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[51] that we unlearn the habit of monologue. No one needed this more than Lowell, except perhaps Holmes; the two had sat at opposite ends of the table so long, during the early dinners of Atlantic contributors, and practically monopolized the talk. As to the quality of conversation in London, they found none better than their own; but they learned-at least, Lowell did — the value of half-rations. Perhaps Mr. Smalley presses too far the novelty that Lowell found in a circle where there were others besides men of letters; for in truth he had around him just such a circle, so far as it went, at home. Among his intimate friends and club-fellows were great capitalists, like John M. Forbes; men of the world, like Tom Appleton; lawyers and public men, like Judge Hoar; men of science, like Agassiz; physicians like his own brother-in-law, Dr. Estes Howe. The difference was not in quality so much as in quantity. Lowell could not perhaps say, like Stuart Newton the painter: “I meet in London occasionally such company as I meet in Boston all the time ;” but he could at least go so far as to say that at home he met a sufficient variety of types to know that men of letters did not monopolize the world. When it came to sheer quantity, of

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