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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"1st. If I enter upon my profession next year I shall come into the world raw & rustic to a degree uncommon even in most persons of my age & situation, in all the greenness of a secluded education--without that respect which greater maturity of years and more acquaintance with the world would give me-- Now as I understand the matter the objection which is made to my spending five years in the study of the law is not upon the grounds that I shall not come soon enough into business but that the expenses attending my education would be greater than you could meet without injuring the interest of the family-- In this reason I have always concurred and this it is that has led me to endeavour to shorten the term of my studies as much as possible-- If I should enter into the service of the state I should procure the means of present support and perhaps with prudence, might enable myself to complete my studies without further assistance-- I should come into the world likewise with my excessive bashfulness and rusticity rubbed off by a military life which is said to polish and improve the manners more than any other method in the world-- It is not probable that the contest in which we are to be engaged will be a long one-- The War with Britain certainly will not. The people cannot exist under it and if the government will not make peace Massachusetts must-- Whether there may be an intestine contest or not admits of doubt, and if there should be, the entire hopelessness of the southern states succeeding against us will probably terminate it after the first paroxysm of anger and malignity is over-- If these ideas should meet your approbation you will make some interest for me at Headquarters. The army you will perceive is to be officered by the Governor.

"Nor do I think that the fatigues of a military life would have any unfavourable effect upon my constitution-- I am rather of opinion that they would tend to confirm it-- It is such as to corroborate; it needs only exercise and hardship. I have no particular predisposition to disease that I know of.

"With regard to my coming home, would not it be better that some of the family should come down on horseback for me, and return in the sleigh, than for me to hire a horse here to carry up the sleigh and return on horseback-- It certainly would be more convenient; I am of opinion it would be cheaper-- My Grandfather called upon me last Tuesday-- He was well with his family-- Last Wednesday was very warm more so than most days in summer--."


16. To Elisha Hubbard

[Bridgewater, c October 12, 1814]

Mr. Hubbard--

Yours of the 13 I received on the 20th ult. If you please, Sir I will set out in my letter with correcting what I apprehend to be a mistake of yours respecting which of us was to begin the correspondence-- I believe you mentioned the subject and asked me to write first-- I then told you that I was going to a place that neither you nor I knew any thing about and said you had better write first as it was not very probable that I should write any thing which you wanted to know, and I should like to hear from my friends-- You then inquired to which parish you should direct your letters, and I replied, the West. --From this conversation I concluded that you agreed to commence the correspondence and under this impression I delayed writing so long-- You inquire if there is any opening in this vicinity, for a young lawyer. --I believe Sir, there are; Sir, openings enough--not, however to let lawyers in, but to let them out-- There are three lawyers in Bridgewater-- As, however, I have some

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