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[449] river, there, has cut for itself a new channel. I do not think that we have closed any but the minor and more shallow channels to any harbor, leaving the more important to be watched by the blockade. . . . . However, if England and France want a pretext for interfering with us, perhaps this will do as well as any other. No doubt the ‘Times,’ at least, will be satisfied with it . . . .

Next week I intend to send you some photographs of Prescott, and ask you and Lady Lyell to see that they are properly engraved for my Life of him. I shall not print—though any time in the last year I could soon have been ready—until people begin to read something beside newspapers . . . . I enclose you two or three scraps from our papers of last evening and this morning. They are a fair specimen of our daily food,—bitter ashes. . . . .

Yours always,


Boston, November 25, 1862.
my dear Lady Lyell,—We have not, until within a few days, been able to settle anything about the beautiful engravings you sent us, 1 or I should earlier have written to acknowledge your everfaith-ful kindness. Nothing certainly could have been more judicious than the mode you took for getting the best that could be had, and your success has been greater than could reasonably have been expected,— so difficult or impossible is it, in a case like this, to satisfy the recollections of those who feel that they were always the nearest and dearest, and that in consequence a sort of responsibility rests on them, which is not the less sensitive nor the less to be regarded, because it is not quite reasonable. . . . .

All of us feel truly grateful to you and Sir Charles for the thoughtful and safe way in which you went about the labor of love we ventured to ask from you. For myself, I have no idea, if all who have been called to counsel about it had been in London when you took your measures to get the engravings made, that we should have done differently from what you yourself did. Or, if we had, we should not, I am persuaded, have done so well.

The Life, as you know, has been finished since early last spring, and lately I have been looking it over with his very near friend, Mr. W. H. Gardiner, who, you may remember, was his executor. Very likely I shall put it to press this winter. There seems no use in waiting.


1 One English engraving was accepted, that by Holl, of the portrait which faces the title-page.

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