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[278] on the subject from previous Congresses. I exult in the continued health and powers of old Adams. Through all his various errors and eccentricities I have been fast in my admiration of him; for he possesses two things which cannot be extolled too highly, particularly in our country, unquestioned purity of character and remarkable attainments, the result of constant industry. These I prize more than genius. I trust he may be spared to guide and enlighten the land. We fear some insidious movements in favor of Texas. The South yearns for that immense cantle of territory to carve into great slaveholding States. We shall witness in this Congress an animated contest on this matter. The question of Oregon promises some trouble. . . . I wish that our people and Government would concern themselves with what we have now. Let us fill that with knowledge and virtue and love of one's neighbor; and let England and Russia take the rest,—I care not who. There has been a recent debate in Congress, in which Mr. Charles Ingersoll said he would go to war rather than allow England to occupy Cuba. I say: ‘Take Cuba, Victoria, if you will; banish thence Slavery; lay the foundation of Saxon freedom; build presses and school-houses!’ What harm can then ensue to us? Mr. Ingersoll proceeded on the plan of preparing for war. He adopts the moral of the old fable of Aesop,—which, you know, I have always thought so pernicious,—‘where the wild boar was whetting his tusks, though no danger was near, that he might be prepared for danger.’ I wish our country would cease to whet its tusks. The appropriations of the navy last year were nine million dollars. Imagine half—nay, a tithe—of this sum given annually to objects of humanity, education, and literature! I know of nothing in our Government that troubles me more than this thought. And who can talk lightly of war? One year of war would break open and let loose all the imprisoned winds now happily imprisoned by that great Aeolus,—Peace,—and let them rage over the world. But I prose, you will say. I have touched the chords, and you must listen to the tedious notes that ensue. I have nothing to say of gayeties: my last chronicle gave you a supper of them. It is Sunday night now. I have been for the first time at Mrs. Lee's, in Mount Vernon Street,—a resort of yours. Mrs. Otis and Mrs. Minot were there. A few days since, I passed an evening at Mrs. Bruen's.

As I draw to the end of this sheet, so do I draw to the close of the old year. Its last sands are running out. Midnight is at hand. Farewell!

Ever affectionately yours,

C. S.

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