Saturday Morn, 23d.—When I had gone thus far, I returned down stairs, to see if I might be excused from going to the ball, and talked quite hoarse, and looked more than usually heavy, to sustain my pretensions. But there seemed to be no means of escape. . . . . So I made a merit of necessity, and went as gayly as if I had gone from choice; at least, I thought I did. The room was enormously full, four hundred persons at least, and my spirits soon fell in proportion to the crowd. I walked up and down with Palfrey, and talked about College; and with Eliza Buckminster; . . . . and with Mrs. Webster; . . . . . but as for dancing, I could not undertake it. At half past 10 I brought home Mrs. Webster and Mrs. Perkins, . . . . and was very glad to sit down with a delightful circle about the fire. . . . . Mr. Webster was in admirable spirits. On Thursday evening he was considerably agitated and oppressed, and yesterday morning he had not his natural look at all; but since his entire success, he has been as gay and playful as a kitten. The party came in one after another, the spirits of all were kindled brighter and brighter, and we fairly sat up till after two o'clock. I think, therefore, we may now safely boast the Plymouth Expedition has gone off admirably.
Parts of two letters, written in the following year, contain the particulars of a singular story, of which the mystery has never been explained, but of which this authentic account seems worthy of insertion here.
To S. A. Eliot, London.
Boston, August 7, 1821.. . . . Great noise and interest has been made here lately about a young man, Edheljertha, a Swede of about thirty, of much learning, who came out here perfectly authenticated to Mr. William Parsons, as a poor young man of respectable connections, and a thorough education, who was entitled to an estate in the West Indies, which was violently withheld from him by a Spaniard. His money failed him here; but he declined receiving any from Mr. Parsons until he should know something more about his claim; and undertook to earn his bread, first by working at the composition of acids, with a man who lives on the Neck, and afterwards, as that affected his health, in the Botanical Garden at Cambridge, where his botanical knowledge was soon found important.