Letter from William Cullen Bryant to John E. Howard

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This is a scanned version of the original document in the Abernethy Manuscripts Collection at Middlebury College.

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Great Barrington 25 March1817

My dear Sir

Yours of the 27 Dec. I recieved and read with great pleasure. It was the first letter that has reached me from Bridwater since I left it - a period of nearly two years. Yes there was one part of it which, while it equally excited and disappointed my curiosity, gave me some alarm. You inform me that you are ___________. How shall I understand this _________? What meaning shall I give this blank? It made my blood run cold in every vein and my hair rise "like quills upon the fretful porcupine" when I reflected that the word "married" might complete the sentence, and possibly give the meaning so mysteriously witheld. Did omen avertant! Yes, if there was no special enormity behind the cuestion, it seems to me that you might have spoken out - and you would do me great injustice to suppose that, I should not be very much gratified to know any circumstance relating to your present situation. In your next

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Mar John E. Howard Bridgewater Massachusetts

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