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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 13: (search)
m, but if the subject excites him, there is an air of originality in his remarks, which, if it convinces you of nothing else, convinces you that you are talking with an extraordinary man. He does not like to join in a general conversation, but prefers to talk apart with only two or three persons, and, though with great interest and zeal, in an undertone. If, however, he does launch into it, all the little, trim, gay pleasure-boats must keep well out of the way of his great black collier, as Gibbon said of Fox. He listens carefully and fairly—and with a kindness that would be provoking, if it were not genuine—to all his adversary has to say, but when his time comes to answer, it is with that bare, bold, bullion talent which either crushes itself or its opponent. . . . . Yet I suspect the impression Brougham generally leaves is that of a good-natured friend. At least, that is the impression I have most frequently found, both in England and on the Continent. Heber Richard Heber. i