W0088 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his friend P. T. Moulton
Dec 22 1830
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten Sandbornton, New Hampshire
From: Bucksport, Maine
I suppose, Friend, you have been looking this long time for some of my scribbling--but you know it is vain to look for the results of the labours of the indolent. I have not your letter by me and don't feel disposed to take the trouble to hunt it up--I believe, however, there is nothing in it particularly requiring an answer.
The first thing, in course, is to tell you how I have disposed of myself since commencement and what are my intentions for the future. You have doubtless heard from Cleaveland all the great doings of the day of days--the time when boys are transformed into men--the day when "all the world" assemble to mark the standings and criticizes the performances of those who have been four years immured within the halls of science and wisdom--the future hopes and greatness of our land. You may have heard that your humble servant performed wonders--that he stood fair to become the Cicero of his age--to outstrip even him from Massachusetts, who thunders in our national senate and makes the South and the West tremble and stand in awe of his miniature omnipotence. If you heard so much, would you dare to disbelieve it? Aye! I will give you leave. But I had the second part though and got off without being hissed or ever ridiculed to any degree that I know of.
O give me joy of being fairly through with that uncomfortable scene and I will proceed to tell you how that I came home and moped about and had nothing to do and didn't know what to do to set myself at and had the hypo and the loupo and felt like a fool and acted like a fool and was a fool--and after a week or two I started off for Ellsworth (a town about twenty miles east of this) and entered the law office of John G. Dean Esquire, the most thorough read lawyer in our county and a man of the first rate of common sense--and have continued there till two weeks since studying, fillings, writs, etc.
I have also edited the paper, that is published there without my involvement--merely to accommodate the printers, who have not sufficient patronage to enable them to pay an editor. Two weeks ago I was ordered home by the physician to take care of my health. I had suffered some time with a pain in my left side, accompanied with a severe cough and profuse expectoration. Having tried blistering and several other remedies, it was thought expedient that I should relinquish my business and try the effect of home air and practice. I am now taking calomel and a multitude more of good things and feel, look, and act very materially better, inasmuch, that I hope to return and resume my studies in the course of a week or two. But you don't like the idea of anyone reading law--you think the lawyers are a dishonest set. I can inform you that you mistake infinitely. They haven't half the opportunity for mal-practice, that is afforded the physician and are really more open to detection. They cannot slip a man out of the world if they happen to be offended with him without putting themselves in danger of following him a little bit more speedily than would be perfectly agreeable.
M.P. Cleaveland is now in this place trying to court favour with the ladies and with the sick. A young lady--one of our neighbours who, being on a visit at Portland at that time happened to attend commencement brought away that little heart of his, clear away down East here and he has come off in pursuit of it. I am informed that he will have permission to take his heart to himself again, without any incumbrance with, or opposition from the said fair damsel and carry it away in his teeth or in any other manner that may seem good to him--and as for business; there is not half enough to support the physicians that are here already--and besides I know people will think as they please, and our people away down here are so ignorant that they will tell just what they think--be it right or wrong--and so they have those that have become acquainted with him the audacity to say (strange as it may appear to you) that he is a fool!
I presume you have heard that your chum Mitchell was turned by--however was not cast down at all by it--but commenced practice immediately in Gray--returned by com. passed a second examination successfully--and has since settled, I understand in Cumberland near Portland.
Well, friend, how do you progress toward that more pleasing settlement, that you and I have talked so much about? Have you come to a point yet? If so--who is she? How far are you from Miss Molvery? I have thought you might pass that way sometimes. She would make you a smart wife, if not already spoken for. As for me I remain in status quo yet, and am like to some time longer. I lately received a letter from Jacob Batchelder. He is making about $700 in school in Templeton, Mass. John is married and settled in a school in Lynn.
Write soon at Ellsworth.