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[446] spirit, in order to prevent his re-election as a Trustee of the Public Library. The effort failed, but it was doubly displeasing to him in its public as well as its private aspect; for he always heartily disliked and disapproved the mingling of political questions in the management of that or any other institution for education or charity.

In February, 1862, we have a long letter to Sir Charles Lyell almost entirely devoted to the subject of the war; and in November of the same year, another to Lady Lyell, wholly on the matter of the ‘Life of Prescott’; extracts from which will give an insight into his thoughts and occupations at this time.

To Sir Charles Lyell.

Boston, February 11, 1862.
my dear Lyell,—No doubt, I ought to have written to you before. But I have had no heart to write to my friends in Europe, since our troubles took their present form and proportions . . . .

You know how I have always thought and felt about the slavery question. I was never an Abolitionist, in the American sense of the word, because I never have believed that any form of emancipation that has been proposed could reach the enormous difficulties of the case, and I am of the same mind now. Slavery is too monstrous an evil, as it exists in the United States, to be reached by the resources of legislation . . . . . I have, therefore, always desired to treat the South with the greatest forbearance, not only because the present generation is not responsible for the curse that is laid upon it, but because I have felt that the longer the contest could be postponed, the better for us. I have hoped, too, that in the inevitable conflict with free labor, slavery would go to the wall. I remember writing to you in this sense, more than twenty years ago, and the results thus far have confirmed the hopes I then entertained. The slavery of the South has made the South poor. The free labor of the North has made us rich and strong.

But all such hopes and thoughts were changed by the violent and unjustifiable secession, a year ago; and, since the firing of the first gun on Fort Sumter, we have had, in fact, no choice. We must fight it out. Of the results I have never doubted. We shall beat the South. But what after that? I do not see. It has pleased God that, whether we are to be two nations or one, we should live on the same

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