Life and Letters of Joel Barlow, LL.D., Poet, Statesman, Philosopher: With Extracts from His Works and Hitherto Unpublished Poems

By Charles Burr Todd | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER II.
1778-1780.

" PORTSMOUTH, Oct. 5, 1778.

"I RECEIVED under cover from our worthy friend, Mr. Baldwin, two of your poems upon the Prospect of Peace, with an intimation that you desired they might be conveyed in that way. I am very much obliged to you for them, but not so much as I should have been had they been accompanied with a letter from you. I am sure you are not so little acquainted with my disposition, or my particular tenderness for your class and for you, as to think that a letter would not have been particularly agreeable. The long acquaintance I have had with your class, the many favors I have received from them, the particular tenderness and respect with which most of them have treated me, joined to the peculiar share of genius and merit with which, as a class, they were distinguished, have begotten and cherished such feelings in me as time can never totally remove, and as I never shall feel for any other members of society. . . . Your poem does you honor in this part of the country, and every person that has seen it speaks very highly of it. It is particularly agreeable to me, perhaps because my vanity would assume part of the merit, as it grew up, in a sort, under my auspices. But I am so little of a poet that I think the smallest share only is thus due to me. I advise you to encourage and cultivate your turn for poetry. I should think myself particularly honored if you will favor me with a view of some of your fugitive lucubrations. . . ."

He wrote again, March 9, 1779: -- "I am exceedingly pleased with your letter, and the rather, as it intimated

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