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[337] variety of visits to their friends. They passed some weeks at the delightful summer home of Judge Prescott at Pepperell, which has now become a point of interest in the literary history of the country, from its association with the studies of his distinguished son. They were the guests of Mr. Haven at Portsmouth, and of Mr. Daveis at Portland, both of whom, surrounded by young families, were diligently engaged in the practice of the law; but both retained that love of literature which had been so strong a bond of sympathy between the friends in their early days. From Portland they went farther east to the country-place of Mr. Robert H. Gardiner, on the Kennebec, long the seat of an extended and elegant hospitality, like that which forms so graceful a feature in the country life of England. It is thus described by Mr. Ticknor, in a letter to Mrs. Eliot:—
We finished our delightful visit on the Kennebec, dear mother, last Wednesday morning, and came away with great regret. Mr. Gardiner's house is certainly the pleasantest country establishment in New England. The local situation is so beautiful; the grounds are so happily diversified, and cultivated with such taste; the house is of such fine architecture without, and so convenient within; and the family is so well ordered, the tone of its intercourse so gentle, simple, and refined, that, besides being happy in the enjoyment everything about him affords, a visitor can hardly help being made better. . . . . Everybody, from a sort of unseen genius of place, feels at once all wants anticipated, and yet a perfect freedom. . . . .

After their return he writes thus to Mr. Daveis:—

Boston, September 4, 1822.
my dear Charles,—We made a very pleasant journey homeward, not, indeed, without some feelings of regret that we were obliged to make it so soon, and arrived here just at the time we proposed. The next afternoon my faithful agent from New Hampshire made his punctual appearance, and I had two days of good work to go through1. . . . .

We had a very pleasant visit indeed with you in Portland, and in truth the whole of our Eastern excursion will be long remembered

1 This agent was an old Quaker, called Friend Williams.

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