Philander Chase



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Anecdote regarding mens' complaints and difficult people


Summer 7-26-1797


New England, Deacon Whittimore, Simon Sods, Moses Mayweed, Boston, England, Mr. Hall, Timothy Sod, Tom Lazy, Tom Simple, Richard Balm, Charles Sod, "He's a difficult man you may depend"



Thousands such souls might [dance] on [needles] points.

A clergyman of New England preached a sermon/ some years ago / in which he introduced the [narrow] Doctrine of the little flock to the saved” -- In the Course of it, he took occasion to say -- “It is my belief that not more than one in a thousand can possibly expect salvation”! - - As the Town contained only 1027 Souls - one of his flock waited on him next morning - and after repeating what he had said - told him it would be well for him to make up his mind, whether himself of Deacon Whittimore was the Elected one -- because it would be [useless] to keep up a Church of a great [expense], which contained 1026 Souls, when fate was already determined.

July 24 ‘97.

[Simon] [Sods] Compliments to Moses Mayweed, and acquaints him he has read his elegant production. -- he noticed the Poetry in two lines, and after reading the whole over, twice - it was found too deep for Simon to comprehend; - and he now declares it, unanswerable!!

July 26: 1797

“Hes a difficult man, you may depend.”

What meaning to affix to this? When you hear a man say this, how do you make up your mind. -- it is a complaint, and if it is a friend whom you hear accused - you naturally ask, what do you mean? in what is he difficult? . -- There are a variety of difficult People, and if you probe the Complaint to the bottom you’l find (generally Speaking) that the complainants are the aggressors -- Lets begin -- A [Mr] Hall, son of old Hugh, of Boston makes it his Business to go [on] England, or do any thing he can catch to secure a living. -- One Day a Lady sent him to bring home a set of fine China, which she [had] purchased at [Vendue] - gave him a Basket, and desired him him to be careful. - Ben had been used to a wheelbarrow. - and when he received the China - he put his Basket into his Barrow - and went off on a dog Trot. - an unlucky Stone which Lay in the way, [so] jostled the Barrow, that 4 Cups, 3 Saucers, and a Tea Post, was demolish’d. - Ben arrived with his tatter’d errand - The Lady. - “difficult to be [mistress] of herself, though China fall” complained - [may] even Scolded poor Hall - ! Why Ma’am says Hall dont be angry - I went back and chalk’d the stone, so as to know it again, and if you send me an hundred times, it wont happen so bad. - Now Hall says. - She’s a very difficult woman. Another time Mrs _______ asked Hall if he understood weeding a Garden - - Oh ‘yes Ma’am says Hall - “Well says Mrs ______ my Garden is small, and I’ll give you Two Shillings to do it nicely. - very well Ma’am says Ben. - to work he went - and in two hours in comes Ben. - Well Ma’am says he “‘tis as clean as a [dab]” - But went Mrs ______ and behold the wreck! -- every Pink-Polyanthus, [?], Rose and Tuberose, lay in one common wreck - and naught remained, but the [Clear] Earth in which to sow new seed. - Mrs. _____ complained very much. and Ben tells everybody she is the most difficult woman he ever worked for” - ! - A young Gentleman in the same Town “some how or other” he [bent] [in] all the back pannel. When he returned his Brother Complained - very well says he you seem so very difficult about your Chain, you may depend I’ll not borrow it again! --

The foregoing are facts which I have good proof of -- But to come nearer [Dutches] County.

Timothy Sod hired a man to Cradle for him last summer he cheated him, - and when he complained. - “you are a difficult man” says the Cradler - “you complain without reason, why did not you says he, Stay in the feild, and see to our work?” -- This is a Lesson says he. --

[Hay] came next. - He went into his meadow, and attended to the work. - “He’s a difficult man” says Tom Lazy. - I won’t work for any man who watches me! --

What to be done now says he. - He met [?] and told him of these Complaints - and asked him how he should get the better of them. - “I dont know says he” - but I must tell you the Com-plaint is pretty General. - “Your negros says he complain that you make them [sit] in the Kitchen”. !!! - “Tom [Gadabout] complain[s] that you dont [like] people should walk in your feilds, and Garden,” “They Complain at the Raffle”!.- [Ceasar] says one - “Why [an’t] your master here?” ? - “He no like Raffle says Ceasar” - “He [an’t] sociable” says Tom [?] -- “He’s a difficult man” says Tom Simple -- “you may depend” --

Richard Balm put out a feild of wheat to a man, “on [Shaus]” as it is called - it was very Cradled; bound, & put into Shock - when it was ready to bring in - he desir’d Balm to go into the feild - He went - well says the man I have divided the shocks as fairly as I could. - “Those that have a Bough on them are yours, and those without are mine - Well says Balm, I was not brought up a farmer, but I know something of proportions - and to judge by the shocks. - it is possible you may have more straw than I have - but your shocks are much Larger. - he had the Boughs removed - now says he we [start] fair - take one, and leave one East or West - North or South - - it was done - but says the man - “He is very difficult you may depend” -

Charles Sod - engaged to neighbor Vulca[n] quantity of Ground to plant corn on the shares - the bargain was made before witness. - but [promisses] and engagements are [lighter] than ploughing. [Hoeing] & (I mean to Lazy People) - Part of the ground, was badly ploughed, worse Hoed, and thankfully watched against Birds - He complained and Vulcan tells People “He’s a difficult man you may depend” -

Neighbor Careless who keeps a great many Hogs - which are never kept up - they broke into Charles Sods Corn and did great damage. - Charles confin’d the Hogs. - Careless came for them, and did not offer to Pay anything - promis’d he would take Care of them, so as never to trouble him again - - Last Evening he told some of his friends - “He’s a difficult man you may depend” -

Richard Ploughshare hir’d [Pe’et] Lazy to thresh for him and gave him a negro to help out - - [Pe’et] told every night “he had work’d like [Blares]’ - but on cleaning up - Saturday night it appeared that [Pe’et] and the negro, averaged three Bushels p’day. -- [Pe’et] was sent off with a flea’ in his Ear - and he tells every one “Oh! he’s a a difficult man you may depend” --

Tom Shearer asked neighbor Fleece, if he had any Sheep among his flock which did not belong to him - he was told there were six of different marks - he found what the marks were, and claim’d the whole. - accounting for the marks by different ways. - Fleece wanted to get rid of the Sheep - but could not help observing, it was Strange that so many different marks should belong to one man - Why says Shearer “you seem to be difficult.” -- took away the Sheep, and tells every one “if you have any thing to do with Fleece you’l find him a difficult man you may [depend]” --

[?] [Winrore] hir’d a man [an] [House] - before he would fix the bargain he told him that he had rather not let it unless he be sure he would not cut his wood. - he brought [Oracle], who vouch’d for his Integrity - but alas! He had forfeited his Bail - and Cut a great many Thus - [Winrore] - Complains - [Oracle] smiles - and the Tenant says “what a difficult man” --

Two Tenants on a Farm, who had as much Honesty as their Horses. - the one used to send his Boy after Dark, and put his Horses into into the other’s field - - [Set] a Rogue to Catch a Rogue says the owner - presently he found out by Knave that [?] Horses were in the meadow - the owner call’d on [?] and ask’d how it came about - he denied it, but on being told that Knave had informed - well says he, Knaves Horses have

Anecdote, Thousands such souls might dance on needles points



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