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To Dr. Francis Lieber, Columbia, S. C.

Boston, Oct. 21, 1837.
Your last letters of Oct. 7 and Oct. 16 (last by express mail) have quite touched my heart by their fulness and warmth. I owe you a deep debt—

The debt immense of endless gratitude

for your thorough interest in my travels,—a subject where my whole heart is. And yet our friendship is not to be measured by any reciprocity of obligation and performance. My heart throbs for you, and my mind thinks of your labors. What I can do to aid, encourage, and cheer you, I yearn to do. This you feel persuaded of, I know; and that is enough. I shall remember you at every step of my journey, and in your dear fatherland shall especially call you to my mind. Oh, that I spoke your tongue! My mortification and humiliation is great to think of my ignorance. In my own language—dear native English!—I am sometimes told that I excel; and how I shall be humbled by my inability to place myself en rapport with the minds which 1 shall meet! I shall write you in German from Germany. There, on the spot, with the mighty genius of your language hovering over me, I will master it. To that my nights and days must be devoted. The spirits of Goethe and Richter and Luther will cry in my ears, ‘trumpet-tongued.’ I would give Golconda or Potosi or all Mexico, if I had them, for your German tongue.

What I shall write abroad I know not. I shall keep a journal, probably a full one, and shall trust to circumstances to suggest and bring out a subject. I shall remember your suggestions; treasure them all. All your requests I shall remember, and let you know that I shall not forget you. Your good advice I shall ponder well.1 Laertes did not receive better instructions from old Polonius, when he was about going abroad, than you have given me. My heart is full on account of your kindness.

It is now Oct. 21, and I shall be more than a week longer in Boston. I shall leave my home Nov. 1. My business is not all closed yet, and I sometimes fear that I may lose another week; but I must tear away. Then for New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. You will hear from me often before I go, and I shall send longing, lingering looks behind. You will hear my lamentations across the sea, and also my rejoicings. How I shall leap with joy at the sight of Europe; how I shall sigh over my ignorance; how I shall long for some of my American friends to sympathize with

1 Ante, p. 198.

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