Impressions of Spain

Impressions of Spain

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Impressions of Spain

Impressions of Spain

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A philosopher, and in particular a genial one, shrewd to observe, and yet indulgent to, the foibles of his fellows, whom he surveys in the light of an amused and charitable introspection of his own nature, is apt to make a good diplomatist. Of this type was Franklin, the precursor of a distinguished line of American representatives at foreign courts taken from the walks of letter-craft. High in the ranks of these stood Lowell.

When, therefore, the relations of our country to Spain had reached a stage of comparative repose; when, after long turmoil and change, regular in its very inconstancy, the Celtiberian nation had wiped out old scores at home, pacified its unruly province beyond the sea, and addressed itself to the cultivation of civil well-being and progress, it was entirely fitting that our Government should turn from the employment of soldier-diplomatists like Sickles, and wily masters of profoundest jurisprudence like Cushing, as its envoys, and revert to the policy which, in 1842, on the eve of the girl-queen Isabel's assumption of the reins of government in her own thirteen- year-old right, had prompted the selection of Washington Irving as Minister to the Court of San Fernando.

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