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Orpheus’ is not yet open. You shall hear of it when it is opened. Mary went yesterday to pass some days with Parsons on his hill. I live in solitude. It is a hard life.

‘I have not told you how much I like your letter on capital punishment, which I shall send to Milnes by the next packet.’

To Dr. Francis Lieber.

Boston, Oct. 14, 1843.
dear Lieber,—You ask for my first sight of ‘Orpheus.’ It has been most melancholy. I am glad the artist, who has brooded over this chef d'oeuvre for five years, was not with us. Greene says he would have gone into hysterics.

With the assistance of a carpenter two boards were knocked off (Greene, T. B. Curtis, and myself being present), which revealed the head and breast. The impression was dazzling, and I almost caught the word ‘Eurydice’ from the marble lips. A small bit only was broken from the lyre; and we congratulated ourselves on finding it in such beautiful order. Two boards were next knocked off which covered the feet, the dog, and legs. It was truly distressing to see the chaos there. Both legs were broken above the knees and at the ankles; and the dog was broken in two pieces, the rent running from the back to the belly. By looking at the picture you will see the present condition of the statue. We have made arrangements with Dexter for its restoration. I think it can be restored so as to please the connoisseur as much as ever. The workmanship and spirit of the piece seemed more beautiful than ever. We are putting up a little building on the lawn by the side of the Athenaeum to receive it, and Greene is to pay us a visit, in the course of a fortnight, to superintend its restoration. How this accident occurred we cannot tell; but it was a great mistake to send it to Boston via; New York. It undoubtedly suffered by the transshipment. I cannot doubt that it was rolled over on the wharf, like a cotton-bag. . . . Adieu.

Ever thine,

C. S.

To Dr. Lieber he wrote:—

The ‘Orpheus’ is on its pedestal; and, like Memnon, makes music with its beauty. It is thoroughly restored. The stranger, who knew nothing of the accident that befell it, might not dream that it was not fresh and whole from the artist's chisel. At a distance of eight feet I cannot discern the places of the juncture. It is an exquisite work of art, and the committee, who have seen it, are delighted with it. I have not studied its effect closely, but confessed its charm during the few moments that I saw it. The room will not be ready for the public till next week.

Prescott compliments you in a note to the “Conquest.” Macready has won our hearts. He is a most agreeable and interesting person.’

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October 14th, 1843 AD (1)
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