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 common is this familiar form of address, among social equals, in England than in America. In the same way the ordinary diplomatic courtesies such as “He was good enough to say,” or “I am bound to take for granted,” or, “My friend, if I may be permitted to call him so,” were censured as “circumlocutionary and apologetic,” and it was said that he used to talk “in a straightforward, honest, American fashion.” All this class of criticism was instantly swept away by his lecture on Democracy, which at once silenced these unreasonable voices; and which must be regarded, on the whole, as his best and most characteristic prose work,--the frankest, the maturest, the clearest and simplest in literary style. Lowell had perhaps never seemed so attractive as during the last year or two of his life, when restored again to the house where he was born. The revision of his books for a definitive edition gave him the occupation most appropriate to the old age of a literary man, who thus watches moving before his eyes from day to day, as in a magic mirror, the
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