334 Thomas Hollis to Benjamin Colman

    London July 1, 1726

    Mr. B. Colman

    Deare Sir

    I have written divers letters unto you this Summer, I think one was about 2 April by Capt. Robie with my papers about the Professor of Mathematicks, one by Capt. Mole about 22 March with a present of valluable Books for College library, and I think my last was about 6 of June with some pamphlets by the Totnes Capt. Curlin. I am glad to heare that Capt. Clarke with a few books was arived and hope in dew time to heare of these also. The book you mentioned being sent unto me in your letter of February 28 as a present from the Corporation is now come to hand, and I return the Corporation thanks for it.179 It has been seen by sundry freinds of NE, and they are all glad to see your Country so well improved in printing and binding. Mr. Cox the book seller has it now to shew some Gentlemen who frequent his shop. Mr. Oliver180 has been twice to see me, first to deliver your letters of May 4, 6, 7th and a Second time to dine with me and converse, and he is since gone for holland. He appears a sober lively young man. Your spring letter by [blank] in which you had particularly answered my letters is not yet come, and here are letters from Boston dated May 21 that tell us a ship was lost on the Island of Sables; men saved; if your letter was sent by her, and there was any particulars therein, not specifyed in your succeeding letters, be so good to coppy over and send me first ship for my information.

    Mr. Greenwood speaks of returning in 2 Months to Boston, but is miserably at a loss for money. He has letters from his Brother desiring his return but sends him no money, bids him draw a bill if he wants any, but the misery is who will take a Students bill, so that I feare he cant buy what he gladly could do, and has been this 3 months discouraging me from undertaking to buy the Aparatus, and I feare if I do not you will want a good thing. When he comes unto you I desire you to proceed in examining of him—Election, Aprobation of Overseers and admission in forms, as if a stranger, onely you may know, if you recomend I do accept, and not else. And for his incouragment, be not rash in promises at first, you may add upon necessity—and as Merit deservs, as you have lately done to Mr. Professor of Divinity and your Tutors. I advise your making due tryal, for your own satisfaction. He has not pleased me of late.

    I say nothing of your dedication […] works to me till I see them. You do not tell […] of printing them here. Dr. Mather has sent some […] printed here, but the booksellers have no courage to meddle with it, unles some one would contract to take off half the impression.

    I long to heare you have overcome your Winters indisposition, and if your daughter have contracted Matrimony, pray make my complements of Congratulation acceptable to her and to Mr. Turrell,181 desiring it may be a lasting blessing to them and to their Parents.

    PS July 12

    Since I wrote the foregoing lines, I have mett with a sudden disapointment, which has perplext my thoughts pretty much about my projects for your Colleges good and advancement of learning among you. July 2 Mr. Greenwood dined with me, and said he was then going to Mr. Wilks to get moneys. If he did not succeed he should come to a resolution to desire me to buy an aparatus and Return to N. E. as soon as he could. On the 6th it was buzd about he and 2 others were gone off, on the 7th Mr. Nelson returned and brought me a letter from him dated the 4th from gravesend which I inclose to you to save me the labour of transcribing. And they say Mr. Pierpoint182 also is returned. Nelson tells me he saw Greenwood shipt on the 5th in Capt. Prince for Boston, via Lisbon, where he will have oportunity to see Portugal and some of the Popish customs. Such a sudden leaving of us without paying his debts or taking leave of Dr. Desaguliers,183 his Landlord and Tutor who was then in the country gives great Scandal and reflection on him and the 2 others above named at the N. E. coffe house and 2 or 3 more of your acquaintance and mine, which I am sorry for. Mr. Boylston was with me 9th at night and sayes he thinks for to return with Lethered, but wants money and my recomendation of him to the Society when they remit for £100. I have told him I would think of it when the time comes. He farther tells me he is admitted Fellow of the Royal Society FRS. and that Mr. John Colman waits upon a project, a discovery or information against our Distillers, how they cheat the King of part of his Revenues, and he hopes, when he has proved it, for to gaine a handsome reward. And this may perhaps detaine him till next spring, though others wonder he has not done before now what Mr. Greenwood has now done. Of these things I now write unto you or some of them in private and confidence to your self, as you have done of some noveltyes to me.

    I now begin to doubt of Colonel Shute’s ever returning to Boston in the Quality of Governour, let you and I drop him as soft as we can. I find I growe an Old man now and much company is burdensome espetially new acquaintance, that I hope you will pardon me, if I desire you to be sparing in recomending persons to me. There is now Captains of ships enough will bring me a larg packet from you, while a single letter or two naturally runs into their bag and to the post house.

    I send this letter in a box of a few books by Capt. Homans—5 folios are of the famed Dr. Meads184 present—part of a larger number, long promised me. When more comes to my hand I will indevour they may be forwarded also unto you. Pray excuse this long and unpleasant letter, and beleive me when I subscribe my self


    Your Loving Friend

    Thomas Hollis

    Pray return Dr. Mead a lattin Epistle of thanks for his books you receive and the incoragement I give you to expect more from him. Let it be fine lattin and leave it open for me to read, I will seale it up.

    I beleive Mr. Greenwoods desire was if it could have been attained to been Master of the Philosophical Aparatus, and less subject to the Corporation. If he had fallen in with my proposal it might have been now bought, and he to have had inspection of all in the making to his own mind, whom I designed should read and work it.

    [Endorsed:] Received, September 25, answered, 29, No. 49.

    Hollis Letters and Papers. A tear in the ms obscures a few words.