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[204] of the other cities of the country in this respect. It is so. But Boston is often not in advance of the villages, and townships, in the interior of Massachusetts, and of New England. On the contrary, they are often in advance of us. In illustration of this, I send you what I regard as the most curious and important document, concerning popular education, that has ever been published. I mean one of the annual reports condensed—and agreeably condensed—from the returns made to the Legislature of Massachusetts for the 3,103 public free schools of the State. . . . The whole of the statistics in this volume are, I think, curious; but I would call your attention to the subjects and books taught, to the money paid, and to the occasional remarks of the committee, nine out of ten of the members of which must have been originally educated in the schools they now control.

. . . . I add for Mrs. Milman, with my best respects, a little volume recently printed by my friend Mr. Longfellow, asking her not to omit the Preface. Mr. Longfellow is just gone to the Rhine, to try to mend his health in some of its baths, and when he stops in London a few days next October, I will take the liberty to tell him he may call on you in my name, if you happen to be in town. He is a most amiable and agreeable person, of whom we are all very fond. Mrs. Ticknor desires her kind regards may be given to Mrs. Milman and yourself.

Very faithfully yours,

To Count Adolphe de Circourt, Paris.

Boston, May 30, 1842.
my dear Count Circourt,—In your very kind and most agreeable letter, written last February, you ask me to write to you on the political prospects of the United States. More than once I have determined to do so, but have been compelled to forbear, because everything was so unsettled, and it was so uncertain what course would be finally taken. Now, however, we begin, I think, to see some of the results at which we must, before long, necessarily arrive, and having something really to say, I shall have much pleasure in saying it to you. But you must bear in mind that it is in the nature of prophecy, and, therefore, rather consider it as the ground for your own speculations, than as anything more sure and solid.1

1 In writing to M. Legare about this time on politics, Mr. Ticknor gives what he says ‘may be taken for the tone of opinion here at this moment, which I gather at Dr. Bowditch's old office [the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Office], where I am an unworthy vice-president, and where I meet most of the men whose affairs and opinions direct the times.’

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