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I love to see a young, Man, who in the language of Montesquieu is capaple de s’estime beaucoup; but in an old Man this is rather odious than amiable. The kind Compliments in your letter of the 30th. September, make me too proud for a Man in his 89th. year; but your idea of a picture overcame all my gravity and made me laugh outright. What would the Lords of the Gentlemens and Seats in England...
I have been tenderly affected by the kind expressions of your friendship in your letter of the 9th of february. In the course of forty years I have been called to assist in the formation of a Constitution for this State. This kind of Architecture I find is an Art or Mistery very difficult to learn and Still harder to practice. The Attention of Mankind at large Seems now to be drawn to this...
The Procrastination of Old Age must be my only Apology for So long for So long neglecting to acknowledge Several kind obliging and excellent Letters from your friendly Pen. And even now I am arroused to write a Simple Introduction to two Gentlemen Travellers. One is the Bearer, Mr Elliot, a Son of one of our must oppulent and respectable Citizens in Boston, Samuel Elliot Esqr. I believe you...
I will now venture to congratulate you upon your relief from a part of the heavy burthen which has been imposed upon you for So many months. And above all I congratulate you, my son and myself on your future destination. Had Providence permitted me to choose Events my heart would have dictated none other. Accept my Thanks for your uninterrupted and invariable kindness to me and my Friends, and...
Montezillo, in the Spanish language signifies “a little hill.” You will search for it in vain in Italy; none of the Alps, the Appenines, no, nor the Pyranees, nor Asturians, ever bore that name. the City, Village or Villa, ever arrived to that honour. Search, and research. find it if you can. Neither Montezillo, nor Monticello desire many of your thoughts; but the Italian Republicks, like the...
Your Letter of the 29th of September has not been answered by me as it ought to have been. Your Excursion Horseback gave me high hopes; and excited vain Recollections. Dean Swift bragged; and why Should not I.? Swift crowed over Pope Arbuthnot &c and boasted that he could ride 500 miles upon a trotting Horse. In 1777 I rode on Horseback from Penn’s Hill in this Town to Baltimore, more than 500...
I have received your favour of the 18th: and thank you has your “Idea”; Your reasoning upon it is that of a modest prudent philosopher & Statesman. It is more; It is classical enough for a member of the Academy of inscription and Belle letters. I who am neither Philosopher Statesman or Academician, would if I had power cause medals to be struck of every conflagration, Massacre, prison stripe,...
I Shall certainly comply with your Wishes, expressed in your favour of 31st Octr. The Correspondence between your Father and me has been for forty years together too intimate and too free, to See the Light at present. I have Letters from Dr Rush that would demonstrate his Patriotism, his Virtue, his Piety his Genius his Learning his Benevolenc his Generosity his Charity and at the Same time...
I have recd. a Letter from Dr Maese, requesting of me, Letters of your Father for Publication. I have collected a few, ancienct and modern: But if you consider that I have recd Letters from him in Philadelphia, New York, Braintree, Quincy, France Holland and England; You must percieve the difficulty of Searching Old Trunks for a Chain of Correspondence for forty years I have already found...
The Copy inclosed in your Letter has tenderly affected the little Sensibility that remains in me. As a Memorial of the Friendship of Dr Rush I esteem it prescious. Mark my Words; it is Party Faction and Fashion that give Characters; Truth and Justice, are Studiously omitted neglected and forgotten. Jefferson is no more my Friend Who dares to Independence to pretend Which I was born to...
I know not whether I am in your debt, or you in mine, but I can no longer refrain from writing The death of mr Dexter has awakened my most latent feelings; I am personally so deeply interested in this event, that I dare not trust myself to write, or even think, on the importance of it. Poor, short sighted mortals as we are! I consider my own reputation, & the true character of my...
To your studies in Jurisprudence, I wish all the success, which you can possibly wish for yourself; but you must collect yourself & remember that Intemperance in the pursuit of knowledge, is not less dangerous than in that of pleasure. Your favour of the third has afforded me much amusement, though a dozen years ago & more I was convinced that mr Cooper was a man of talents and Science; yet at...
