who, at the start, pays all his office expenses during that period does well, and has no right to complain of fortune.
And there can be no doubt that, had circumstances made it his duty to apply himself to the law, Mr. Ticknor
would have been useful and eminent at the bar. He would have secured all the advantages that can be gained by invincible industry, sound judgment, and uncommon capacity in all business matters.
Every lawyer knows that industry and judgment form the chief elements of professional success; and his habits of order, method, and punctuality would have secured the full confidence of his clients.
He was the best man of business I have ever known of men not trained to it. His judgment in all things relating to the investment and care of property was excellent.
But having faithfully prepared himself for the law, and for a year patiently attended to its practice, Mr. Ticknor
decided that the life of a lawyer would not satisfy his most simple ideas of usefulness or happiness.
He therefore gave up his office, and turned his thoughts to plans of study and travel which should prepare him for the greater advantages of Europe
This was a conclusion not suddenly or unadvisedly formed, nor without the approval of his father, upon due consideration of the reasons which influenced his son in thus changing his course of life.
His motives for the step he took, and his hopes and views as to the future, may be learned from the following extract from a letter to his friend Mr. Haven
, a young lawyer of Portsmouth, N. H.
, written in July, 1814:—
My plan, so far as I have one, is to employ the next nine months in visiting the different parts of this country, and in reading those books and conversing with those persons, from whom I can learn in what particular parts of the countries I mean to visit I can most easily compass my objects.
The whole tour in Europe I consider a sacrifice of enjoyment to improvement.
I value it only in proportion to the great means and inducements it will afford me to study—not men, but books.
Wherever I establish myself, it will be only with a view of labor; and wherever I stay,—even if it be but a week,—I shall, I hope, devote myself to some study, many more hours in the day than I do at home.