The publick taste requires to be guided and informed-- Our countrymen are assisted in forming their opinion concerning the numerous modern publications imported into this country from Great Britain by the judgement of the criticks of that island--but with respect to our native works we have hitherto had no such guide on which we could safely rely-- Your work with its present promise I think will supply this want--and constituting a kind of censorship which assigning to merit its just applause and exposing unsupported pretensions shall give a proper direction to our national taste--
MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) ADDRESS: Willard Phillips Esq. / Boston. PUBLISHED (in Part): Life, I, 152.
Great Barrington 14 Apl. 1818
I have neglected writing to you so long that I am almost ashamed to write at all-- 1 I could however bring a host of formidable advocates for my fault who if they could not convince you would at least terrify you into a pardon-- Ill health, Blue Devils and a demon of softer look but more deadly purpose than these, Laziness--will attest how often they have pinioned my arms and withheld my fingers from the pen-- Can you refuse any thing to these powerful pleaders?--
I believe that we shall send to Boston a brace of democratick senators from this county this year. --There has been some dissatisfaction amongst the federal party with the nomination excited I suppose by men who wish to be candidates themselves--Much mischief has been done by this course and I apprehend that it will lose us the election.-- 2
The great folks at Washington I see make themselves pretty busy with the difficulties between this country and Spain-- If we should have a war with that country and one could get a commission in the army he might perhaps before it was ended have an opportunity of garnishing his private history with a few South American adventures-- 3
Do you read the North American Review? --In the number for September (I believe) 1817--perhaps in the preceding number--there are some lines entitled "Thanatopsis"--and "a fragment" by an old friend of