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[177] to church and heard Clarke preach about John Brown, whom God bless, and will bless! I am much too dull to write anything good about him, but shall say something at the end of my book on Cuba, whereof I am at present correcting the proof-sheets. I went to see his poor wife, who passed through here some days since. We shed tears together and embraced at parting, poor soul! Folks say that the last number of my Cuba is the best thing I ever did, in prose or verse. Even Emerson wrote me about it from Concord. I tell you this in case you should not find out of your own accord that it is good. I have had rather an unsettled autumn-have been very infirm and inactive, but have kept up as well as possible — going to church, also to Opera, also to hear dear Edwin Booth, who is playing better than ever. My children are all well and delightful....

I have finished Tacitus' history, also his Germans. ... Chev is not at all annoyed by the newspapers, but has been greatly overdone by anxiety and labor for Brown. Much has come upon his shoulders, getting money, paying counsel, and so on. Of course all the stories about the Northern Abolitionists are the merest stuff. No one knew of Brown's intentions but Brown himself and his handful of men. The attempt I must judge insane but the spirit heroic. I should be glad to be as sure of heaven as that old man may be, following right in the spirit and footsteps of the old martyrs, girding on his sword for the weak and oppressed. His death will be holy and glorious — the gallows cannot dishonor him — he will hallow it. ...

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