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[164]

My European drama is wound up; the iron curtain has fallen upon it. Ah! you know full well, my dear Lieber, what is left behind when the Atlantic is placed between us and the Old World. But we have our recollections, thoughts, thick-coming fancies. Every morning while I dress I think of Italy, and repeat to myself where I was and what I did a year ago; what scene full of history or antiquity, what work of art full of divinity, I was looking upon. Your Teatro di Marcello1 I have distinctly before me. A little sketch or drawing of any thing in Rome, Italy, or your Germany, or anywhere else where I have wandered, makes me start; I conjure the whole scene before me, and for a moment forget the hard, practical, work-a-day American present. Germany I left too soon; but I loved it well. Were I a man of fortune with the world all before me where to choose, I should first direct my steps to Germany; then to—but why build these castles? Come to Boston, and we will talk the livelong day, and revive Europe. I sympathize with you in that you are obliged to leave Oscar, the young Astyanax, in Europe. You must need his careless merriment and gambols in your exile. But you have two others and your wife; and with them even your African banishment may be sweet. Alas! unlike Marcellus, you cannot eat figs at Marseilles. Since I returned I have literally read nothing, not even your second volume. Good-by, dear Lieber; I long to talk with you of Europe and yourself.

Ever and ever yours,


To Longfellow, then absent from Cambridge on a vacation, he wrote in August:—

I shall go to Nahant for a few days, and then to business. Give me fifteen hundred dollars a year, and I will hie away to Florence, where in sight of what is most beautiful in art, and with the most inspiring associations about me, I will feed on the ambrosia of life, nor find the day long which I can give undisturbed to the great masters of human thought. Stop! Say nothing of this, or my professional chances will be up.

To Hillard, then at Woods' Hole, he wrote, Aug. 5:—

This goes from Court Street,—my first lines from that street. . . . On Saturday, in the midst of rain, we went to Nahant, where we had a very pleasant dinner with Prescott, who regretted much that you could not come. General Miller dined with us, and was as agreeable and sterling as ever.2 Lieber is here still; he leaves for Newport on Friday. He is at the office from morning till night, and the evenings we pass together till very late. I like him more and more. His conversation is full and teeming with striking thought and abundance of illustration from all sources. Very few people in

1 The place of Lieber's residence when he visited Rome in his youth.

2 This visit of General Miller to Nahant is mentioned in Prescott's ‘Life,’ p. 171.

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