Theodore Parker: A Biography

By Octavius Frothingham Brooks | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XII.
THE PASTOR. -- SPECIMENS OF CORRESPONDENCE

THEODORE PARKER tended flocks on distant hills. His correspondence shows the extent and the delicacy of his care. The copied letters and notes of all kinds, which are but a portion of all he wrote, are contained in seven bound volumes of quarto size, and number nine hundred and forty-eight. Besides these are piles of manuscript epistles to intimate friends, -- to one, ninety letters and fifty-three notes; to another, thirty-nine letters, long, and full of various matter. The correspondence with one dear friend in Europe covers three hundred pages folio. In addition to all this, private notes in great numbers were sent in response to the present biographer's call. And these are but a part; for many were not kept at all, many were lost, and many are held back front all eyes but those to which they were sent. They are of every conceivable description, and of every measure of length. Some are treatises on politics, theology, social ethics, philosophy, agriculture; and some are notes of three lines: but, whether long or short, they contain the writer's peculiar quality. Each had a purpose, and accomplished it. They were written to statesmen, politicians, governors, senators, presidents, men of letters, clergymen, scholars, men of science, historians, teachers, farmers, trades-people, boys at school, girls at home, friends in sorrow. The five minutes before dinner or bed,

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