Among other things I have made a thorough study of the works of Milton and Shakespeare, as nearly three hundred pages of notes and memoranda will testify. It was delicious. Last summer I did the same for Dante, working on each, often twelve and fourteen hours a day, with uninterrupted and equable pleasure. If I am not a better man for it,—and a happier one too,—why, I shall have misused my opportunities scandalously, as many better men have done before me.He had already been in the habit of expounding Dante to special classes at Cambridge, and mentions doing so, for a section of the Junior class, three times a week during the autumn of 1831. The studies of Shakespeare had one result, in a course of public lectures given in Boston in the winter of 1833-34. As he never kept a diary of any kind when at home, it is necessary to gather from his letters such extracts as may indicate the variety and nature of his interests; but, at this time, even these are not very ample for the purpose.
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