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[561] Henry Ward Beecher wrote from Brooklyn, Jan. 13, 1873:

From day to day thousands look into the newspapers to learn whether your health is better or worse. Your long life devoted to the noblest questions which can occupy the thoughts of Christian patriots; the great courage and fidelity with which in trying times you upheld the cause of justice and liberty; the large contributions which you have made in the interests of humanity to the literature of the world; your unsullied character, and long years without a spot or suspicion of selfishness in public affairs,—have made your name national, and your life a part of the best history of the noblest period of American affairs. That your recent difference of judgment and action in political affairs—and to speak frankly, I differed with you, as you did with your life-long friends—should throw a cloud over you is natural, considering the infirmity of human nature. But it is a cloud that your lifelong and noble service will ere long scatter, as the sun scatters darkness. Even should it please God to bring to an end now, or ere long, your career, you have achieved a success which might amply gratify an honorable ambition though it were far greater than yours. I hope that I do not intrude upon your private griefs by these lines, which I send hoping that they may assure you of the warm sympathy and affectionate respect of thousands as well as my own.

Sumner replied, January 14:—

Thanks, many thanks, dear Mr. Beecher, for your kind words! What I have done has always been at the mandate of conscience, and I could not have done otherwise. My hope has been to help mankind, and advance the reign of justice on earth; nor do I doubt that sooner or later this will be seen by many who now judge me unkindly. As for my health, I am hopeful. Once before I have recovered from these severe injuries. If I must succumb, so be it; I am content. God bless you! Ever sincerely yours.1

Whittier wrote, Jan. 27, 1873:—

I write just to tell thee not to believe for a moment that the people of Massachusetts have any sympathy with the “resolution” adopted by a dead Legislature galvanized into life by the governor's proclamation for a special purpose. Not a single respectable paper of any party has to my knowledge indorsed it. It is deader than the Legislature itself. I have yet to see the very first man or woman who speaks a word in its favor. Depend upon it, the heart of the old Commonwealth is sound and generous, and turns towards thee with its old love and gratitude. She has learned to value pure-handed public servants. Dear friend of many years, be assured and hopeful! All is safe! Thy future is secure! God bless thee, and have thee ever in his holy keeping!

And again, February 4:—

I hope thee will not make an effort to speak this term. The country is coming all right as to thy “flag” resolution. The pitiful folly of our late

1 This correspondence between Beecher and Sumner was published in the Boston Journal, Jan. 23, 1873.

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