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.
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