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:—
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