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[247] any kind so protracted; never did any, except a Presidential contest, excite so much interest. The ardor and determination of the opposition to me has not been less flattering than the constant and enthusiastic support which I have received. The latter is particularly enhanced by the circumstance, well known, that I did not in any way seek the post, but expressly asked to be excused. In truth, I did not desire it. And now that the victory is won, my former dislike and indifference to it have lost none of their strength. From the bottom of my heart I say that I do not wish to be senator.1 The honors of the post have no attraction for me; and I feel a pang at the thought that I now bid farewell to that life of quiet study, with the employment of my pen, which I had hoped to pursue. At this moment, could another person faithful to our cause be chosen in my place, I would resign. I am humbled by the importance attached to the election. Throughout Massachusetts, and even in other States, there have been bonfires, firings of cannon, ringing of bells, public meetings, and all forms of joy, to celebrate the event. As I read of these I felt my inability to meet the expectations aroused. Again, I wish I was not in the place. I am met constantly by joyful faces, but I have no joy; my heart is heavy. Never did I need sympathy and friendly succor more than now, when most of the world regards me as a most fortunate man, with a prospect of peculiar brilliancy.

The antislavery cause in Massachusetts is destined shortly to a complete and absolute triumph. The Boston set, chiefly from State Street, are profoundly ignorant of the real sentiment of the Commonwealth. I know it thoroughly. They remind me of the Bourbons and their friends. I long to commune with you on these things, and to draw from your treasures of experience and study.

To John Bigelow, May 2:—

I would not affect a feeling which I have not, nor have I any temptation to do it; but I should not be frank if I did not say to you that I have no personal joy in this election. Now that the office is in my hands, I feel more than ever a distaste for its duties and struggles as compared with other spheres. Every heart knoweth its own secret, and mine has never been in the Senate of the United States, nor is it there yet. Most painfully do I feel my inability to meet the importance which has been given to this election and the expectation of enthusiastic friends. But more than this, I am impressed by the thought that I now embark on a career which promises to last for six years, if not indefinitely, and which takes from me all opportunity of study and meditation to which I had hoped to devote myself. I do not wish to be a politician.

Nothing but Boutwell's half-Hunkerism prevents us from consolidating a permanent party in Massachusetts,—not by coalition, but by fusion of all who are truly liberal, humane, and democratic. He is in our way. He has tried to please Hunkers and Free Soilers. We can get along very well without the Hunkers, and should be happy to leave Hallett and Co. to commune

1 The same avowal was made in letters to several friends, written in reply to congratulations.

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