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Boston, October 1, 1859.

dear Lady Lyell,—I came home some days ago and found your precious packet.1 Yesterday and to-day I have read it through,— the whole of it,—but not with tare, as I shall read it hereafter. It was too interesting for that. With many passages I was much touched, as you may well suppose; others revived a thousand recollections,—pleasurable, painful, amusing. After I began to read I could not bear to be interrupted until I had finished it. Nobody has furnished me such a contribution; no, not all put together.

I get on with my work somewhat slowly, but quite as fast as I expected. The great difficulty is to collect the materials. In this, his English friends have been more prompt than his American ones.

But I cannot speak of this, or hardly of anything else, without recollecting the Heads. I worked on Prescott's Life when I was at Toronto; but how changed is everything there now! What sorrow! what sorrow!2 . . . . We only know thus far what the telegraph has told us. . . . . But we shall have letters in a day or two.

Sir Henry Holland is somewhere in the United States,—his fifth visit, I think, within twenty years; certainly his fourth within a dozen. Why can't you and Sir Charles imitate him? . . . . He is to be here on Monday at Everett's, where I dine with him on Tuesday.

The Prescotts are still all out of town, but Susan and Elizabeth come back in four or five days. They are all well, but I have as yet seen none of them. . . . .

October 4.—Sir Henry Holland came in yesterday afternoon and told me all sorts of news about people in London. He is looking very well, and can tell you about all the great men at Washington, for he has been stopping with the President. He goes to-morrow in the steamer that takes this.

Anna sends her love, I mine.

G. T.

When he began the Life of Prescott he was already in his sixty-eighth year; and this advanced age might have influenced him unfavorably in either of two ways, making him overfas-tidious and hypercritical of his own composition, as he grew, in fact, to be a few years later; or making him use undue haste, as regarding too much the possibility of not living to finish it. He

1 Lady Lyell's reminiscences of Mr. Prescott.

2 Sir Edmund Head lost his only son by drowning at this time.

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