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Mason Cogswell To James Cogswell, December 14, 1794

From: Letters By Mason Cogswell
Creator: Mason F. Cogswell (author)
Date: December 14, 1794
Publication: Father and Daughter: A Collection of Cogswell Family Letters and Diaries (1772-1830)
Publisher: American School for the Deaf
Source: Yale Medical Library

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To the Revd James Cogswell


Hartford, December 14th, 1794.


Dear and Hond Sir --


On returning to my office the day before yesterday, one of my apprentices presented me a letter, left about an hour before by Dr. Gager. The well-known hand awakened all my filial tenderness, and prepared me for the satisfaction which I always experience from possessing your letters. I seated myself and broke the seal without a check to my feelings; but when you informed me you had received no letters from me since your return from Hartford, my heart sunk within me, to think that you should suppose me capable of neglecting you so long. I know not now by whom I wrote; probably by someone who, accused of keeping the letters so long, has destroyed them or carried them so far that you will never hear of them. Indeed it is very difficult to find any person who is going nigh Scotland. When the Governor and Fanny were in town on their return from Norwich to Middletown, although they came in town on Saturday afternoon, I did not know it till Monday morning, when meeting Fanny in the street I promised to call and see her and the Governor. But immediately after, I was called out of town, where I was confined with a patient in a very critical situation, till they left town; and so it is with me half of the time. My sickness confined me about a week. I was pretty severely attacked but by plentiful evacuations and the assistance of a kind Providence, I was soon restored to health, and enabled to enjoy my happiness as usual.


You very tenderly urged me to procure a partner for life. I feel the importance of such a step and wish for its accomplishment with as much fervency as any one can. I should then have many more incitements to do good, and less temptation to do evil. I know not how far distant the period may be, but my constant prayer is, that you may live to see it accomplished; for I should consider your benediction, at so critical a period of my life, as of more importance to me, than the good wishes of all mankind besides.


We have had so much sickness here this fall that I have not even thought of paying any other visits than professional ones. But we are now much more healthy and I think every day of visiting you. My present plan is, to take a pony the first sleighing, take in James with me and away to Scotland. If the snow should not come, I shall come alone.


I enclose you a sermon of Dr. Dwight's just published. I think it must have a tendency to do good. The arguments appear to me wholly conclusive.


It is shooting at random to prescribe for a patiea without seeing them or going into a treatise beyond the limits of a letter. A strong syrup made of hoarhound, Coltsfoot and Spikenard, with spirit enough to preserve it, may be safely used and is sometimes very efficacious. The toddy at bedtime may be very proper. If I could find her pulse, I could tell better, and with my best love, assure her that I will do it as soon as possible.


My dutiful love to my Mamma. If she can do without bleeding till I come, I shall have in my pocket a very sharp lancet.


Captain and Mrs. Chenevard and all the household desire very affectionate remembrance,


As ever, I am,


Your dutiful son,


Mason F. Cogswell