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Title: [Letter] 1848 Jan. 30, Louisville, K[entuck]y [to] Mary [Hamilton House Thompson] / H. Q. Ewing : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Ewing, H. Q.

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: January 30, 1848
Extent: 4p
Summary:This is a letter from H. Q. Ewing to Mary Thompson, dated January 30, 1848. Ewing writes about school, his association with young ladies, and his family. He mentions how much he has enjoyed an exhibit on the Hudson River, and that she should see it if it comes to her town.
Collection:Orr Collection IV-J-2

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Louisville Ky [Kentucky] Jan [January] 30th /48
Dr. [Dear] Mary

I received yours of the 13th ult [ultimo] — in due time, & am surprised in looking back, that I have permitted so much time to elapse without replying to it. Now I do [added: not] wish to make the false impression upon you that I am so hard a student as not to be able to spare from my studies the few minutes which it would be required to write a letter, & yet you will be able to understand that so strong is the disposition of every student after a few hours confinement, to spend in recreations of various kinds the few spare bits of time which he can call his own, that anything like labor even of the lightest kind, is at such times insufferably painful. — —

From an impulse of this character I have been led to spend no small number of my leisure hours in the society of the Louisville ladies — the

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large majority of whom are wonderfully attractive & fascinating. Notwithstanding my "extreme susceptibility" however I can assure you that I have not as yet become so deeply involved as to have given Blackstone or [unclear: Chitty ] any ground to complain of neglect. The truth is I find it utterly impossible to fall "desperately in love" as the prhase [phrase] goes — for scarcely does the last conceived passion approach the suicidal point, when a still latter one [unclear: drives ] the former from my breast & rule for its time "sovereign of the [unclear: ascender ] But to be serious, I am not so foolish as to fall in love without reason or ever uncontrollably in love. I must confess to my shame that I seek the society of [added: the] ladies not so much from on account of any real pleasure which I hope to derive from this source (for my taste for such matter is not sufficient to have much influence on my cunduct [conduct]) as from a desire for improvement. I feel and acknowledge the necessity & importance of that enternal [internal] refinement which can be acquired no where else, & with the view of improvement in this re

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[added: spect] often very contrary to my inclination I compel myself to go, where if it were not for my unfortunate deficiency of taste, I should find it difficult to restrain myself from going. Of course my remarks will be understood to apply altogether [added: solely] to "fashionable acquaintainces [acquaintances] " & not to all ladies whatever — as they would then include not only your self but many others whose friendships I prize most highly — & whose society I enjoy as much as anything else on earth — you will doubtless be ready to accuse me of a want of gallantry not withstanding this limitation, but however this may be what I have said is strictly true

So you see that there is not much danger that anything of this sort will interfere seriously with my studies. — I have not been by any means a hard student however but what I have learned this winter [added: although a mere nothing] compared with what remains to be learned has inspired me with a higher respect than ever before for the profession which I have chosen — & consequently with a greater ambition to excel in it. I had been accustomed to regard the law

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as a mass of harborous [laborious] technicalities & arbitrary rules — & the practice of it as a contest in which sophistry & cunning were the most appropriate weapons — but I now see that it is a noble science in which the highest powers of the mind can be employed. To such a profession I am willing to devote the best days of my life & if eminence in it is to be the reward of application & perseverance I shall stand some chance of being a successful candidate for that prize. — —

Father spent the Christmass holydays [Christmas holidays] in Russelville , where he was quite busy during the whole time in arrangeing [arranging] his business for the last & ensueing [ensuing] years. His health has not been so good since his return — & yet it is still far better than it was last winter He is not so much pleased with the labors of his Prof-ship as it first & may not continue in it long — but he has not expressed any resolution upon this subject as yet. I confidently expected [added: that] mother & Pres. [Presley] would come up with him on his return, but they did not come. Pres.— however speaks of going up to the convention which is to be held in Frankfort sometime in Feb. [February] — & mother will probably come up with him at that time. mother wrote me a few days since that Mrs. Marcy who has been with her for some time had just left gone home — having heard [unclear: among ] her many misfortunes of the loss of one of her most valuable hogs — she was off drowned off the Genl [General] [unclear: Martha ] — — . The city has been entertained for some weeks past by some wonderful performances experiments in mesmerism! & by a panorama of Hudson River which a northern artiste is exhibiting. The former I have had no curiosity to see — but I have attended the panoramic exhibition twice — & consider it as a fine represention [representation] of the most beutiful [beautiful] river in America . Should it pass through your city you must attend its exhibition, & I think I can promise you that you will not be disappointed at its appearance. My love to all.

Yrs [Yours] very truly
H. Q. Ewing

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