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[461] everything that can be asked, men and money without stint, and a power to declare martial law all over the country. If we fail, therefore, it will not be from want of the spirit of the old Roman dictatorship. But I do not think we shall fail, though I think the President and his advisers are not equal to the emergency. The people, however, are. At least I trust so, and so believe.

We are all well. . . . .

Yours sincerely,

To George T. Curtis, Esq., New York.

Boston, May 8, 1863.
The outside world in one shape intrudes upon everybody, even the most secluded, in these days. Hooker's disasters will be gradually let in upon the country, but what will be the effect? Will people wake up to the position of affairs, or will they go on in the old ways of talking, and caucusing, and making proclamations? It seems to be settled in the minds of the community, that a civil war, of the gigantic proportions to which this one has attained, is to be carried on by the old machinery of party, that we are to have great popular meetings, with the galleries reserved for the ladies, and music to entertain them; loyal leagues of men and women; dinners and dinner speeches, and all the claptrap devices of the times of a great election. Why, you might as well set the men and women, and the newspapers, and the caucuses, and clubs, to put out a volcano, or stop an earthquake. If the President don't see this and make a clean sweep, he cannot, I think, get on much farther . . . . . For myself, I do not think my opinion is worth much until I get rid of the lumbago. When I do, perhaps I shall enlist,—perhaps not. . . . .

To Sir Edmund Head.

Boston, May 12, 1863.
my dear Head,—You have met with a great loss, 1 and I cannot refuse myself the gratification of telling you that I sympathize with you very sincerely. I have just been reading the remarks in the House of Commons by Mr. Walpole and Mr. Disraeli, on the loss sustained by the nation; but I thought of you all the time, and of our last meeting at Kent House, and talking with Sir George Lewis till after midnight, the day but one before I left London.

1 By the death of Sir George Cornewall Lewis.

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