He also wished to have a page of fun about American titles; and the text for this was the dedication to the Hon. William Prescott. ‘What right,’ he asked, ‘has Mr. Prescott to this title?’ I confessed that there was a ridiculous prevalence of titles in America; but submitted that comment on them, in a grave article on Spanish history, would be out of place, and particularly it would be unjust to hang it upon Judge Prescott, whose merits richly deserved the title, and would have carried him without doubt to some equivalent distinction had he been born in England. I think he adopted my view. Wishing not to claim too much for Prescott, I said: ‘I presume you will rate his book as high as Watson's “Philip,” ’—though you know I place it infinitely before that. Ford promptly said: ‘I place it before Robertson, and I shall say so in my article.’ He then gave me a sketch of his article, which he will begin by a description of the tomb at Granada; and in the course of it serve the Tory purpose of his journal by a comparison between the Great Captain and the Duke of Wellington. He wished it to be known that, if it contained no humor or satire, it wouldn't be because he could not deal in those things; and carefully told me that he wrote the articles on Puckler Muskau,1 and the Spanish Bull-Fight.2 The article will be in the July number. Our acquaintance, which commenced in a harsh personal argument, ripened so that I received from Ford a cordial invitation to visit him at his country-place and enjoy his Spanish buildings. Emboldened by our conversation, I took the liberty of addressing him a long letter on what I thought would be the proper tone of the article, and suggesting to him some matters about American literature; to which I have a letter in reply. This I shall send to you; and you may give it to Prescott, if you see fit. It contains Ford's written opinion about his book, of which he may well be proud. Since seeing Ford I have met Pascual de Gayangos,3 the author of the article in the ‘Edinburgh Review.’4 I met him at a dinner at Adolphus's, where also was Macaulay, just returned from Italy.5 Gayangos, you know, is a Spaniard, and was Professor of Arabic at Madrid. He is a fine-looking person, with well-trimmed moustaches, and has married a talkative English wife. He is about forty, and has a proper Spanish gravity. We talked a great deal of Prescott's book; and he seemed never to tire in commending it. He voluntarily explained to me the reason for the absence of certain things in his article. As a foreigner, he was unwilling to commend the style which he admired, for fear of its being said that he was no judge of such things;
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 .
3 He was born at Seville, in 1809; studied in Paris under Silvestre de Sacy; published in English a ‘History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain;’ translated into Spanish Ticknor's ‘History of Spanish Literature;’ and assisted Mr. Prescott in his historical researches. In a note of Feb. 22, 1839, he invited Sumner to breakfast with him at 1 Woburn Buildings, Tavistock Square, saying: ‘I will give you a scholar's cup of tea and plenty of literary resources to regale your sight with.’
4 Jan., 1839, Vol. LXVIII. pp. 376-405.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.