Everett is quite ill, and has resigned his place in the Senate. . . . It is a misfortune for himself to be obliged at this crisis to leave public affairs, and a misfortune to this Commonwealth and to the conservative cause throughout the country. . . . . He will come up again, I trust, in such quiet as his home will give him. . . .
To Sir Edmund Head.
Boston, May 26, 1854.My dear Sir Edmund,—I have your two letters, and thank you for them very heartily. . . . . . High matters they contain;—wars and laws. The first troubles me a good deal. Every man, however obscure, is an item in the great and beneficent account of Christian civilization, and anything that puts this paramount interest at the least hazard is a personal danger to him and his children. I cannot endure the idea that anything should occur to impair the influence of England in the world's affairs. I almost as much deprecate—and, as its corollary, quite as much deprecate—any increase of Russian influence in Western Europe. I detest the Turks, who have never set their standard up over a foot of earth that they have not blighted, and I never, as I think, sympathized with Bonaparte, except when he threatened to drive them over the Bosphorus. But, above all, I deprecate and detest a general war in Europe, which can be a benefit to no one of the parties to it in whom I feel the least interest, and which may be a permanent mischief to the great cause of Christian civilization. I suppose, however, that it must come. . . . . I bought some rare old Spanish books lately at Richmond, Virginia,—‘Belianis of Greece,’ 1587, the original editions of nearly all Antonio de Guevara's works, etc., . . . . making in all about fifty volumes, well worth having. . . . . A few days ago Puibusque, who wrote the ‘Histoire compare des Litteratures Espagnole et Francaise,’ . . . . sent me a thick octavo filled with a translation of the ‘Conde Lucanor,’ a long political and military life of its author, Don John Manuel, and copious notes, adding, both in the original and in the French, one more tale, from a manuscript in Madrid, than was before known, making the whole number fifty. The book is a creditable one to the author, but not important, except for the new tale. One odd thing in relation to it is, that he found some of his best manuscript materials in my library when he was here in 1849; a circumstance of which he makes more honorable mention and full acknowledgment than Frenchmen commonly think to be needed.