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[338] among the bright spots in our recollections. For, after all, it is not to be denied that—even in partibusa certain sort of happiness is pretty equally distributed, and that, in the wide extent of your wildernesses, wild-flowers may be found—after long and uncertain intervals—of no common beauty and fragrance . . . . We were, nonsense apart, very much struck with your happiness in each other, and the many pleasures you have in common; because you are so few, that your intimacy is perfect; and it is a pleasure we shall not easily forget, that we were permitted to mingle in it, as if we had been one of you, and share a sort of domestic life which can exist neither in a large city nor in the country; and which is, perhaps, on many of the best accounts, better than either. . . .

The following extract shows his immediate appreciation of one of the early products of American literature:—

To N. A. Haven, Portsmouth.

February, 1823.
. . . . I hope you will have seen Tudor's book1 before you get this. Certainly you will like it when you do see it, for it really gives the best representation possible, and, indeed, what may be called a kind of dramatic exhibition, of the state of feeling in New England out of which the Revolution was produced. There is nothing like it in print,—that I have ever seen,—among our materials for future history, nor could such a book be made twenty years hence, for then all the traditions will have perished with the old men from whose graves he has just rescued them. It takes prodigiously here, and will, I think, do much good by promoting an inquiry into the most interesting and important part of our history.

In the autumn of 1823 Chancellor Kent—who had been compelled, by an unwise provision in the Constitution of the State of New York, to leave the bench, though still in all the fulness of his great judicial powers—paid a visit to Boston, and was received, alike by lawyers and laymen, with a warmth of welcome due to his talents, learning, and worth. Mr. Ticknor saw him often, and thus writes of him to his friend Mr. Daveis, and to his brother-in-law Mr. Eliot:—

1 The ‘Life of James Otis,’ by William Tudor. Boston, 1823.

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