Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Letter G. Barrington Richmond Pitkin

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“Great Barrington April 2, 183-

My Dear Budd,

In your last some three or four______ you said something very clever about a “brisk Correspondence” good! but the bad is you are so subject to changes…….As to Pegasus, he had done grandly without blanket or oats. One hundred lines more will make me four thousand, which work I tell you is grand or would be with a good sitting. You will hardly credit my judgment firstly on account of natural partiality, secondly writers of good judgment are known to be ill judges of their own works, and thirdly because I thought so well of my old poem. As to the former poem, I now see it but poor poetry but it has been an ample aid, a treasury where I had deposited many valuable and grand ideas and some as near original or will generally be found at the present day…….Well I say the poem is in a fine way, before it’s completion, I shall probably add a thousand lines more. 5,000 that will make a pretty volume. The subjects, as a work, are far from being trite, and it is connected in a chain something like Child Harold, which you pointed out for my imitation in plan. The Indian is the predominant character. I have added sixty more lines to the piece I sent you, which I think more lyric than the other stanzas. When you write make some remarks on these things that will aid me. I want much to know what your calculations are about coming home this summer, you must come here or I must go to you and fix the poem. I must have it prepared and out this year. I need the avails of it and I have no doubt it will win it’s way in the world and amount to something; though I am as still as a mouse. _______are impatient to have it out……..I am very sorry to inform you that Nash B. has not been home yet. Since he left here he has found bad associates and his “natural tastes” as you call it has got the ruins, and he has become in some measures intemperate, though he had persevered in abstinence for two years……..Summer’s have just lost a beautiful boy sixteen months old. I never saw any person so completely cut down at the loss of a little child as he is and I think the effect will be lastingly beneficial. The night before the funeral there were two watchers to watch with the corpse there. Summer called his family together with the watchers, knelt down and made a very fervent prayer with them, as one of the watchers stated. Should Summer be a Christian he would be one with all is might, he is an Episcopalian…….I don’t know what you do to these Northerners down there for they all tell one story and that is a mighty fine one. Tis monstrous queer to blind so many eyes! Nor fairy gold could bury so many lies……(More on Nash)……I have not once attended meetings since you left here nor has there been much meeting to attend…..Our villagers are making their move today. John Russet takes the tavern and Beebe’s move opposite Mr. Burts. Mrs. House keeps a boarding house in the brick building south of the tavern. She has been very dangerously sick but is getting better…….Doctor Rogers inquired the other day whether you were publishing a paper and said you promised to send him some numbers. Your ever affectionate mother M.B. Pitkin…..162 lines remember!”

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