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[406] and of your family. Prescott from time to time has let me know something of them; but though this is agreeable, I had rather hear directly from yourself. You have had your adventures on strange soils,1 which I envy much, and now you have repose at home, which I also envy much.

To your inquiries I hardly know what to say. I make no complaint with regard to anybody, and my experiences are such only as belong to every public man who differs with his associates on a critical question. You know too well the personal rancors engendered by the Catholic Emancipation and the Corn Laws not to understand the origin and nature of such feelings, There are persons in Boston who have behaved badly; and if I were with you, and it were worth while to talk of such small affairs, I might edify you by some glimpses of American experience; but they are not worthy of ink. I am proud of your sympathy, and 1 trust you will believe me as meaning completely what I say, when I tell you that it has been to me a precious encouragement. I have never for a moment hesitated in my course; but I have often felt the weight and bitterness of the opposition which I was called to encounter. At such moments I have been reassured by the thought that there were friends away from this scene who would approve what I was doing; and 1 seemed to feel your generous hand and hear your cordial voice.

This last session of Congress has kept me hard at work and full of responsibility; but my course seems to have found great favor. I write to you with frankness, and therefore I say that I find myself “a popular man.” Per haps this feeling may be short-lived, though the tendency of affairs will be to call still more into play the exertions which have secured me so much goodwill. I learn from all sides, and am disposed to believe, that if my election to the Senate were now pending before the million of educated people whom 1 now represent, I should be returned without any opposition. This of itself betokens a great change. People seem to have been pleased with my determination and constancy, and sometimes their pride has been excited by my speeches. The second speech in defence of Massachusetts, and in reply to tile leading Southern senators, awakened a fury of applause which I have never seen equalled here. People had grown angry under the perfidy and bullying of the South, and they leaped forward to me sympathetically as I uttered what seemed the timely word. The change towards me is rather with the great bulk of the people than with the old leaders, particularly those who still swear by Mr. Webster; but it is apparent wherever I go,—in the streets, and also in the newspapers. No papers in Massachusetts now mention my name except with kind words. I write these things in plain response to your inquiry; never before have I written them to any one; but you have tempted me, and I commit myself to your friendly discretion.

There is pleasant society at Washington, and my lot is with the pleasantest; but the prevailing tone is vulgar, and often revolting. Slavery is a harpy which befouls every place where it is. Nor do I think it easy, hardly possible, for a defender of slavery to be a gentleman. My opportunities of

1 In the Levant.

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