too many objects from interfering with the studies I ought to pursue I have given up reading much else but law books and newspapers-- I could not go on with Comyns. His book is absolutely the dullest reading I ever knew. 2 I quitted him in about a week after you went away--and am now hovering on the last pages of Selwyn-- 3 As you express so high an opinion of Saunders Reports perhaps I had better read them next. 4 What is your opinion? I am not good at reading half a dozen books at once. It is only by giving my undivided attention to a work of this kind that I can make it interesting-- I do not at present think of any particular enquiry that I want to make which concerns my profession-- I have had a thousand of them in my head since your absence--& some of them I have found means to satisfy myself about--the rest I have forgotten-- You inquire what our people think of the new system of taxation-- 5 I believe that I said something upon the subject in my last and I can now still more confidently say that if the taxes proposed are laid they will be in my opinion the cause of violent and unstifled discontent-- Perhaps we shall not agree to pay them-- This will however, depend upon the determinations of our State Legislature of which you have all the means of forming an opinion which we have here-- I regret that I cannot give you a more particular account of the state of publick feeling in these parts, but as far as I am acquainted with it--there seems to be a deep presentiment of an approaching dissolution of the Union--
MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) PUBLISHED (in part): Life, I, 130.
Cummington, November 16, 1814.
To His Excellency Caleb Strong, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
Humbly represents that William C. Bryant, of Cummington, in the County of Hampshire, your petitioner, being desirous to enter the service of the State, in the present struggle with a powerful enemy, respectfully solicits your Excellency for a lieutenancy in the army about to be raised for the protection and defense of Massachusetts. Your petitioner presumes