W0816 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her sister Catharine C.P. Lerned
Oct 4 1835
To: Margarette B. Lerned McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
We received your last on Friday Eve, and Ed. starts for B. [Brockport] on Tuesday the 6th. You mentioned you did not, as myself, leave one page blank. Methinks were you in my place, you would prefer not to write at all; for I surely have but a few moments to myself in the day, and then my mind is on anything save brain work.
When I last wrote, was anticipating the Dentist, who came next day and a young student with him, Dr. Carter. Well--he commenced, and kept at work on my teeth till 5 P.M. Such a time as I had then, & have had since! My jaw bone aches continually, and my mouth so sore that I cannot drink or eat any thing cold. I am a going to see him this week; for I believe I should have the hysterics, having taken enough Opium to kill (I believe) a well person. So much for myself who never had the tooth ache in my life, till I had the D----t to stop what never come. He said I must keep in the house, for he feared I should be sick. Now see how well I followed his directions. That eve attended a lecture at Church, from Bishop Chase of Ohio. 17th, Rode with E. fog thick, wind blowing & chaise top down, from 8 till 11 A.M. after [?]. 18th, Attended camp meeting in P.M. at Henniker with Mr. J. Pattee of New London, one of the Students. Five or six fell into trances, and look'd like dead persons! The meeting was a qr. of a mile in the woods from the road, and as we walked to the spot, in company with Judge Harvey & lady, W. Childs & C. Eaton, we heard the good time Windham, sung by a hundred voices. It sounded solemn to us all, for the singing was in fact excellent. I attended Camp meeting on the same ground to day, last year with Mr. O. Bean, but did not enjoy myself half as well as I did this year. I remained till meeting closed, then went to Henniker village. Saw the patent bridge which was very pretty. Col. Long is having one built after his plan, a mile or so above or about the village. Reached home 9 o'clock almost sick; with the "Glory" & "Amen" of the woods giving a jar to my teeth every second. I ate about [?] white grapes however, which I suppose affected me some; as I had not tasted but little fruit previously. Edward staid (as [?] the last day) till 12 o'clock & he'll give you a descript. of the whole. Now did I not mind the D-----s directions to a T. "The way of the transgressor is hard."
The 19th, Roxana Eaton pass'd the day here. She desired much love to be sent to you. She keeps house in Boston & works at [Newton Stocking?]. 23rd, Joseph & Hannah More of Bedford, came in A.M. & staid till next A.M. Bible Class in Eve. and Mr. Pattee and some others afterwards. The Bible Class is here now every Tuesday eve. 26th, R. Eaton came and staid till the 27th A.M. 29th, Attended with Mr. Pattee the Astronomical Lecture of Mr. Campbell, at the Academy. Very well attended and pretty good. Oct 1st, R. Eaton to dine, Elisabeth's Birth day. She had 3 of her mates at tea. The eve previous, whilst engaged at Backgammon with Mr. Pattee, was aroused by Lucy's noisy tongue, articulating with rapidity "Jos. & Charles"--then the end door closed or "slammed," and all was still. I went to Mother to ascertain the facts, and found that the Messrs Minot were at Louisa's. Lucy had been working for Louisa that week; and t'was natural that Noise should be both Prelude & Accompanyment [sic] to her visits. But hearing words so distinct, caused me to surmise "that something like a rail road was in operation." They both left town before breakfast next morn, and without calling on us. However, I was very well satisfied with present company. Oct 2, R. Eaton came pass'd night and left town in stage in morn. She gave Mother a 2.50 fig'ee black shawl, and Ed. a gold ring. Had a call from Miss Fitch of Windsor, as we were in the midst of baking. She informed me of the death of one of my school mates, Miss Clara Skinner; who was the picture of perfect health when I left here. The Dr.'s said from appearances she had a disease of the heart, which had been seated many years. In P.M. a call from Mr. Swift & wife, of Illinois. Mr. Minot told Louisa "Margarette is very fleshy, her face is round, and her health excellent." Mrs. Smith told me "Margarette is poor & pale." Now these stories agree don't they! No they don't. Where's Truth then? Hid in Exageration's [sic] cloak mayhap. They both are wrong you say. I think there's some foundation for both their stories, for something cannot come from nothing, nor nothing from something. So will guess you'r [sic] neither sick, down nor well up.
Rev. M. B. Chase is on a journey with all his family to Newburyport Lowell &c &c. Have not attended meeting to day. Mrs. Towne says "Give my best love to Margarette and say I want to see her." Cousin Ham. is about as much engaged in business as ever. Mrs. Isac [sic] Bailey has a little daughter 6 weeks old! Catherine has been at Lowell this 6 months learning Milliners trade. Returned [9?] weeks since. Sarah Story was published to James [?] Story (her cousin) to day. Capt. Hale & wife & C. Clark have left town--the former for New Orleans. C. Eaton goes to Boston soon, and C. Lerned intends to go sometime. Such a slow creature as that Burns is! He's been since last June finding me a good situation and I fear I shall never start should I wait his motion. You speak of a Mr. Hunter "as big as Burns." Who told you of his size? Be sure he's high in the world--but that's the best [?]. Tell Mr. H. if he'll come where I am, I'll go with him to where he is. For I'm not so bound but that I can be free when I see a better chain. But Burns though large & strong cannot keep my heart, nor do I ken as he wishes or ere has wish'd to. I place about all gents on equality, some one or two which I like a "leetle extra." I do not think much about husbands as yet, not holding to getting (enough "ings") tied, till I have discretion enough to keep still!!
Saturday I painted you a piece of six hours work. Twas my intention to have taken "Abbotsford, seat of Walter Scott" but twould have taken me twice as long, as tis a large building with many windows & doors. Had I taken it twould have been pretty to frame. I would mention that the Mezzotinto will rub off if used much without a cover; (as tis put on dry)--not so as to efface the forms but to make the edges & clouds look rough. Tis not as showy as it might be. Still I think I can paint a little better. Guess I'll paint a small piece for your husband. Mr. Davidson's Musick Box is playing to a charm, and I cannot think of one line more to write. He has just come from Goffstown and says Eliza McQuesten & Clarissa M. Carr are intending a visit here in a week or two. Think I'll write more after washing tomorrow as tis late.
C. C. Lerned
Monday P.M., Mr. Dustin has just left, giving Ed. $40 & leaving a letter for your husband. Speaking of economy, we know it to be necessary for E. to practise it, we know that people in B. dress better than E. can afford to; so you must not expect him to follow the fashions, or obtain any more clothing than necessary. He will need a new [?]--outside garment & hat & cap this winter, & we think we have sent money enough to purchase them. We shall not wish him to write home often, and to watch opportunities for private conveyance. His extravagance is confined to his palate, I believe; for his largest bills at Boston were for eatables. My teeth ache dreadfully, and I can write no more. Give love to all acquaintances in B. & excuse all errors, as I am in haste.
Yours in remembrance
C. C. Lerned
[To] Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten, Brockport, New York
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.