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To W.C. Monday Aug. 29. 1793 Ellendale .~

[gap]arrived as speedily as thou could wish it. If thy ingagements would
[gap]I should insist upon thy presence with us; Thy fancy has not been
[gap]to the truth: The Scienc of our several operations are indeed sufficiently
[gap]t this letter is a proof that the elements in which our minds
[gap]ly the same:

There are several things which are faulty in thy letter; Thou treatest me
in a Manner which my heart tells me I do not merit. You treat me
with reserve my friend; How you should have acquired this strange diffidence
of my friendship I am at a loss to discover. What is it you mean by
thus perpetually suppressing your regrets, by Indulging for a moment
in impatience, and then flying off in into jest and raillery with an hasty
self rebuke for worying me with your complaints; and strange insinua
tions that I hate moody melancholy, that it is unfriendly to molest
the ear of a friend by ‸ a the tale of disasters which he cannot remedy,
that he must be a selfish wretch indeed who cannot allow the happiness
of him he loves, to extinguish, for a while at least, his own disquietudes

These sentiments, my friend, you undoubtedly cherish as just and ex-
cellent, and while you utter them are perhaps not aware that they
touch no answering chord in my heart: Let me assure you then that
they make no part of my System: I thought inded you already had
collected as ‸ thus much from our frequent Conversations: How often have I
not assured you that the only road though which I mean to arrive
at happiness ‸ myself is to be ‸ in being the authour of as much general felicity as possi
=ble: That my individual interest is nothing in competition with the Inter
of Interest of all: with the superior interest of another, or with the
[gap]ted number: Benevolence is not in me the same vagu[gap] [gap] others: Who ith a faint and casual[gap]

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of its importance, are wholly uncertain as to the end or the means [gap]
‸ true benevolence, contemplates and employs; ‸ they are totally unconscious of the extent o [gap] that duty which contributes these[gap] -ment of general good.

It is far otherwise my friend with me: In pursuance of [gap]
no one can benefit me more than by putting it in my power [gap]
him. Does a stranger present me with a minute detail of [gap]
and distresses: Unfold to me the secrets of his heart; and the [gap]
of his hopes and fears? How am I to secure such a confessi[gap]
these: Shall I wonder at the impertinence of him who thus ca[gap]
to affairs that nowise concerns me, and assails me, in the midst of my
own jocular enjoyments and vexations; with a long story, to which, being
an absolute stranger to the sufferer, it would be absurd to imagine
could lay any claim to my Attention:

But very differently my friend do I reason. I listen to the narra-
=tive with eagerness: Is not the sufferer man: Is he not my brother: Is it
not the purpose of my being to diffuse happiness: Here is one who puts
in my power to execute that purpose: by shewing me that happiness
is wanted: Though the duty that I owe to all, may prevent me from
accomplishing all his wishes, it will be strange if I cannot be of some
advantage to him:

Ruse, distance, Secrecy, are the enemies, of all my Schemes. Since
they are the friends of selfishness and guilt; they are my foes: To
them are my steps indebted for ‸ these vexatious and insuperable obstacles
that encumber the path of ‸ my duty and happiness.~

How much am I delighted to discover this obstacle removed, in any
particular instance. Must I not exert all my efforts to remove it when
it does not vanish of itself: The imputation of inquisitiveness, or impertinenc
of a restless propensity to pry into the affairs of others affect me, n[gap]
[gap] importunity flowing from motives like mine; can be ‸ will rarely indeed be
[gap] to the hazard of such an imputation, but if it were, it should not
[gap] deter me: Governed by a vehement desire to [gap]
[gap] the [gap]

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must I not search out, with the utmost industry; the means suitable
to this end: but the disease must be known before the remedy can be discerned

My friend, thou must explain to ‸ me thy disease: thou must disclose to
me all the Circumstances of thy present condition: Dost thou think that
in the stores of wisdom there is no remedy for the worst evil of which
which thou mayest suffer: Allow me to judge of the impracticability
of a Cure: If ‸ all my prescriptions prove unsuccessfull, I will admit that
the evil is irremediable: But suffer me to make the experiment.

I have indeed no apprehensions of failing: If Virtue indeed be
happiness: if Virtue be the possible associate of all Conditions: and if
sincere conviction and ‸ an honest purpose: can triumph over all resistance, and
virtue be a lesson: capable of being taught to all, if the teacher ‸ be sufficiently
imbued with the importance of the lesson ‸ his task, why should I fear to fail.

Entrust me, my friend, with the guardianship of thy felicity: Suffer
me to know thee thoroughly: I need no more: Then if I be not thy wise physician
If I exterminate not the hive of evils: which hover, harboured, so long in
thy bosoms, If I render not thy life a banquet of unsating Sweets, ‸ I will permit thee
mayest ‸ to upbraid me with folly and temerity: but, failure is indeed impossi =ble: Thou, my dear William, wast born for happiness: Joy, serene unruffled
and immutable: is thy inheritance: Long, indeed, has it been withholden from
thee: but now the time has arrived at which thou wilt be restored to
the full possession: Of that ‸ auspicious restoration: I will will be the instrument

Ellendale. Schuylkill .~
Wednesday 31. Aug. 1793.

