صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

errors. You know I am fond of curiosities. I will therefore be obliged to you for Shirley's instructions to Pepperell.

You will do no more than justice to your country, by publishing at least extracts from the letters between your Sons of Liberty and those in other places. The British emissaries, even from Queen Anne's time, have diligently propagated an idea that the Colonies were disaffected to the royal government, and thirsted after independence; and I think it a duty incumbent on every American historian to use his endeavours to wipe off so unjust an aspersion. It pleases me to think that the Vermont affair will terminate without the effusion of blood: that matter has given me great uneasiness, as I feared the consequences of it. My work, as you observe, did grow upon my hands; but I have not been able to do any thing at it of late. My new employment has hitherto engaged my whole time. I hope it will not be so always. I believe Common Sense has nothing to do with any public office at present. The settled way of life makes me think of being more so; and, would time permit, that business should be seriously thought of. Till then, I must be content to pay the tax on single freemen. A center of affection does not yet appear.

Mifflin's case was a hard one. There certainly can be no good reason why a man should publish an inventory of his estate to the world. I believe Towne has never published the remainder of Major W.'s Journal. When I see him, I will enquire about it. Robert Aitken has the most taste of a printer of any man in this city; and, were I to have a book printed here, it should be done by him. I have consulted him about your History. He says he thinks the best size would be that of No< 1, with the same type as the printed specimen enclosed. In that case, a page of print will be near, if not quite, as much as the print and margin of the specimen. The printing will cost £5 Pennsylvania currency (£4 lawful) per sheet, besides the paper, which will be, if well made for the purpose, about 25s. (20s. lawful) per ream. The sheets No. 1 and 2 are sent merely to shew the size, not the quality, of the paper. No. 2 costs 18s. Pennsylvania per ream, from wrhich you may form a guess of the price of finer of that size. The printing with the same type will be £7 10s. Pennsylvania.- The type of Mr. Evans's sermon is so large as to look heavy; Aitken's is large enough, and I think very neat. I send you a calculation of what we suppose will be the whole expence, in which I have reckoned only eighteen quires to the ream, because the two outside quires are seldom fit for printing on, being broken, full of holes, or spoiled by the string with which the ream is tied. Aitken binds books as neatly as he prints them. Should you have the wrork done here, I would wish you to employ him, as I know him to be an honest, conscientious man. You ask my opinion about sending the work to London, should peace take place. You shall have it. I would not send the MS., because of the risk; but, before I began to print, would write to a bookseller in London, to know whether he would print an edition of it there, in consideration of his being entitled to half the copyright; and at the same time would inform him that, if he would, I would send him a sheet from time to time, as it came from the press here, that he might be printing an edition there while mine was going on here, and would engage that mine should not appear in America before it was probable his would in England. By this means you will secure half the profits of the European sales, and prevent your being printed upon, as we booksellers call it.

The whole of the profits of the American edition will be your own, and your London friend should not be allowed to send any of his to America till yours were sold. If you like this plan, and conclude upon it, Dr. Gordon's brotherin-law, Mr. Field, will be a proper person to engage with, In this case, you had best consult the Doctor, who will advise you very candidly, and be able, by his recommendation, to assist you in the business. So much for the book. At the last Commencement here, a brother of my Telemachus delivered an Oration in Praise of Knowledge., of which I intend to send you a copy, but have not time now. For present amusement



Dover, May 10, 1782.

Yotje last letter, my dear sir, found me in a pretty good mood for copying. To this circumstance, with the additional advantage of two foul days, you are indebted for the large packet which I make up at this time. When you read the first part of Shirley's instructions relating to the surprize of Louisbourg, you will think it had been necessary that General Pepperell should have had as much power over the night as Joshua once had over the day; besides being inspired with as much skill in war as other Generals gain by seven years' experience, and able to communicate the same to his men, and that they must have had the hearts of lions and the eyes of owls to carry that design into execution. In one of P.'s letters to Shirley, dated May 11, he thus accounts for the failure of this part of the plan: "On the 29th ult. we sailed from thence (i.e., Canseau), with hopes of reaching Chapeau-Rouge. Bay that night, but the wind failing rendered it impossible, and obliged us to lay aside the thoughts of a surprize. The next morning we were off the mouth of the bay, upon which the enemy made an alarm," &c. I send also the Journal of the Siege, which you got at Little Harbour. I have a printed copy of the same, from which I have transcribed the attestation of the officers and the title, and annexed them to your copy to make it complete. These instructions, with the Journal, I suppose you will make part of your collection. I have accordingly authenticated the copy of the instructions, so far as my name can do it. But, if you choose to have it done by any other person, send it back, and it shall be done. I can also furnish you with the Articles of Capitulation, if you choose to have them. I return a copy of Dudley's Speech, &c, in 1704, which I think I had of you: it is a paper that the Masonians rely much upon. N. B. The aforesaid Journal was sent to the Duke of Newcastle from Louisbourg, when Shirley visited the place, the fall after it was taken. Some accounts had been sent home by Commodore Warren before, and the officers of the navy had attributed the success chiefly to themselves. The Massachusetts General Court thought it necessary to state the whole matter properly, as it was in this Journal.

I venture to you some thoughts on the population of America, of which I desire your critical judgment; and, if you think proper to shew them to any of your literary friends for their judgment, I shall be obliged to you for their remarks. Tell me, also, whether it will be proper to prefix them as an introduction to my History, or whether I had better dispose of them any other way, and how, or suppress them entirely. I beg you to be extremely critical upon them, point out any defect, or suggest any amendment, and give me your opinion with that severe impartiality which a regard to truth ought to inspire, even if it came ah hoste.

Your very kind attention to my request concerning the price of printing, &c, and advice about sending the copy across the Atlantic, deserve my warmest acknowledgements. I shall make the same enquiries at Boston, and see which place will be most advantageous for me to print in.

I thank you also on behalf of my friend for your kind attention to his particular circumstances. Should he emigrate, as he really expects, I suppose it will be as ^Eneas; only, instead of Dea, it will be Deo monstrante viam. I imagine he would have no objection to any place or business which would give him opportunity to be useful according to his capacity, and provide him with the needful. No more particular answer is it in my power to give at present, until you further acquaint me with your proposal, when I will consult him on the subject.

You have much obliged Mrs. B. with a very correct copy of some verses which she wrote three or four years ago, descriptive of her own circumstances. She wonders how you came by them, as she did not give the copy to but one friend, though I must own it was & female. You need not wish for her opinion, when I assure you she says the one half was not told. She might now write the second part of the same tune, and entitle it the Progress of Misery. It is better, however, to laugh at our misfortunes than to sink under the pressure of them.

I shall be very glad of a copy of the Oration in Praise of Knowledge, which you give me reason to hope for. I beg you to present my compliments to your Telemachus. I really think him an amiable youth. The map of Merrimac River came safe to hand. I thank you for it; it will be of great service to me.

Pray have you got the answer of the Massachusetts Government and Company to the claim of Mason and Gorges, dated Sept. 6, 1676?

I have enquired of several fishermen and sailors for Baker's Cove, where the scarlet muscle is said to be, but cannot learn where it is. I fancy it is somewhere about Saco or Scarboro'.

Before now I suppose you have seen Mr. John E[liot] at Philadelphia, whither he set out the beginning of April. I shall add no more, but that I am

Sincerely and gratefully yours, J. B.

Mrs. B. joins her respects to mine.

« السابقةمتابعة »