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succeed. I wanted 23 votes more than I had. Perhaps it will do better next year, if I live.
Mrs. H. joins in love to Mrs. Belknap and yourself with, dear sir,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
BOSTON, June, 16, 1790.
MY DEAR SIR, I have received the box and delivered the trunk, and thank you much for your care and goodness. The Dictionary suits John exactly.
Parsons's Sermons were printed several years ago. I have enquired, and find none in this town. I suppose they may be had at Newburyport; and, as they were printed in two 8vo volumes, it is probable the price may be somewhere about 18s. or 20s.
I have written an answer to David Howell, expressing my doubt of the propriety of addressing Congress, or rather admonishing them, and of the inexpediency of an association here to abolish slavery, since we have none to abolish. One other gentleman has written much in the same manner. I know not what the rest have done.
I wish Congress would spend their time in doing what is really their duty. By their latest proceedings, they seem to me like a company of old women at a gossipping, contriving where they shall hold their next meeting; but perhaps veritas latet in puteo, their views in so doing may be too deep for my penetration.
am really sorry that you are yet out of business. I wish you may get into the Assembly, because I am sure you could be useful. For the same reason I wish you a seat in Congress. I mean the next. Why can you not aspire at, and obtain it?
My influenza lasted me six weeks, and was finally cured
by bathing in salt water. I hope it will not visit us again till thirty years come round. Such is the length of time since it was here before.
Mrs. B. joins in sincere love to yourself and Mrs. Hazard.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, August 7, 1790.
MY DEAR SIR, -The Parsons's Sermons I wrote about are a posthumous publication, about 60 in number, which were to be published by his son. Were these what you referred to? I don't want to get them (at least not yet), but only to know whether such things are.
Congress are, at length, about adjourning. They have done more business (I think) this last month than all the rest of the session.
I failed in my attempt to get into the Assembly, through the sickness of some of my friends. After all, I wanted but 24 votes of being in. A seat in Congress may be more easily attainable by and bye than now; but I think I must confine my views to an humbler sphere, — to private life. The P. won't give me an office. I have applied for one lately, but did not get it. Do you think I could make any thing by publishing the Records of the United Colonies of New England? Could I get subscribers enough in New England to make it worth my while? Here, I suppose, there will be but few.
It is late, and I must have done. Mrs. H. talks of setting out for Shrewsbury to-morrow, with our daughter and youngest son. The latter has the whooping-cough, and is getting teeth. We join in love to you and Mrs. Belknap.
I have lately been, as a commissioner, to West Point, to
appraise the land there which Congress are about purchasing. I am, dear sir, Yours affectionately,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
NEW YORK, August 23, 1790.
MY DEAR SIR, It was as much as ever I could do to keep my gravity" yesterday. You must know I was walking across the end of Pearl Street, with one of my neighbours, who is a sensible Connecticut man; has read a great deal, to good advantage; has attended particularly to American publications; and has written some himself. I happened to remark, "This is the oldest street in the city." "Yes," said he, "Nic. Frog chose to keep near Fort." This led to a conversation about something relating to Nic. Frog, which we both had seen in a magazine. My neighbour said it was written by F. Hopkinson, of Philadelphia. I doubted it. He said we had no writer in America who could do it but him, and he was so sure of his being the author that he would not be afraid to lay his life on it. I replied that I would not be afraid to take up the bet in this case, for I could not see F. H. in the piece, and I thought I knew his style. He asked immediately, "Do you know the writer?" This was a home-stroke; but I parried it by saying I had my suspicions about him, and was rather inclined to think the piece came from New England. From my reply and the manner of it, I believe he thought I suspected him; and he said there were no writers in New England who could be the author. The most likely were Trumbull, Dr. Hopkins, and one or two more; but it was neither of them. I singled out Trumbull as a man well calculated for the
*This refers to "The Foresters," written by Dr. Belknap, and first published in the Columbian Magazine. -EDS.
author; but he said, "It was not he, it was Francis Hopkinson," and we dropped that subject of conversation, as disputants generally do, each enjoying his own opinion. You may easily conceive how I enjoyed this scene. If angels do not pity our infirmities, I suppose they must often have similar enjoyment when they see the innocent errors into which we fall through ignorance, and the honest zeal with which we vindicate them. Have you read your brother Hitchcock's "Domestic Memoirs"? am much pleased with them as a system of education, and, in general, I like his style; but I think it is too laboured in some instances, and he has taken an unwarrantable liberty in the use of words. He speaks, for instance, of Miss Rozella's "Flowery." This is the first time I have ever met with "flowery" used as a substantive; perhaps it is a nov-anglicism. A female's "progressive state," and "the time of her advancement," reminded me of He Biddy, modestiæ causa, vice Cock. These expressions would not be understood except from their connection, any more than Miss Rozella's Flowery. What do you think of the assertion that "Nature nowhere exhibits a right angle"? .
But, if I don't take care, I shall commence a snarling critic.
I am vexed at the printer's Websterian division of words, when the whole cannot be introduced into the same line; as
This is perfectly puppyish.
* Enos Hitchcock, D.D., of Providence, R.I., published in 1790, in two volumes, "Memoirs of the Bloomsgrove Family," a work on education.
Winthrop's Diary has appeared at length, which I am glad of, having read it in MS. I have not perused the printed copy, so that I cannot tell whether the editor's assertion, that he has published it "complete," is true. I hope he has omitted the question "an contactus et fricatio," &c., as this would not tend much to edification.
In my last, I hinted at a publication of the Records of the United Colonies. I have thoughts of publishing them in numbers, by subscription. What do you think of it? New England must be depended on for most of the subscribers. I do not recollect whether you have seen my copy; but it is in 2 vols., 4to, written pretty closely, and there are (in both volumes) 640 pages, exclusive of the index.
Seeing no prospect of business here, I am meditating a removal from New York. Where Providence will cast my lot is uncertain, but at present I have my eye on Philadelphia, where money will be more plenty, in consequence of the residence of Congress, than it will in other places, and of course I shall stand a better chance of picking up some. I intend going there soon, to consult my friends on the most eligible line of business, and to make my own remarks on the probability of success. What I have at present in view is to become a dealer in certifiA friend informed me, t'other day, that the P. M. G. would certainly resign, and seemed to think that would make an opening for me. I told him I would never ask the President for an office again; and, if I should, I could not expect him to give me that, as it would contain an acknowledgment that he had done wrong in giving it to another before. Such acknowledgments are not to be expected from a man whom the waves of flattery have so completely overwhelmed.
Mrs. Hazard and our two youngest children have been a fortnight at Shrewsbury, whither I expect to go the latter end of this week. I shall probably take Master