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[235] to go on, with the vain hope of obtaining free governments, in which universal suffrage shall make the whole body of the people a practical sovereign, nothing but a decay of civilization will be the result. Christianity, almost powerless with the multitudes of a large part of Europe, and the press abused to mislead them, will not have conservative energy enough to save the most enlightened parts of the modern world, from the fate which befell the most enlightened parts of the ancient, from struggles not dissimilar. France, in the course of a thousand years, or in some other of the great periods which God appoints to the history of nations, as he does to the building and decay of the globe, may well become what Asia Minor and Egypt are now. At any rate, I think the steps she is taking at the present moment are in that direction. We, too, are no doubt going on like the buried nations of antiquity, through the changes of youth and age.

But you and I have the happiness to live in the period of our greatest vigor and prosperity, and in that part of the country where the moral tone is the highest, and the strength and activity the soundest . . . .

I am sorry, as you are, for the effect these discussions1 produce upon society in Boston; but the principles of that society are right, and its severity towards disorganizers, and social democracy in all its forms, is just and wise. It keeps our standard of public morals where it should be, and where you and I claim to have it, and is the circumstance which distinguishes us favorably from New York and the other large cities of the Union, where demagogues are permitted to rule, by the weak tolerance of men who know better, and are stronger than they are. In a society where public opinion governs, unsound opinions must be rebuked, and you can no more do that, while you treat their apostles with favor, than you can discourage bad books at the moment you are buying and circulating them. . . . .


To Prince John, of Saxony.

Boston, U. S. A., July 30, 1848.
My dear Prince,—Your kind and interesting letter of the 14th of May, with one from Count Circourt, written after he had been at Dresden, have kept you almost constantly in our thoughts of late. Indeed, it is difficult to think of anything else but the changes that are now going on, like a solemn drama, in Europe; not only because the fate and fortunes of so many of our personal friends are put at


1 On Prison Discipline.

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