Wheaton.1 Notwithstanding these strong convictions, I have not hesitated to take part in the public proceedings of the Society, and habitually attend its meetings. My own course should not be a guide for you; and I am unwilling to say anything to check that noble independence that leads you to bring your acts to the standard of your own conscience. Still, I cannot but repeat that I agree with Professor Lincoln. As a member of the P. B. K. Society you may be useful in inducing it to abandon its present exclusive character, or to yield its place entirely to a society of the Alumni. There are many Who are hoping for this result; you can help them. In matters of principle I would stand like adamant; but in matters of indifference I conform cheerfully to those about me. I shall be glad to see you when you come to Boston. My volumes about which you inquire are still dragging their slow length along.To Richard Cobden, July 9:—
. . . The peace question, though appealing less palpably to the immediate interests of politicians, has been winning attention. Burritt has indefatigably visited distant places, and aroused or quickened an interest in the cause. His singleness of devotion to this work fills me with reverence. Perhaps with more knowledge of the practical affairs of government he would necessarily lose something of that hope which is to him an unfailing succor. As he was leaving America I suggested to him to leave no stones unturned in order to secure Alexander von Humboldt as President of the Frankfort Congress. If this venerable scientific chief should preside, I should consider the success of the Congress secure. Indeed, his presidency alone would be success; it would put the cause under the protection of his name. From my personal recollections of him, and more particularly from the character of his life and writings, I am led to believe that he must be substantially with us. His ‘Kosmos’ is a peace tract, revealing the harmony of the universe; it pleads powerfully for harmony among men. Though a friend of the king, He has kept aloof, so far as I am aware, from the late political excitement; and I cannot but feel that he can be pressed, with much effect, to crown a glorious life of science by helping to inaugurate universal peace.To George Sumner,2 July 29:—
. . . Horace was pure in heart, and without guile or selfishness. I am particularly struck by his unselfish life. His recent letters from Italy show this character. . . . Mother and Julia feel their bereavement keenly. Horace on many accounts had been more of a companion to them than any other member of the family, and they were counting upon stores of pleasure in the account of his experience. Julia, I fear, will miss his brotherly attentions very much. I feel painfully my own inability to supply them. If you were at home, our happiness would be increased very much, and our resources of all kinds also.