also, that it is no bad preventative of the gout. You will therefore take it into very serious consideration, and let Levi Pease have the honour of conducting the P. M. G. and lady, and Judge B. and lady, to this town next autumn.
My daughter Sally is gone to Portsmouth, and from thence writes that Mrs. Buckminster is better. I hope it, will continue. That part of the family which is at home are well, and unite in love to you and yours. Your sincere friend, Jeremy Belknap.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, July 12,1789.
My Dear Sir, — I am glad to hear of your safe return from Concord, and that you were so agreeably received and entertained there. Our friend Evans, I hope, will be comfortably and usefully employed at last. Your draft, favour Spotswood, will be forwarded to-morrow, with directions for payment on sight. I could hardly help laughing when I compared your account of the orations with the "newspaperial." We had an oration, too; but I did not go to hear it. It was an address to the Cincinnati, which appears to me perfectly farcical. Would those gentlemen imitate the Roman whose name they borrow, they should return quietly to their former occupations, and not affect distinctions between themselves and other citizens, whose merits and sufferings were equal to their own.
Trenchard has not written to me since the letter I formerly mentioned to you, nor do I yet hear any thing of the Magazine for June.
We are happy to find our friends prove so agreeable to their new connections. I wish we could visit them and you, but I fear we must not expect it. We will see, by and bye, what time says to it.
My gout is gone, but my feet continue tender. A day or two ago, my head was so much disordered that I kept my bed the most of the day. This was not owing to the gout, but too much business. We have nothing new, except that we have agreed to call a minister, and our good doctor is declining fast. He could not preach this morning. Mrs. H. sends love, so does
Your friend, Eben. Hazard.
P. S. I see your printers don't let Dr. Gr. alone yet. There will be a call for a second edition of his History, in England, very soon. Somebody here (I don't know who) has been writing in his favour. I suspect it is a bookseller's trick to help the sale of the American edition, which is to appear soon; and the editors tell me they have 1,100 or 1,200 subscribers.