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To Dr. Francis Lieber.

Boston, June 28, 1841.
Anniversary of the Battle of Monmouth, when the American army fainted under the heat and Washington reproved Lee.1

dear Lieber,—Yours of the day of the ‘Battle of Ligny’ is before me. Thanks. I see a difficulty in the way of graduating duties on books by their value. There will be fraud, deception, and the like in assigning the value, besides greater difficulty than by weight. I find this is Judge Story's opinion also. He says, let all books in foreign languages come in duty free. So say I. At present there is a duty of four cents a volume. Let all English books more than ten years old (I would say ten years from the first edition) come in duty free . . . If you can carry it, I say strike off all the duties. Lift up the gates, and let books flow into the country in every possible way. I like your views about the Lockport judge. . . . One good, high-minded act tells more for a country than mines of gold. ‘Stranger, go to Lacedaemon and say that we died here in obedience to her laws.’ This inscription inspired all Greece with patriotism; and it still does this high duty, as it is read in all languages and countries. . . . Choate will be glad to renew his acquaintance with you. His speech on McLeod's case is masterly.2 It exhausts the question. When shall we see you here? The three Misses Ward—a lovely triumvirate—are summering in Dorchester.

Ever yours sincerely,

To Professor Mittermaier, Heidelberg.

Boston, June 30, 1841.
my dear friend,—Four days ago I was rejoiced by your letter of May 7, which came by the way of Havre through the post-office. On the next day I received the packet of books you had been kind enough to despatch to me last December. I thank you very much for them all; but more than all, let me thank you for your kind recollection of me in your letters. I mourn with you most sincerely for the loss of your son. He was truly learned, accomplished, and amiable. I shall never forget the agreeable and instructive hours I passed in his society. He spoke English with great facility and correctness; and it was one of my chief pleasures at Heidelberg to converse with him in my own language on the many subjects which he understood so well. In his death the cause of liberal jurisprudence has suffered an irreparable loss. I wish you would assure Madame Mittermaier and all your family of my sympathy with them in their affliction. I remember very well your two youngest boys. I was much pleased by their appearance, the look of health and happiness that they wore, their agreeable manners and intelligence. In the education of these youths, and in their flattering prospects,

1 Lieber was accustomed to date his letters as of some historic day, usually that of a battle; and Sumner, in dating this letter to him, took note of his habit.

2 June 11, 1841. Works and Memoir of Rufus Choate, Vol. II. pp. 3-23.

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