plague to you. By the way, I suppose you have heard of the great religious excitement which prevailed last winter and spring in the western part of Massachusetts. Four-days' meetings, an expedient for the spread of fanaticism borrowed from the Methodists, were held everywhere, and when I visited Cummington, although the rage was somewhat cooled by the necessity the farmers found of attending to their business, prayer- meetings were held at four o'clock in the morning at the village, and meetings in the day-time twice a week. People would trot about after prayer-meetings for the sake of listening to unprofitable declamations about the metaphysics of the Calvinistic school, who would never stir a step to furnish their minds with any useful knowledge. . . .
I have seen several poetical things by you, some of them very well, in the Jacksonville papers. 2 I must repeat, however, the injunction to study vigor and condensation in your Ian age and originality in your ideas. Your blank verse might also be improved by greater variety in the pauses. Affairs go on prosperously with me. The "Evening Post" has increased in subscribers within the last year, and I am in hopes by making it better to obtain still more. I shall want them to pay the new debt I have contracted. 3 I intend to visit Washington this winter to look at the old General and his Cabinet. It appears that the unlucky, I was going to say, but revoke the word--it appears that the late dissolution of his Cabinet has, instead of diminishing his popularity, made the old gentleman more popular than ever. 4 At the next election he will "walk over the course."
MANUSCRIPT: Unrecovered TEXT (partial): Life, I, 280-281.
New York, Dec. [c10], 1831
My dear Sir.
I have just got a letter from Miss Sedgwick agreeing to contribute to the book. Mr. Sands has seen Paulding who is much pleased with the plan and who is very desirous that the stories should be all American. The Harpers will want the manuscript--or a part of it at least--by the first of February. 1