Joseph Coolidge to Nicholas P. Trist
|dear N.||July 9. 1828.|
Having just finished writing a note of introduction to Mess. Davis, Trist & Co for Mr Clark, the printer, I determine to reply to those parts of your late letter, which call for a particular answer: In the first place you ask me how many copies of Long’s book upon ancient geography you would be justified in printing? without his name prefixed, I should think not many; and, even with it, not a large edition—(in one case say 500. in the other perhaps 1000:) there are already in our language three excellent books upon this subject. a compend for beginners, in their 12mo, by Holland; an 8vo by Dr Butler, editor of Æschylus, for those who are more advanced, and 2 vols 8vo, by D’Anville for Scholars: I do not name the many works in french & latin because they are not so well known, or So easily found as these: if your book is complete in 150 pages, it would be between the two first I have named, Holland having about 75, and Butler 275 pages.—Lomax’s lectures would probably have a very limited sale, out of yr. university, and none beyond the state; I should advise you to print on his a/c therefore: as for Dunglisson’s book, it would not be easy to introduce it into general use, in opposition to the great publishers; unless it’s merit was greater than I anticipate, I mean unless it was transcendant. I hope it may be profitable to him, but would not, if I were you, engage in its publication upon Speculation!—Brougham’s speech I sent you, instantly, if you reprint it, it should be in a cheaper form: the first price of the one sent was $1. redo it as at 75 cts.—(The mention of Lomax brings to my mind that Justice Jackson, of this place, has just published a work on “Real Actions,” which, if worthy of his reputation, must have singular merit! his character as a lawyer is greater far than Story’s, whose edition of the laws will be mentioned on my last page:) I have endeavoured to find “the art of living long,” &c every copy in this place has been bought, so that I presume it must have a value, shall bear it in mind, however;—Among the mema lying before me, I find one respecting a work upon “the study of The Law,” by J. Williams; you say—perhaps Hilliard would republish this—: I doubt; H. himself has little influence in the concern; the business-man is Gray, a disagreable fellow, but one who understands money-making: I have nothing to say to him, however. not long since you inquired of me who was the author of remarks upon Greek grammar, in the Journal of Education—; I sent to the office to ascertain, but did not then succeed; as I do not own the book I cannot turn to the article, but, if it be the same wh. you may find, separately, among Mr J’s pamphlets, or, if it contains observations unfavourable to the german greek grammars, it was written by Jno. Pickering! I am not, at this moment, able to recollect the name of the reviewer of Rawle’s book, I have heard it, however; it was a young man—not Webster.—a Few days since I recd from England a copy of the Zenobia; so, dr. N. give yourself no further trouble about that wh. Long has: as for the Diocletian, if it comes, I shall be glad to have it. Can you tell me if Dunglisson recd some Virus, which I sent him a week since? and was it effectual? our physicians think (some of them) that the virus has been transmitted so often that it has lost its energy, & that the true way would be to take it from those persons who have imbibed the disease from the Cow herself. of this there are instances in our neighbourhood!—I mentioned in one of my letters, the facilities of embarking from this place for Liverpool, the 1st of every month, by the regular packets; and, occasionally, in the intervals, aboard transient ships—: our regular line is equal in every respect to that of New York; and Long might spend a few days, or weeks here, very pleasantly; if you can persuade him to come to Boston by the north River and Albany, he might would see more of the country than most of his countrymen do when on their travels. here. I am very sorry that he returns to Europe; what will become of yr. Uny? does Bonnycastle follow? and if so, Dunglisson? in such case it would be reduced to a mere school, for I take it for granted you will never import others: I do not hear that you have supplied Key’s place yet; Dr Jones seems to have given you the slip;—Walker, whom I once wrote to you about, is the author of the pseudo-review of Farrar in the last N.A.R.—here, we are all in dread lest Ticknor should be made president of Harvard College; he is learned, and methodical, but generally unpopular—: accused of being obsequious to some, and insolent to others—: the general voice is in favor of Ed. Everett, but he will not get it. Several allusions have been made, of late, to a change in your own plans:—where do you go?—to Phila? where Mother could join you, and where she would like to live? where you would have a broader field, and a fairer one, for literary exertion, if law fails? or do you, as I recommend, unite the influence of every friend, of Mr Mn and Mr Monroe and of Wirt, and Clay, whom you have once shewn yr. disposition to serve, and of yr. friend James Barbour, and try for a situation in Washington? it is rapidly increasing, and has many advantages—: 6 hours, pr day, would enable you to receive from 1500 to 3000 pr. ann. and give you 18 hours to yourself—: there would be a field for you; your ideas upon law might be matured in the Courts of the U.S.—you might, for half of each year, have the society of men from every part of the world, and the proximity, for the whole year, of an admirable library—: I will not dwell upon this, but recommend you to push your own interest, and those of yr. friends, to the utmost, to effect this most desireable purpose: I check my pen, which would gladly say more on this subject; but, believe me, it is the plan best suited for your tastes and talents.—I want to add that I fear it will be very difficult to affect a sale of the pictures; a large collection was sold on the 3d which had just been recd from Holland: they were exceedingly puffed in the papers, but I fear produced but little: the Cremona has been examined, and pronounced admirable; it will command, it is said, 150 guineas in London. I shall send it by the first friend: Mother wrote to me about the freight of the pictures—tell her I will arrange that matter: adieu for tonight. I find that the Book of Butler, mentioned on my first page, is upon ancient & modern geography—, and the part of which relates to ancient, will comprises about 175 pages, and is consequently the same size with Long’s; it has been often reprinted, and is much esteemed in England: Holland is upon ancient only, and was reprinted in Boston, in the year 1814.—we have been greatly gratified by a visit from Jno. Carr, who returned from a long cruise, in the frigate Constitution; he is a most excellent fellow, and is a general favourite with those of my family whom he who saw him: He promised that he would give Long every information about embarking from this place—
Story’s edition of the laws, in boards calf. 15:75, in sheep 14:75, costs — Yr. proposed plate Rawle’s book, reviewed by __________ will cost ____ if executed like that in my books, with a garter around the name, and the inscription in the garter, costs $5. or without the garter, $ 4: Cornelia, or mother, can describe my plate to you: the expence of printing will be in a[. . .] but this you could have done.Since writing the preceding, I have seen Jno. Pickering who ackno[wledged] himself the author of the article on greek grammar; and has offered me a copy of it for [you?] please say to Cornelia that I have sold my grey horse; in fact, gave him away, getting for him only $200:—he was too dangerous in a gig, for a lady, and I could not afford to keep a saddle-horse only:—you may also tell her that my Bro. is to be married on the 31. July to Miss Goldsborough, of Maryland.—
The facts for the Boston memorial were collected by several of those whose names are signed to it, but chiefly by Henry Lee, a merchant of this place who is the avowed author, and who wrote the memorial.