Thanks for your favour of the 2nd. & the valuable pamphlet “America Jurisprudence” With no less pleasure than difficulty I have read it once; the difficulty arose from a distressing inflammation in my eyes. Before I venture to say another word, concerning this book, I must promise, that I am no judge of its merits, because for the last forty years, I have been a stranger to Lawyers, Judges &...
I thank you for your favour of the 20th and the Extracts which are very consolatory. I have Sometimes thought that the People of the U.S. of both Parties were the worst Judges in the World, of themselves, their Resources, the Character of their own Nation and even of the Geography of their Country. Mr Madisons Administration, must be recorded by Historians; not with Standing all the Errors,...
I might perhaps agee with Mr Grattan, that Mr Burke had read more of the Brittish Poets than even Dr Johnson, who wrote their Lives, that he understood them better and tasted them with better Judgment and correct discomment; & that he had read the Latin Poets and Orators: but I can go no farther. His uncommon Reading of History, the Law of Nature and Nations of Jurisprudence in General and of...
“Watchman! What of the Night?” To what hour of the Evening are We advanced? How many hours remain before day break? Have you a repeating Watch that can Strike the hour and the quarter of an hour in the darkest hour of Sablest night? Rochefaucaut, Condorcet, Robespiere, Brissot, Danton, Orleans Buoneparte, Pitt, Fox, Burk, Alexander, Georges, Louis’s, Charleses, Francises Fredericks are but...
The first Thing that Struck me when I recd your favour of the 15th. was the Seal. I will not tell you, at present how many reflections this excited before I opened the Letter. I determined at once to answer it by my Seal. You will See it on the Outside of this. An Ellipsis Surrounded by 13 Starrs, protecting a Pine Tree, with a Codfish and a Buck. A very bright Starr at the Top of the Pine....
It does not Signify, to grow old. You never can get rid of worldly Affairs. I never was more distracted with Business. It pours in upon me from all quarters. I want to write you every day, and two or three times a day. I have read your speculations with pleasure, but with Some grains of reserve. I Send you a Richelieu, upon the Fisheries, Said to be from Connecticut. That State is a rich bed...
Your two Letters of the 27th Ult. have been recd. with the Enclosures, for all which I thank you. You ask “Some Reflections of my own.” My dear Sir! It would require a Folio Volume, to give you the Histories, Dissertations and discussions, which you require. How can I, sans Eyes, sans hands, sans Memory, sans Clerks, sans Secretaries, sans Aids du Camp; sans Amanuensis, undertake to write...
The Sight of a well known hand, made my heart leap, before I opened your Letter of the 6th. the Contents compleated my delight. May your health be as permanent as I believe your understanding to be Sound and your heart pure. The Pamphlet inclosed to me, ought to be Sent to every foreign Minister and Consul, tho’ it Should be under the Restrictions you prescribe to me I inclose to you Papers...
Thanks for yours of Dec. 24. I Still entertain hopes that New England will not be forever alienated from the Southern and the middle States, and therefore take with pleasure, the Liberty of introducing Some of our most promising Young Gentlemen. Mr Gray is on his Travels and Mr George Ticknor. I believe I did not give the latter a Line to you. He has a most amiable Character. He is Said to...
I have much pleasure in introducing to you Francis C. Gray Esqr a Son of our late Lt. Governor. Educated to Letters improved by travel and regularly admitted to the Bar you will probably hear more of him and I hope have much to do with him hereafter, for the good of your Country. He can give you a better account of New England Politicks than I can. I have lately read Rassilas, Candide, Zadig,...
“Alexander a Republican”! Was not Napoleon a Republican? A Republican Signifies, “any thing, every Thing and nothing.” The Romans were Republicans. Obscuro loco natus” was a Plebeian, i.e. nothing. The Virginia Gentlemen are all Republicans pro moro romano. Not one of their Posterity is to be “obscuro loco natus.” Mr John Taylor lives in “ Hazelwood, ” Mr Madison lives in Montpelier , Mr...
Your Letter of the 23 has given me as much gaiety as all the fine Weather of the month Mr Dallase’s Anecdotes, as you repeat them, have Sense and points, Characteristic of Personages on whom the fortunes of Mankind depend: and not only merit Attention at present, but will be remarked by posterity. It gives me great pleasure, that Mr Dallas Speaks kindly of John Quincy; who however, I hope has...
