previous next

[454] ambition. Your volume is a sermon to the young and a refreshment to the old, the best monument that one man of letters ever reared to his friendship for another; and you have done your part so well, that, in raising a monument to Prescott, you have constructed an imperishable one for yourself. So you see how many causes I have to thank you.

I remain, my dear Mr. Ticknor, with sincere regard,


What a fortunate thing it is for the country that its two favorite authors, Prescott and Washington Irving, had each a nature so pure and generous. Prescott's example as a man will have an influence, the most chastening and the most benign, on our young men of coming generations. You have gained a triumph in letters; but I think you are still more to be congratulated in having been able to set before our people every feature and form of his mind, as a model of integrity and a persevering, manly, successful war against difficulties which would have overwhelmed the resolution of many of the most buoyant and the most strong. You see I do not know where to stop.

To Rev. Francis Wayland, D. D.

March 9, 1864.
my dear Dr. Wayland,—It can, I trust, hardly be needful, on your account, to tell you that your letter about the ‘Life of Prescott’ gave me great pleasure. I hope that you knew that it would when you wrote it. But on my own account it is quite necessary that I should do so, for if I were not to thank you I should feel that I had been guilty of a wrongful omission. Let me do it, then, very heartily, and somewhat humbly: very heartily, because I am grateful that you accept the view of my friend's character such as I have presented it; and very humbly, because I cannot conscientiously accept most of the words of praise you so kindly send me. I wish I could. I should then feel that I have done, for Prescott's character and example, what the world had a right to claim from his biographer. But I must content myself with thinking that I have done the best I could.

One thing I doubt not that you must have seen,—I was more interested about the man than about the author. The author, I think, can take care of himself; and whether he can or not, he has put himself into the hands of the world for judgment, and the world never fails to take jurisdiction in such cases. But the man, my friend was

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William H. Prescott (5)
Francis Wayland (2)
George Ticknor (1)
Washington Irving (1)
George Bancroft (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 9th, 1864 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: