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To Mr. Justice Curtis.

Florence, May 12, 1857.
my dear Judge, 1—I thank you for your letter of February 27, which I received, I think, in Naples, but which I have been too busy earlier to answer. However, this is of no moment; I do not profess to be a regular correspondent any more than you do. It is enough for both of us that your letter was most welcome, and that I am glad of a chance to say so.

Your view of the present condition and future prospects of the affairs of the United States-written, I suspect, not without thought of the coming shadow of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in Dred Scott's case—is certainly not cheering. My own opinion is of little value, to be sure; but it is at least formed coolly at a distance, and I am sorry to say that it is not brighter than yours. . .

This condition of things is at last coming to be perceived in Europe; but the opinions formed on it by intelligent men, as I have gradually learnt them, are seldom wise, and often tinctured with the national interests, or personal character of the individuals who express them. We are no doubt felt to be a power in Christendom as we were never felt to be before; for we are, so to speak, visibly and tangibly grown great and rich, and are fast growing greater and richer. The two parties—liberal and conservative—into which Europe has long been separated, look upon us in this respect alike, and intelligently enough; but when they go a little further and come

1 Mr. George T. Curtis places among his reminiscences, sent to Mr. Hillard, the following anecdote:—

‘When my brother [the late Benjamin R. Curtis] received the appointment to the Bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, an appointment which, as you know, came to him unsought, but with the approbation of all New England, Mr. Ticknor was deeply gratified and not a little excited by the event, as well he might be; for no person had ever lived who had contributed, more than he, to the formation of the character of the man who had thus been elevated at an early age to one of the highest judicial positions in the country. Speaking to me on the subject, as he felt, he ended by saying, “Well, I believe we must now leave off calling him Ben, ” as my brother had always been called in the family circle and among his familiar friends. Somewhat amused by my uncle's earnestness, I said, “What shall we call him?” “He must be called the Judge, ” was his decisive answer. We agreed, and conformed to this, as an authoritative family decree.’

After Mr. Ticknor's death, in a conversation between the brothers, Judge Curtis said of his uncle, ‘What I owe to that man is not to be measured.’

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