George Chase



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Has forgiven Intrepid for only writing him two letters, and does not want him to travel South like he plans to. Many members of his family are in ill health. Has spent much of his time reading. Still holds contempt for those serving in the army.




Green Mountains, Ballston, Miss Finaly, Mr. Jones, Aeolian harp, Mrs, Royse, Milton, Mary Lloyd, Chesire, Miss Ives, Philander Chase, Philander Chase Jr., army


Hartford July 13 1813. Blank paper? - Not a bit.

My dear Cos.

I hope you will excuse the warmth which I expressed in my letter to you - complaining of your parsimony in Epistolary Correspondence. For a few days after, I reviewed your two long and loving letters, and am convinced, that my suspicions were unfounded, and that you are the same kind friend as ever!

The first was pleasing - yet melanchole. That you should endure so much cold, fatigue and distress rendered me unhappy for your sake. Yet Cos, I am glad so much Pleasure was mingled with your Pain. I wish you had described yourself as sitting down, on some cragg of the Green Mountains, to view the extended prospect, the airy cliff, or “hear the headlong torrent rave.” These I know you must have seen, and nothing could have given me more pleasure, than to know what were your feelings on thus contemplating nature in her wildest form. The second I must say, was not so agreeable. You say you are going farther South. Now, Cousin, reflect on the course you are about to pursue. You are unacquainted with the habits of the Southern People. Father has had more opportunities than either of us to observe their character. He says their wickedness and Impiety increase in a tenfold proportion, as you go farther South. And now in the time of so great trouble and misfortunes that surround us on every side, it will be almost impossible to obtain a livelihood. Remain if p[?]able in the place where you now are. Father said he was both gratified and astonished to hear, you as so well situated at Ballston: but, remember, if you remove to the Southward it is ten to one you will be so fortunate. This, my dear Cos, is the advice of a friend - pardon me if I am rather too pre[?]ed on “wandering.” Write me often, from every town of note - that I may sympathize with you in your adversity and rejoice with you in your prosperity.

In the first letter, you was so good as to send me a model of an Aeolian harp. I have since been presented with one, by Miss Finlay whom you have seen. At first it would make but an indifferent sound. Till I read Mr. Jones on the Aeolian harp and found that the cords must be all strung upon an unison. It now sings sweetly, upon the recommendation of a friend, has become a source of great delight. You will doubtless remember how much pleasure we used to enjoy when serenading the [?] or butchering ladies of C. There are a number of young gentleman in town who serenade in like manner, the young ladies at Mrs. Royses boarding school opposite to our house. And frequently they awake me with the sound of their violin and hautboy. The first time that I heard them was at midnight when the moon shone fair, and the music seemed celestial.

I am now reading Jones’s Memoirs, Shenstone and Gays Poems. My library has increased considerably. Pope; Thompsons, and Collins Poems and Walter Scott’s Rokeby have been lately added. Our house is seated in a romantic spot at the North end of the town. You have probably observed how Hartford is situated - the prospect skirted on every side by distant mountains. From the window where I now set I can see the stream of Connecticut and the white arched bridge over it. I am not very good at description - if I was I should tell you of the clumped trees that fling their shadows on its bosom, of green meads, and distant village spires. But leaving that to some [si]ghing, love-sick poet hereafter - all I want to say is comprised in this -

Secret is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,

With charm of earliest bird; pleasant the sun,

When first on this delightful land he spreads,

His orient beams on herb, tree fruit and flower,

Glittering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth

After soft showers; and sweet the coming on

Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,

With this her solemn bird; and this fair moon,

And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:

But neither breath of morn, when she ascends

With charm of earliest birds; nor rising seen

On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower

Glittering with dew; nor fragrance after showers

Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,

With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon

Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet. [Milton]

Miss Mary Lloyd the lass you gallanted from Cheshire to Harford dwells now in our house. She is I believe a virtuous girl - and such [?] one I can esteem. There is something so agreeable in the company of a young and blooming maid, whom you know to be chaste, that cannot be expressed. But however; fascinating lively and beautiful that girl may be, whom you know not to be pure, her sight is odious. “Familiarity” (say Father in one of his Sermons) “breeds contempt.” But Cos, enough of females - gracious knows, I am talking to an old bachelor (i.e. that is to be.)

My time passes agreeably divided between my books and the work necessary for the family. I seldom go out - except now and then on a trip to Mrs. Royses across the road. Sickness seems to be an [?] in our family for most of the time. Father has been dangerously ill and has but just recovered.

Grandma is now confined, but hope she will soon regain [?] strength. Aunt though not dangerously taken, has been quite indisposed. My dear Mother through all this, still remains her health, and looks better than ever I saw her before. Added to this we have a great deal of company which employs a good part of my time. Now and then I steal a moment to devote to friendship to you.

A short time since I went on an excursion to Cheshire with Miss Ives and my Aunt. Miss Ives had been for sometime since at our house and I was dispatched to carry her home. It is really astonishing how the Academy is falling away. But 34 scholars left! Last year, you know, we had 58. The place is too democratic!! Linus has given up all ideas of [?]tering into the ministry on account of ill health and was about leaving the academy when I was there. Poor fellow he looks sick “nigh unto death.” Orton (I believe I have mentioned this in a former letter) has entered as a Surgeon into the U.S. Army. And from what I can learn Uncle Jed. has also. Sunday I attended Church - and what do you think I saw? 6 were in the pew and 4 asleep! [Strutgait] was one and snored so loud as to be heard halfway over their monstrous Church. It appears that inattention to Religion is increasing in every part of the country. Oh how shall we preserve ourselves from the tempt[atio]ns, the snares that are laid for our sails, but by [escorting] [...] into godliness and by constant prayer.

Once I was fallen, oh how love,

Just on the brink of endless woe,

But praised be God though my mind was corrupted I was preserved from any sinful action. Passion for a moment shook the reins, till Reason again resumed command. After Church I took a solitary walk, puffing my [segur] through Hull-glen - visited the spot where we beheld ourselves beneath no artificial pail. Thought of you - with a sort of pleasing melancholy. Philander told me considerable news concerning Cheshire, which I dare not trust on paper. You may rely on this, the College never will be there. They have an enlisting officer and 6 or 7 soldiers there strolling about town, getting drunk or - and (mind this) are admitted into the best of company. To what a height politicks will carry people! Cousin, I have seen so much of that levelling kind of business I am fairly sick of it. To take scamps and scoundrels into my bosom merely for the sake of party is [?] I never shall submit to. Sonnet to Miss H - with “H. H. Whites Remains.”

In genial youth when soft affections play,

Beauty holds her universal sway.

When Love and Health in mingl’d colours vie

Flush the warm cheek and brighten in the eye

Oh let Religions counsel peace impart

And stomp her lasting precepts on your heart.

While others quaff the sweets from Pleasures bowl,

Whose taste though mild is poison to the soul;

While Expectation gilds each fairy scene

And Hope points out long life and days serene;

While other will, in false and festal joy

Their wild affections and their Cares employ;

May you, dear Maid posses a cultivated mind

And Those delights enjoy, that leave no string behind.

I beg you would transmit me that piece of yours, I so much admired,

George Chase

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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