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[36] are, indeed, so great that the evils which were supposed to come to our literature, for instance, from the absence of international copyright, seem trivial in comparison. The very persons who are working the hardest to elevate our civilization are constantly called from their duties, and, what is worse, are kept in a constant state of subdued exasperation, by the denial of their very right to do these duties. ‘My work,’ says Emerson, ‘may be of no importance, but I must not think it of no importance if I would do it well.’ Those of us who toiled for years to remove from this nation the stain of slavery, remember how, when the best blood of our kindred was lavished to complete the sacrifice, all the intellectual society of England turned upon us and reproached us for the deed. ‘The greatest war of principle which has been waged in this generation,’ wrote Motley in one of his letters, ‘was of no more interest to her, except as it bore upon the cotton question, than the wretched little squabbles of Mexico or South America.’1 And so those Americans who are spending their lives in the effort to remove the very defects visible in our

1 Letters, I., 373.

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