During the succeeding years, Mr. Ticknor
's correspondence with friends, both in America
and in Europe
, became more interesting than before; but it contains few allusions to his personal occupations, or the daily incidents of his life.
It shows the strong feeling he had for the progress of his country, and his desire to have it better understood abroad; and it is always full of a warm-hearted interest in whatever concerned those to whom he was personally attached.
The frequent reference to political subjects in his letters, especially at a later period, will be observed, not only as somewhat unexpected from a man devoted to scholarly and literary pursuits, but as opposed to the impression entertained by those who knew him only slightly, that he was indifferent to matters of government and politics.
That he had strong convictions and intelligent opinions on all the political movements of his time in his own country, that he observed carefully, and watched with interest what may be called comparative politics, historical and contemporaneous, will readily be seen.
The formation of his views was the result of influences, some of which were peculiar in his case.
One of his marked characteristics was loyalty to truth; and he always felt that this virtue could be maintained in politics, as in everything else.
He thought that in our written Constitution we had a standard of political truth and integrity to which it was always safe and patriotic to conform.
He therefore belonged to whatever party in the country gave the most trustworthy assurance of adhering to the Constitution
and preserving the Union
, with least variation from the principles of its founders.
He belonged to a generation which began life while yet the discussions connected with the first creation of the United States government were fresh in men's minds; when the opinions of Washington
, and Adams
were familiarly known; and he lived through a period when the progress of the nation was remarkably rapid, well-balanced in material, moral, and intellectual growth, and guided by men of worth as well as of ability.
As his generation began to pass away, an enormous material development, immense immigration, and eager divergence into sectional parties,