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[201] other way, but hope it will not turn out so, when we have it duly reported; and I fear, however the decisions may stand, that the question of a dissolution of the Union is soon to come up for angry discussion.


To Prince John, of Saxony.

Boston, U. S. A., March 15, 1842.
my Lord,—I received duly your very kind letter, and the beautiful copy of the translation of Dante's ‘Purgatorio’ that accompanied it. For both, I pray you to accept my best thanks. As in the case of the ‘Inferno,’ I find the translation conscientiously accurate; but the notes are quite different from those you gave before, the ‘Inferno’ requiring historical, and the ‘Purgatorio’ requiring theological elucidations. With the last I have been extremely struck. It must have cost you great labor and a very peculiar course of study to enable you to prepare them. But they are worth all the trouble they gave you. From the ‘Ottimo Comento,’ through Landino, and so on, down to the last of the annotators, no one has made the metaphysical difficulties of the ‘Purgatorio’ so intelligible. I trust you are employed on the ‘Paradiso,’ and that I shall soon enjoy the results at which you will arrive. Dante is a mare magnum for adventure, and every time I read him I make, or think I make, new discoveries.

I take the liberty to send you, with this, Stephens's work on the aboriginal antiquities found in the woods of Central America. You will find it, I think, very curious, especially in the comparisons it will suggest with the earliest remains of ancient art in Egypt and Asia. . . . .

In the same parcel you will find two newspapers, of the vast size in which they are often published in this country. The one printed at New York contains Mrs. Jameson's translation of the Princess Amelie's ‘Oheim’; the one printed in Boston contains an original translation of the ‘Verlobung.’ Of each of these papers eight or ten thousand copies were printed. Please to give those I send you, with my best respects, to the Princess. It will amuse her to see how popular she is in the New World.

My family are all well, and we have had great health and happiness

1 Mr. Ticknor often said, that after his visit to Washington in 1824, he always felt that a civil war might grow, sooner or later, out of the question of slavery. He dreaded this, and always desired its postponement, if it could not be averted, on the ground that every year the resources of the North were strengthened, and its power to maintain the cause of the Union increased.

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