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

WRITTEN BY SYLVANUS ADAMS1
TO ALFRED GILMAN

                                  Chicopee Factory, Monday evening, May 7th 1832

My Satirical Friend-

            Oh you sarcastic dog! I will have you gibleted for a satirist.
- So much for telling love stories. Are not the feelings of a jilted lover acute
enough without jeer, taunt and ridecule to make them more sever? -
Tho by the way, I believe I was not exactly jilted - I could not wait for that.
I have congratulated myself a hundred times since the affair transpired 
for my happy escape. I am resolved that “experience” shall not be an 
unproffitable school to me.

            I suppose I must avoid even making mention of the reception of your le-
tter, for fear it will be construed into “flattery”. Though I could take prec-
edence of many of the men, whom the world call great, yet I disdain 
flattery and the one who administers it as much as you do; and if
I inadvertantly fall into it I humbly beg to be excused - tho’ I was 
not aware as I once before remarked - of flattering, when expressing
an honest opinion. That, however, shall for this once be keep back.

            I shall not tell you, as I intented of the infinite satisfaction your
epistle gave me; - nor mention how well pleased I was with the no-
tice of your contempories whom you have so happily discribed. No; not
a word of it shall you hear or see - it shall all be pondered in 
my heart, but there is one thing you cannot deprive me, viz. the pleasure-
s of reflection - of silently enjoying it in secret and cogitating
upon it, for me own instruction.

            Really, my dear G. I have begun a sorry letter to you and do not kno-
w how to carry it through in good shape. I am seriously afflicted w-
ith the “blues” that I can do nothing, as I ought. I am fearful at times
of becoming a surly misanthrope - a complete man hater, ay, and
woman too. It is somewhat singular that at this season of the ye-
ar, when nature is dressing herself up, as it were in her holiday garme-
nts - spreading her velvet carpeting over the earth filling the air
we inhale with her choicest fragrance and perfume - that man, m-
an her highly favour’d child, should be cast down with dispondancy.
But so it is the spring saeson seems to be the worst time for spirits 
(not ardent spirits) I feel as dispirited and dumpish as the veriest 
idiot or lovesick swain. (Sometimes I think the terms symonymous).

  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.

            But melancholy is - is - what? No matter - let it pass - I was lead-
ing my mind into labyrinth of melancholy, but it will not an-
swer, I must extricede it before it is to late. Such thoughts will 
occasionally steal into our minds unawares, but we never ought 
to foster them, but rather endeavor to dispel and shake them off. 
Solemn reflection, however, such as are calculated to make us wis-
er and better, may and ought to be indulged, tho’ not to too gre-
at an extent.

            Many thanks, my good fellow, for your ‘chapter’, of characters
or “caractures” - just as you please, who comprise the literate’ of
the “Franklin Lyceum”. What a mammoth concern you have
got there. Who would have believed a year ago that such inexora-
ble “speachifiers” could have been produced by that boyish soci-
ety, the Lyceum. But so it is - “a little one hath become a thou-
sand” and, perhaps may “put ten thousands to flight”. Why
I should not dare to say ‘boo’ among ye, much more to say “Mr. Pres-
ident”. How dwarfish I should appear there - look and act as much
like a “Novice” in literature as I am in love affairs. It would
indeed, be a great pleasure to me, to visit you and see the
vast improvement you have made: and I think (God wil-
ling) I shall be gratified in the course of five months, for I
contemplate visiting Lowell the last of Sept. or first of Oct. 
it may be - (can I eradicate the attachments I have for this pl-
ace) - that I shall conclude to return and take up my residence there.
Shouldn’t I be a conspicious residend? Surely so.

            Wednesday noon, I intened to have sent this by the mail and
did not finish it last night, but an opportunity is presented
by which I can send it privately, so I avail myself of it, and
shall bring this brief letter to a close by hoping it will find
you in the enjoyment of “Season’s whole pleasure” and basking
in the sunny smiles of an Houres, or the object of your affectio-
ns - which is happiness enough, I imagine, tho’ I assure you
I know nothing by “experience”

                                  Your cynical friend,
                                  Sylvanus Adams

          P.S. Have you fall in love yet?
          Where is your “Journal of Medical
          Literature”? Is it to be a present or
          posthumerous work?

                                 S.A.

 

 
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