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From Prince John, of Saxony.

Pillnitz, the 14 May, 1848.
dear Sir,—I have received your last letter, with the books you were so kind as to send me, in the midst of our greatest political convulsions; and this may be an excuse if I answer you so late. But before I begin to speak of all that has happened in the Old World, I must thank you with all my heart for the interesting publications which you have sent me, with whose reading I am occupied at this moment, and which have almost shaken my opinion, that began to be fixed for the separate system. The dispassionate and truly critical mode of proceeding of the author inspires much confidence.1

If you should return to old Europe you would find many things, and, above all, the public opinion and the leading persons, so entirely changed, that you would think to be in quite another country. There is almost not one state, great or little, which has not made its revolution since the declaration of the republic in France. Germany is perhaps in a more convulsive state than any other country, being occupied at the same moment in reconstructing its general constitution and the constitution of its several states. The two greatest monarchies—Prussia and Austria—are shaken to their foundations; the last, above all, by the great difference of nations which are united under one crown, and which seem now inclined to separate into so many different kingdoms. With all that, two wars in the neighborhood,—the one of Prussia, or rather Germany, with Denmark, the other of Austria with Italy,—and, what is yet worse, the sense for legitimate order, even for property, when it suits not the opinions of the day, shaken to its foundation in the lower classes; the principles of socialism and communism diffusing themselves everywhere . . . . . But yet every one must endeavor to hold his post as long as he can, and perhaps the storm may pass away, and the stream return to regular channels,—not the old, that seems impossible, and must not be attempted.

Nevertheless, I have not forgotten my friend Dante. The ‘Paradiso’ is finished, and I am only occupied with the last correction, and filling some blanks which I have left in the past labors.

I am, with the highest esteem and sincerest friendship,

Your affectionate

John, Duke of Saxony.
My compliments to Mrs. Ticknor.

1 Mr. Gray's pamphlet on Prison Discipline, of which mention has already been made.

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