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I send you as a return of Love, this short Treatise, which contains, as well as yours, several things relating to the French Language: And I Dedicate it to you as to a Person near related to me, whom I do greatly esteem; and who is a very competent Judge, as well as a great Admirer of the French Tongue.
/ have more endeavoured to be Short and Clear (as you your self have done) than to make a great shew of Learning. For I have not made this Book for those who are Learned already; but for the use of those who have a mind to Learn: And not only for those who may have a mind to Learn French; but even for those who have neither Will or Opportunity to do it. For I thought in such a Time as this, when the French Language is so famous, and so much used, there is hardly any Body but tliat would be glad to have at least some general Notions of it.
I pray you to accept of this small Present as a token of my esteem and affection to you.
THAT Almighty GO D be pleased to pour down his most precious Blessings upon your self, your Spouse and Children; That you may bring them up for his Glory, and the Service and Ornament of his Church, is the Wish and Prayer of,
Your humble Servant,
and Affectionate Brother,
A. L. M.
It occurs to me that the author may well have been the Rev. Andrew Le Mercier, who came to this country in 1715 to become pastor of the French Protestant Church in Boston and died here in 1764. The dedication to his Church History of Geneva, Boston, 1732, is signed "A. L. M.," and the dedication to his Treatise against Detraction, Boston, 1733, is signed "A. Le Mercier," though his name appears in full on the title-page of each of those volumes.1
Mr. Lindsay Swift spoke as follows:
Mr. Turtle's paper brings to mind an interesting copy of Edward Winslow's Good Nevves from New England (London, 1624), that I
1 Our knowledge of Le Mercier apparently comes wholly from the sketch of him in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, xiii. 315-324, where we are told that he was "probably educated at the University of Geneva," though no authority is given for the statement. The exact connotation of the words "brother," "cousin," etc., as used in the eighteenth century is often difficult to determine; but from the dedication to the pamphlet it is fair to assume that "A. L. M." and William Scott were brothers-in-law.
first saw thirty years ago, when I had the pleasure of arranging and cataloguing the Library of John Adams, then deposited in the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy. It is the first of five or six pamphlets of the same date bound into a stout little quarto volume, and on the verso of the title-page is the following manuscript note:
At a Court of CommissTM for Setting Adjusting and Determining the Boundary of ye Colony of Rhode Island Eastward towards the province of the Massachuaeta Baye.
This Book was produced in Court by the agents for the province [Massachusetts] to the End they might give Several passages therein Contained as Evidence. But the agent for the Colony [Rhode Island] Opposed and the Court Rejected the same
Dated at ye Court of ComissTM Sitting in Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island The Twentithird day of June Anno Dom. 1741
Will Sam Ballard
I do not intend to enter this controversy over the boundaries of these two States — a controversy that was still going on in the sixties of the nineteenth century. It is enough to say that the commissioners appointed for settling the boundary line between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Colony of Rhode Island published "An exact plan" (Providence, 1741) that was republished in facsimile (Boston, 1848) by the Massachusetts commissioners on the boundary between the States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in their Reports to the Governor and Council. The original map is in the Public Record Office, London.
I do, however, feel an interest in a book that was offered in evidence before the first commission a hundred and twenty years after its issuance and was thrown out, as good evidence sometimes is. Another feature of this particular copy is that it bears the autograph and many marginal notes of Thomas Prince, its owner, and yet I first saw it peacefully resting in the library of John Adams, along with several other volumes that once belonged to the Prince Collection. Now how did it come to pass that John Adams should be in possession of some of Thomas Prince's books? In the appendix to C. F. Adams's Life of John Adams is a reprint from the Boston Patriot of October 23, 1811, in which the first of the Adamses says:
I mounted up to the balcony of Dr. SewalPs church, where were assembled a collection which Mr. Prince had devoted himself to make from the twentieth year of his age. The loss of this library of books and papers, in print and in manuscript, can never be sufficiently regretted. Such a treasure never existed anywhere else, and can never again be made. He had endeavored, and with great success, to collect every history, pamphlet, and paper which could throw light on the Reformation, the rise and progress of the Puritans, and the persecutions which drove our ancestors over to this wild and unknown world.1
Adams was at this time (1773) preparing, with James Bowdoin, a report to the two houses of the Massachusetts Legislature containing "a statement of the title of the Province to certain lands to which the legislature of New York had asserted a claim." There was good reason then why John Adams, who wrote the report alone, should frequent the balcony of the Old South Meeting House and should borrow therefrom such a book as Winslow's Good Nevves. That he never returned it, shows that John Adams was, in this respect, pretty much like the rest of us, great man as he surely was. But time brings its satisfactions as well as its revenges. The Old South Church in course of time moved to the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets, but without its precious Prince Collection, which before this moving had been conveyed in trust to the Boston Public Library, then on Boylston Street, but minus the few books that John Adams had borrowed so many years before. In 1894 the Public Library established itself on the corner opposite the New Old South, and the Prince books were within a few feet of their former guardian church. Meanwhile the Public Library had received in trust from the City of Quincy the John Adams Library, formerly deeded to and held by the Church and Temple Fund of that place. So at last the missing books are within a few feet of where they rightfully belong, and Thomas Prince's books and his beloved church are no longer widely divorced, but simply enjoying a separate maintenance.
i Works of J. Adams, i. 667.
APRIL MEETING, 1913
A Stated Meeting of the Society was held, by invitation of Mr. Henry Herbert Edes, at No. 62 Buckingham Street, Cambridge, on Wednesday, 23 April, 1913, at eight o'clock in the evening, the President, Henry Lefavour, LL. D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The President appointed the following Committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:
To nominate candidates for the several offices, — Messrs. George Vasmer Leverett, Melville Madison Bigelow, and George Wigglesworth.
To examine the Treasurer's accounts, — Messrs. Allan Forbes and Charles Sedgwick Rackemann.
The President announced the death on the eleventh of March of Dr. John Shaw Billings, a Corresponding Member, and on the thirty-first of March of John Pierpont Morgan, an Honorary Member.
Mr. Henry H. Edes exhibited and presented to the Society a portrait of the Society's second President, Edward Wheelwright, painted in 1857 by Mr. Wheelwright's friend, classmate, and fellow-artist William Morris Hunt; and it was voted that the thanks of the Society be given to Mr. Edes for his most acceptable gift.
The Treasurer announced that several members of the Society had subscribed funds for the erection of a memorial to Thomas Hutchinson; whereupon, on motion of Mr. John Trowbridge, it was —