Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature: An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891. Vol. V: Literature of the Republic, Part II., 18211834
An Embarrassing Question
By John Wakefield Francis (17891861)
[Born in New York, N. Y., 1789. Died there, 1861. Inaugural Address before the New York Academy of Medicine. 1848.]
I WELL remember the evening, now some thirty years ago, when my valued preceptor, Dr. Hosack, returned home to meet his friends at a special entertainment at his own house; he apologized for his absence so long from his guests, and then turning to the distinguished statesman, Gouverneur Morris, he exclaimed, Mr. Morris, I have been detained with some friends, who together this evening have founded a Philosophical Society. Indeed! responded the great politician. Yes, sir, repeated the Doctor, we have indeed this evening founded a Philosophical Society. Well, well, thats no difficult matter, rejoined Morris, but pray, Doctor, where are the philosophers? The Doctor was quite embarrassed.