Washington Sunday Febry. 27 [actually 26] 1843 [LS misdated this letter; in 1844, February 26 (not February 27) was on a Sunday.]

I write to you my last letter from Washn.
my dear Son. You know that I have de-
clined being any longer a candidate. I had
no wish to be so at first, but yielded to the solici-
tations of my friends, and after two trials, I
may well be excused. I do not regret having
come to congress. It has given me an oppor-
tunity to see the movements of the political
machinery that [gov?] governs the Country,
& I must say that it has not raised my opinion
of the character of the principal movers. I
shall have no ambition that you should
become an active, partisan politician -- on
the contrary, I should regret it. It is the duty of
every man in a Country like ours, where
the only sovereign is the people, to have decided
opinions on public affairs, & to do his duty
to the community by exercising his privileges as
a citizen fearlessly & honestly, according to his
own opinions -- but beyond this I would not
wish my Son to go, especially in early life. One can-
not be a warm, active politician, without

its interfering with his professonal progress. A
profession requires the devotion of ones self to
study & the business connected with it. Those
of the law, & of medicine are crowded, & in
such a state, that there is no hope of success
except by unremittant labor & patient hope.
With these, success is almost always sure. I
have scarcely known an instance of failure.
The cry has been, all my life -- the professions,
(the law particularly) are crowded. And so
they have been -- and yet, persevering
industry & attention to business have
always commanded success, sooner or
later.     You should consider that you
are now pursuing a course of studies for your
profession -- whatever that may be -- for all
the acquisition of knowledge you can make --
no matter on what subject or in what branch
of literature or science, will be practically
useful hereafter. In the practice of law,
every variety of knowledge is useful -- strictly
& literally, useful. Cases often arise, in which a knowledge of surveying & other branches
of mathematics are is indispensable. So
of chemistry, mechanics -- optics -- hydraw-
lics &c. In addressing a jury also, illustrations
& ornaments may constantly be drawn from
literature, ancient & modern. These thoughts
should be incentives to application. You are
now I suppose at College -- commencing another
term. Consider, my dear Son, how precious
time is and how rapidly it is flying away.
Improve it, I beseech you, as it passes.

Among the circumstances which make
me return to my home & family with
pleasure, few are more gratifying, than
that I shall be near & with you. It has
indeed been hard, that we should have been
separated, so large a portion of time. It will
not be so, I trust, in future. I hope you
will have a peaceful, happy & profitable
term. I shall go to see you, very soon after
my return. I think that you must have
had a pleasant vacation. Your dinner

party I hear, went off famously I was
sorry your Mother was not able to be with
you. I had no idea, untill Hy Adams
told me, to day, that she had suffered so
much from her old trouble. Henry
came on friday. I have no doubt
but he will have a pleasant time.
He is acquainted with the Woodbury
family, & will be, with the Bayards.
They are all well, & they often speak
of you.     Write to me soon -- no --
I forgot that when this reaches you, I
shall be about starting for old Salem --
where I hope to hear receive letters from

Yr affecte Father
L. Saltonstall