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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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clinations have taken part in this debate.  However, believe me, my doubts and hopes have agreed to make you their arbiter, and there is a rule of submission entered in the court of conscience.  I am, dear Sir, your friend and servant,

'GOUVERNEUR MORRIS.'

To this letter his friend replied as follows.

'New York, February 25th, 1772.

' My Dear Gouverneur,

' I take your letter very kindly, and so am bribed on the side of your inclination.  I could write a long letter in favor of your voyage.  There are volumes upon the benefits of travelling.  But all the world cannot have these pleasures.  To some it would be useless to visit distant countries, others it would ruin.

'If you mean to adorn your character, I say, go.  But considering your time of life, and the country you go to, I tremble at every step you are to take.  Much depends upon your fortune.  I have at times repented my confinement to these shores.  I correct myself again upon reflecting, that if my industry had not been incessant, I might have been a beggar, or compelled to drudge, which is the same thing, in an evening hour, while those I sat out with are singing a requiem to their souls.

' Our end is happiness.  Without flattery (for I am serious) you can support a reputation in your own country, sufficient to add to what you have, both by business, marriage, &c.  Your travels will affect the funds you possess, and if they increase your knowledge, perhaps they will proportionably abate your industry.  I foresee it is now or never.  It often happens that we are driven to the choice of one of two things, when we desire both.  I dare say you want both a wife and an estate.  You have at least had desires for both.  Some take a wife and trust to fortune for fixture prosperity, and they have not been disappointed.  But how many others are in misery, by venturing upon this leap?


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From The Life of Gouverneur Morris: With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers; Detailing Events in the American Revolution, The French Revolution, and in the Political History of the United States, by Jared Sparks, Volume 1, Boston: Gray & Bowen, 1832, p 18. Some minor edits may have been made, but an attempt has been made to preserve the original spelling. Although some effort has been made to correct the limitations of OCR technology, if you find an error please report it to jvinci@colonialhall.com.

 
 


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Last modified August 20, 2006