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[273] The knowledge and the principles derived from these sources will teach them gentleness and modesty, and will make them unwilling to venture their hands too rashly upon the helm of State. In reading the second Alcibiades of Plato lately, I was struck with its beauty and truth, and also with its applicability to our own times and country. In that admirable dialogue, Socrates, by a masterly course of reasoning, shows the necessity of peculiar discipline and instruction to enable one to interfere wisely in the affairs of government. But I wander widely from the object of my letter, which was to thank you for not yet forgetting me.

Believe me ever very sincerely yours,


To Dr. Francis Lieber.

Boston, Oct. 6, 1843.
dear, dear Lieber,—My visit on the North River was full of delightful adventure. At Mackenzie's I enjoyed myself very much; was most happy to know his wife, whom I think beautiful, graceful, and refined. From there I went to Hyde Park, the seat of some of the most agreeable families in our country,—the Hosacks, the Langdons, the Wilkeses, the Livingstons,—where I passed four days; on one day riding on horseback with one fair maiden, and on the next with another. But my day at Cruger's Island was the most interesting. . . . On returning from the island, our little boat, containing Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Miss Hosack, came near being sunk by the night steamboat, between nine and ten in the evening; all of which was a sort of chasse-cafe; to the delicious feast of the day.

I am more and more desolate and alone. I wish you and your dear wife lived here. You would allow me to enter your house and be at home; to recline on the sofa, and play the part of a friend of the house. I lead a joyless life, with very little sympathy.

Ever, dear Lieber, thine,

C. S.

To Dr. Lieber he wrote, Oct. 10, 1843:—

I have read nearly all of Prescott's book. It is a beautiful work, full of vivid, brilliant pictures, glowing as tropical scenes; the parts which concern the antiquities and early civilization are very learned, careful, elaborate, and clear. Prescott has a deal of sound sense and clearness of vision. If he does not rise into the highest ether, he discerns distinctly from an easy natural point of sight. I predict for this book very great success. It has all the interest of the old chronicler Diaz, with the refinement and scholarship of our own day. I can hardly call to mind a book which I have read with equal interest. I have been entraine; from page to page and volume to volume, disregarding the stern calls of business and the softer impeachments of society. It will be a new crown for Prescott and for the literature of our country.

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