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January 4.

A happy New Year to you and Mrs. Greene, and Ponto. May your plans thrive. I wish you could give up article-writing and the thought of making translations, and apply yourself entirely to your ‘Opus Maximum.’ Ranke, the historian of the Popes, I know. He is an ardent, lively, indefatigable person. He once obtained permission to search the manuscripts of the Vatican. Mai1 attended him, and they took down a volume which contained several different things; Ranke at once struck upon a manuscript upon the Inquisition. Mai tore this out of the book and threw it aside. The French had the Vatican in their hands ten or more years. It is strange they did not bring out its hidden treasures. I like Ranke better than Von Raumer. Both are professors at Berlin. Our countryman, Dr. Robinson,2 is here, preparing a work, which seems to excite great expectations, on the geography of Palestine. It will be in two volumes, and will be published at the same time in English and German. He is not only learned in ‘Greek and Hebrew roots,’ but has a sound, scientific mind, and is a good writer. I like Fay more and more. He is a sterling person, simple, quiet, and dignified; his style is very clear, smooth, and elegant, perhaps wanting in force. I have just received an admirable letter from my brother in the East. He has seen Palestine thoroughly, and Egypt, having ascended beyond the cataracts of the Nile, into Nubia. His letter was dated Dec. 4, Cairo; from this place he proposed to pass over to Athens, see Greece, then to Malta, Sicily, Naples, and Rome, where he will probably arrive some time after the Easter solemnities. Perhaps you will have him there during the summer. He has been travelling, I should think, with no little profit to himself,—laboring hard to improve himself,—seeing much, and forming many acquaintances. I have promised him a friendly welcome from you. I cannot forbear saying again that I think him one of the most remarkable persons, of his age, I have ever known. He proposes to stay in [132] Europe two or three years more; to visit Germany, France, and perhaps Spain, as well as England, Scotland, and Ireland.

I leave Berlin in a few days for Heidelberg, whence I shall go down the Rhine to Cologne, then to Brussels, Antwerp, London. If I can do aught for you at home, you will let me know. Can I see Sparks for you? Ah! my journey approaches its end; I shall soon be shelved in America, away from these sights which have filled me with so many throbs; down to the bottom of the well I must throw the magic rod. Tell Crawford to write me. I rely much for my future happiness upon my friends in Europe. Don't let me lose the vision of Rome and of art! Who has ordered the ‘Orpheus’? I hope you have knocked away those books on which I stand.3 Remember me to Mrs. Greene, la petitePonto, Pasquali,4 and all.

Ever affectionately yours,

1 Angelo Mai, 1782-1854; discoverer of ‘Cicero de Republica’ and other palimpsests, and at one time Librarian of the Vatican.

2 Dr. Edward Robinson, 1794-1863; a distinguished Biblical scholar and explorer of Palestine. His ‘Biblical Researches in Palestine,’ was published in 1841.

3 Reference to books carved under his bust.

4 A servant of Mr. Greene.

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