428 | To George Lewis

    Boston, Jan 5, 1765 [1766]1.

    Dear George,

    I received your letter with Franks letters inclosed about 3 or 4 months after its date: it came to me when the distractions of this Province engrossed all my attention & time, & obliged me to suspend all private correspondences. For which reason I did not read Franks letters; but reserved that pain for the time in which I could write to you.2 And now that Business will bear no longer delay, I can’t get at your Letter, it being with most of my other Papers at the Castle, wither they were removed for Security some time ago. But a few lines I have just now received from J Spicer3 will afford sufficient Matter for my present Letter.

    He writes me word that Frank is in a state quite desperate; & that something must be done soon, & begs I will give attention to an affair so momentous. I can’t possibly want attention to this subject: but what will all I can do signify4 for a disorder which, it seems will not wait for your coming to Town next Month? whereas it must be 5 months before a letter can be expected from me in answer to Spicer’s.5 I have considered fully of this business; & tho’ I know not the particulars of the present urgency, I think that there can’t be anything wanting of me for the present, but my consent that he should quit the College: & that, in such a Case as this seems to me, I must give, altho’ his perpetual disgrace & probable ruin must follow.

    But I am desirous, if possible, that he may be removed with some credit & to some purpose. I have therefore wrote to him to propose his going into the Army; for which the Time is favorable, as Lord Barrington is now Secretary at War; who, when he was before in that Office, of his accord, offered me a Commission for any of my Sons. I will inclose an extract of my letter to Frank relating to that business. I have also wrote to Gilpin & to Dr Barrington:6 that, if Frank should accept of the Proposal, Dr Barrington, may mediate with my Lord for that purpose, who Otherwise is not to know my proposal. If you & Spicer approve of the Scheme, I would have ^you^ use your influence to induce him to undertake it. If he can get in a Corps destined to or stationed at the East Indies or America, or any where out of England, it may gratify his passion for rambling: & it is the only thing, like Employment, I conceive him capable of taking to. I made all Kinds of Offers of employment to him, when he was with me; but they were all rejected: so that I had nothing else but to return him to College, there to endeavour to settle his mind & determine upon some pursuit or other.

    I have again & again reminded him that he must not expect any more than a share of what I have to give: which at present will make but a poor subsistance. For this purpose I was desirous that he should not part with his Studentship7 ‘till he had got into some other certain income. But if he is determined to quit it & not go into any other business, he has nothing to do but to find out where he can live for £60 a year, which is the utmost I will allow him: for I will not rob my good Children, by partiality to my bad. This will be a general direction what to do with him, in which you will consult such of my Friends as will share the trouble with you. I hoped about this time to have taken measures for putting an end to this trouble of yours: but as things have turned so perverse, you must not desert me in this distress. It is impossible to provide for evry contingency: & therefore I must leave evry thing unforeseen to your discretion with such advice as you can get. You must not engage Gilpin in much of the Trouble.8

    The Distractions of this Country have put me under great difficulties, & have at some times exposed me to danger. However I have contrived to keep my Post & have acted with a spirit & resolution which I think must do me credit. What will be the end of it I can’t foresee: it is not impossible but it may occasion me to take a journey to England; but nothing of this has transpired as yet. If I have any certain expectation of this, I shall give the earliest Notice of it to Spicer.

    I am Dear George, Your most faithful & affect Servant,

    Mr G. Lewis.9

    AL, LbC      BP, 4: 89-92.