[Boston—Thursday, 1 December 1864]

Dec. 1st 1863 [sic]. Night before last there was a little supper given by Dr Upham, his cousin, & Judge Putnam, to Mr Prescott Smith of Baltimore—there were but two guests beside—one of them being J.T.F. Mr Prescott Smith is the superintendent of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, a man of 39 years of age extremely deep of extraordinary executive ability. His clearness and rapidity in conversation too are very striking. J.T.F. said, well, you have known Mr Lincoln thoroughly, what have you to say of him. “That he is a compound of Machiavelli, Fourchet, Sam Slick and Uriah Heep,” was the almost instantaneous reply. His power as an actor too impressed the company. He sang the Marseillaise in German as he heard it in Baltimore after the election and made himself look like a regular “Deutscher.” His witty words sparkled and effervescent it was difficult to remember them but the man was a new revelation. He received 10 telegrams during the supper as a rebel raid was then going forward in Western Virginia. Fortunately the enemy was repulsed without much trouble but in a former raid the company lost one million of dollars—one item of the property taken being 45 new steam engines. He is to send us through tickets to Washington that we may find it a temptation to go to Baltimore.

Last Sunday Mr Emerson spoke on public & private education—witty and wise. He said he had not heard of Rarey having being made Doctor of Laws!!

Gottschalk last night mystified a large concert room full with his charlatanisms but I could see his heart was not in it. The man seems to me to have musical genius and I do not doubt he can play exquisitely but his best things are not applauded therefore in order to make money he bangs. I wish to hear that man play “con amore” perhaps we may. I think he must know what music is.


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