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[127] her daughter sing. He told me in return that he was a young Irishman, arrived in this country but the day before, that the first poetry he had ever quite learned by heart at school was “The village blacksmith,” and that he had resolved that his first act on reaching Boston should be to visit the Chestnut Tree. “This,” I said to myself, “is fame.”

But to Longfellow's modest and social nature, personal companionship was nearer than fame, and the admiring curiosity of strangers was less a satisfaction than to make his own house the centre, as he did, for what was best in Cambridge. In this he went far beyond his two eminent contemporaries,--Holmes, of course, having in maturity no home in Cambridge, while Lowell's house was less easily accessible, and the delicate health of his wife made their home less of a resort for others. Longfellow's diaries, so admirably edited by his brother, offer a constant record of visitors more or less transient. This was especially true after his second marriage; before this in 1838 he writes that he dines at five or six, “generally ”

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