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If you had investigated the Question, concerning Possessions or that about matter and Spirit, in your Treatise on the Diseases of the Mind it could have been only, by way of digressions like Swifts digressions concerning Criticks. his digression of the modern kind, his digression in praise of digressions his digression concerning Madness, in the Tale of the Tub: which although they are all...
Ask the great Lady, you quoted in your last, whether when I pray for the health of Philadelphia, and that no wasting Sickness may prevail there, I make a Girlish or a boying compliment to Doctor Rush? The next paragraph, requires a graver answer. But a Volume would not suffice. Take a hint.—I have lived among Infidel Philosophers for more than half a Century, and been engaged in continual...
You make me very happy when you Say, that you agree with me upon the Subject of the Perfectibility of Man. Let every Man endeavor to amend and improve one and We Shall find ourselves in the right Road to all the Perfection We are capable of: but this rule Should by no means exclude our utmost exertions to amend and improve others, and in every Way and by all means in our Power to ameliorate...
Your obliging favor of the 22d Ult. I recd. last night. I remember so much of the transactions, at the formation of the Pensilvania Constitution, that I wish you could save time enough from almost any other pursuit, to arrange your materials for an History of the Revolution in Pensilvania, to be published hereafter; at present perhaps it might not be prudent. The four Respectable characters,...
I have recd. your favour of the 26th. of Decr. You mention Cobbet. have you read Mr Randolphs Speech? Was there any Thing in Cobbets Writings more envious than that Speech? Now I assure you upon my honour and the Faith of the Friendship between Us; that I never Saw the Face of that Cobbet; that I should not know him if I met him in my Porridge Dish; that I never wrote one Word in his Paper and...
I am much obliged by your favour of the 8th. Oh how I wish, I had time to write, and you Patience to read The Anecdots I could dictate concerning “Chapmans” in New England! all “able bodied Men.” I deceived you a little by an Inference of my own from what The Edinborough Reviewers had written. I know not that they have mentioned you by Name or your Works by their Titles: but I read in them “If...
Your favour of the fifteenth is received. In a cornfield, which I had manured with seaweed and Marsh mud, in a compost with other materials, I found, last fall, two plants of an uncommon Appearance which I Suspected to be the Kali: because—they resembled the descriptions of it which I had read in the Dictionary of natural History and in the Œconomical Dictionary, both of which quote Monsieur...
I have recd. with great Pleasure your Letters of 22d. April and 19. March. These important Letters I have not yet had time to answer, but the subjects of them shall be well weighed. I write this to introduce a Neighbour of mine, in Braintree, Captn. Benjamin Beal who is desirous of seeing Philadelphia for the first time. He was born and bred my Neighbour, has followed the sea many years and...
No! You and I will not cease to discuss political questions: but We will agree to disagree , whenever We please, or rather whenever either of Us thinks he has reason for it.—I really know not what you mean by apeing the Corruptions of the British Court. I wish Congress had been called to meet at Philadelphia: but as it is now here, I can conceive of no Way to get it transported hither, without...
Omnicient Jackson Said to me, at his own Table and repeated it at mine in London, that Chatham flattered the Vanity of The Nation and gratified their Passion for War. but that he was a pernicious Minister. David Hartley Said to me often; (it was a favourite Observation with him;) that Chatham was a national Minister, but not a wise Minister. So far, I am out of your debt. I have given you a...
Be pleased to accept my cordial congratulations on the felicity of your Family in the arrival of your Son and Daughter from Europe. The Doctor will be the Staff of your Age and you will be the Guide of his youth. The Daughter and her Infants will be the delights of her Mother as well as her Father. For myself, clothed as I am in the Sable, I may without repining, acknowledge the Seventy Sixth...
I had the Pleasure of yours of August 19, by the last Post, and thank you for your kind Congratulations on my Return. You judge right, when you Suppose, that I cannot be idle, but my Industry will probably be directed, in a different manner, in future. My Principles are not in Fashion. I may be more usefull here, as you observe, than in the Cabinet of Louis the 16. But let me tell you, that...
Your Letter of the tenth, like all others from your pen, notwithstanding all your apologies, was a cordial to my Spirit. I must confess to you, that the data, upon which you reason from the Prophecies concerning the future amelioration of the condition of mankind, are too obscure and uncertain, to authorize us to build any System upon them for the conduct of Nations—It is well to understand as...
I am in great perplexity, Every day something Occurs to puzzle my feeble intellect. To whom can I apply for instruction so properly as to you, who are so great a Master: A Nation of Bees in the wilderness in a state of nature, has sagacity enough, to wander about till, they find a hollow tree in which they can be screen’d and sheltered both from the scorching beams of the sun in a summer which...
I know not whether I shall make you smile or weep, excite your ridicule or pity or contempt when I reveal to you the mistery of my long delay to answer your last Letters. But before I unriddle that unusual negligence, I must say a few words concerning our Friend Whartons Attachment to Prophecies and his habit of applying them to passing events. I have no objection to the Study, but I am aware...
