Gamaliel Bradford (1784)

To Marcus

Dear Marcus. Agreeable to your request I now commence the correspondence – and have as high a sense of the honor you do me as of the happiness I feel in having it in my power to oblige one who is so much my friend.  I am much better than when you saw me last – the polite treatment and unremitting attention of Colonel — J.  I have been here, together with the sweet little girls at N—s (whither we take a ride almost every day) has contributed not a little to the remitting my health – I am in love with P– what a little angel of a girl — that easy behavior – that engaging air – that xx smile and above all them killing eyes – are graces which are xx – no heart that is susceptible of the soft passion – in deed no person possessed of the least degree of sensibility – but must feel the force of such divine charms – but I have said enough for the present – adieu.

Robinson House, Tuesday 15th March 1784

Dear M. I was so full of the dear little P– yesterday that I forgot to mention a melancholy event which happened near us – you know how foolishly people will always venture on the ice — more or less every season by carelessly attempting to cross over after it gets dangerous find their graves in the river – A man and his wife upon trifling business the other day must needs venture when the river was all open but a little below the point – they had got about two thirds of the way across when down they sunk – the woman rose once and then disappeared – her husband rose several times & once went so far towards escaping as to crawl out and got several yards from the hole on the ice – but it gave way again – every possible effort was made to save him but in vain – one lad by having a rope fastened to him by which he might be handed out by his comrades who held it at a distance in case he fell in ventured within a rod or two of the sufferer – and threw him a line – but he had been so long in the water as to bee to insensible to avail himself of the proffered service – twas impossible to get nigher to him the lad having broke twice or thrice in venturing thus far so the poor wretch went to the shades – those who saw him relate a curious anecdote which I must mention – tis supposed that he was a little intoxicated with liquor – he having a canteen of rum by his side – which he very dextriously applied to his lips every time he rose upon the water and seem more concerned least he should not be able to emptie it thar at being so nigh the voracious jaws of the king of terrors – adieu

Wednesday 16th March 1784

Dear M. The oftener I see that little black eyed gypsie the more I love her – I am afraid I shall be in love in good earnest by & by – this never was the case with me yet – there is a certain something in my make – a little weak sensibility which takes fire whenever I am admitted to converse with an agreeable little girl – and which I have always in a humorsome way called love – but tis such as sets on lasts longer that while I am in a situation to see and chat often with the object – however I expect the little urchin will one time or other give me a real wound which will revenge him for my so often trifling with his purogative – tis a passion which is by no means (as some ?? suppose) the effect of weakness – on the contrary in my opinion the being intirely proff against it is a very evident mark of extreme insensibility – so much for LOVE and now farewell –

19th March [1784]

Dear M. I shall go over to the regiment tomorrow or next day – I am got perfectly well health has resumed her former seat in my countenance and I am in hopes the returning fugitive will be as attentive to her charge as she has ever been ’till her late desertion – the ferry is not yet open at the point but I am cross in a little canoe which frights backwards and forward.  Colonel M – will be in xx alone but he expects the General’s Lady wife up in a day or two and then he goes to Newark – I went a gunning yesterday but the ducks were to shy for me to meet with success. adieu

Sunday 20th March [1784] West Point

Dear M. I cam over this morning & have once more taken hold of the E pontoon which in being three months absent I have almost forgot how to manage – In about four years service I have never before lost one tour of duty by sickness – thank heaven for that – and may the goddess of health smile as propicious for the next four years insuring, and as many more four years as are to be numbered over my head. adieu

Thursday [24th March 1784]

Dear M. I am on Guard in Fort Clinton the grand Arsenal of the United States – and I must be cautious of fire – for were a little to get into one of the magazines – fifty or sixty ton of powder might take wing and very probably oblige me to fly off with it – if not the whole point – It has been a most beautiful day – I put out the fire in the stove and have amused myself in the sun with playing the flute & reading some of the Saturial xx of Swift – he has an infinite deal of wit of one sort or other – some low enough – The night is to be passed yet which now begins to spread her sable curtains and sets me off from the pleasures which the pleasantness of the day afforded – but if I cannot enjoy it myself I wish you a good evening – and leave you –



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