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[417] —if I may use such a word,—so as to preserve the air and tone of the original. But I do not know how it is that all the expressions of feeling about death by the ancients—even this one, which is perhaps the best except the Alcestis—are so unsatisfactory. They seem to come out of dismal hollows in the earth, and to be without even that warmth of merely human feeling, which they might surely have without the confident belief of immortality that is granted to us. Thus, for instance, to say nothing of his other odes of the same sort, the Ode of Horace to Posthumus, and especially the phrase placens uxor, has always seemed to me ineffably mean. I dare say I may be wrong, but I can't help it.

Lord Napier spent seven or eight weeks at Nahant, and, I think, liked it very well. At any rate, he was very well liked by the people who saw him oftenest. I met him only two or three times, for the same reason that I saw so little of the R——s. They were all out of my beat by twenty miles. I suppose he represents the opinion of England when he shows less disposition than has been usual with your ministers, to fall in with our Northern notions about slavery, and to insist that Cuba shall not be annexed to the United States. Probably it would do no harm to England to have us possess all the West Indies and all South America; but I do not conceive it to be for our interest to have more territory, North or South. It is now nearly impossible to make, at Washington, laws which are absolutely necessary for one part of the country, and yet which can be endured or executed in another part; and the larger we grow the more formidable this difficulty will become.

The following note to Mr. Everett derives its interest from the anecdote with which it concludes, of an admirable old man, Mr. Thomas Dowse, who, beginning life as a journeyman leather-dresser, and continuing always in that craft, though becoming a wealthy master, early devoted every dollar he could save to the purchase of good English books. Having lived a bachelor to an advanced age, he left to the Massachusetts Historical Society a valuable library of about five thousand handsomely bound volumes. The simplicity and upright intelligence of Mr. Dowse had always attracted Mr. Ticknor, and he often quoted the autobiographical utterance which he records at the end of this note.

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