Skip to main content

A Quakers Letter To His Watchmaker

July 2024
1min read

“I send thee once more my erroneous watch, which wants thy speedy care and correction. Since the last time he was at thy school, I find, by experience, he is not benefited by thy instruction; thou demandest the fourth of a pound sterling, which thou shall have, but let thy honest endeavors first earn it. I will board him with thee a little longer, and pay for his table if thou requires!. Let thy whole endeavors and observations be upon him, for he has mightily deviated from the principles of truth; I am afraid he is foul in the inward man—I mean his springs. Prove and try him well with thy adjusting tools of truth, that if possible he may be drawn from the errors of his ways. By the index of his tongue he is a liar, and the motion of his body is ever variable and uncertain. I presume his body is foul, as I have observed; therefore brush him well with thy cleansing instruments from all pollutions, that he may vibrate with regularity and truth; admonish him friendly and with patience, and be not too hasty and rash with thy correction, lest, by endeavoring to reduce him from one error, thou shouldst fling him headlong into another, for he is young and of malleable temper; he may, with due correction, be brought into the path of truth. In fine, let him visit often the motion of the sun, and regulate him by his table of equation; and when thou findest them to agree, send him home with thy bill of moderation, to thy friend Tobias Gowell.”

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.