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Chapter 20:

  • Habits.
  • -- house in Park Street. -- hospitality. -- Review of Webster's works. -- lecture on teaching the living languages. -- studies of Milton, Dante, and Shakespeare. -- public lectures on Shakespeare. -- death of an infant daughter and of an only son. -- resignation of Professorship. -- departure for Europe.

The next years formed a very happy period in Mr. Ticknor's happy life; for, though checkered like all human lives with some sorrows, even with some acute and lasting griefs, his was, in the main, a remarkably happy life. Many elements of character and fortune combined to give a serene, well-balanced tone of animated contentment to his whole existence from youth to age. He had a resolute nature and an efficient intellect; he had, also, a deep-seated principle of industry, with a sense of the worth of occupation as a source of pleasure.

In relation to his fixed habit of industry he used often to quote with delight what was once said to him by Judge Prescott, his friend, and the father of his friend. Soon after his return from Europe, in 1819, he was talking one evening with Judge Prescott, and said of his own prospects, that he had enough work mapped out to fill at least ten years. ‘Take care always to be able to say the same thing; always have ten years work laid out before you, if you wish to be happy,’ was the wise reply; and in repeating it Mr. Ticknor used to add, that he believed he had never failed in fulfilling the injunction.

Of his health, which was, inevitably, an important element in the estimate of his opportunities and enjoyments, it need only be said, that his life in Europe seemed to have entirely changed him from a delicate youth to a strong and uniformly healthy man. From that time until his death—in spite of his usually sedentary occupations—he was habitually well; and his eyesight,

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