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[175] much of this earlier bitterness was at the very time (1845) when he wrote to his friend Briggs, “I go out sometimes with my heart so full of yearning toward my fellows that the indifferent look with which even entire strangers pass me brings tears into my eyes.” Strange that the very man who wrote thus should take pleasure in pulverizing into atoms an author so shy and secluded as Percival.

There is something curiously interesting to the student of human nature in the rapid transition, in Lowell's case, from the writer of decidedly convivial class songs to the man addressing, four years later,1 the annual meeting of the Cambridgeport Washington Total Abstinence Society. It was about this time that his father said of him, in reference to his preferring to walk up and down the piazza during family prayers, “James is not serious, as yet, but he has a good heart, and is a foe to every mortal wrong.” Ten years later yet, on my inviting him to attend the Whole World's Temperance Convention in New York, at which I was to preside, he returned the following rather guarded answer:--

1 Lowell's “Letters,” I. p. 68.

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