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An old friend of Mr. Prescott, Mr. Theophilus Parsons, says:—

Let me confess at once, you have surprised me most agreeably.

Of course I knew that no mere literary excellence would be wanting. But I knew, also, that you were obliged to rely mainly on your long, close, and unreserved friendship with Prescott as the means of understanding him—the events of his life and their bearing on his character—perfectly. And yet it was necessary to avoid the influence of this very friendship, so far as it tended to make you present him too favorably; and then to avoid, with equal care, resisting this influence so far as to render your presentation of him cold and cheerless.

To me it seemed that this task was, to the last degree, difficult,— too difficult. But you have conquered the difficulty perfectly . . . .

I will not deny that my relations with Prescott made me sensitive, and fastidious as to the character of that which must be his permanent memorial. But I am satisfied. You have done him no more than justice, but that justice is ample and complete.

On the other hand, a literary man, who had not known Prescott, writes thus:—

From J. R. Chorley.

76 Chester Square, Pimlico, February 24, 1864.
my dear Ticknor,—. . . . I congratulate you on having so paid a tribute of friendship, as to make at the same time a welcome addition to literature . . . . The halo round the name of a distinguished author would not, of itself, suffice to maintain the attraction of a story the topics of which are few, and nearly uniform in their respective developments, from the critical period at which the moral and literary career of your friend was determined by a mere accident, . . . . and to give life, and a certain variety to what is essentially monotonous, is a task that an able pen could not have accomplished without a pious hand to guide it.

. . . . The character portrayed is a very peculiar one, above all, I think, in its mixture of qualities seldom found in company with each other, and still more rarely admitting, when they do meet, of any productive union or auspicious progress. It is remarkable how much of wholesome industry was evolved from a source intrinsically morbid; and this, too, in a character which, from the beginning, seems to have had a tendency to that kind of self-inspection which infirm health is apt to cherish until it becomes a positive disease. Mr. Prescott

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William H. Prescott (5)
George Ticknor (1)
Theophilus Parsons (1)
J. R. Chorley (1)
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February 24th, 1864 AD (1)
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