MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) PUBLISHED (in Part): Life, I, 152.
[Great Barrington,c october 1817] 2
1 am happy to learn that you have quietly set yourself down to the study of law in Mr. Baylies's office. It is at least something to have made choice of a profession, and you have commenced your studies in a place which I should prefer, all things considered, to any I know of. It may be said with more truth of our profession than of any other that industry is the road to success--and you I hope will be more diligent in the pursuit .of knowledge than I was or even seemed to be for while I appeared to study I was half the time only dreaming with my eyes open. As essential to these habits of diligence you are doubtless as well aware as I am that one should make himself satisfied with the profession he has chosen-- and our profession may be a hard task-master but its rewards are proportioned to its labours which is as much as any way of life has to say for itself-- I was much gratified at receiving your favour of the 14th of July 3 not only because it seemed a proof that I was not quite forgotten amongst my Bridgewater friends but because of the interest with which I always hear of their welfare.
It is now more than two years since I left Bridgewater--since I tore myself away from the fair ones of Bridgewater--since I caught the last beams of their bright eyes and gazed for the last time on forms which seemed to have been moulded by nature to realize the ideal beauty of the painter and statuary. --Is it possible that all these lovely rosebuds yet remain ungathered on the stalk "wasting their sweetness on the desert