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[326] other things being equal, he who has written most will speak best. Mr. Ticknor had written so much, that his spontaneous language took a periodic form, and his discourse, if taken down by a stenographer, might have gone to the press with hardly any correction. He did not make his hearers impatient by embarrassing pauses, nor yet uncomfortable by the over-rapid utterance which implies the want of self-possession and self-control.

Mr. G. T. Curtis says, in a letter of reminiscences of his uncle—

He always, in my time, fixed and kept the attention of his class; indeed, there was never any movement or sound in the lecture-room that evinced an absence of attention. . . . . He followed the very exact and methodical order of his syllabus, introducing discussions which were always animated and sometimes eloquent. . . .

An audience of college students is, to be sure, no very formidable body to a grown man. But you1 and I have both heard Mr. Ticknor lecture before large and mixed audiences of ladies and gentlemen, with no other appliances than he used in the College class-room, but with the same fluency and ease, and at the same time in a manner adapted to the assembly before him. On all occasions his diction was both copious and precise. The sum of my testimony is, that his lecturing was as successful teaching as I have ever listened to.

No man could be more liberal in the use of his time and his knowledge, for the assistance of individual scholars, or for the promotion of the interests of general education. His library, which was freely open to any one who desired to consult books contained in it, included many works then scarcely to be found in any other American library, public or private. Many were the hard-working students who were able to pursue their investigations by the aid of its treasures, and who received from Mr. Ticknor friendly encouragement and judicious counsel. Mr. Curtis says again—

He very early began, and always continued, the habit of lending his books freely, taking no other precaution than to write down the title of the volume, and the name of the borrower, in a note-book. The number of volumes lent was often considerable. He would lend a book to any respectable person, whether personally known to him

1 The letter is addressed by Mr. Curtis to Mr. Hillard.

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George Ticknor (3)
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