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[191] South. Perhaps her book may be burned by the hangman; certainly it will be placed on the Index Expurgatorius of the South. I wonder that your free spirit can endure the bondage to which opinion at the South must subject you, tying your tongue and taming all your expressions. I ask pardon for this language, for perhaps I mistake your views and situation.

You speak of studying law. I should hesitate long before encouraging you in such a step. Why study law? For money? Considering your age and country of birth, is it not doubtful whether you could reap more from it than from your present exertions? For office? There is no political office in the United States worth your acceptance. I say in all sincerity that I would take your literary reputation in preference to any office in my country. For reputation? In my view, the reputation of no lawyer is equal to yours. Then, you must not expose yourself to the imputation of fickleness, of changing your employment for ever, and of being, as Dryden says of some one, ‘all things by starts and nothing long;’ or, of the lines of Juvenal,—

Grammaticus, rhetor, geometres, pictor, aliptes,
Augur, schoenobates, medicus, magus: omnia novit.

Juvenal. Sat. III. 76, 77.

Your attainments and reputation are already quite encyclopaedic; but such a change as you propose would excite surprise. Do not abandon your present vantage ground in the field of literature. At the bar you would be for the present on a level with the vast herd. You would be obliged to push your way through the thick and serried ranks of the profession, jealous perhaps of a new comer with such a reputation as yours. In literature you are on your native heath, and your name is MacGregor.

Faithfully yours,

C. S.

To George S. Hillard, Portland, Maine.1

4 Court St., Saturday, July, 1837.
my dear George,—Yours came to hand last evening, and I shall write a line which I hope you will get on Sunday. All things are calm as a mirror. I sit, like Nicholas Biddle ‘of a summer morning,’ in the shaded recess of an office, nor am I disturbed by many new or urgent applications. The——s vex me with daily notes and requests to call upon them, and some little affairs—trustees-answers, &c.—consume much of my time. There is an utter dearth of all event in our circle. The news from Europe has filled all ears, and people talk foolishly about the Queen, Victoria, and anticipate a chivalric court, because forsooth there is a youthful maiden queen. The Morning Chronicle is in black lines, and all the papers abound in those particulars of the death and character of the old king, and of the proclamation of the girl, which you know are so greedily devoured by English readers.


1 Hillard was then passing a vacation in Maine.

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