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Chapter 14:

To C. S. Daveis, Portland.

Boston, October 30, 1852.
My dear Charles,—I received your letter, in your old familiar hand,—always welcome to my eyes,—when I returned last evening from the funeral.1 It was refreshing to me, and I needed some refreshment. The scene had been inexpressibly solemn and sad. The family had declined from the President and the Governor everything like the ceremonial observances customary on such occasions, and he was buried simply as a Marshfield man, with Marshfield pall-bearers; his kin—and servants, chiefly black—following next, and then all who had come uninvited to see him laid in his grave. How many of them were there I know not. The procession—wholly on foot—was above half a mile long, and we walked about a mile to the tomb, through a line of saddened forms and faces on each side of us, the eminence to which we advanced being all the while black with the crowds on it, and the crowd on the lawn before the house seeming, as we looked back, not to be diminished in numbers. I do not doubt more than ten thousand persons were there.

And yet it was, in all other respects, a mere New England funeral; no change in the house, no change in the ceremonies. He was buried, as his will prescribed, merely ‘l in a manner respectful to his neighbors’; and if any came to share in their sorrow, it was because they had sorrow of their own to bring them. No military display on earth was ever equal to this moral display of the feeling of a whole people; no ceremonies ordained by imperial power could ever so strike on the hearts of men. . . . .

We are all well, but I have been very much cut up the last fortnight,

1 The funeral of Mr. Webster, who had died on the 24th. Late in September Mr. Ticknor had visited him at Marshfield.

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