And this I regard as a fact in the history of nations, and in the development of God's providence in political affairs, of almost unrivalled importance, and full of benefits to the future. It seems from it, as if honesty could do almost anything; and when we see what has been doing the past years, and a long way back, it seems almost to prove the converse of the proposition, and show that talents alone can do nothing,—can bring nothing to pass that will last. Pray make a speech to that effect when you go to the Senate; or, if you think it would make friends and enemies, all round, think you are crazy, give my respects to Dr. Nichols, and ask him to preach upon it next Fast Day. It is no paradox; it is a great truth, and the old Convention is as striking and weighty an illustration of it, at the same time, as could be asked for.
To Hugh S. Legare.
Boston, June 16, 1841.Mr. Dear Legare,—Your letter came last Saturday morning, and the same day there dined with me Allston, Prescott, Longfellow, and Hillard, the editor of Spenser. You ought to have been there, for we had a good time, wholly extempore, by accidental coming together, and it is the last gathering under my roof-tree, till the cool weather and longer evenings make such things worth while. Meanwhile we are to be found at Woods' Hole, the extreme southerly point of Falmouth, at the bend of Cape Cod, where, as the saying goes, there is nothing but Ticknors and fish. We shall, however, expect you if you come into these parts, . . . . and when you get there you will find a decent inn, containing, in general, nobody but ourselves and our servants, the thermometer never above 76°, no dust, no noise, no insects,—except flies,—no company; a plenty of Spanish books, fish, and sea-bathing . . . . Perhaps you can arrange to come with Mr. Jeremiah Mason, or some of our friends who will be coming to taste the cool air on our Point, which is exactly opposite the Elizabeth Islands . . . . We go in three days, and stay till the end of September. Meantime, I shall receive and read your libellus on Demosthenes with great interest, and, I dare say, with the same delight with which I read your account of Demus himself.1 It will, no doubt, savor of that ingrained love of political life which will never come out of you