“I know not that I feel right to indulge in the despondency which, in spite of all reason to the contrary, creeps over me when I think of returning. I know the feelings of Tantalus perfectly. All my prospects in regard to the Telegraph are bright and encouraging, and so they have been for months, and they still continue to be so; but the sober now is that I am expending and not acquiring; it has, as yet, been all outgo and no income. At the rate business is done here, the slow, dilatory manner in which the most favorable projects are carried forward, I have no reason to believe that anything will be realized before I must leave France, which will probably be in about six weeks. If so, then I return penniless, and, worse than penniless, I return to find debts and no home; to find homeless children with all hope extinguished of ever seeing them again in a family. Indeed, I may say that, in this latter respect, the last ray is departed; I think no more of it.
“I now feel anxious to see my children educated with the means they have of their own, and in a way of usefulness, and for myself I desire to live secluded, without being burdensome to my friends. I should be glad to exchange my rooms in the university for one or two in your new building. I shall probably resign both Professorship and Presidency on my return. The first has become merely nominal, and the latter is connected with duties which properly confine to the city, and, as I wish to be free to go to other places, I think it will be best to resign.
“If our Government should take the Telegraph, or companies should be formed for that purpose, so that a sum is realized from it when I get home, this will, of course, change the face of things; but I dare not expect it and ought not to build any plans on such a contingency. So far as praise goes I have every reason to be satisfied at the state of things here in regard to the Telegraph. All the savants, committees of learned societies, members of the Chamber of Deputies, and officers of Government have, without exception, been as enthusiastic in its reception as any in the United States. Both the priority and superiority of my invention are established, and thus the credit, be it more or less, is secured to our country. The Prefect of the Seine expressed a desire to see it and called by appointment yesterday. He was perfectly satisfied, and said of his own accord that he should see the king last evening and should mention the Telegraph to him. I shall probably soon be requested, therefore, to show the Telegraph to the king.
“All these are most encouraging prospects; there is, indeed, nothing that has arisen to throw any insurmountable obstacle in the way of its adoption with complete success; and for all this I ought to feel gratitude, and I wish to acknowledge it before Him to whom gratitude is due. Is it right or is it wrong, in view of all this, to feel despondency?