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MY DEAR MARIA, I set you the example of being a very punctual correspondent. Yesterday I received your letter, and today I answer it.
I was much gratified to hear from you; and to learn, after so many arrangements, you were fixed so much to your satisfaction, and had recommenced your studies with so much sperit. I am not surprised, that you felt so lonesome at first. We are never more so, than when in the midst of those, who are strangers; but you acted like a philosopher, when, instead of giving yourself up to tears, you set about removing the cause, by forming the acquaintance of those around you.
You must have made rapid advances in the remedy, to acquire the names of all. in so short a time, with the personal acquaintance of so many; but I am sure your good sense will guard you against the other extreme; against passing from being a stranger to all, to being too familiar with all. Form a General acquaintance with all, but be familiar with but few, well selected and worthy of your friendship.
It is a little singular, that you and Miss Cuningham should be room mates. Tho her father and myself disagree so widely in politicks, we are old acquaintances; I may say, I suppose friends, tho it may be possible, that our political difference may have alienated his personal attachment. It has had no such effect on my part. He studied law with me; and, tho I have no doubt he is wrong, yet I have as little, that he is honestly so. You of course will take care not to quarrel about politicks.
I wrote to you a few days since. I hope you have got my letter. I enclosed to Col Chappell. I enclose this to Judge Martin, who has been so kind, as to promise to send to the post office every day before his daughter goes to school, and to take charge of your letters. I am glad you are so much pleased with his daughter. He and Mrs Martin are particular friends, and I wish you to make his, one of the families, which you will take into your small visiting circle. You must make the circle small. You are too young to go much into company. It would be a great interruption to your studies. Write me fully. Give me a minute account of all of your teachers, and the lessons you are taking, with the names of all of the girls, with whom you have formed intimate acquaintance.
- John C. Calhoun
- Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1899, Calhoun Correspondence.