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[334]

Chapter 17:


The two years succeeding Mr. Ticknor's return from Europe —thus sped quietly and happily by; but in June, 1821, a great sorrow came close on a great joy, his father's unexpected death taking place between his own engagement and marriage. Something of what he then underwent is described in the following passage from a letter to Mr. Charles Daveis, written August 4, 1821:—
You know our journey taken on Mr. Norton's marriage.1 There was never anything more delightful. We went first to New York, . . . . then up the North River, and to the beautiful Lake George, and Lake Champlain. . . . . . But the whole party was disposed, from the first, to give me the pleasure of seeing my father at Hanover, where he went early in May, some weeks before we left Boston; and we therefore crossed the Green Mountains, and came down by the exquisite banks of the White River, to its confluence with the Connecticut. The two last days of this ride were, certainly, the most gay and delightful of the gayest and most delightful journey I ever took in my life.

On the afternoon of Saturday, the 16th of June, I rode on in the chaise with Anna, leaving the coach behind, and arrived at Hanover quite early, to see my father the sooner. The first news I heard, in reply to the first question I asked at the inn, was, that he had had an access of paralysis the afternoon previous. I hastened to him instantly, and did not leave him, except a moment at a time, until his death the following Friday morning. It was, as you may well

1 Prof. Andrews Norton (mentioned ante, p. 319) had recently married Miss Catherine Eliot, sister of Miss Anna Eliot, to whom Mr. Ticknor was engaged.

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