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have undoubtedly been seen by some folks; and how they may operate, if an office for me should have been in contemplation, I don't know. There were no reports here; and if they originated, as has been suggested, in a great man's family, some young gentlemen have made themselves unnecessarily busy, — for what purpose must be left to conjecture. I am glad the publication has had so good an effect in Boston, for I confess I am not indifferent as to the public opinion of my public conduct.
Mr. Wingate is very kind in the permission he has given you. I shall probably take some liberties with him, and maybe with my friend, Col. Langdon, who now keeps with me, as the New England phrase is.
I have desired M. to tell Madam that Mrs. H. says aprontape is plenty here, if she should want any.
Mr. Morse must come on here immediately, or his printer will gain an advantage against him. I have wrote to him by this night's post.
We wish your family well through the measles. Mine are all well, and send our love to you and Mrs. B. I am, dear sir,
Your sincere friend,
P. S. I have become a dealer in certificates for the present.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, January 30, 1790.
Dear Sir, — I had your letter by N. B. this week; and, as I find that our friend M. is hastening to New York for apron-tape or something else, I must write by him.
I am more and more convinced of the propriety and necessity of what I published in your vindication; and I suspect you need be under no apprehension of what might be the consequence of it, in certain circumstances, for it is quite plain to me that he or they, who could treat you with so much cruelty, could have no intention of providing another office for you. But enough of this! ^ It pleases me to find that you are not destitute of business; but there are so many engaged in the certificate line that it seems to me incredible that they can all get a living. We have the street from the Old South to the Town House, and so down State Street, lined on both sides (with very little interval) with boards, on which is inscribed public securities, &c. At one door there is on one side public securities, and on the other leather breeches, which may not improperly be called private securities; at least, they are so intended.
Mr. Morse takes with him a packet for Carey. Should he not meet with an opportunity to forward it, I shall desire him to leave it with you. If you judge it will not be any great expence to him, I would have it sent by post; for, by agreement, he is to pay postage backward and forward. But I do not wish to burden him with charges.
Pray who are the setters on of the new magazine at Philadelphia?
If you have received any cash, on my account, of the persons who had my books to sell, be so good as to remit it to Eobert Aitken, and be sure to make him give a receipt. I owe him now about 125 dollars. The unsold books I should like to have sent me by Barnard. He is a clever fellow, and does not charge me any freight, but says he will take it out in preaching.
Two of my children have passed well through the measles. Betsy, se. 15, is now down: this is the 9th day. She is very low, but we hope not dangerous. It proves pretty light in general, and I have heard of none that have died with it.
Our Selectmen and the Governour and Sheriff are quarrelling in the newspapers about what happened on the day of the arrival of the President. The Sheriff's conduct reminds me of a passage in Shakespeare's King Lear: —
"Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? Ay, sir. And the creature run from the cur? There thou might'st behold the great image of authority: a dog's obeyed in office"
The Selectmen, as you may see in the Centinel of this day, have said something, in italics, which must affect His Excellency very sensibly. They have there told the trite reason of his not going out of town to meet the President. His indisposition was mental, not bodily. I suspect he will have but few votes in this town at the next election.
Please to accept Mrs. B.'s and my affectionate regards for yourself, and Mrs. Hazard, and children. I am,
Yours sincerely, Jere. Belknap.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Sunday evening, 7th February, 1790.
My Dear Sir, — This is only to inform you, and to request you to inform our friend Mr. Morse, who I suppose is now with you, that this morning died of an apoplectic fit our worthy friend Richard Cary, Esq., of Charlestown.
Every thing relating to the interment must be passed before it will be possible for Mr Morse to hear of it. It is unfortunate for him to be absent at this time, but the will of Providence must be submitted to. I heard from Mrs. Morse on Friday evening, and she was well, excepting the effect of the fall which she had the morning of Mr. Morse's departure, which was not bad. My family are happily recovered of the measles, and join in cordial salutations to you and yours. I am
Your affectionate friend,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Boston, February 13, 1790.
Dear Sir, — I wrote you last Sunday that on that day our worthy friend Richard Cary, Esq., quitted this world and entered into his rest. The manner of his death was this. He had been engaged in writing letters to several friends in England the day and evening before, and went to bed as well as usual. About 2 o'clock he called, by knocking. One of the domestics went into his chamber. He sent for his son Richard, who providentially was in the house, told him he was struck with death. His second daughter was then called, and the doctor, who gave him a puke, which had no effect. He said to his two children: "I am going to leave you, and I have nothing more to say than what I have often told you. Love God, and keep his commandments/' His speech and senses failed, and he died about three o'clock. The doctor supposes he was seized near the heart, and that the disorder proceeded upwards to the brain.
He was buried on Wednesday, with every mark of respect due to so good a character. If Mr. Morse should be with you when you receive this, please to tell him that Mr. Osgood prayed at the funeral, that the family propose to attend at Mr. Freeman's church to-morrow, and at ours the next Sunday; after which they hope Mr. Morse will be at home, when they will attend at Charlestown. Mr. Treadwell preached for him last Sunday; and Mr. McKean, of Beverly, will preach there to-morrow. I know not who is expected the succeeding Sabbath.* I saw Mrs. Morse on the day of the funeral. She was not abroad, — had beeri confined a few days with a cold, but was better. We have had eight days of severe frost, dry and unrelenting. Our inner harbour is entirely frozen. Boys have passed to the castle and back, on the ice.
This comes by our friend Cutler, who is charged with Ohio business, of which I suppose you know more than is in my power to inform you. Let me hear from you by him; and if you have procured the Report of the Lords of Trade, which I asked you for some time ago, please to send it by him.
Our children are now happily recovered of the measles, and the family is well.
We all unite in the kindest salutations to yourself and Mrs. Hazard. I am
Your affectionate friend, Jeremy Belknap.
P. S. If the Act of Congress respecting literary property should be printed before Mr. — I ask his pardon, Dr. — Cutler should return, please to send it to me.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New York, March 6, 1790.
My Dear Sir, — Dr. Cutler handed me your favour of 13th ultimo. From its age, I suspect he was detained on the road. Mr. Morse had left us long before it arrived, so that I could not communicate any part of it to him, as you desired. What a strange winter we have had! Hardly any snow or cold weather. For a very few days, indeed, the cold was intense, but did not last longer than with you. There is a three-story brick house in this city, now nearly under cover, the cellar of which was dug last month; and on Monday we shall begin digging the cellar of a building for a charity school. This morning was warm and very foggy; before noon, we had as beautiful, pleasant sunshine as ever you saw in spring; at noon,