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[182] following sweet and simple letter, written to acknowledge the report of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the city of Cambridge which I had sent him. There is something peculiarly noteworthy in the abrupt transition from the thought of English life to that of his five grandchildren. The “meeting” to which he refers was that on the death of President Garfield.

Legation of the United States, London, October 8, 1881.
Dear Higginson,
Thanks for your excellent address and many thanks for your friendly letter. These views out of the past grow sweeter (not because they are distant) as we grow older. I am glad that you are well and happy.

I read every word of the 200th celebration and thought it all exceedingly well done and in good taste. I have not time to say more, for I am just starting for the Continent on a leave of absence which I sorely need. Wish me joy, I am going to Italy! Whether I may not find somebody else in my chair at the Legation when I come back is one of those problems that I cannot solve and care little about, though now that I have made friendships here I should like to stay on a little longer. Did you know that I have five grandchildren?

I shall order a copy of the proceedings of our meeting here to be sent you.

Faithfully and hastily yours, J. R. Lowell.

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