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child from having too great a share of your affections is to divide them equally among his little brothers and sisters, as fast as they arrive, which I guess will be the case. I have no fondness for encouraging parents in making themselves uneasy because they love their children, as if they were in danger of idolizing them. It is natural to love them, it is necessary we should. Reason, prudence, and time will teach us how to set bounds to this fondness; but where is the harm of indulging it, especially at first, when the thing is new? How much more rational to play with a darling child than with a lapdog, or parrot, or squirrel! Let Nature have vent.
"Enjoy the present, nor with needless cares
I have administered the same wholesome advice to our good friend the Metropolitan, who has the same fears respecting his child. For my part, I think it is an exercise of gratitude to Heaven for its blessings, to enjoy them. As they are sent to sweeten the bitter cup of life, let us taste the sweet, and thank the Giver.
I am highly pleased to find that Dr. Chauncy's book is agreeable to you. The other to which he refers, and of which you enquire, is a volume of dissertations on the state of man before and since the lapse of Adam, and the consequences thereof to him and his posterity, in which all the controversy relating to original sin is handled in as clear and consistent a manner as I think is possible. I have had the pleasure of reading the MS.; and the Doctor told me, when at Boston, that he had about a fortnight before sent it to England to be printed. I shall hope to see it in the spring. You may observe a long note on a verse in 5th Romans, "they which receive the abundance," &c. (the word XafAfidvovres^ which the Doctor says was communicated by a learned and ingenious friend. That friend was the late Dr. Winthrop. I wish to know how this performance is .relished by your friends, and particularly by Ulysses.
As to my present to our General Assembly, it was accompanied with a short memorial, wherein I reminded them that, by the Constitution, they were vested with "the Patronage of Science," &c. My good friend Pickering undertook the business, and got a respectable committee, of which himself was one, to consider the matter. But the humour of the House having proved rather niggardly in voting the President's salary, £200 only, they thought it best to defer their report to the next session, which will be in February. I have no raised expectations from them. I thank you for the hint respecting their taking off a nuiiiber of books, and will ruminate it before they meet again. I thank you for your letter to Longman, but I have done with all sanguine expectations. I am sometimes of the mind that I shall not venture another volume, certainly not till the first is paid for. Mrs. B. desires her sincere regards to yourself and Mrs. H., and fully joins in the advice respecting fondness for children. I am, sir, your very affectionate friend,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Philadelphia, Dec. 18, 1784.
Dear Sir, — Your two favours of Nov. 16 and 27 are before me: the former should have been answered sooner, but — as usual. Yes, Ulysses really exerted himself; but I was mortified by the thought that the same paper which shewed you that, also shewed how little I was able to do in that way. So it is "non omnia possumus omnes," Your account with me is settled, and I have paid Mr. Aitken the remainder of the bill, amounting to £25 Is. 8t?., this currency. Boston bank-notes will not pass here: indeed, we do not receive even those of New York, though so much nearer to us. The report that you were to make great profit by your work must have been raised by some Boston friend, who was made very happy by the idea; and in the warmth of his affection for you has communicated it, that others might participate his pleasure. I am sorry it has injured you.
Aitken shall have Jack Frost, if he will: if not, it may be of use to somebody else. My friend Evans is a worthy character, a man of great integrity and unbounded benevolence: as a genius, he is not of the first-rate, and, entre nous, I think he has been too fond of the press. He has offered too much incense at the shrine of General S. for him not to be pleased with him: I think more than was necessary.
The election of members of the Philosophical Society comes on next month: you shall have notice, if Mr. C. is elected. I cannot yet find out any thing about the Magnetic Bucket: indeed, I have not leisure to enquire about it.
Your advice about loving children is natural, but not prudent; for, in case of their being taken away, the pangs of separation must be in proportion to the strength of the attachment, and that must be very, very, very great.
Your Assembly are too economical. Don't give up the idea of a 2d volume, but prepare it for the press: finish it before you leave off, even if you dont intend to print it. In that case, you may hope that Mrs. B. and the children may reap some advantage from it in case of your death. We have no news. My family are all in health; and the best part of it feels the same warmth of attachment to Mrs. Belknap and yourself as your friend,
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
Philadelphia, Jan. 22, 1786.
My Dear Sir, — Last night we had a meeting of the Philosophical Society for the election of new members, when a number were added to our list; and among the rest Mr. Cutler, of Ipswich, whom I proposed in consequence of what you wrote me some time since. Our secretary tells me your certificate is ready, and that I shall have it with a letter soon. I will endeavour to get Mr. Cutler's.at the same time.
I send you the enclosed papers to shew you what our Assembly propose doing for their citizens with respect to the public debt, and the opposition which some make to it. With love to Mrs. Belknap, I am, dear sir, yours sincerely, Eben. Hazard.
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, Eeb. 11, 1785.*
Dear Sir, —After very long but not patient waiting, I was so happy last night as to get yours of the 17th ult., enclosing one from General Washington, which, I suppose, from the character I have formed of him in my mind, though it is short and expresses but little, means something very pertinent and interesting. I shall, as you guess, rank it among my valuables.!
Your very kind mention of my Josey, from whom we had not heard since some time in November, was extremely refreshing. The heart of a parent is very susceptible of impressions, especially when children are at a distance. You cannot do a more acceptable kindness to me or Mrs. B. than by frequently mentioning him. His growth is a circumstance that might naturally be expected: I wish he may improve in moral qualities and in his capacity for usefulness, as he rises in stature.
* This is the only letter of Dr. Belknap for the year 1785 preserved among the Hazard correspondence, except that on pp. 829-332.—Eds. t See this letter in the "Life of Dr. Belknap," p. 137.—Eds.
What was the reason that Aitken did not accept my Jack Frost? I expected he would, and in my last to him suggested an alteration of one line. Instead of, "I flew out sometimes, but I flew very high," I would have substituted, "I ventured abroad my fortune to try." I see you have made some amendments, for which I am obliged; but Francis Bailey has made a mistake in the last stanza but one, which I suppose was owing to his not being used to my hand. He has put pies instead of fires. I suppose I made the fi too much like p.
Do I know the author of the Sketches of American History? or do I mistake, if I suspect the hand of Joab in the plot? I wish I had one of Bailey's Pocket Almanacs.
I have been very anxious to have a just and full account of Captain Cook's last voyage, principally because I think it must give a great clue to the resolution of that longlaboured problem, the population of America. Mr. Aitken sent me Ledyard's Journal of it. I have since read an account of it by Ellis, the surgeon of one of the ships. But there is another yet, some extracts of which I have met with in a loose magazine; and, by what I can recollect of it, it is more particular and circumstantial than either Ledyard's or Ellis's. Your Robert Bell printed one; but whether it is one of those I have seen, or the other, I know not. I wish, if you have the means of information at hand, you would let me know; and, if it is the one I am in quest of, send it to me with the price. By the way, I think it an enquiry worth making, whether if Columbus had attempted his discovery of a new world from the eastern parts of Asia eastward, and traced the American west