There are two Men in this World, who shall know and Esteem each other, if I can bring them together. To this end permit me to introduce and recommend to you The Rev’d Mr Edward Everett Minister of the most respectable Congregation in Boston and one of the first litterary Characters, at an Age when others are signalised by nothing but a degree at Colledge— When Genius falls in love with Study...
After this Letter was written and erroneously inclosed I recd yours of 23d which is merry and instructive beyond all Example PHi : H. D. Gilpin Papers.
There is an height, beyond which the proudest Wave cannot ascend: there is a depth, at least a bottom, from which no Waters are left to rise or retire. There is a tide in the Affairs of Men. It is a trite observation of Historians, that there is in human Affairs, an ultimate point of depression, from whence, Things naturally but gradually rise and return to their Level. Our american Affairs...
I can write you little, but the history of my diseases and their Symptoms. Your kind favour of the 17th found me ill in my bed in which I have passed the greatest part of my time for fifteen days. Our cruel North, and North East Winds have given me a cold and fever So distressing that I could neither read write, Speak or think Stand go, Sit or lye. What must have become of me? What and where...
I long to See the narrative of Dr Rush’s Life. I hope it will be printed. The Anecdote relative to me, in 1774, and the Toast ascribed to me, at Mifflins Supper, is so exactly like me at that time, that I dare take my Bible Oath, that it is literally true. My toast then was, as you Say and I believe, “Cash and Powder to the Yankees.” You ask me what would be my Toast now? I assure you, it...
Your favour of the 20th has given me great pleasure; because it informs me that you are happy. Your Visit to Philadelphia must have been delightful; and the Company of your excellent Surviving Parent on your return, and her domestication with you, and the fair Enchantress must be more So. This family Intercourse cannot be less pleasing to your Mother. It will preserve her health and prolong...
While I am reading a Letter from you, I almost forget that I have lost my delightfull Corrispondent of forty Years—I thank you for information, upon many points. On the subject of J. Q. A, I cannot write, or Speak. My heart is too full. I see his Destiny. He is to be depressed and oppressed by an immense load of Jealousy, Envy, Malice and Revenge, as your Father and his Father have been before...
As I have been, in the course of my life, 200 or 300 times in an “Agony of Embarrassment” I understand very well what the expression means. Mr Dexter too is not ignorant of it. When in Senate without the smallest expectation, or suspicion, or hope, or wish, or thought, of such a thing, he heard, Samuel Dexter nominated as Secretary of War, he was in amazement, and after a pause exclaimed “I am...
I perceive by your Letter of the 7th. that Mr Hay is married to a beautiful little girl, that I once Saw in Philadelphia, at her Fathers Apartments when She was not more than three or four years old. Before I proceed farther I must congratulate you on your transmigration. The Office of Att. Gen. must be more congenial, less confined and more liberal than that of Controuler. But your...
When I meet The beattified Spirit I Shall Say to him, with our mutual frankness, “Sir you ought to have added two Chapters to your last Work; one upon Possessions, and another upon Dreams.” In the first, You you should have examined all that has been written by the great Mr Mead, by the little Doctor Mead, and by the learned Hugh Farmer, about Dæmons, Dæmoniacs, and Dæmoniacal Possessions: and...
If I may judge of others by myself, Mr Hay had no cause of Apprehension that he Should be tedious: for when I had read the first page I could not lay aside the book till I had read the last. I know not when I have Seen a discussion of any legal or political question pursued with So dispassionate a temper, or written with more perspicuity, Accuracy or luminous Arrangement. The Author is Master...
A thousand thanks for your favour of 25 and 31. Ult. The Times are too serious to write. I expect De Troit and all Michigan, and all Perry’s Fleet will go. I know not whait is to prevent Washington City, The Treasury Office, the Presidents Pallace and the proud Capitol, from becoming The Head Quarters of British Principles. Admiral Warren might have done it long ago. Prejudice, Partiality,...
I have nothing to Say at present to that enchanting Lady who So easily drew my Correspondent from his Letter: but that if I Should ever See her, I Shall not be contented with the Vandallik Custom So fashionable in these degenerate days, of Shaking Hands, but Shall claim the Priviledge granted by the civilized Ladies of France, 30 Years ago, to 70 Years. And I hereby Solemnly invite her to come...
