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To J. G. Cogswell, Esq.

Brookline, September 7, 1869.
my dear Cogswell,—. . . . We had a most agreeable visit from Mrs. Barton1 and you, and would gladly have had more of it. Indeed, we had more from her, for she came again yesterday, and spent an hour or two more talking about ‘the books.’ She is a charming woman, as she always was, and does not look nearly so old as I am obliged to remember that she must be.

She read me a paper which she had, I think, shown you, drawn up as skilfully as her father would have done it, and told me that you were to have, for a fortnight, the two catalogues she brought here when she came with you on Saturday. I wish the books in both were well settled on the shelves of the Boston Library.2 But I had no opinions to give her different from those I gave her when you were present, to wit, that she should make up her opinion from the best information she can get. . . . .

As property the collection is, no doubt, valuable, and she does not purpose to part with it without a proper compensation. But she can easily find out its value. You are to help her, and I am very glad of it, for I cannot . . . .

The principal matter, of course, is the Shakespeare collection. She says that Rodd told her husband fifteen years ago that it was the fifth most important Shakespeare Library in the world. It must, I suppose, be higher on the list now. At any rate, there will be nothing like it in this country for many a year, if there ever is; and whoever on this side of the Atlantic wants to write carefully and well about Shakespeare or the old English drama, must sit down by the Barton books and study his subject there, or else go to England.

But I think Mrs. Barton is not only a very winning and attractive person, but that she has in her character a great deal of her mother, who was one of the most intelligent and acute women I ever knew, and of her father, who made the Code for Louisiana, and who, as General Jackson's Secretary of State, wrote the famous proclamation. I think, therefore, that she needs little help in such a matter as that of

1 Formerly Miss Cora Livingston, daughter of Mrs. Edward Livingston. See Vol. I. pp. 350, 351.

2 The ‘Barton Library,’ containing both the Shakespeare collection and the miscellaneous library here mentioned, is now among the treasures of the Boston Public Library. It was purchased from Mrs. Barton shortly before her death, in 1873.

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