Henry S. Butler
and wish you could be as strong as I am. I want you to be quite well against next boating season and my summer vacation, so we can go to that little cave, which you have so beautifully described without ever seeing. In this respect you are similar to the Author of Waverley, who, after writ- ing a delightful description of Mel- rose by moonlight, confessed that he had seen it only by the light of the sun, or the poet Longfellow who saw the Falls of Minnehaha for the first time the season [underline: after] he had given to the world a complete picture of it. However I think the cave will not fall short of your portrait, nor do I believe that it can be described more truthfully by a view of it. This cave is but one of numberless things connected with that beautiful chain of lakes endeared to me by long association. The roar of Mendota has as great a charm for me as had the "Bells of Shandon" for the poor wandering priest.
Exeter, N. H.
1872 Dec 5
Original letter dimensions: 25 x 39 cm.
Reel 02, Image 0989
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