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[580] the mill-stone which it hangs upon the liberties of Europe. I long to see the name of the republic a strength to the liberal cause instead of a weakness. Nobody now ventures to cite our example except to condemn us. It was not so Once; it will not be so when true ideas prevail at Washington.

To C. F. Adams, February 5:—

I am inclined to believe that had you been in my condition, after more than two years of ups and downs,—still a serious sufferer. unable to do what you had most at heart, and with chances most menacing, worse than death,—you would have intrusted yourself unreservedly to medical skill which had already inspired your confidence by a most careful and intelligent diagnosis.1 I will not now undertake to say that the painful treatment which I have endured was necessary, nor indeed that it has brought me to my present condition of convalescence and confident hope; but the careful examination at Paris made me precisely aware of my case in its details. With this knowledge I am able to tell to what extent I have succeeded in exterminating the remains of my original injuries. While I recognize still some symptoms mischievous in character, I feel a sense of health and a capacity for work to which I have been for a long time a stranger; but I do not in the least intermit my treatment. I begin the day with my prescribed torments; I feed on may poisons; and while keeping in the open air for some time daily, I avoid all fatigue, and seek repose on my bed or sofa. I have determined that no care or effort on my part should be wanting to carry forward this cure. Of course, I am often pained by the thought of my public duties neglected; and you can well imagine that were I in health some other place than Montpellier would attract me. But I have said too much of myself; and yet I must add one word more. The meeting of Congress this winter presented a question of painful embarrassment. There were several courses to take. To go home in the face of the positive counsel of eminent medical authorities, and with a consciousness that I was still an invalid, seemed rash, and hardly to be vindicated; but to leave my seat vacant throughout a whole session seemed inexcusable. It only remained that I should resign. Had I not felt that my case was exceptional, and not that of ordinary political life, of course I should have yielded to the inevitable necessity of this step. But I could not abandon a position dearer to me now than ever, because more than ever, with returning health, I can hope to serve our cause; and because I have at heart to be heard again from the seat where my assassination was attempted. Pardon me also if I deceived myself by the belief that my resignation would have caused pain to many all over the country who are in earnest against slavery. But the present session of Congress will soon be over, and a legitimate vacation of months will then be before me, in the course of which I have every reason to expect to confirm and anneal my convalescence so as to be beyond relapse. How I do long for this hour!

You know well the satisfaction I have had in your election. “Returning justice lifts aloft her scales.” But I foresee responsibilities, not inviting, kindred to my own. Our friends must be taught to be in earnest, and to show

1 This was a reply to Mr. Adams's protest against another recourse to the heroic remedies. Ante, p. 572.

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