in London three days after this letter, so that you may expect me soon, very soon. I wish I had news of you and Longfellow; but I presume I shall hear nothing more of you till I actually see you face to face. You will ask me: ‘Well, are you not sorry to quit Europe?’ I shall use no disguise, and will not affect a pleasure I do not feel. I have, as my Dante has it, sembianza ne trista ne lieta.I should be glad to stay longer, but I am so thankful to have seen what I have, that I come home content: and I wish you to believe these words as I write them. I feel, too, that though I renounce pleasure and agreeable pursuits, I return to friends whom I love, and in whose sympathy and conversation I promise myself great happiness. All these scenes of the Old World we will recall together, and in our quiet circle repeat the ‘grand tour.’ My regret at leaving Europe is enhanced by my interest in its politics, and in the great plot which now begins to thicken. To-day's news is the rejection of the Nemours dotation bill, the most democratic. measure in France since the Revolution of July; and yet in my conscience I think it right. Louis Philippe—clever, politic, and wise as he is, and also justly conservative in allowing this proposal to go forward in his name— pushed too far, and excited the old republican fires. It is vain for him to attempt to restore the court and monarchy of Mazarin and Louis XIV., and he will be crushed under the attempt. His ministry have resigned. But possibly the affair will be arranged. The measure was defeated by M. Cormenin,1 whose pamphlet was written as with the point of a sword. Then there is Russia, just advancing her southern boundary south of the Aral Sea and to the east of the Caspian, so as to square with that on the west of the latter sea, and bring her down to Persia and nearer India. She has formally declared war against China, and her troops are doubtless now in possession of that territory. Here is ground for jealousy and misunderstanding on the part of England, whose public men view Russian movements with an interest which will be incomprehensible to you in America. I once heard Edward Ellice say, ‘If we do go to war with her, we will break her to pieces,’—a very vain speech, though from the lips of an ancient Minister of War. England could hurt Russia very little, and Russia England very little, though against all other countries they are the two most powerful nations of the globe. The power of Russia is truly colossal, and her diplomacy at this moment highhanded and bold, and supported by masterly minds. People are of different opinions as to the character of Nicholas. Some call him very clever, and others say he does not know how to govern his empire. I speak, of course, of diplomatic persons whose opinions so vary. Then there is the eternal Eastern Question,—still unsettled, though Mehemet Ali has taken decisive ground. He is making preparations for war. If the Powers let the war-spirit out, it will be difficult for them to control it. The King of Denmark is dead, and his people are begging for more liberal institutions, or rather for some, for they have none. The King of Sweden, old Bernadotte, cannot live long, and his death will be the signal for a change. The King of Prussia is
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
1 1788-1868; a Deputy of the Liberal party, author of political pamphlets in its support, but finally deserting it after the coup daetatof Dec., 1851.
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