My dear Mr. Draper:
You can hardly imagine how pleased I was to meet you the other morning, and find you just the same pleasant, courteous gentleman that you were the first time I saw you. I know you will ask, "Why shouldn't I be?" Well, first, you are a very rich man; then, you have served with great distinction in Congress; you have filled a high diplomatic position abroad; and lastly you have taken on the culture of travel. And all these things fell off you, as if they were not, and you met with as much cordiality as if I was in the same social set as yourself.
We commoners are sensitive to the social barometer. I have had the good fortune to meet some persons who had won distinction through the possession of brains, and I found the finer the culture to which those brains had been subjected the simpler and more unpretentious the owners became; but when men have only money, they act as if it constituted them a superior class. It is not usually agreeable to meet them. But you: Ah! well, it brightened all that day, just to meet you.
I think now, that unless something unforeseen happens, I shall come to Hopedale next Sunday and attend services in that beautiful church. I hope you go to church yourself, sometimes, and if so I may have the privilege of seeing you across the church. Shall not come if it rains.
Ever since I went over to your beautiful village, I have hoped to repeat the visit, that I might see more of it than was possible from our windows. It struck me the people there know how to inherit the earth, and had made their portion of it a joy forever, as all beautiful things are.
I have just learned that you are to preside at a rally in Milford next week Friday, and John L. Bates is to speak. Shall try to see you from the audience at that time. But next Sunday I hope you will permit me to see you across the church, at least that is what I am writing this letter for.
This undated letter had been saved with a few others; some that had been written to and others, by, Gen. William F. Draper. The context indicates that the letter above must have been written in the first decade of the twentieth century. A search for H. B. Hastings in the Milford directory for 1904-5 was unsuccessful. The only Hastings listing was; Hastings, James E., machinist D. Co. house 54 Fruit
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