I was pained more than I can tell by Seward's course in swelling the Webster tide.1 I pleaded with him not to do it; so did his colleague. It is incomprehensible to me. From day to day, in conversation with me, he had hoped that we “might be spared any such day of humiliation.” I await the corrected edition of your sermon,2 which has produced everywhere a profound impression. The writers for the Washington “Union” have all read it; and Pryor,3 the young Virginian who has been placed in the establishment as the representative of Mason, Hunter, and Meade, read it through twice and then announced to his friends that there was but one course for them,—namely, “to maintain that slavery is an unmixed good.”To Mrs. Horatio Greenough, December 21:—
Sincerely and deeply I mourn with you. The death of Horatio Greenough4 is a loss not only to wife and children, but to friends and the world, to art and literature. With sorrow unspeakable I learned the first blow of his fatal illness; now I am pained again by the tidings of to-day. Only a few days before I left home he read to me for an hour or more some portions of his book on the Beautiful; and particularly his criticism of Burke. I was then struck by his mastery of the subject, and admired him anew, not only as an artist, but as an expositor of art. I doubt if any European artist has ever excelled him with his pen. He cannot be forgotten in our history, or in the grateful memory of friends. His name will be an honor to his family, and a precious inheritance to his children. My sympathy at this moment I know full well will be of little avail, but the heart speaks from its fulness; I could not refrain. God bless you and your children!To Mrs. Lydia Maria Child,5 Jan. 14, 1853:—
Many years ago I remarked, more than once, that among all antislavery pens I found most sympathy with yours. The tone in which you wrote was most in harmony with my own mind. You will believe, then, that it was with peculiar satisfaction that I learned your sympathy with what I had recently done in this place. The tone which you helped me adopt so early is most in unison with my present position. On the floor of the Senate I sit between Mr. Butler of South Carolina, the early suggester of the Fugitive Slave bill, and Mr. Mason of Virginia, its final author, with both of whom I have constant and cordial intercourse. This experience would teach me, if I needed the lesson, to shun harsh and personal criticism of those from whom I differ. But ours is a great battle, destined to be prolonged many years. It has a place for every nature; and I believe every man who is earnest against slavery.