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Mr. George T. Curtis says1 of the persons who gathered at these suppers:—

I recall the two Messrs. Prescott, father and son; Mr. Webster; the Rev. Dr. Channing; Dr. Bowditch, the eminent mathematician and translator of La Place; Dr. Walter Channing, a kind and genial family physician; Mr. John Pickering, a Greek scholar and a learned lawyer; his brother, Octavius Pickering, the Reporter of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts; Mr. Willard Phillips; and Mr. James Savage. There were also many younger men, habitues of the house, whom I cannot recall. The Rev. Dr. Channing came seldom, but it was there I first saw him, and there, also, I first saw Mr. Webster in private. Prescott, the historian, not yet an author, was at that time in the full flush of his early manhood, running over with animal spirits, which his studies and self-discipline could not quench; talking with a joyous abandon, laughing at his own inconsequences, recovering himself gayly, and going on again in a graver strain, which soon gave way to some new joke or brilliant sally. Wherever he came there was always a ‘fillip’ to the discourse, be it of books, or society, or reminiscences of foreign travel, or the news of the day . . . . . The talk flowed freely, and as it naturally would among cultivated persons who led busy lives. . . . .

Dinner-parties were given by Mr. Ticknor, for a period of about fifty years, very frequently, and oftener, perhaps, than by most gentlemen of his standing in Boston. As a host he was singularly graceful, and did the honors in a manner that showed what an accomplished man he was. Good entertaining, and good hosts and hostesses can be found in many houses, but there was an atmosphere about Mr. Ticknor that was peculiar. It was not merely that his house was a house of books and learning. The knowledge that abounded there connected itself by many threads, not only with the past but with the present. Whatever was happening at home or abroad, the information that is kept alive and kept full by a wide correspondence, the stores of anecdote that come from a varied intercourse with distinguished contemporaries, the experiences of travel, the interest that attaches to the welfare of kindred and friends and neighborhood and country, all these things were reflected in Mr. Ticknor's conversation quite as much as mere topics of literature. No stranger who could command an introduction to Mr. Ticknor's house visited Boston during half a century, who did not gladly

1 In his letter of reminiscences, addressed to Mr. Hillard, already quoted.

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