filled up with flowers and fruit, ripe scholarship grafted on a thoughtful mind.
Many of its passages rise into eloquence of high order.’
, Aug. 15:—
Thank you for your Discourse, which I have read—notes and all— with great pleasure and great instruction.
You have amassed a heap of valuable and often recondite illustrations in support of a noble cause.
And who can refuse sympathy with the spirit of philanthropy which has given rise to such a charming ideal?—but a little too unqualified.
“There can be no war that is not dishonorable.”
I can't go along with this.
No! by all those who fell at Marathon; by those who fought at Morgarten and Bannockburn; by those who fought and bled at Bunker's Hill; in the war of the Low Countries against Philip the Second,—in all those wars which have had, which are yet to have, freedom for their object,—I can't acquiesce in your sweeping denunciation, my good friend.
I admire your moral courage in delivering your sentiments so plainly in the face of that thick array of “well-padded and well-buttoned coats of blue, besmeared with gold,” which must have surrounded the rostrum of the orator on this day. I may one day see you on a crusade to persuade the great Autocrat to disband his million of fighting-men, and little Queen Vic to lay up her steamships in lavender!
You have scattered right and left the seeds of a sound and ennobling morality, which may spring up in a bountiful harvest, I trust,—in the millennium; but I doubt.
I shall be in town in a few days, when I shall hope to see you.
wrote, Aug. 21:—
Permit me to return you my thanks for your oration on “The true grandeur of nations.”
It took me quite by surprise, for I had not anticipated that you thought and felt so intensely on the very grave and momentous subject.
I think your doctrine is well sustained by principle and the precepts of the Gospel.
I agree with you on all essential points, though not with the same fervor and force.
Your historical and classical illustrations are beautiful and apposite, and I cannot but think that such cogent and eloquent appeals to the heads and consciences of our people must have an effect; and they are well calculated to make our rulers and statesmen pause in the career of their unprincipled, selfish, and rapacious projects of usurpation and violence.
I am very strongly in favor of the institution of a Congress of Nations or system of Arbitration, without going to war. Every effort ought to be made by treaty stipulation, remonstrance, and appeal to put a stop to the resort to brutal force to assert claims of right.
The idea of war is horrible.
I remember I was very much struck, even in my youth, by the observation (I think it was in Tom Paine's ‘Crisis’) that “he who is the author of war lets loose the whole contagion of hell, and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.”