Boston, June 22, 1840.my dear Mr. Daveis,— . . . Mr. Gardiner called upon me, and invited me to deliver the Phi Beta Kappa at Bowdoin; but I felt bound to decline. I have just returned from a long absence. I am occupied with seeing my friends, looking about me, and preparing plans for the future. Things are all uncertain before me. What I shall find to do in my profession I do not know. How much time I shall be able to withdraw from active business I cannot determine; and, as my first duty would seem to be to provide distinctly for the future, I feel bound to decline making any engagement which should interfere with this. My mind will not be sufficiently free, at any time between now and September, to allow me to write any thing proper to offer you at Bowdoin. A fine son you have at Cambridge. I was struck with his full and clear answer to a question I proposed in the lecture-room, before I knew he was of your house. He seemed very studious, careful, intelligent, and ambitious,— the last, when well directed, not the least important. I have left the Law School,—having gone there merely for a temporary purpose, much against my inclination,—but shall always be glad to see your son. The Judge seems better than when I first returned. He had written a page on ‘Partnership,’ when the doctor—the despot of the sick-chamber—forbade further work; and the single page now lies open on his desk. He is attending to the duties of his circuit, and preparing another edition of his ‘Equity Pleadings.’ His success as a law-writer is marvellous,—the Sir Walter Scott of the law. I am told that, by my father's death, a place is open to me in the ‘Cincinnati.’ Is this so? Should I take it? And what steps must I resort to? I am duly sensible of all your kindness to me. Remember me kindly to all your family; and believe me, as ever, Most truly and affectionately yours,
To Dr. Francis Lieber, New York.1Boston, July 6, 1840.Have faith in me, dear Lieber, and do not believe that I have not written to you because I was indifferent to your friendship. For the first few weeks I was in Boston, I wrote to nobody. My mind and time were so occupied in seeing friends and ancient scenes that I could not scrawl even a hasty letter to you. . . .