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[151] and earnestly in his profession; and in that spirit he returned to it. At times, he exulted in the confidence that he should defeat the prophecies of those who had said his European visit would spoil him for the law; but at others, notwithstanding this sense of triumph, he could not refrain from confessing to his intimate friends that he had little heart for its drudgery.

Sometimes, at this period, he recurred unwisely to his foreign life or letters in conversation with clients and lawyers, who knew or cared little about such things,—a habit likely to repel those who were intent only on the business in hand, and to make them feel that his mind was not enough on what most concerned them. Indeed, prudence dictated a greater reserve in this regard, with all except intimate friends, than he maintained. But it was his nature to pour out what his heart was full of; and he fancied that others would receive it as he would have received it from them. Later, when he had in hand the serious work of a reformer, he made only infrequent allusions to this foreign journey of his youth.

W. W. Story, then a student in the office of Hillard & Sumner, writes:—

I studied the practice of the law in his office in Boston, and was for two years in constant daily intercourse with him and his partner, Hillard; and pleasant and instructive days they were. During all this time I never saw him out of temper, and never heard from him a hasty or intemperate word. He was uniformly kind and considerate to me, and ready to put down his pen to answer any questions or elucidate any subject. But he was more interested in the literature and what is called the science of the law and the application of its principles than in the practice of it. He would talk to me by the hour of the great jurists, and their lives, and habits of thought; and tell me all sorts of interesting anecdotes of great barristers and judges. Hillard and he and I used to talk infinitely, not only of law, but of poetry and general literature and authors, when business would allow,—nay, sometimes when it would not allow; but who can resist temptation with such tastes as we all had?

It was not for a long time that he could settle down again to the practical work before him. After the flush of those exciting days abroad, his office and daily occupations seemed dull and gray; and I cannot but think that they changed the whole after-course of his life and thought. He did, indeed, set himself with determination to his work, but it had lost the charm it formerly had; and the dreams of those delightful days and the echoes of those far voices haunted his memory. America seemed flat to him after Europe. This, however, slowly passed away, though never, to his dying day, completely.

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