You have most unexpectedly procured for me a very high gratification, by making me acquainted with so many anecdotes of one of the most sentimental and accomplished families our Country can boast. I feel myself more nearly attached to Judge Tucker since I learned that he had his legal education under my friend Mr Wythe one of the most learned and amiable men I have known. I have read the...
My most reverend Dearling presents her compliments. She highly applauds and greatly admires a complaisant Husband. Quare! Entre nous, can you divine whether this is more a civillity to you, or a Satyrick touch at me? For my part I See nothing very wonderful, that a Lady of whose fascinating attractions I have had Such ample information from the very best authority, Should take her Lover away,...
Hendrick William Gordon Esquire I understand has been recommended to be Collector of direct taxes for the County of Middlesex. My acquaintance with this gentleman, commenced with the departure of my Son for St. Petersburg. He has been invariably obliging to me and my family in transmitting our letters and all intelligence to and from that mission. These personal and family obligations alone...
I know not, whether Perry’s Victory is not the greatest Action in naval History. His Age, the horrible Slaughter, and total Disability of his own Ship, his presence of mind, his cool and prompt transition to another Vessel, his masterly and daring Attack on the Center of the Enemies Line, his Modesty, his humanity are traits of a great Commander, who God willing, will wear well. The...
If G. B. did not mean to acceed to the Russian mediation G. B. has acted the part of a Jocky, or a Gypsy, or a Jilt: for She must have received the proposition from the Russian Ambassador long before, our President received it from Mr Dashkoff, and She ought to have made her refusal known, instead of giving Passports to Mr Gallatin and Mr Bayard. I am not apprehensive of a disgraceful peace,...
You must live to be 77 years and 9 months old, before you can know how much I am obliged to you for your favour of the 5th. Pray tell me Something of the Biography of Mr St. George Tucker of Virginia. I cannot Speak of the political morsell of his, without extravagance. I know not which to admire most, its Simplicity, its Beauty its Pathos, its Philosophy, its Morality, its Religion, or its...
Thanks for your favour of the 2d. The “Portion of time that you can command every day” affords me very pleasing hopes. Reading Machiavel, is like conversing with a professed Actor on the Theatre: you can never know when he is in Jest, or when in earnest: whether he lies or Says the Truth. In his Art of War he inculcates a different doctrine, from that which you quote: namely that Princes, and...
“When I had an army to create, I would have called for the list of Revolutionary officers and would have nominated every Survivor according to the rank he held at the conclusion of the war—Yates, Schuyler, Lincoln, Knox, Clintons, Pinckneys, Sumters, Muhlenbergs; who you will. But not one of my Ministers, not one Senator, not one Representative, and what was more than all, Washington who was...
Your favour of June 29th has given me feelings, like those I always enjoyed when writing to your Father The distinction between a War and a peace party, is a Sophism. There is a Sense in which all Parties and all Men, wish for peace, except perhaps a few military Geniuses, who like Luxembourg have an aversion to planting Cabbages. It is a doubt whether there ever was a popular War. Some of the...
Your kind Letter of the 6th has interested me more than any one I have received Since my last from your Father both by the important information, in it and especially by exciting the tender recollection of that great and good Man, and reviving all my Sensibility of his loss. I miss him every day and almost every hour. It is even a consolation to me that I cannot miss him long. But I must...
In what terms can I address you? There are none that can express my Sympathy with you and your Family, or my own personal Feelings on this loss of your excellent Father. There is not another Person, out of my own Family, who can die, in whom my personal Happiness can be so deeply affected. The World would pronounce me extravagant and no Man would apologize for me if I should Say that in the...
I have received your kind Letter of the 18th of this month with your Oration on the 4th. Your Oration was first read to me, by the oldest Colonel in the continental Army now living; who has commanded Wilkinson and Brooks, whose blood flowed in the revolutionary War, and whose crippled Limb tho not lost may be compared to Uncle Toby’s. The Veteran exclaimed “This young Gentleman, makes my old...
Though your Letters give me great Pleasure, I Should regret the Receipt even of your favour of the 8th of this month if I could think it had diverted your Attention a moment from the Duties of your office or even from the practice and profits of your Profession. Your Office, is one of the most necessary and important in Society. A public Accuser is the Guardian of the Morals as well as...