192 John Leverett to Stephen Sewall

    Cambridge Mar. 4 1718/19


    I have both yours of the 2nd and 3rd Current before me. I was at Charlstowne when Scipio came to my house, and my Wife knowing what Company I was waiting on there, She did not Send your Letters to me, but Referr’d ’em for my perusall and Answering at home. You have with this the Sheriff’s Return of your Arbitration Writ, and I need Say nothing upon what you write about the Indorsment etc. because you’l See it to be well Executed, And I believe you willnot meet with any pretensions to an abatement. Our Common Enemy Relyes intirely upon an Easy Chauncery; and braves it out. Onely in talk upon the bond, he With A brazen forehead answers to the Common Charge of folly imputed to him for undertaking that the Middlesex Arbitrators should appear at time and place etc., That Major Sewal Writ the bond, that he onely Cursoriely read it, That he did not mind what he Subscribed to, and that he was ticed into the Snare through [h]is own Easy nature and disposition etc. So that you wilbe obliged to make Use of your Witness that he heard all the previous discourse which you told me pass’d between you before the bond was Writ. As for the Matter of Charges and Every thing Refering to Insu[rring] the just Debt and damage I will take care that you have them Seasonably, with the two Testimonys Major Bond and Mr. Boardman, who will if well be at Iswich I doubt not, Where they must be Interrogated fairly but Strictly, not from any aversness they have to give a full Evidence but because it is impossible to give the force of their Evidence in Writing, they can never be Writt1 with the life, Such affidavits must be Viva Voce. Go fie has bin With Mr. Cook to give his Evidence that Major Bond Said he would not go to Lewis’s, but He saith he had better take both the Arbitrators to tell how they declined being there, and own that they did not go, than to concern himself to have his affidavit that one of ’em said he would not. I See nothing that he pretends to but onely to prove that he has broken the Conditions of his Obligation, and leaves nothing to you but to exaggerate his folly in becoming bound and his falsness in breaking his Obligation, which is a Large field of talk, and gives you Opportunity to show you[r] Rhetorick in Amplifieing. And you wilneed nothing but Relating matter of fact for the Composing A Compleat Satyre upon A Knave. I have onely one thing that puts me in any pain for you and that is least the horridness of the facts should make ’em incredible to A Christian Jury.

    As to the Dower It is questionable whither he will Enter his Case at the next Court, and upon the Summons that he hath taken out, because of no demand made before the purchasing of it. If he dos I shal Insist upon an Abatment upon the Law for that defect. His friend Dr. C. told me, that when he Spake of his having Commence his Suit for Dower of a 3rd of a moiety in his hearing, he ask’d him, whither he had made A previous demand, to which with an Impudent if not an Ignorant flourish he Answer’d, that the not having made A demand Sooner, was onely preventive of Recovering damage from the Intercurring twenty odd years, which made I suppose the grave Doctors that heard his Answer Smile, for further he saith not.

    The Story of Mr. Lynds2 books is as follows, The Gentlewoman3 when she led me Into the Study to take care of the Remains of Mr. Mitchel Library in Order to Send them to Salem, She pointed to A Shelf on the East Side of the Study and Said the books on that Side did not belong to Mrs. Sewal, for they were her Brother Ben’s, (and I believe they were not diminish’d, for I knew his Library well when he liv’d at College having had my favor to live with me in the Same Chamber) and then told me that the books on the other Side of the Study were the books I had to take care of. I think the book that you allow’d me to give her, which was Dr. Goodwin’s Sermons in Quarto, lay upon the Table, which I told her was at her Service by your Order upon her desire. I left the books shee said were her Brothers untouch’d, and unless Shee or her then Paramour, now husband detains them Mr. Lynde has them as he left ’em in full tale.

    The two Mortgages I Send you together with your Writt aforesaid. I will Seasonably Remitt to you every thing that I find necessary for you. I can’t by this Opportunity, because more writing is necessary than I can at this time allow thereto. I doubt I shal hardly be able to wait on you my Self at Iswich inferiour Court, nor will it be necessary, but Shal if it please god, be there at the Superiour, where it wilbe of more Service to you. I wait to See whither Goff will Summon Bond & Bordman, with good advice. My Wife Presents her Services to yourself and Madam Sewal and to all your good Neighbours, is very Solicitous for her Sister4 upon what I

    told her from you about the hurt upon her Cheek. We shalbe glad to hear that She is out of pain about it. I pray God Spare your Son and [R]aise him from his Languishment. All things are possible with him. May all our Light afflictions, which it pleases our heavenly father to inflict on us Work for us more exceeding weight of glory. I am with all possible Regards

    Dear Sir

    Your Assured friend and humble Servant

    Maj. Sewall

    J. Leverett

    John Leverett Papers. RC. See No. 181 for further on the Goffe-Sewall controversy.