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 Adams came as an absolute surprise, which his “Historic Americans” continued. My phrase “twenty languages” was an understatement of those in which Parker had at least dabbled. On the other hand, Parker always maintained that Lowell was not thoroughly in earnest and “had no enemies,” which seemed to me equally one-sided with Lowell's criticisms upon himself. I had always supposed that the two appointments of Lowell as foreign minister proceeded from the influence of his classmate and fellowtownsman, Charles Devens, who was a member of President Hayes's cabinet; but General Devens himself assured me, long after, that the original suggestion came from the President himself and grew out of his liking for the “Biglow papers.” Lowell wrote me on June 16, 1877, after his appointment: “I am much obliged to you for your congratulation, though I myself am very doubtful about accepting. However, Spain will be of some use to me in the way of my studies, and doubtless I shall enjoy myself when I get there.” How greatly he clung to the thoughts of home, even in his English position, will be plain from the
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