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[183]

The following letter was written when I was editing “Harvard memorial biographies” and had asked him to write of his nephew, General Charles Russell Lowell. The latter part refers to a paper I had written for the North American Review on “Children's books of the year.” Few letters, I think, were so scintillating as Lowell's; everything that he touched gave out its little electric spark.

Elmwood, January to, 1866.
My Dear Higginson,
I think the best man to write a sketch of Charley for the Libro D'Oro would be John Bancroft. It should be somebody that knew him from a much nearer level of age than I did. A boy don't tell his dreams to his uncle of another generation. Moreover, his father does not wish me to do it, lest it should interfere with something more at length which we propose. The obstacle has been, as you know, the paucity of letters that can properly be provided so soon. James left much ampler materials, and Child will do a portrait of him for you which will be as good as love can make it.

I am very glad you have undertaken the editorship of the volumes, because it insures a good tone. If others should fail you, I will do Charley, but for other reasons than those I mentioned I think it better not.

I read your article in the Review with much satisfaction. A light touch is so rare! I growled a little over what you say of Abbott [author of the Rollo Books], who is


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