[written at bottom of envelope]: Mr. L. Walker1 W0064 TO [DR.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from a fellow medical student, no signature
Jun 5 1829
To: [Dr.] Calvin McQuesten Bedford, New Hampshire
From: Boston, [Massachusetts]
This morning Mr. L. Walker called on me this morning and handed me the letters & said he should call this evening for the books as he should leave in the morning--I had done nothing about purchasing your books tho! I have frequently made inquiries but found some of them & so high, that I would not purchase but wait for auction--but there has been no medical books of any consequence sold at the auction & none of yours--From your letter I concluded that you wanted them now--and accordingly I went out and spent this forenoon and part of this afternoon and have been, I believe to every Bookseller nearby that had any medical books. I got their prices--I screwed them well--all these books are rarely auction books as they are the best text-books of course they come high--but my plain talk & screwing I made out finely--I have done my very best and I sincerely trust, that what I have done, will meet your approbation--I consulted Dr. Wells & Donne & they both were astonished that I made so good a purchase--& had it been any one else than you for whom I had purchased these I certainly should kept this noble bargain for myself & have made another for them. I have given you the lowest price that Cummings & Hilliard would put them at for me, which is lower than any they have sold before. I get these here and there at different places & thus you see what a diff. from what Cummings & Hilliard gave me--these are most all of them of the last & best edition--The Paris Ph' is the very best as it has Ives notes-- you will see I got more discount on the Dict. T. as it has stood in the shelves and back has a little wrinkles. The lowest price for these books which C. & Hilliard will sell are these viz., Hooper's Med. Dict. $3.75. Sam Cooper's 1st lives Surg. $5.25., Paris Pharmacologia 2 vols. $ 3.50, Dervees Midwifery $4.25--Dervees Females $4.00--The first would have come to $21.75, but the amount of what they came to at the last rate is $17.12. A difference of $4.63. You will see that I have over rung your amount $2.12 for purchasing these--yet I have done my best for books at retail & if I have done wrong I pray of you to be bold enough to let me know, & if you wish for me to purchase any more I will do it with the greatest pleasure, & there is yet 2 more on your list Brade and Dervees Children--I think if I should have waited until winter I should find these at Auction------
I will now say a few words in regard to myself. I am very pleasantly situated here--& plenty to do--I visit many cases with Dr. Doane & have quite a number under my own care. Last Sunday, I made my debut in that charming & pleasant part of our profession I succeeded finely and my patient is nearly well--I could not help thinking of what you told me & of course took the precaution not to have the osculeis [sic] forced against my sternum however, there was no necessity for she was as tame & touchable as a lamb.2
We have plenty of office business as bleeding-drawing teeth-syphilis-ulcers-sores wounds & broken limbs &c., &c.
Dr. Wells is here now but returns next week to commence his school. I think they will have a large class considering it is the first year--I forgot to say that I have seen a number of operations at the hospital as amputations above the knee--romoval of cancerous breasts of female--extirpation of large tumorous under axilla &c., &c., & many more to be performed next week--in regard to the examination all passed but Bradly & Ellis--B. cleared immediately & Ellis is to try again at commencement yet he has so much confidence & boldness that he has come up here and opened an office in Washington St. & if he does not study more & think less of & partake less of the "sweets of that pure fountain" he will not get it then--Plant withdrew his name for fear Knight & Morley were so sick as to do the same until they get better--Morley is dangerous--all there at the same house all sick with Infl. of Bowels--what think our Perly was so afraid that he paid Bradbury $10.00 & took his place & then had to wait till the last one before he rec'd his money & run so as to leave town. However, I suppose that the burden from which he was relieved was well worth that--Have you heard from Boyd--Pres. Jackson has appointed Dr. T.L. Perley Post Master & received his father--Dodge has a fine school of ladies in Brunswick--I have read letters from Bailey he flourishes & likes much--We have had a busy & noisy time here as it has been election--& also Inauguration at Cambridge--it was fine & the illumination was grand & splendid--We have had five or six fires since I have been here--I am glad to hear you have been well--Stern told me this week about your sickness & threatens not to touch water again. I also am fearful that you do feel out of your own way when you drink of the "sweets" of that pure fountain from which cannot spring any thing more pure & so so sacred is that fountain that the God of nature has decreed that it should be guarded by Nymphs--alias water nymphs--it looks suspicious for you to try to defend yourself before I had accused you however I hope you will succeed and spend many a happy moment with the Goddess of Beauty. Do write soon & tell all the news.
[written on right side of the page:]
Mr. W. is waiting & I must close. Hannaford is here & a number of other of Med. students have been here. I must warn to beware of the fair as they are enticing & you may get too far before it will be too late to prevent the sudden reaction.
1 This note on the envelope refers to the person who has been entrusted to deliver the letter in person.
Dr. Calvin McQuesten graduated with a medical degree in September 1830, from Bowdoin College, New Hampshire.
2 The "charming and pleasant" aspect of being a doctor to which the writer refers is likely assisting childbirth.
We are unable to define the term "osculeis."