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[52] course London was overpowering; it was like going from a small preparatory school to Oxford; but, after all, a man usually finds, in looking back, that his own schoolmates afforded him a microcosm of the world.

Lowell, fortunately, lived to refute very promptly the ignorant pity bestowed upon him in advance by Matthew Arnold, for returning home, after the intoxication of his life in England, to live in Elmwood. Mr. Arnold never in his life had one glimpse of what America is to an American; and those who best knew Lowell had no such fear as this. The first pang over, created by the return to his changed home, and he slipped into his old associations as easily as into a familiar garment. Never was he more delightful than in those later fireside years, even when the fireside had come to be a part of a sick-room. Indeed, he was more agreeable than ever before; his habit of mind was more genial; he was less imperious, more moderate in his judgments — in short, more mellow. He liked to talk of London, as he liked to go there, but without a trace of self-consciousness or conceit; he could discourse delightfully about it, but so he could of Madrid — in fact, of Philadelphia or Chicago. He rejoiced to meet old neighbors,

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