mmit there was a large detached boulder with a mouldering ladder reaching its top, where I used to climb and rest after my long rambling.
Close by there was one dead pinetree of the older growth towering above the younger trees; and sometimes a homeward faring robin or crow would perch and rest there as I was resting, or the sweet bell of the Newton Theological Seminary on its isolated hill would peal out what seemed like the Angelus.
What with all these dreamings, and the influence of Jean Paul and Heine, the desire for a free life of study, and perhaps of dreams, grew so strong upon me that I decided to go back to Cambridge as resident graduate, there was then no graduate school,--and establish myself as cheaply as possible, to live after my own will.
I was already engaged to be married to one of the Brookline cousins, but I had taken what my mother called the vow of poverty, and was willing to risk the future.
Mrs. Farrar, an old friend of the family, with whom I had spent a
t may be with such as you are sure will feel and act and keep very still. Please be so kind as to write N. Hawkins on the subject, Care of Wm. I. Watkins, Esqr.
Rochester, N. Y. Should be most happy to meet you again; and talk matters more freely.
Hope this is my last effort in the begging line.
Very Respectfully your Friend, John Brown.
This name, N. Hawkins, was Brown's favorite alias.
The phrase partly believe was a bit of newspaper slang of that period, but came originally from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (xi.
18) whence Brown may well have taken it. I wrote in return, wishing for farther information, and asking if the underground railroad business was what he had in view.
In a few days came this reply:--
Rochester, N. Y. 12th February, 1858.
My Dear Sir,--I have just read your kind letter of the 8th inst., and will now say that Rail Road business on a somewhat extended scale is the identical object for which I am trying to get means.
I have been conn