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New Haven Gazette Newspaper Archive: May 25, 1786 - Page 1

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Publication: New Haven Gazette

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

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   New Haven Gazette (Newspaper) - May 25, 1786, New Haven, Connecticut                                 n  he  CoEffl-  (Vol. I.)  Tiiurfdaj, May 25, M.DCC.LXXXVI. (No. 15. )  Nom sim bed toto genitos se credere Mukdo«  NEW-HAVEN: Printed ani Publilhed by MEIGS & DANA, in Chapel-Street. Price ¿Vz«^ S/;iHings ^qt Aamm,  00»  ES  The Frieodo No.  By James Littlejohnp Efqs Sir  If you judge the fQllSwing reprcfentation worthy oF a place in your paper, it is at your feiviceo—-—--- The only advantage I proinife myfelf from communicating it to you is unburdening a heart loaded with forrow. Poffibly it vviil have a little influence to engage and to refine the feelings of the heart, and to call forth into aClion thofe faculties which are the immediate parents of human comfort. As i do aot remember to have feen any thing of the ¿ime nature before, it will ib iiir fall within your original delign.  My circumi^ances in life have been generAiy prolperoas, and except in fingle particulars would naturally have created envy, rather than compafiion. My family, property, and education, vvere fuf-ficien'tiy reputable to fatisfy at leaitniy own wiihes, and for many years I have been the entirely beloved huib.ind of one of the moil amiable of w/onien. Such a continuation of enjoyments, you v/ill naturally judge, might reafonably fatisfy any mind capable of being fatisiii;d; but there are innumerable ways, in which the ajthor of our nature can move the fpring ofwoe, ma iy ingredients in the cup of bitternefs, each of which will empoilbn the moil delicious draught of felicity. I had been married about four years, when I became the father of a fan who wr;s unpoiTeiTeil of reafon. Tiie evil was at Frll incapable of being difcern-eJ ; bat after a few months our fears beg.in to be alarmed. It was coafpicjoas, tnat tiie infant did not pay that a'tention to the ©bjei^s around it, which is commonly paid ¿y infants of the fime age. We did not however at once conclude (how could a parent conclude ?} that the calamity was fo ex-ti-nfive, as ou** friends imagined. . Eiigeiiy did we lay hold on every occafion of iiope, every action wiilch looked like rationaHty, evciy pte.ii'iiig glimpfeof thatethcrial power which enbgiKens the intelligent ;i)pec>. SjrjvnJeNl in the mo'l anx'Otis unceriuinry, lye hoped and feared aliernateiy, m;)gaiii(jd  in our minds and converfation every promi-fing circumftance, and lefiened every threatening one; while the hour of impartial re-colledion ufually baried the pleafmg folici-tudes, which every favourable appearance excited in the heart of parental fondnefs.  My child was not the fubjeft of abfolute idiocy; but iie groped in the borders of that dreadful mental darknefs; at times paiTmg into a deeper obfcnrity, and at times approaching nearer to the cheering light, which intelligent beings are privileged to enjoy. At the age of four years, he began imper-fe¿lly to fpeak. The anxious painful plea-fure, we derived from this circumllance, can never be learned from defcription. Sol-icitoufly did we call up to view all the inil-ances within par knowledge, and multitudes did the conlbiing hearts of friendihip communicate, ^vhich children, pofleiTed of all their faculties, were unable to fpeak, till they had arrived at the fame age, or at other unufual periods. At times, when grief had fpent íes force, and returning comfort inftindively occupied its place, to hear the uuhappy babe pronounce papa and mama, or name in broken accents ks food or its wants, has given me a more pointed fat-isfaflion, than I could have gained from the dominion of an empire. To thcfe, who hope, and poiTcfs, but a little ihare of good, that liitic becomes of ineftimable value. "When I viewed my fon imperfcflly performing the little fports of his fellows, it couchcd me with a more tender pleafure., and kindled more agitating hopes in my bofom, than ever a prince derived from t.'ie rnoli ilKiilrious exploits of his heir apparent. Thefe pleafures were indeed but ioli-tary, and my hopes returned at long intervals : and after a momenta/y indulgence, both were uínoüy funk in a gulph of unbot-tomed d=-jpair.  As ray fon advanced in his childhood, a new train of dirociTos crouded on my heart. I perccived him topoíTeís íip. indeíinire ienfe of moral óbligarion. Ripht and wrong, at certain times pL'cuI.'n.ny lurrii.ious, ap-perucd to be in 2 mrafnrc diibiiil icií-a" n his mitM.l. • To myrvatvLingeye, hefccau-d very uneqvuilly tc vitw rhoie mighty o'ijí ítM, at times to c^o-nprehen-l them with-on'e di-ftinilaei's, aiv' v.t iir¿)es to pais thim over with eatiie coniuijpn. Ke wab clearly fcn-  fibleto the impreffions of blame and commendation ; but it was beyond my power to decide how far his feelings refultçd from the confcioufnefs of reditude or guilt ; and hoK? far they originated from his remembrance of thofe benefits and difadvantages whicfe accompanied the praife and the blame he re«^ cei'- i. His foul hovered over moral things^, wita an untteady, trembling wing ; and^ when it was in the very ail of alightingané fettling with fixity, m&jked the expedUûg eye, and fuddenly fluttered away.  With nnceafing pains did we labour t© imprefs on his mind the firil and fimpîeil truths of religion, and to communicate t® him ibme juft ideas of the great objeél of devotion. Often has the tear inllinéfcively trickled down my cheeks, to hear the un« happy boy, with a parrot-like recollcélioîa and infenfibility, rehearfe the plaio truthsj> which, from inlbruftions a thoufand times repeated, he could not but learn by rote. With what pains have I laboured and watched, with what agonies have I vviihed to know how far his mind was the fabjeft Of moral conceptions, and howfar theobjeft of praiie and blame. But all my laboursj, watching, and wiflies were in vain. The concluions of one day were reverfed by thofe of che morrow, and the fucceeding hour totally changed the face of the preceding one. Parental yearnings, wholly in-expreffible, often brightened the hope, feebly founded by the ihadqwings of rea^qno and as often heightened the alarms excited by the commiflion and the apparent confcioufnefs of wrong. But thefe hopes were kindled only to expire, and thofe fears excited never to terminate.  The influence of this fubjeft on tny "hoari is incapable of being imagined. With a moftdiftrcffing attention, I marked the conduit of every friend and vLfitor; and if I found they negleiled making the fame enquiries about my unhappy ion, which they made about the reft of my children, as s delicate tendernefs tomeoften induced them^ Ci- if they exhibited the leaft diiference of treatment towards him, I could not but regard them with coolnefs, and View' them as unwelccine gueib. On ne contrar}', aa afFrâio:iate behaviour to the poor unforf-nate erid'-'urcd the vifir, and the vifitor t,c my heait, I iovcd ail who loved hiTn^ &nàM2>   

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