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When your books arrive, I will perform your promise to Dr. Styles. My mother and Mrs. H. (who, according to the stale reply, is as well as can be expected) join me in very sincere regards to yourself and Mrs. Belknap, and I am, my dear sir,
Your friend and very humble servant,
P. S. I forgot to tell you that your long political letter of March 3, 1784, has lately appeared in the New Haven Gazette, No. 13, with the following introduction by the printer: —
"The following letter is from an unknown hand. The sentiments are important, and deserve consideration: they therefore ought not to be concealed from the view of the public.,,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, June 21, 1786.
My Dear Sir, — By your description of the 1st of May at New York, it resembles the hurry and crowding occasioned by a great fire, and is as complete a contrast to the manner of celebrating the same day in the suburbs of Philadelphia, as can be conceived. When I began to read it I was in pain for Mrs. Hazard, lest she should have been surprized in the midst of it, but am extreemly happy to find by your account that she passed that trial, and has in your new quieted domestic scene presented you with a daughter. Pray accept, both of you, mine and Mrs. B.'s cordial congratulations on that glad occasion.
I have lately seen in some papers several parts of a letter which I wrote to you.on the state of the country, and was wondering how they got publick. Your last informs me that the New Haven printer has published the whole; but pray how came it in his hands? Can you send me his Gazette of the 11th of May; for, if it is printed, I should like to see it; and, if it was done by your judgment and permission, I have not a word to say against it, though without my knowledge or consent. Had I prosecuted my John Bull plan, I should have enlarged upon the fable of the clock and 13 hammers; but other things have put fables out of my mind for the present.
Pray give my best regards to the worthy Ulysses, and thank him in my name for the valuable books he sent me through your hands. I would write to him, and write largely on the subject of the Common Prayer, Articles, &c, on which we discoursed at his house; but he must excuse me for the present, and so must you, from being very particular and punctual, until I get the grand affair of my removal from hence fully accomplished. The etiquette of removing a minister from a parish in New England is as tedious as obtaining a divorce in the spiritual courts; and I am now in the worst part of it, viz., consulting and debating and waiting the answer of the parish to a proposal which I have made, either for their formal dismission of me or the calling a council. If I should not have my brains at liberty to frame a letter to you for a month to come, pray forgive me, and rest assured that I am, in all circumstances and places,
Your sincere and affectionate friend,
Mr. Libbey will enclose you an 8 dollar piece, which please to forward on my account ta Mr. Aitken.
HAZARD TO BELKNAP.
New Yobk, July 25,1786.
My Dear Sir,—For the old reason I have two of your letters of old dates which are yet unanswered. When shall I be able to be a punctual correspondent again? It pleased me when I was informed that business was so well conducted at the Academy. I was a subscriber for their Transactions, and at the request of the secretaries received subscriptions from others; but not a book (that I know of) has been sent to either of us. Mr. Guild was here some time ago, and I mentioned it to him: he promised to attend to it when he returned, but I have heard no more, of it.
You want to know what part of the city I have removed to. I live now at No. 58 in the Broadway, very near the Oswego Market, which, you may remember, is opposite to the small street you went down to get to the ferry from this city to Paulus Hook. We like our new situation much. "Ma'am " says, the house we live in is like a Philadelphian house. There is a great deal in that, you know. "De gustibus non est disputandum." Now I will tell you how your letter came to be published, though at the time it was done I did not choose to do it, that I might preclude the possibility of discovering the writer. The sentiments it contained were just; and, as the state of the Union (even so long after the letter was written) still continued the same, I thought the publication might be the means of producing effects which would be of advantage to the public. With this view I determined upon it. There was no name to the MS., nor was the name of the place from whence it came mentioned in any part of it; and, as it came enclosed, even the name of the person to whom it was directed did not appear. Under these circumstances there was but little danger of the writer's being known; and, to increase the difficulty, I gave the MS. to the clerk in the post-office, without letting him know from whom it came originally, and directed him to send it to New Haven to be printed, without informing the printer from whom he got it; and, when printed, it was to be returned, as it has been. This is the history of the publication. I did not consult you about it, because it appeared unnecessary, as your name was not to be known. I have tried to get one of Meigs's Papers for you, but failed in the attempt.
Four days ago I began to write to you, but was obliged to make a pause: now I go on again. Your letter to Dr. Gordon shall be forwarded, when I write. A letter from him, dated London, June 6, informs me of his safe arrival. How goes on the affair of your unsettling and resettling? Are you fixed, or likely to be so? The half Joe from Mr. Libbey was received and paid to Mr. Aitken.
Your books arrived here, and have been advertised; but not one of them is sold yet. I suppose it is owing to the scarcity of cash. I dined yesterday with the President of Congress, and the literary productions of the country formed one of the topics of conversation. Your History was mentioned, and approved by those who had seen it: those who had not were informed where it was to be sold, and I thought some of them spoke as if they intended to purchase. Have you done with the Lamentations of Deborah? I have just received my certificate from the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia; and, as my friend tells me it was sent "with others,'9 I suppose yours and Mr. Cutler's are on their way. Mrs. H. has not quite recovered yet. However, she joins with the rest of us (who are well) in very cordial attachment to yourself and Mrs. Belknap.
I am, dear sir, your friend,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Pobtsmouth, Sept. 27, 1786.
My Dear Worthy Friend, — I am perfectly ashamed that I have so long not answered your favour of (if I remember right) July last. Never was I in such an unsettled state since you knew me, and now more so am I than ever. The prospect I had of a settlement with my people is all vanished, and I am now wholly freed from them, and have been preaching for two Sabbaths past at Exeter; but no prospect as yet opens for a resettlement.
You will doubtless, before this reaches you, have heard of the insurrection in this State, which, by the very firm and prudent conduct of General Sullivan, has been happily suppressed without blood, and in a manner which will tend to strengthen government (such as it is, and a poor one is better than none at all), but especially to fix our militia on a respectable footing. Sullivan has really done himself honour, and the State service. But the spirit of knavery is so subtile and powerful, that I am afraid we have much more difficulty yet to go through.
I really long to be able, with a quiet mind and a free pen, to sit down and write you a serious letter. When shall I again feel settled? To remove, and be an itinerant for any length of time, will be a very disagreeable circumstance to one who enjoys domestic scenes like me.
My best regards to Mrs. Hazard. Pray, my dear sir, continue to write to me; and, if I am not so punctual in my returns as I ought, attribute it entirely to my unavoidable circumstances.
I am, my dear sir, with the purest affection and respect, Your obliged friend,
BELKNAP TO HAZARD.
Dover, October 25,1786.
My Deae Sir, — I may very well begin this letter, as you did your last, with this exclamation: "When shall I be able to be a punctual correspondent again?" My time