H. Bellenden Ker
wrote, from Lincoln's Inn, Jan. 25, 1846:
I have read your oration with very great pleasure, and admired both its sentiments and its composition.
I own I am sorry that your countrymen want such discussion.
But not even America is perfect; though, spite of party prejudices and Pro-Slavery, you are fast progressing in all your institutions.
Without a national debt, with the far West, and your magnificent institutions for education, all must come right.
You will abolish Slavery, and, I hope, drive us out of Canada and California; for I do not see why we should be there.
I think the sooner we get rid of colonies, the better. . . . All speak with great pleasure of your book;1 and it has, I observe, been favorably mentioned in the journals.
I hope that what you saw of England will induce you to pay us another visit; and you will find few of your many friends and admirers more happy to see you again than Mrs. Ker and myself.
T. Flower Ellis
,—now best known as Macaulay
's friend, —while at York
, on the Northern Circuit
, wrote, March 9, 1846:—
I was much gratified by your kind remembrance of me, shown by the transmission of your oration pronounced on the July anniversary.
I have often thought with much pleasure of your visit to England, and your tour on the Northern Circuit; and it has frequently struck me that much might be gained, both in national feeling and professional science, if this intercommuning of legal men were more frequent than it is reciprocally between two countries which, since the improvement of steam navigation, seem to have approached so near to each other. . . .
Of the substantial truth of the principles which you enforce I do not see how any Christian can doubt.
The question with me practically is, whether that truth is not like the truths in dynamics which, in application, must be qualified by the consideration of new elements, as friction. . . . Yet I presume that we are not forbidden [by the Christian principle] to use legal force, which is violence in some shape or other, to repress murder, rape, &c. That, indeed, I understand you to admit expressly.
But where does the principle stop? . . . Our difference is not very great; for I believe that, if the principles in which we agree were acted upon, there would hardly ever be another war.
What astonishes me most in your oration was the boldness with which popular feelings are encountered.
If this be practicable in the Great Republic, we may hope to outlive the opinion that all democracies are intolerant,— an opinion which, perhaps, of all now prevalent, most checks the advance of liberal principles.
God preserve us from a quarrel, and from those men especially, on either side of the water, who, not satisfied with desiring the Oregon at the price of a war, value the dispute for the sake of the war!