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By Louis Dembitz Brandeis

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The Family Letters of Louis D. Brandeis

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Began again Tuesday and will continue with slight interruptions to the 1st of September (then Court convenes). It is as pleasant and interesting as ever, and I feel very much its instructiveness. Saturday afternoon—in spite of the rain—I went to Manchester to spend Sunday with the Cochranes. We went up to Mrs. Fields2 after tea and then to stop at the Hotel where we criticized the people and agreed on the stupidity of the world. It was the first time I had felt savage since the last stop at the same hotel, four weeks ago.

They read a part of the “Lamp of Truth”—on the decline and fall of Gothic Architecture, tracing its history through the different periods; from the round to the pointed arch; from the solid to the penetrated stone-work; from the tracery in light to the tracery in stone—ending in the horizontal period of Gothic Architecture. How wise one becomes? Two weeks ago I should not have had any idea what all this means, and now I can write so learnedly on the subject! But really the evening was a very instructive one; Denman Ross explained his pictures of which he has thousands, among which are many rare and large ones, and I feel now that I might possibly understand architecture if I devoted a few centuries to the study of it.

Louis. 15 To: Date: Place: Source: Charles Nagel July 12, 1879 Boston, Massachusetts1 Brandeis MSS DEAR CHARLIE: Your long letter was read with much attention & not a little heartbeating. I know not what might have been the effect of a telegram from you. 2 Still, I do not repent of my decision although I feel how much I have lost in losing you all—and to what extent I have been deprived of that which contributes so much to the calm happiness of man. On the other hand I have much to hope for here and although the loss of the advice, support & assistance of the family is very great, I find much comfort & consolation in the feeling that whatever I have achieved, or may achieve here is my own—pure and simple—unassisted by the fortuitous circumstance of family influence or social position.

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