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[258] ‘Sentimental Journey,’—a book, by the way, which appears to be read a great deal in France,—and he wished to understand more. He frankly told me that he was a mechanic, who could only find time to study on Sundays, and that he could not afford to hire an instructor in English. He accordingly proposed to render me assistance in acquiring French, if I would return the same assistance to him with regard to English. The whole rencontre was so odd that I at first feared some deception, and buttoned my surtout so as to protect my pockets; but I was soon convinced that I did my friend injustice, and I gave him my card that he might know where to call upon me, if he saw fit. I talked with him perhaps three-quarters of an hour. Is this a specimen of the new-born zeal for knowledge in the humbler orders of Paris?

After this passed through the Jardin des Plantes, an immense establishment devoted to botany, mineralogy, zoology, and comparative anatomy. My visit was short, so that I only saw the outside of a small portion. This place will necessarily require several future visits.

To Professor Henry W. Longfellow, Cambridge.

Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1838.
my dear Longfellow,—. . . I wish that Hillard and Felton could enjoy Europe. They need it, and their minds are ripe for it. How often have I thought of the thrill with which they would survey the objects I daily see. Tell Felton to come out immediately and pass a good half-year at Paris; there is enough to consume all that time in one round of pleasant study.

There is no news stirring at Paris. You know that the Warrens and Cabots are in Italy, to return to Paris or London in May; and the Farrars are there also. Mrs. Sears is here. The Ticknors and Mr. Gray leave for London in a week or fortnight. Walsh and his family of daughters are here. Walsh himself has been quite sick, having been confined to his chamber for some time. Thiers says he is engaged upon a history of Florence at present; but he is notoriously so immersed in politics that I should doubt if he had time or inclination for writing a quiet book. Mrs. Fry has been at Paris, exciting some attention on the subject of prisons. The French, by the way, are just waking up on that subject; and also on that of railroads. A good letter, my dear Longfellow, to the care of the Barings, London, is the amend to be made for past negligence.

As ever, faithfully yours,


Feb. 27, 1838. This is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the last day of the Carnival, the day before Lent. In all Catholic countries this is one of the great

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