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[155] your visit to Virginia for this season is near its close and I see no prospect of my meeting with you. I hope that you have been benefited by your visit to the mountains and will return to your home refreshed and strengthened. My best wishes accompany you wherever you are. I have been trying the effects of these waters, by the advice of Dr. Buckler, and cannot now perceive much change in my rheumatic symptoms, though I will only have been here a fortnight to-morrow. I purpose leaving here Monday next, 29th, for Staunton, for the purpose of attending a meeting of the stockholders of the Valley Railroad Company. They have been disappointed in obtaining from the county of Augusta its subscription to the road, and have to devise ways and means of making up its quota of $300,000 before they can receive the benefit of the subscription of the city of Baltimore and of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. They have an impression that, as president of the company, I can assist them, and I have been so strongly urged on the subject, that, if elected, I will accept and serve them as well as I can. I do not think they ought, however, to put me on these “forlorn hope” expeditions. I have served my turn.

I have watched, with much anxiety, the progress of the war between France and Germany, and without going into the merits of the question at issue, or understanding the necessity of the recourse to arms, I have regretted that they did not submit their differences to the arbitration of the other Powers, as provided in the articles of the treaty of Paris of 1856. It would have been a grand moral victory over the passions of men, and would have so elevated the contestants in the eyes of the present and future generations as to have produced a beneficial effect. It might have been expecting, however, too much from the present standard of civilization, and I fear we are destined to kill and slaughter each other for ages to come. You have, in addition, personal anxieties in the result, and the natural feeling lest your children should be mixed up in its complication. As far as I can read the accounts, the French have met with serious reverses, which seem to have demoralized the nation and are therefore alarming. Whatever may be the issue, I cannot help sympathizing with the struggles of a warlike people to drive invaders from their land.

Wishing you all health and every happiness,

I am, most truly and sincerely, yours,

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