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The Life of Gouverneur Morris

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many is made the gain of so few, exclaiming with poor Hamlet, "What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba ?" Religion—the very word demands respect, and, as B----- says of his wife,

"I speak of her with reverence."  Love—as dull as a tale twice told.  Friendship—gone to pay astrća a visit: her votaries so few that the world knows them not.  Business—it has so transformed, and transmigrated, and almost transubstantiated me, as hardly to leave the memory of what I was.  But you are not a son of care; smoothly then may your minutes flow.  May the table of life be spread before you with uncloying variety; and chiefly may you be free from that listless vacuity of mind, which admonishes us that man was intended for an active being.  Pray how does that honest man of the heroic age, General Lee ? I suppose he gave a loud plaudit

to the Boston wights.  Here follows a word to Mrs Penn.

‘Dear Madam,

‘What a terrible life do I lead.  Worse than at Philadelphia, There I was all night up it is true, but it was in company, making merry.  Here up all night writing, and like his grace the Duke of C. "nobody with me but myself."  Pity it is you are not here—balls, concerts, assemblies—all  of us mad in the pursuit of pleasure.  Not a pause.  Grave phizes are grinned out of countenance, prudence kicked out of doors, and your sober, solid, sedate friend, myself meaning is become the butt of unfledged witlings.  Mr. Griffin is here.  How does your neighbor's family? Bless us, what a foolish question.  You live at too great a distance to know.  Lady Dunmore is here—a very elegant woman.  She looks, and speaks, and moves, and is, a lady.  Her daughters are fine,

sprightly, sweet girls.  Goodness of heart flushes from them in every look.  How is it possible, said that honest soul our Governor to me, how is it possible my Lord Dunmore could so long deprive himself of those pleasures he must enjoy in such a family? When you see them you will feel the full force of this observation.


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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 21. 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