I acknowledge my fault in neglecting to answer two or three of your last favours. I now thank you for the Letters and the “Light and Truth” as I ought used to call the Aurora. What are We to think of all these Adventurers? Tom Paine, Cobbet Duane Carpenter, Walsh, Bristed? with twenty &cas. Are they all Sent out here, by Administration or opposition, French or English, Scotch or Irish? Our...
Handsome Bradford, of thy City, allarmed me, the other day at our Athenaeum in Boston, by telling me, that Dr Rushes Business had amazingly encreased and was encreasing. Knowing thine Ardor in thy Profession, I was apprehensive that thy Zeal for the Health of the Sick would Soon eat thee Up, and consequently that thine Ether would escape from this Colluvies of Humanity to the Regions of...
I cannot give up my dear Latin and Greek although Fortune has never permitted me to enjoy so much of them as I wished. I don’t love you the less however for your Indifference or even opposition to them. Pray do you carry your Theory so far as to wish to exclude French, Italian, Spanish, and Tudesque? I begun to fear that your multiplied phisical and other engagements had made you forget me....
Your Volume will not produce Answers or Examinations or reflections: but probably Reproaches, vilifications and Lies and Slanders enough. For there are no greater Liars than Men of Science and Letters Taste and Sense. Try His Observation in the civil political ecclesiastical or rather sacerdotal and phylosophical History of Chaldeans Egyptians, Jews Greeks Romans Zingisians Chinese,...
If I were as rich as Mr Stephen Gerard or Mr William Gray, I would publish and proclaim offers and promises of Rewards in Gold and Silver, in money and medals, for the best Essays on Several Subjects, Some of which I will now hint without any regard to arrangement. 1. 100 Dollars or Eagles if I could afford them, and a Gold Medal for the best History of our American Navy and its Exploits as...
I want to write an Essay.—Whom Shall I choose for a Model?—Plutarch, old Montaigne, Lord Bacon, Addison, Johnson, or Franklin? The last, if he had devoted his Life to the Study might have equalled Montaine in Essays or La Fontaine in Fables: for he was fitter more fitted for either or both than to conduct a Nation like Prony or Colbert. I am however too round about, to imitate the close,...
If I could be considered as a Friend to the Family I should Advise the Grand Children of Dr Franklin to divide the Real Estate among them in their several proportions rather than to sell it in order to divide the Money. Not a Liver or a Stiver was ever committed to Dr Franklin or any other Minister of The United States in Europe, “to be employed, in Secret Services to his Country.” The Million...
Mrs Rush may be assured, that I have no doubt of her Friendship for me. The Familiarities and Jocularities in question have been too often experienced by me, for fifty years, for me to be ignorant of the Spirit of them. I must confess that I have received much good Advice and many wholesome Admonitions and Remonstrances in this Way: as I believe you have too. And We must both of Us confess...
When I sat down to write you, yesterday I really intended to write a sober Letter: but fell insensibly into my habitual playful Strain. I will now try the experiment, whether I can write a Serious Letter to you without any thing Sportive or extravagant in it. I cannot See with you that “a declaration of War against France as well as England would probably unite Us.” On the contrary, it appears...
I thank you, my dear Sir for the promptitude of your Answer to my last Letter, and for inclosing the misterious one to you, which however has every Appearance of honesty about it. My Daughter Started the Idea that it might be our Friend Wm. Smith of Charlestown who married Miss Izzard: but the Date of the Letter is New York. My Daughter, upon my Receipt of your Letter wrote to her Husband on...
I am half inclined to be very angry with you for destroying the Anecdotes and documents you had collected for private Memoirs of the American Revolution. From the Memories of Individuals, the true Springs of Events and the real motives of Actions are to be made known to Posterity. The Period in the History of the World, the best understood, is that of Rome from the time of Marius to the Death...
You have forgotten, Old Dr Shippen, Dr Franklin, and many others. I have known many Instances. Not to mention General Oglethorpe or a Mrs Cope, or many others. I knew a Miss Sarah Mills married first to Mr Neal and afterwards to Mr Thayer. She pretended to have been one of my Fathers boyish Flames, and upon the strength of this great merit she made me a Visit once a Year, riding down Six or...
I agree with Sidney as quoted in your favour of the 13th. That civil War is preferable to Slavery and I add that foreign War and civil War together at the Same time are preferable to Slavery. We hear very often declamations on the demoralizing tendency of War, but as much as I hate War, I cannot be of the opinion, that frequent Wars are So corrupting to human Nature as long Peace. In a Peace...
I have, long before the receipt of your favour of the 31 of October, supposed that either you were gazing at the Comet or curing the Influenza: and in either case, that you was much better employed than in answering my idle Letters. Pray! have our Astronomers at Phyladelphia, observed that Stranger in the Heavens? Have they noted its Bearings and Distances, its Course and progress! whence it...
I have persecuted you, too much with my letters.—I beg you would give yourself no trouble to answer them, but when you are quite at leisure, from more important Business or more agreable amusements. I deny, that there is or ever was in Europe a more free Republic than England, or that any Liberty on Earth ever equalled English liberty, notwithstanding the defects in their Constitution. The...