and hearing, who has a very imperfect taste, and no smell at all; in short, a child who . . . . has no idea of the external world, and no means of communicating with it but through the sense of touch. The great question, of course, was how to educate her, how to give her any ideas, and open a communication between her and the outer world. It was a question hard for any ingenuity of intellectual philosophy or practical metaphysics to solve. . . . . After being in the Institution a little more than three years, she has been brought to the incredible point of writing-quite alone a letter to her mother, of which a facsimile is given in the Report for 1840. . . . . She is an intelligent, rapidly improving, happy, gay child. Now, this I call practical metaphysics, and rejoice in it; and when the book is printed about her,—that will be printed when her education is further advanced,—it will, if I mistake not, awaken the attention of the wiser sort of intellectual philosophers throughout the world; such philosophers, I mean, as you and I, who care to make people happy, and not to make them crazy or quarrelsome. . . .
Boston, December 3, 1840.The great political question which you were in doubt about . . . . has been triumphantly settled. Yesterday the flag on the top of our State House showed what was going on below, and I could not help thinking what a beautiful and provident arrangement it was, that made it necessary to cast the Electoral vote on the same day, and at nearly the same hour, through all the States. And this brought me to think of the convention that made the Constitution, and the Madison papers. Have you looked them over? I say looked over, for it is not likely many people will read them through. I have done as much, I suppose, as I ever shall with them, and was struck with the moderate amount of talent, knowledge, and practical skill in government that was shown in the whole body. Nor was I displeased to see that it was so; for it gave so much the more prominence and value to their honesty. I do not believe that so honest a body of men was ever collected, for a similar purpose, since the world was made; and it was their honesty, their sincere desire to fulfil the great duty for which they were appointed, which, under God, saved us,—not their talent or their wisdom,—and gave us the best form of government that was ever made.