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[303] suggested it to other persons. In every case the idea has been well received; and the more I have thought of it and talked about it, the more I have been persuaded, that it is a plan easy to be reduced to practice, and one that would be followed by valuable results. I wish, therefore, that you would consider it, and see what objections there are to it. I have no purpose to do anything more about it myself than to write you this letter, and continue to speak of it, as I have done heretofore, to persons who, like yourself, are interested in such matters. But I should be well pleased to know how it strikes you.

To this letter Mr. Everett replied as follows:—

Cambridge, July 26, 1851.
my dear Ticknor,—I duly received your letter of the 14th from Bellows Falls, and read it with great interest

The extensive circulation of new and popular works is a feature of a public library which I have not hitherto much contemplated. It deserves to be well weighed, and I shall be happy hereafter to confer with you on the subject. I cannot deny that my views have, since my younger days, undergone some change as to the practicability of freely loaning books at home from large public libraries. Those who have been connected with the administration of such libraries are apt to get discouraged, by the loss and damage resulting from the loan of books. My present impressions are in favor of making the amplest provision in the library for the use of books there.

Your plan, however, is intended to apply only to a particular class of books, and does not contemplate the unrestrained circulation of those of which the loss could not be easily replaced.

That Boston must have a great public library, or yield to New York in letters as well as in commerce, will, I think, be made quite apparent in a few years. But on this and other similar subjects I hope to have many opportunities of conferring with you next winter.

The difference of opinion, here made evident, as to the possibility or safety of allowing books to circulate freely, was not removed by many subsequent conversations, nor were the hopes of either of the gentlemen, with regard to the establishment of a great library, raised even when, in the early part of 1852, the mayor, Mr. Seaver, recommended that steps be taken for such

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