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Chapter 13:


To Mr. Elisha Ticknor.

Lisbon, November 4, 1818.
. . . . Your letter, my dear father, has much alarmed me about my mother. . . . I pray you to speak on this subject with perfect plainness to me. Do not let me be unprepared for this blow, if indeed it awaits me. I know that what you say does not necessarily convey this dreadful implication, and I trust it is only my feelings to-day that have inferred it where it was not intended to be expressed, but I grow cold as I think of it, even among the possibilities of the future.


November 7.
I have never felt so disheartened and discouraged since I left home. . . . . This is chiefly owing to the sad news I have received here,1 and a little to the slowness with which I proceed in the purposes for which I came. I do not mean that I find any difficulties in the language or literature, for there are none,. . . . but I have books to buy, and the booksellers are ignorant, tardy, and unaccommodating; I have information to gain from men of letters, and they are few, and in general unaccustomed to think much upon the subjects on which I have asked them; so that, though they are kind and even very kind, I hardly get along at all. This disheartens me very much. . . . . For three days I have worked sixteen and eighteen hours a day, without fatigue, in my room and in the public library; and if it depended on nobody but myself,. . . . I could be gone on the 13th.


November 13.
Yesterday I received, my dearest father, yours of September 30.


1 Of the death of his brother-in-law, Mr. Woodward, and of his mother's indisposition.

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William H. Woodward (1)
Elisha Ticknor (1)
M. De Talleyrand (1)
James MacKINTOSHintosh (1)
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John Allen (1)
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