[Postmark, Dec. 8, 1826.]
It is some time since I received your little volume, for which I now return you my thanks, and also for the obliging letter that accompanied it.
Your poem I have read with no inconsiderable pleasure; it is full of natural sentiments and pleasing pictures. Among the minor pieces, the last pleased me much the best, and especially the latter part of it. This little volume, with what I saw of yourself during a short interview, interest me in your welfare; and the more so, as I always feel some apprehension for the destiny of those who in youth addict themselves to the composition of verse. It is a very seducing employment, and, though begun in disinterested love of the Muses, is too apt to connect itself with self-love, and the disquieting passions which follow in the train of that, our natural infirmity. Fix your eye upon acquiring independence by honourable business, and let the Muses come after, rather than go before....
Excuse this freedom; and believe me, my dear sir, very faithfully,
Your obliged servant,