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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 1

To Eunice Paine
RTP Paine, Eunice
Lancaster Feby. 17th. 1755 Dear Eunice,

I recd. the things & Letters by Capt. Richardson. I am sorry that Cato has left the Point before another place was found for him, but hope you may provide for him without Trouble. As for yr. other Letter I have not Leisure to give it such An Answer as it deserves. I look upon it as a specimen of the Volatile Wit of a City Girl, who always think their Persons & Labours Meritorious of Jointures & Dowers, wn. perhaps the whole Employmt. of their Lives don't derserve two Old Sermons; unless they be by way of reproof & therefore wn. I have a Coople of Sermons that suit yr. Case, I may, from my known principle of doing Good, send them for you perusal. As for their not being worth copying, I am surpriz'd you should surmise that, unless you judge them Patch-Work from the Author's ragged Jackett, Patch'd Gown, & Brass Buttons covered with Blue Cloth (a contrivance that is Worthy the Ingenuity of a Sea Captain who when he sells a Vessell with a worm eaten Bottom, will put on a good Coat of Tar); But whatever you may think of the Suddeness of the Change, it was very regular, & much aproved off. As to the Performance, I satt out last Sunday about 3 oClock AM, Accompanied by Capt. Levi Willard, & Dr. Edward Flynt,1 as Armer Bearers; & Mr. Manassah Divol.2 as chief Pilot & Introducer. I found my Parish Chh. in the Middle of abt. 30 Acres of Shrub Oaks. Upon my appearance the People, who were sunning themselves under the House repaired to their Seats, & upon my Passage thro' the Alley, pd. Obeisance & presented me three Notes, one for a sick Child, & two relating to Hours of Peril. I unexpectedly, felt the same Serenity & Calmness; as I should do if I had been in Bed, & Entertain'd them the whole day from Levi: 19: 30 vs. The people gave good attention & seem to be a goodly Folk. I must delay telling you many Circumstances, Occurencys &c., but can tell you that it might be of dangerous Tendency if I should pull the white handkerchief out in the Pulpit, & might hurt my Cause more than preaching good Works & Peace. The Sugar Plumbs will be of no Service to me till the N: England Rum be gone, unless you sent them Allegorically, to show that my preaching must be Sweet in the hearing & have a small tendency to expell Wind, which would render it as agreable as Sugar plumbs to Children, which do neither good nor hurt.

Upon search I can find but one plain shirt; pray write if you sent them243both. I live abstracted from all Worldly Thoughts, except such as the Law infuses into me, which I pound upon Night & Day. Keep my Ministerial Excursion a Secret, & Remember to no Female Freind upon Earth, & excuse my Sending this Letter in such a manner, for paper fetches a 4£ per sheet. Yr. Mindfull Brother.


RC ; addressed: "To Mrs Eunice Paine Semstress Boston"; endorsed.


Edward Flint (1733?–1818) served as a surgeon in the regiment under the command of Col. Timothy Ruggles in the expedition against Crown Point in 1755. Flint was later a physician in Shrewsbury (Andrew H. Ward, History of the Town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts [Boston, 1847], 275–276; Sibley's Harvard Graduates, 9:199–223).


Manassah Divol (1716–1797), a Lancaster yeoman, was quartermaster for Col. Abijah Willard's regiment in 1755 and 1759 (Voye, ed., Massachusetts Officers in the French and Indian Wars).

From Richard Cranch
Cranch, Richard RTP
Weymouth Mar: the 14th. 1755. Dear Friend,

When great natural abilities, embellish'd with every "polite an and beautifying Science," are employ'd on the Side of Virtue and Religion, they can't fail of forming the most amiable Character immaginable; and the being cold or indifferent to the profess'd Friendship of one possess'd of such an inestimable treasure, would, in my opinion, argue more than Brutal stupidity. I must confess that even a very distant prospect of such an harsh imputation on me, would fill my tho'ts with trouble and anxiety: How unhappy then must I be in this respect at present, being reduc'd (by my long silence after your repeated favours) to the hard necessity of depending entirely on your goodness for preventing its being immediately inflicted on me? I can pretend but to one excuse fit to offer so worthy a Person as you, for my silence, and that is, that my mind has been so hurried and divided among the various cares of life for some time past, that it has been unfit to offer any oblation worthy the Shrine of Friendship; and if Heaven excuses the performance even of its own Rites till they can be done without distraction, I hope that you the Friend of Heaven will do the same by me.

You well remember, my dear Friend, how often in our former conversations we have wish'd that our happy lot might be cast near each other in some Peacefull Solitude,

244 "Where contemplation prunes her ruffl'd wings, "And the free Soul looks down to pitty Kings."1

But tho' Fortune at present seems to cross our wishes, and makes it necessary in order to gain her Smiles, that we should walk in distant paths from each other; yet I can't avoid flattering my self with the pleasing prospect of some happyer State reserv'd for us in futurity; where instead of examining with pleasure the curious Mechanism of a Clock or Watch, and shewing the excellency of a Pendulum vibrating in a Cycloid, above that in a Circle; we Shall be enabled to trace the infinitely more intricate Wheels and stupendous Springs that move a Universe! There we shall see

"—how systym into Systym runs, "What other Planets circle other Suns."2

'Tis there, my Friend, and only there, that a Field shall open on you so ample as not to cramp your genious, or bound your progress. Nor is it one of the least pleasing circumstances with me, to think that there too my narrow faculties shall be so far enlarg'd as to be able in a adequate manner to shew how greatly and how sincerely you are admir'd by your constant Friend and humble Servt.,


P:S. As I am now very solitary in my Bachelorick Hall, having lately lost my Genious, my youung Apollo;3 who is gone from me, not to that fancied Elisium whose charming Scenes his more charming Language could at once both describe and adorn; but to those inefable scenes of real joy, that true Elisium, that Heaven of charms, his dear Belinda!4 I hope you'll therefore have so much pitty on me in my double solitude, as to send your counter part to me in the form of a Letter; which will much relieve yours as above,


RC ; addressed: "For Mr: Robert-Treat Paine at Lancaster"; endorsed.


Alexander Pope, "The Fourth Satire of Dr. John Donne Versifyed" (London, 1733).


Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man: In Four Epistles (Philadelphia, 1747), Epistle I, p. 8.


Samuel Quincy.


The heroine of Pope's The Rape of the Lock. Quincy did not marry until 1761.