To Lord Morpeth.Boston, Oct. 31, 1843.my dear Morpeth,—I shall be able to write you definitely, by the next packet, whether you can have the ‘Titania’ or ‘Heliodorus.’ The former is very much admired; and a strong desire has been expressed that it should be detained in the country. My impression is, however, that you will have the refusal of it. You ask if there is any other picture of Allston's to be had. There is a landscape belonging to Mr. Davis, of Boston, which he is desirous of selling. It is of a large size: his price is three hundred pounds. If the picture were in the warmer and later manner of Allston, it would be worth more than as many thousands. It is cold and icy, but a beautiful landscape. I enclose a sketch of the picture. The ‘Belshazzar's Feast’ is a melancholy ruin. Twenty years ago, it was so far finished that only two or three months work seemed wanting to its completion. As many years would not suffice now. Allston made several vital changes, which involved a new casting, as it were, of the whole picture. He changed the point of sight several inches, also the architecture of the room; and these changes were not completed at his death: so that a part of the picture is from one point of sight, and part from another; part has the architecture first adopted, and another part has the other architecture. The figure of the Queen, which is known to have been finished once with cloth of gold, is blotted out entirely. The heads of some soothsayers have been raised; but their shoulders have not been carried up to them. In giving these details, I state what I have heard from the family, and some artists who have seen it. As yet, not even Mr. Allston's friends have been allowed to see it. It is supposed that the picture is in such a condition that it cannot be exhibited in a gallery of finished pictures; but it may be preserved as a valuable study for artists. Some parts of it are supposed to be equal to any thing from Allston's hand. The chances for Clay are supposed to increase; and his friends are sanguine that he will be the next President. Webster holds himself aloof; and these two chiefs are almost in deadly feud. Webster is hoping to get back to the bar. He told me a week ago of Lord Aberdeen's reception of he note of last March, on what has been called the ‘right of visit,’ but which I call the ‘right of inquiry.’ It seems that Mr. Everett read Webster's note, when Lord Aberdeen made what seems to me—as it seemed to Webster the extraordinary statement that he did not agree with the doctrine put forth by Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons on this subject. He added that his note—a very able one, I think — of December, 1841, was written currente calamo; and he was astonished that it had stood so well as it had. He found nothing important in Webster's note to take exception to; but he thought he might undertake to reply to one or two things in it. This he has never done; and Mr. Webster considers Lord Aberdeen a convert to his doctrine. If my Lord is a convert, there are some Americans who are not. Old Mr. Adams is not; and he is determined to find an occasion to express his views. He told me that he agreed entirely in the conclusion of two articles
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 .
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