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[455] put into my hands especially and trustingly. The difference of the two cases is, therefore, great, and I felt it from the outset.

I do not claim, nor can any man now claim, to be the final judge of Prescott's histories. No doubt, it is possible that in some future time different views may prevail respecting one or another of the portions of the world's affairs to which he devoted himself. Neither Gillies, nor Clavier, nor Mitford, nor Ottfried Muller could finally settle the History of Greece, though the materials for it had been ripening a thousand years in the minds of statesmen and scholars; and I dare say that Grote has not done it, though he has stood on the shoulders of all of them. The same thing may happen about the times of Ferdinand and Isabella, and about the Conquest of Mexico. I see no signs of it at present, and I do not really think it will ever happen. But if it should, those books of Prescott's will no more be forgotten, or neglected, than Herodotus, or Thucydides, or Plutarch, or Mitford, or Grote. Nobody can hereafter touch the subjects to which they are devoted without referring to them, and doing it with respect and admiration.

But the man himself is in many important senses separate from all this. I knew him well, and I claim my portrait of him to be truthful. It may be ever so imperfectly or coarsely finished, but the great lines are right, and the likeness is there. Moreover, it is not flattered; I have put in the wart. I claim, therefore, to have it received as the vera effigies. Whether the world will admit the claim, time must decide. But that spectators like you—the best and fairest of experts —have received it as such, is greatly gratifying to me. Again, therefore, I thank you.

To Wm. Picard, Esq., Cadiz.

Boston, May 10, 1864.
my dear Mr. Picard,—I am under great obligations to you for your three kind and interesting letters . . . . I should have written as soon as the first came to hand, but I was unwell, and very anxious about Mrs. Dexter, who was dangerously ill for a short time. But, thank God, she is much better, and I am nearly well; as well as a man has a right to be who is nearly seventy-three years old. . . . .

You will be glad to hear that the édition de luxe of the ‘Life of Prescott’—two thousand copies—is already sold; that another of five hundred copies is preparing as fast as possible; and that, meantime, two other editions, one in 8vo of fifteen hundred copies, and

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