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[487]

But I will not carry any more coal to Newcastle. You know, from your very able periodicals and discussions on the subject, what we are doing in Massachusetts as well as we do ourselves. What you have sent me from time to time proves it. I only wish you would tell me what you think of our modus operandi, as compared with yours. If anything is published here that I think you will like to see, and are not likely to get as soon as you will care to have it, I will send it to you at once. This is very possible, nowadays, for the liquor question is getting mixed up with our general politics, which it never ought to be, any more than a question in religion. But such things can rarely be avoided in so free institutions as ours,--perhaps not in yours . . . .

What you tell me of Thiebaut de Champagne is very curious, and much of it new. He was always one of my favorites, from 1817, when I studied the earliest French literature in Paris, under the advice of Roquefort and Raynouard, and made such collections of books as they told me to make. But I never heard before the tradition that he brought home with him from Palestine the ‘Provence Rose,’ which we cultivate here in a country Thiebaut never dreamt of; nor did I ever suppose that there were such remains of the ancient splendor of Provence as you describe. Please to tell me, therefore, when you write,—and I hope that, remembering my age, you will write before long,—please to give me the titles of anything published within the last twenty years about the old Chansonnier, if it will give you no trouble to do it. You see I remember your old tricks in Italy, collecting all sorts of books of local history in out-of-the-way places.

I do not know Mr. Bright of Waltham, to whom you refer; but I know his book about his English—not his American—ancestors, and looked in it directly for the engraving of the house where you were married. It is very curious, as are many books of our genealogies, tracing the connection between our two countries. I only wish there were more proofs of such connection down to our own times, and that they were heartier. . . .

But I think I have written as much as my strength will fairly enable me to write at one time. I will not, therefore, go on even to say a word, as I meant to, about the Oxford and Harvard Race, except to add, that we are surprised at the immense interest it excited; and that we can hardly hope, if your young men come here next year, as I hope they will, that we can receive them with equal fervor. But as for manly kindness and honor, I think we can promise all that anybody will desire.

Yours faithfully,


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