Well, get Gibbon and “with all thy getting get understanding.”
F. K. L.
TO JOHN W. HALLOWETT
Bethel, November 12, 
My dear Jack,—I said nothing of the kind to myself. This is what I said, “Now I want a Gibbon. Not a show-off set but a useful one—light and small and well bound. How can I get it? Cotter in New York? What does Cotter know of learning and books of learning? What interest does New York take in such things anyway? There are second-hand stores there but they must be filled with novels and such trumpery. No one in New York ever read Gibbon—ninety-nine percent never heard of him. So why should I send to New York? No, Boston is the place. There is the city of the Erudite, the Home of Lodge, and incidentally of Parkman, Bancroft, Thayer, Morse, Fiske, and all others who have minds to throw back into the other days, and make pictures of what has been. Every house there has its Gibbon, of course, and some must, in the course of nature, fall into the hands of the dealers. So to Boston,—and who else but Jack Hallowell who knows what a book is, how in respectability it should be bound, and what size book is a pleasure and what a burden. A man of learning, identified with scholarship, through his athletic course in Harvard, and withal a man of business who will not pay more than a thing is worth. Ideal! Hence the letter and consequent trouble to good Jack Hallowell, who as per usual “done his damnedest for a friend,” as Bret Harte says, in writing a perfect epitaph. ...
The reason I sent twelve dollars needs explanation. I put that limit because a very handsome edition of eleven volumes sold for that price to a friend of mine. It was red morocco, tooled, etc., and I thought surely twelve dollars would buy something as good as I needed.
Now you have the whole mysterious story. Make the most of it as Patrick Henry suggested to George III.
I have your dear Mother’s book and will write her when I have read it. I also have a letter saying that Hoover has named me as treasurer of his twenty-three million or billion fund. ...