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The President's proclamation is excellent, and contains the true principles of the Constitution; but will he stand to it? Will he not surrender all to the guidance of Virginia, who abhors all those principles ? Will he not yield to all which the South dictates, and sacrifice the North? Will not the Constitution be, as in times past, made for the benefit and the feelings and interests of the South? I confess I have very little belief that the South will be satisfied with any other course, except that which surrenders up all the important interests of the non-slaveholding States. What pledge is there that they will not be surrendered ? Timeo Danaos.
you should be prevented from attending during any part of the term, I will take notes, and do your duty as reporter for you with pleasure. It will be but a slight return for your thousand kindnesses.
Pray give my kindest regards, with Mrs. Story's, to Mrs. Peters and your daughters, and believe me, Very affectionately, your friend,
PROFESSORIAL AND JUDICIAL LIFE.
LETTERS FROM WASHINGTON - Miss FANNY KEMBLE'S ACTING –
LINES ADDRESSED TO HER — SOCIAL LIFE AT WASHINGTON - LETTERS ON THE POLITICAL MEASURES OF JACKSON'S ADMINISTRATION WRITES HIS “ AUTOBIOGRAPHY” PROJECTS A Book of REMINISCENCES LIBERAL VIEWS AS TO THE RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY—“A MORNING DREAM” – PUBLICATION OF COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION — ABRIDGMENT PLAN OF THIS WORK — DEDICATION - LETTERS FROM CHANCELLOR KENT AND CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL RELATING TO IT - EXTRACT RECEPTION OF IT ABROAD BEGINS “ CONFLICT OF LAWS" LABOR INVOLVED IN WRITING IT – FINISHES IT — DEATH OF PROFESSOR ASHMUN - DISCOURSE - EXTRACT PROFESSOR GREENLEAF'S APPOINTMENT SKETCH OF CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL LETTER FROM MARSHALL “ ALLEN v. MCKEEN” — VIEWS ON MASONRY – JACKSON'S REMOVAL OF THE DEPOSITS IN THE UNITED STATES BANK — LETTER RELATING TO IT - MY FATHER'S ConNECTION WITH THE MERCHANTS BANK OF SALEM.
In January, 1833, my father went as usual to Washington. The following letters, written soon after his arrival, give an account of Miss Kemble's acting:
TO MRS. SARAH WALDO STORY.
Washington, January 11th, 1833. MY DEAR WIFE:
You will have learned from my letter, directed to you from Philadelphia, that my progress on my journey had been uncommonly rapid and comfortable. I left that city on Wednesday morning, and arrived the same evening at Baltimore. Hearing that Miss Fanny Kemble was to play that evening, although quite fatigued, I concluded to go.
The play was “ Much Ado about Nothing." Mr. Kemble played the part of Benedict, and Miss Kemble, of Beatrice. Mr. Kemble is a chaste, correct, and well-disciplined actor, always respectable and sometimes striking; not great, but pleasing. Miss Kemble played Beatrice, in my judgment, admirably. She has a good figure and a good voice, a pleasing, but not a very handsome face; but she has great gracefulness, ease, and presence, thoroughly well-bred, modest, but not timid, full of vivacity, but not turbulent or over-acting. She has a very clear and distinct elocution, slow and well modulated, so that you understand every word she utters; and her tones and emphasis are excellent. She has a complete conception of the character she personates, and enters into it with great animation and force. Beatrice in her hands appeared to me in a new light, and her reading (to use the cant phrase) gave great effect to the wit and coquetry of that spirited character. She gave, indeed, to Shakspeare's words every effect which could be desired. She must have been long in training, for there is the utmost correctness in every word and sentence. All seems measured out, and yet all seems natural. I think she must become a favorite actress both in England and America. I have never seen any one whom I like so well. She is said to be far more powerful in tragedy than in comedy. She is coming to Washington, and if she plays in tragedy, I shall endeavor to hear her. She cannot be, I should think, equal to Mrs. Siddons, but she is a very worthy and kindred spirit.
TO MRS. SARAH WALDO STORY.
Washington, January 20th, 1833. MY DEAR WIFE:
It was a source of very great pleasure to me to receive your letter by the mail of yesterday, and to know that all is well. The details you have given me of your charitable visits have been as interesting to me as any thing could be. I know not any thing which, on reflection, carries a deeper or a truer pleasure, than the consciousness of administering relief to the poor, the friendless, the sick, and the forgotten. Charity, like mercy, is twice blest; it blesses him who gives and him who takes. I hope you and Mrs. F. will follow up your efforts, for I believe they may be productive of lasting advantage to these wretched beings.
The Court opened on Monday last, and all the Judges were present, except Judge Baldwin. They were in good health, and the Chief Justice especially looked more vigorous than usual. He seemed to revive and enjoy anew his green old age. He brought with him and presented to each of us a copy of the new edition of his life of Washington, inscribing in the fly-page of mine a very kind remark.
We have had little to do this week in Court, for it is always difficult for some days to get business in a steady train. The lawyers are tardy and reluctant, and they move with unequal efforts at first. Having some leisure on our hands, the Chief Justice and myself have devoted some of it to attendance upon the theatre to hear Miss Fanny Kemble, who has been in the city the past week.
We attended on Monday night, and on the Chief Justice's entrance into the box, he was cheered in a marked manner. He behaved as he always does, with extreme modesty, and seemed not to know that the compliment was designed for him. We have seen Miss Kemble as Julia in the Hunchback, and as Mrs. Haller in the Stranger. She played both parts admirably, with great propriety of manner, feeling, and power. I have never seen any female acting at all comparable to hers.
She is so graceful, that you forget that she is not very handsome. In Mrs. Haller, she threw the whole audience into tears. The Chief Justice shed them in common with younger eyes. I do hope that some efforts will be made to get her to Boston, so that you may see her. Her father is truly respectable, but by no means striking. I hear that she was received into the first circles in Philadelphia, and that she impressed those who saw her with a very favorable opinion of her mind and character. Most affectionately, your husband,
The following lines were written at this time, after hearing Miss Kemble :
“Genius and taste, and feeling all combine,
The next letter gives us a glimpse into the social life at Washington. The allusion in the last paragraph is to a phrase of General Jackson, who, in speaking of my father, called him “ the most dangerous man in America.”
TO MRS. SARAH WALDO STORY.
Washington, January 27th, 1833. MY DEAR WIFE:
We dined, by invitation, with Mr. Secretary Livingston on Wednesday last, being invited to dinner at