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[282] viewed the actual order of things with a generous discontent, of which Mr. Emerson said, ‘I hope he will never get rid of it’;—a discontent commonly censured by acting men, but in Lowell the mark of a great spirit, because it was founded on high and thoroughly considered principles, and also accompanied with a resolve to labor with sober patience for the remedy of abuses. His experiment at Chicopee had increased his confidence in his plans for elevating the condition of the workmen. He had given much thought to the leading questions connected with his occupation; and he looked forward both to the introduction of improvements in the practical organization of a mill, and to the development of higher scientific principles in metallic work as affording him a field for important original activity. In short, his profession had now fully opened to his mind as a career.

But it was not in Lowell's nature to remain conquered by disappointment, still less to give any outward indication of depression of feeling. In his letters he speaks of himself constantly as ‘the fool of fortune,’ a favorite of ‘the lady with the wheel.’

‘I do not entirely understand what you mean by “preternatural fears,” ’ he writes from Gibraltar in May, 1856. ‘I have been fussy and fidgetty, and have perhaps been unnecessarily careful about exposure; but as to fear about myself, why, as Emerson somewhere says, “I sail with God the seas.” My only fear now is that which drove the tyrant of Samos to throw his ring into the sea. I am frightened and oppressed by the terrible good fortune which has always attended me, by the kindnesses which I have done nothing to earn and which I can never repay. . . . . For Heaven's sake, don't feel anxious about my enjoying myself. I am in an agony of enjoyment all the time now.’

In February, 1856, Lowell left home. First making a short visit at Havana, he then passed through the cotton States of the Union to New Orleans, and, on the 8th of April, sailed from that city in a ship bound for the Mediterranean, landing at Gibraltar near the end of May. He spent a little more than two years abroad. He journeyed much on horseback for the sake of his health, and acquired an equestrian skill which in

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