I thank thee, sincerely for thy letter. Thy raillery is pleasing: I think it is
yet when I reflect I am somewhat doubtful whether unseasonable gayety
be not as culpable as unseasonable sadness. The chearfullness of which true
wisdom is the parent can never be senough esteemed: but groundless mirth
and groundless melancholy, My friend, there does not appear much difference
between them: At any rate we shall confer the greatest benefit by substituting
the peace of virtue for the commotions of thoughtless Jollity: Wisdom
serenely mild: for the hey day of the blind: and the levity of the thoughtlessness

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Grief is uneasy for a change: is disposed to listen and blesses the hand
that promises to cure: but Mirth, is haughty and refractory: Vex not me
it exclaims with your mock wisdom: hang up the grand ideal which you
call philosophy: Carry your prescrtions to the desk. I thank god am in perfect

Art thou in health, my brother Art thou forever exempt from the
groans and tossings of disease: No. I have seen thy bosom uneasy with
Anguish: Gnawing discontent, hath oftener than once, made thy head
her prey: but if accident or energy can drive away the images that
flow from thy actual condition: thou enjoyest a respite from their tor
=ments: Thou canst scatter jests: and laugh thy adversary into Chuckes
and thy friend into the same exilerating sympathy of muscles. Thy safety
consists in ignoble flight, thy happiness in the wretched, and capricious
boon of forgetfullness.

I the mask and party obscured drapery which thou hast bestowed
upon my wisdom: she indeed plays a ludicrous part. I could smile at her
Antics: if I did not too constantly perceive that the figure was indeed disguised
and that robed in Simplicity and truth: the most stupid and savage obdurate
heart would stoop in veneration to her sanctity, and melt in rapture at
her charms.

I would be pleased with the force of intellect, and the Spell of
workman fancy: which have brought, on so short warning: so well equipped
and well instructed a train upon the stage, but my pleasure is sure to be
embittered by the violent thought that the hand, which can combat thus
strenuously on the side of error, would find it easy, on behalf of truth
to trample into dust the most gigantic opposition.

And so, on second thoughts, Candour requires me to recall my
first assertion. Thy raillery does not please me. As a proof of thy talents
it might perhaps have been heard with complacency, ‸ but of these I demad
now greater proof than I already possess: My opinion is long since

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formed: Nothing can occur than can affect me like novelty, Wretchedly
remiss or stupid should I indeed have been if I had not strched the
line and determined the dimensions of my Williams Understanding: Months

Thou advist me to set up for proffit: here the aid of some potent genius
who may supply me with wand and mantle of miraculous efficacy:
and lead a chosen people from out of the Egyptian darkness that involves us
The land of promise is at no great distance: Many a Canaan thou thinkest
may be hidden in the bosom of the west invironed by the Nipani or imbosomed in the shining Mountains , In the heart of the Western
World, thou tellest me a thane and a nation may be planted which in
due season, might touch overshadow the two ends of the earth with its wings at
whose benign touch, siberian latitudes should smile, and the ‸ uninhabitable waste of
Southern Waters, be changed into a peopled paradise.

Dost thou remain to be informed, my friend, that the prophet and Poet
are the same: The feat has already been performed. I am glad that the
scheme has obtained thy approbation. Thou wilt not refuse thy [gap]est
in a plan which thou recommendest to the choice of thy friend. Thou shall
not refuse me thy aid. I forewarn thee that I intend to demand it, but
I shall select that season to profer my request; when thou shalt have no
power to refuse and that season shall inevitably ‸ will come; or there is no
truth in foresight:

It would be strange indeed if Mankind in the future annals of this Western
Continent: the streams of power and opinion should not be seen to flow from
some new Muse or Nazareth: If the man should be [gap] of one [gap] they should not tell of some new who is
the Compeer of duty; and the Ambassador of Heaven; a [gap] nd founder of nations
a friend of Man. To talk thus, thou sayest, is to talk like a lunatic: Nay my friend
it is to talk merely like a Man who has not contemplated the history of
his species without benefit: who has scrutinized the springs of human actions
and weighed well the efficacy of simple causes in changing the face of
nations. Who knows the truth: & who knows it to be mightier than falsehood

Thinkest thou that these Seven years will be suffice to pass over my head

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without single vision of my youth being realized? If thou dost thou canst
Take the word of an Apostle of truth, that his fame shall make deep
inroads into futurity; and that no ‸ new diffusion of knowledge, hath invali
-dated the omnipotence of Genius

Why, thou sayest, dost this vaunting soul of mine, linger still
in obscurity; why does it not [gap] ge ‸ start out into activity and notice; and
urge without delay its claim to the empire of Genius and the homage
of the world. I think thou should rather applaud my caution, which is
solicitous to strengthen the ribbs and compleat the furniture of my
bark before I launch forth on a perillous ocean ‸ sea and encounter the
dangers of an untried voyage. Thy pity will have no reason to be
offended though I should remind thee ‸ that he, whom thou knowest I account
an excellent example, did not enter upon the office of instructing Man-
kind till he had seen ten years more than I have: Yet I allow its due weight
to thy sage remark that while I sit projecting wonders, ‸ some ‸ the fall of some luckless tile
or some casualty of the solar sytem may frustrate, in a moment my
finest schemes, and that I should reflect upon the possibility that my
own neck may be broken by a fall from a horse or that the thundering
our globe may chance to be confounded in the thundering career of a Comet
career of while I am hiding under a basket the lamp that is destined to illumine
Mankind; and enable them to correct the irregularities of the phy-
sical and moral worlds

Thou wouldst doubly thank me for this letter if thou knewest in
what circumstances it is written. The Girls are teazing me to look at and
admire the splendour of the western horizon in which the sun has
this moment immerged. While I am intellectually frouning at thee
I am actually smiling at them, and snatching alternately a glance at
the pen and at the Sky; or in other words at thee and at the setting
Sun: An ominous combination ‸ thou I will say: but, indeed, thou art a rising
Luminary: Thy spendour is obscured by the black usurpations of mist
but, I firmly, believe, that there wilt speedily emerge in ‸ to noon tide

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lustre; to chear and to enlighten the world. I will be with thee tomorro

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