Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to JOHN NORTON POMEROY, dated July 15, 1870.
Yours of June 8 was duly received, and I took an early opportunity of seeing Powers in relation to its principal subject. He had told me before, that he regretted having made the offer I communicated to you, and I was therefore not surprised then he declined to accept the modification you propose, and in fact to entertain the matter further. He ways the sacrifice of time & convenience would be quite too great, and that he is not willing to undertake new commissions, unless under very special circumstances, until all his present engagements are fulfilled.
We must therefore abandon the hope of anything from him and content ourselves with a
home-made statue. I presume some of our young sculptors of fair abil-
ity will be glad to undertake the job, even for the small sum we can promise them ---
I came her to consult Mrs Marsh's physician & with the intention of spending a few weeks at such German baths as we shall be advised, but our French friend[s] are threatening to extinguish Germany, baths & all, & we may be obliged to content ourselves with the waters of an Italian [...] & phosphor instead of seeking health in the waves of a Dutch Jordan.
I have never seen any European country in such a state of anxiety from drought as
France is now. The grape vines, however do not look in the least withered or wilted,
though their product will be reduced. This is a matter of vast importance, for the
increased demand for wine here occasioned a vast extension of the vineyards in
central and southern France and to the traveller
in Burgundy & Champagne as well as in the more Southern & Western provinces the vinicole industries connected with the cultivation of the grape and the manufacture of wine seen to have superseded almost every thing else.
I hoped to have met Horatio Loomis in the course of our short leave of absence, but I fear that he has gone to Northern and Eastern Europe. Mr Brainard, too is away, but his letters give use encouraging accounts of Mrs Henry Loomis's health in which Mrs March feels [...] interest. I beg you will assure Mr & Mrs Loomis of the sympathy we feel with them in this trial and of our earnest hopes of Mrs. Loomis's complete restoration.
I can find no older example of "to the manner born" than that in Shakespeare. In the
first folio (1623) the word is spelled , and so it is in all the
editions I have an opportunity of consulting here.
Mrs Cowden Clarke follows this spelling in her concordance. White's Shakespeare I have not, & should think much of his authority, but so far as I can examine the question without more help than I can command I should judge to be a conjectural amendation of some editor unsupported by sufficient authority.
The threatened fate of Motley & Bancroft makes me shake my head occasionally, just to see whether it sits firmly on my shoulders, but I hope, in any case, to take my chance, whatever it many be, calmly. I should, for many reasons, regret a recall at present & do not know that I have any special cause to fear it, but I know that all office-holders though "few die and none resign," are under our system, lamentably subject to the "falling-sickness."
Mrs Marsh joins me in kindest regard to Mrs Pomeroy & yourself
Yours very trulyGeorge P MarshHon J N Pomeroy
References in this letter:
Hiram Powers (1805-1873), the most famous 19th century American sculptor and a friend of Marsh's from their early childhood in Woodstock, Vermont. Powers emigrated to Italy in 1837.
On July 19, 1870, threatened by growing Prussian power, and inflamed by Bismarck's manouevering, France declared war on Germany. The resulting Franco-Prussian War proved disastous for the French, resulting in the lost of Alsace and Lorraine and the levy of a crushing indemnity.
Mary Cowden Clarke, The Complete Concordance to Shakspere. London : Charles Knight & Co., 1845.
Richard Grant White (1821-1885), New York man of letters, wrote music, art, and literary criticism and was well-known as a Shakespeare scholar.
American historian and diplomat, John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877) served as Minister to Austria between 1861-1867; in 1869, President Grant appointed him Minister to Great Britain. He is the author of History of the Dutch Republic. 3 vols. (1856).
George Bancroft (1800-1891), author of the nine-volume History of the United States, 1834-1874, had been ambassador to Great Britain 1846-49 and was appointed ambassador to Germany in 1867.
Marsh was appointed United States Minister to Italy by the newly elected President Lincoln in 1861 and after Lincoln's reelection he continued in the post. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson confirmed Marsh's reappointment. When Marsh died in 1882 he had served in the position for over twenty years.