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[88]

To David Lee Child.

Wayland, January 7, 1857.
When will my dear good David come? I stayed nine days in Boston, Medford, and Cambridge, and returned here New Year's Day. I had a variety of experiences, nearly all of them pleasant; but they are better to tell than to write. I shall have a great budget to open when you come. I received a letter and a Berkshire paper from you.

Charles Sumner called to see me and brought me his photograph. We talked together two hours, and I never received such an impression of holiness from mortal man. Not an ungentle word did he utter concerning Brooks or any of the political enemies who have been slandering and insulting him for years. He only regretted the existence of a vicious institution which inevitably barbarized those who grew up under its influence.

Henry Wilson came into the anti-slavery fair, and I talked with him an hour or so. He told me I could form no idea of the state of things in Washington. As he passes through the streets in the evening, he says the air is filled with yells and curses from the oyster shops and gambling saloons, the burden of which is all manner of threatened violence to Seward and Sumner and Wilson and Burlingame. While he was making his last speech, the Southern members tried to insult him in every way. One of them actually brandished his cane as if about to strike him, but he ignored the presence of him and his cane, and went on with his speech. He says he never leaves his room to go into the Senate without thinking whether he has left everything arranged as he should wish if he were never to return to it alive.

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