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 writhe, to get even with somebody, and it was hard for younger men to keep clear of this flattering temptation. Years before the founding of the Atlantic Monthly, Lowell once described to Thaxter and myself, at the Isles of Shoals, an imaginary magazine which he would like to edit: “We will have in it,” he said, “a department headed by a vignette representing a broom; and in that we will in each number sweep some pretender out of existence. Then, having done it, we would stand by it, and if we had made a mistake and killed a young Keats we would never acknowledge it.” This project so dwelt in his mind that he mentioned it again to Mr. Sanborn twenty years after in regard to the Atlantic Monthly. This method had already been illustrated by his treatment in the “Fable for critics” of Margaret Fuller and Professor Francis Bowen; and it naturally did not soften the friends of these victims, when, on becoming himself a member of the Harvard Faculty, he struck out the references to Bowen, but left the other untouched, even after the noble Italian career and pathetic death of Madame Ossoli. Yet
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