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Mr. Ticknor's voyage home in a ‘regular New York packet’ was prosperous and smooth, occupying but thirty-seven days. It was rendered cheerful and pleasant by the company of William C. Preston, of South Carolina, ‘an admirable fellow, of splendid talent and most eloquent, winning conversation,’ whom he had already seen at Edinburgh, where Preston was a great favorite with Mrs. Grant; and that of Wickham, of Richmond, Virginia, son of the great lawyer,1 ‘a young man of fine manners and an unalterable sweetness of temper.’ These young men, with Professor Griscom, ‘a Quaker chemist of New York, an excellent old gentleman with no small knowledge of the world,’ bivouacked on the deck around the sofa of ‘Mrs. B., of New York, a beautiful young creature of talent and culture,’ and all these five, having known each other before, kept themselves apart from the other passengers, and passed the days in reading, talking, and laughing. As they neared the land the wind was unfavorable, and the captain relieved Mr. Ticknor's impatience by putting him on board a pilot-boat off Gay's Head, by which he was taken, in six or seven hours, to New Bedford. By this unpremeditated ‘change of base’ he landed on his native shores without money, of which a supply would have met him in New York; but his eagerness to be at home made this of no consequence, and he liked to describe his mode of meeting the difficulty and the kindness it called forth. Going to the best hotel in the town,
1 See ante, p. 33.
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