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Adams (Sylvanus) Letters 1832
 
LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY SYLVANUS ADAMS1
TO ALFRED GILMAN

                                          Chicopee Factory April 22, 1832

My Dear Gilman: -

           I once more-after the lapse of little more than
a month – resume my pen to answer yours of Feb.y 12th and
make my humble acknowledgements for the same, and with as
many additional remarks and cogitations as I can glean from
my rusty and distorted intellect.  Your letters are greeted
like Angels visits “which are few and far between”.  You will 
probably say that mine are few and far between, but I cannot
flatter myself, if I would that they are received with as much
difference as those heavenly messengers, yet I hope they bear a
proportional part in your estimation.  I have now been here
a little rising eight months, and is looking over your letters
I find I have received only three: we are surely falling in the
rear with regard to our corrispondence; but let the past suffice we ( I say
we, because I believe we have both been negletful of our duty
as friends) must be more punctual in future.  But enough
of this tedious apology - I will to your letter, which is not tedious
but - really amusing as well as instructive - it is utele dulce
or in other words utility with pleasure.

           The “loss” of “instructions” which you mention, I will try to rep-
air by sending you something equivalent, but should your
frotitude fail I will so far break my pledge so as to give you
an occasional dose of my splein for to exilerate.  By the way,
the state of our society is improving a little, but very slow
and almost imperceptible.  You say you want to fall in love
or get in some way or other you don’t much care how, and ask my
advice, and wish to know the sensations before hand.  I wish I we-
re able to gratify you in this respect, for I suppose you think it
a delicate affair; but I am in good sooth, a novice in amorous
affairs, and dare not risk an opinion where there is so much involved.

  1Sylvanus Adams b: 10 Jul 1810, Medway, MA d: 16 Nov 1869, MA; parents: 
     Hezekiah and Julia Adams; employed: Lowell and Chicopee, Agent – Dwight 
     Company – cotton mill; married: Caroline Wasson b: MA.

I have somewhere read, that we cannot walk into love,
nor run into it, nor jump into it nor “tumble” into it but
must absolutely fall into it and rue the direful conse-
quences.  I mentioned your request to a female friend of mine
and she advised me to incourage you to persevere, from which
I infer’ed that the “sensations” were very pleasing on their part 
at least.  Experience is the best school.  Gibon says mankind
will not take knowledge of the experience of others but must see and hear
feel for themselves; - so I leave you to her tuition requesting
you when you have learnes to communicate your know-
ledge to your friend who will apply himself to wisdom ac-
cordingly.

           Wednesday evening - talking of love, and woman reminds
of a little amorous affair in which I have been engaged since
my residence here - which I cannot refrain from communicating
to you, tho I do it confidently; for such silly concerns I con-
cieve to be beneath my dignity, and should not like to proclaim
them upon the “house tops”.  The affair to which I allude has term-
inated very happily.  Not that it has resulted in marriage
or any thing approaching there to, - no; - and many thanks to my
propitious stars for their kindly guidance in this respect.  If
they are always so solitious for my wellfare I shall be
truly blest.  Soon after my arrival here I was introduced 
unto a family which was said to have been respectable and
to all appearance was such; but subsequent acquaintance
has led me to believe, they are of rather a doubtful character.

           In this family there were two girls, one of eighteen the 
other sixteen, and both pretty, so far as external appearance 
is concerned.  They possessed some very accomplishments,
but their learning was very poor.  They could dance
gracefully and sing equisitly, that comprise the whole
of their accomplishments and to their form and features
I don’t think it worth while to give you a sentimental
discription; - but suffice it to say, their ancles (ha ha ha)
are turned most exquisitly beautiful, their hands small and
delicate, their forwards, high and commanding, eyes bright
and expressive one with raven locks and the other 
with flax in colour tho’ like silk in texture (If my
discription don’t vie with high romance I don’t know what
will).  Now, was not all this captivating?  I was almost
led to believe what the Poet has said … that -

             “In vain, proud man – in vain he tries,
             To ‘scape from beauty’s conquering eyes:
             He boldy talks – looks very brave,
             But swiftly falls – a woman’s slave!”

             Not exactly a slave however.  But to the subject.

           I was received most cordially – flattered and carressed
Consumately - complimented and extoled till it bec-
ome sickening, and I believe if I had endured it much
longer I should have become as concited and [     ]
fool as they themselve are.  Matters went on swimmingly
for a while and I began to think of offering my my
addresses to one of them when a lucky incident  pot’d in and expl-
oded the whole.  I tho’t my self groosly insulted and
slighted on one occasion, which caused an open rupture
and I to resent the flagrant strage, resolved to withd-
raw from their society - wrote them a saucy note to
that effect and after a great deal of gossip and petty
scandal - which abounds in the village - the affair 
is hushed and silenced, this happened  some 6 months
ago.  We meet each other almost every day, yet we pass
we pass with as much social pride as tho’ we were
the real disciples of the old Philosopher himself.

           My paper is done and so is this anomolons production it’s all
nonsence, but you led me to it.

           Very respectfully yours etc.  S. Adams

 

 
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