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[221] certainly be contented with it. We have made a great many mistakes, by most of which we have profited. We shall make a great many more, as other nations have done. But the aggregate of the whole will not be half so large as was anticipated by the wisest and best among us, when we began the world as an independent people about sixty years ago. The people here—I mean the mass, the whole — is more truly sovereign than it ever was before. . . . . All great questions, therefore, must be argued out before this sovereign. Repudiation was one of them, and was involved in a good deal of difficulty. . . . . But the question has been argued out,—or is now arguing out,—and the result is, that the sovereign has decided, and will continue to decide rightly.

. . . . Just so it will be with slavery. It is a more difficult question than the last, but it must be argued out before the sovereign, and there is but one way in which it can be decided. Only think where you, in England, were, within the memory of a man like Mr. Thomas Grenville, when, as somebody says, the pious John Newton went regularly twice a year to Guinea, with a cargo of hymn-books and handcuffs. We are now nearer to emancipation than you then seemed, and are quite as sure to come to it; if for no other reason, for the plain one, that slavery will impoverish, and degrade morally and intellectually, every State in the Union that persists in maintaining it. I take these two great questions, of repudiation and slavery, as instances of what I mean, because they are the only questions of a political nature in which I have ever felt a deep personal interest; and because, if the popular sovereign is wise and honest enough to decide such questions as these rightly, he may be trusted, in the long run, with all the attributes of government. He will make mistakes, but none that will be fatal. . . . .

The summer of 1844 was devoted by Mr. Ticknor and his family to a journey through the interior of Pennsylvania, at that time beyond the region of railroads and crowded thoroughfares. Taking a carriage, and a light wagon for the luggage, they followed the windings of the beautiful Susquehanna and Juniata, often missing the comforts to be found on more frequented routes, but finding full compensation in the beauty and seclusion of these river valleys. Passing through the southern parts of the State of New York, which were full of interest and variety, they went through the lake country to Niagara.

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