[Note on envelope:] Piscataquog [Mills?] Me.W0075 TO [DR.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister Eliza McQuesten
Apr 13 1830
To: [Dr.] Calvin McQuesten, Brunswick, Maine
From: Bedford, [New Hampshire]
This day received your kind epistle; which was a cordial refreshment to us all. Brother has been gone almost a week to Newbury, expected him home this evening, but have been disappointed; I shall avail myself the pleasure of improving the disappointment in sending a few thoughts, to another absent and dear Brother. I intended to have written you sooner but as you see have not; I shall assign no other reason than a total vacancy of mind.
You mentioned the case of Dr. Wells as reminding you of the sudden change from the heights of literary fame to the loneliness of the tomb; true all earthly fame withers and fades, under the pressing gale of adversity and bows, and yields, to the great Monarch Death; but why speak of the loneliness of the tomb; it never contained a human soul; I have often thought of a remark of Cicero, when drawing near the close of life, to a friend in answer to the repeated inquiry, where he should bury him; he says: "I cannot make this friend believe but what he sees is Cicero; when I am dead I shall not be here." He knew he should exist but however where he knew not; here the side of Philosophy failed him; and left all in dark uncertainty. Not so the dying Christian; his life is just commencing; here the utmost stretch of human thought is confined and depraved; the tomb opens up to him eternal life, where all the refined faculties of his soul will be enlarged and purified and range uncontrolled in the Paradise of God. In removing such a man as the worthy Doctor from usefulness here, we are justly called to mourn but not to question the infinite wisdom of God who seeth not as man seeth.
You ask if we have heard from Washington; we have not: the intelligence of Brother's ill health was quite new, and unexpected, think I shall write soon, and hope we shall obtain further information respecting them. Cousin Maria remained with us about a fortnight after you left us; when Samuel came after her; they had heard from Amira, by the way of Maj. Patterson; he said she was a going to be married to a respectable Physician of the place where she kept; Samuel likewise told us that Lucy had received Mr. Holmes; he had been to Bradford with her. Nathaniel had not then returned, but they thought was getting better; about one fortnight since received a letter from Maria; Nathaniel had been home but one week, he was quite feeble they were quite anxious about him, but still hoped he was recovering, he had a loose cough, which she said was in consequence of some cold he had took in coming up. She likewise wrote me that Mr. Haye's health was on the decline; he proposed in their last Parish meeting to give up his place, to a Candidate for settlement, and she said Mr. & Mrs. Hayes appeared quite submissive under their affliction.
Heard from Bonhurst last week Cousin Frances is very low, it is not thought that she will survive a month; expect she has given up all hope herself. Betsy had been quite unwell but was then better, though rather feeble; the rest of the family were well as could be expected under their affliction.
Heard from Amesburg last week; little Samuel had got very badly scalded we shall hear more when Samuel returns. Esq. Chandler is quite low, his death is daily expected. Laura Orr and that family are well; Mary has quite recovered her spirits again, she attends meetings and appears as usual. Mother's health has been quite feeble this spring, but is now rather better.
You have probably heard the events of the trial of the Robie boy; he was not only acquitted but received a considerable charity from spectators there convened. I think it is truly Jackson times. At our March meeting our Jackson party were quite chagrined their Candidate for representative got quite intoxicated as well as some of the rest of their party, they were those who opposed the cold water society. French was their candidate the next week after going to the woods with a bottle of cider in his pocket he fell on the bottle broke some of his ribs and came near breaking his back. Dr. W. I think has been quite mortified. Lewis Harris has arrived, Mary is quite happy. I believe I told you all the news I can think of and perhaps more than you can read, and my shoulders ache. Mother, as well as the rest, send their love.
Your affectionate sister
[P.S.] Samuel came home the next day after writing this. Sally came up with him and brought two children. Samuel is getting well of his burn but is as cross as vengeance. I intended to to have sent this before have not had time to send it to the Post office. We had company every day this week.