W0092 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his friend P. T. Moulton
Jan 31 1831
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Sandbornton Bridge, New Hampshire
From: Ellsworth, Maine
Yours of Nov. 23 was duly received & my first impulse was to answer it forthwith in terms of the highest congratulations for what, I believed, must of necessity be a happy change in your condition1--but a press of business at that time & subsequent inattention & the whole host of evils attendant upon a naturally indolent disposition have caused a deferment of the fulfilment of my worthy resolution to the present time. However, I don't feel that I do injustice in this negligence. How on earth happened you to forget me so long? But I make allowance for you being in active business, & therefore pardon it with the melancholy reflection, that you will soon be so absorbed with the cares of an increasing family, that I shall be totally forgotten, or remembered only as a indistinct ingredient in the refused mass of rubbish of past time. Be it so. You will be happy in the enjoyment of the smiles of your own free-side & I shall rejoice at any time to hear of your prosperity & domestic felicity I well know your disposition to use your utmost efforts to conduce to the comfort of all those in connection with you by reference to my sister I learn that your wife is of the same kind temperament. Mary says she has a very distinct & favourable recollection of your wife, from the fact, that when M. for the first time in her life went among entire strangers where she was home-sick & disconsolate & almost ready to flee for sweet life, your wife kindly made acquaintance with her, & made use of her best endeavours to soothe her troubles & make new abode pleasant & agreeable to her. I sincerely congratulate you on your improved condition--& you will not doubt the assertion, for you know full well how highly I have been in the habit of estimating connubial felicity--& you will know too something of my disappointment, though but slightly--but disappointment has not brought me to a state of despair. I am now in the way of regaining what I lost with interest--I don't mean with in the person but in one as for superior to her as she is to the most miserable inhabitant of the regions of ignorance--one, who has been despised & persecuted merely because she was not appreciated & one whom I never should never have thought of had I not had uncommon failities for becoming fully & intimitely acquainted with her. She's an orphan & has been so from infancy, under the protection of her aunt the wife of Mr. Deane with whom I board & read. She was of a romantic turn of mind in childhood, & possessed of her fanciful ideas brought upon her coupled with he dependent condition, so broke down her spirit--or rather have the world so repulsive an appearance to her, that she has never been able to show herself as she is, & could gain no credit where she did for the best. I soon found what she was, when I went into the family, but so much had misrepresentation prepossessed me against her, that it took a year of daily familiar intercourse to convince me that she was not acting an assumed part. I found all the time that she was possessed a cultivated inquiring mind, beyond that of any female I ever met with. I know that she is vastly superior in mind to her beau. Within the present month I "have made the bargain." Since that she has told me that I was the only person of my sex, who ever conversed with her as if they considered her a rational being--& I certainly have never conversed with anyone with so great a profit. Our connection is wholly unsuspected by any of those who should know of it--& we intend it shall be till its final consummation. I am willing to meet the jibes of the unfeeling upon a subject where I am so serious & which is so dear to me, & in the present case, they would be lavished upon one without mercy--for I should be regarded by many as an arrant fool.
I believe when I wrote you last I had just returned home on account of my diseased lungs. I spent the whole of that winter at home & returned hither early in March with my health somewhat improved but it is not yet good. I was shivering along through the whole season between life & death as it were 7 am still ten pounds lighter than my usual weight. I have continual cough & free expectoration. What will be the result, time alone can determine, but I don't feel myself to be in a very safe condition in any respect. However my time is counting on & I shall be in business as soon if I could study much harder, I thought strongly of going to New Orleans last Autumn, but my parents dissuaded me. My father proposed to me to spend a year or part of a year at the Law School at Cambridge, & I think I shall go there at commencement if not sooner.
I believe I marked a letter from Jacob Batchelder, which I inserted in the Courier sent to you. He has written me since, that it was the first time he had ever had the pleasure of seeing himself in print. He is still in Templeton, Mass. & will continue there another year. He gave me to understand very plainly that some entanglement with the fair had excited in him a strong attachment to that place & was really the cause of his remaining longer. The publication of our paper in this place was concluded last summer hence I could not gratify your request. Dr. Cleveland still remains in Bucksport doing very little. I believe he is looking out for a more eligible situation, but of course I make no inquiries. He has lost the attracting object that brought him there. Another wooed successfully, I mean to call & see how you look, if ever I come twenty miles of you.
1 The "happy change" that has been alluded to is Calvin's marriage to Margarette Lerned on November 8, 1831. This indicates that the date on the letter is likely incorrect and the writer neglected to change the date at the beginning of the new year from 1831 to 1832.