The Letters of William Cullen Bryant - Vol. 1

By William Cullen Bryant II; Thomas G. Voss et al. | Go to book overview
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ity--whether this will be any objection or not I cannot tell-- I have not been able to find any law which makes it so---and the examiners inquired my age at the time--but if there should be any impropriety in being [ad- mitted next August]--nothing is more easy you know than to postpone it till November--

When I was at Plymouth I went on to the Gurnet-- 2 There are rather more than sixty men at the place all stowed into about a dozen or fifteen small tents. Their accommodations are not very comfortable-- There are seven guns in the fort--two twelves, two twenty fours, and three eighteen pounders. 3

[unsigned]

MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) PUBLISHED (in part): Life, I, 122-123.

1.
On June 1, 1814, Bryant left Worthington to continue his legal studies with Congressman William Baylies (see "Bryant's Correspondents") at West Bridgewater, twenty-five miles from Plymouth--apparently in the hope of moving on soon to nearby Boston. To Cullen's inquiry about this possibility, his father replied, "You have cost me already four hundred dollars at Mr. Howe's, and I have other children entitled to my care. Besides, my health is imperfect; I have suffered much from the fatigues of the last season, and, as I may not long be with you, I must do what I can for you all while I am still here." Undated letter in Life, I, 119.
2.
The Gurnet, a fortified promontory at the mouth of Plymouth harbor, was later renamed for the Civil War governor of Massachusetts, John Andrew.
3.
By the spring of 1814 the British fleet had extended its blockade of American ports to the New England coast, making occasional raids on shore towns, including Plymouth. Soon after this letter was written Governor Strong called out the Massachusetts militia without federal sanction. Morison, History of the American People, pp. 386-387, 396.

10. To Elisha Hubbard1

Bridgewater August 30, 18[14]

My dear friend--

I have waited for you to write to me, long enough to weary the patience of the man of Uz, 2 and I assure you I should really have been angry at your conduct had I not suspected that the fascinations of some fair Northampton belle might have caused you to forget the existence of your old friends. If you will honestly own this to be the fact I will lay aside my resentment for you know I am partial to those errors which owe their origin to the tender passion. My situation here is perfectly agreeable --books enough--a convenient office and for their owner a good lawyer and an amiable man. The testimony which all classes of men and I might perhaps say every individual bear to the uprightness of Mr. Baylies's character is truly wonderful. Every body--even those who entertain the greatest dislike to lawyers in general concur in ascribing to him the merit of an Honest Lawyer-- You, who know how much calumny is heaped upon the members of our profession even the most uncorrupt can esti

-32-

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