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[229]

Whenever I have an opportunity I inquire about Saxony and its affairs, and am always glad when I hear, as I do almost always, of its prosperity and welfare. In particular, I have been gratified to learn that the troubles of the last year have ceased to agitate the country, and that the whole population is in a state of advancing civilization. There are few parts of the world in which I am so much interested.

I wish I could report to you as well of my own country as I hear of yours. Of progress, indeed, we have enough. We advance in power, in prosperity, and in intellectual culture, with gigantic strides; and I have no doubt our future destiny is to be one of honor, and of ultimate benefit to the great cause of humanity. But, at this moment, we are engaged in a very disgraceful war with Mexico; and one in which, thus far, we have been very successful. It is, however, one of the good signs of the times, that, though successful, this war grows less and less popular every day.

But I occupy myself entirely with letters, and take no part, but such as belongs to every citizen, as a duty, in the affairs of a free country. I hope, too, that you, though bound to the state by the most onerous duties, are still able to rescue leisure for your favorite pursuits. We look impatiently for the last and crowning volume of your labors on Dante. When shall we have it? . . . .

I remain your Highness's affectionate and faithful friend,


To Charles S. Daveis, Portland.

Boston, December 9, 1847.
my dear Charles,—. . . . You had, I dare say, a pleasant Thanksgiving, for you have in your own household, and among your own kin, all the materials for it. Ours, too, was pleasant, and ended at the Guilds', with the most thorough game of romps I have come across for many a year.

Since that time we have gone on with our usual quietness; seeing a good many people at home, and few anywhere else. Gray's pamphlet1—of which you acknowledge the receipt—has done its perfect work, and settled the question as between the two systems of prison discipline. I never knew anything of the sort so well received, or produce so considerable an effect. Mr. Norton ended a note to Gray by saying, ‘One lays down your pamphlet without feeling the least ’


1 ‘Prison Discipline in America,’ by F. C. Gray. Boston, 1847.

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