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[187]

Mr. George T. Curtis furnishes the following anecdote, which is associated with this subject: ‘I chanced,’ he says, ‘at a public dinner in Boston, on some political occasion, to sit next to a gentleman of some literary celebrity, who, although he resided in the neighborhood, was not intimately acquainted with Mr. Ticknor, and who did not know that he was my kinsman. In the course of the evening he spoke with some asperity of Mr. Ticknor, as a man who never voted at elections. I told him he was entirely mistaken; that Mr. Ticknor had always voted at elections, when he was at home; that I had very often gone with him to the polls, and when I had not done so, I knew that he had voted, and how. This statement occasioned some surprise among those who heard it, and who had been in the habit of regarding Mr. Ticknor as a man who held himself entirely aloof from all sympathy in the political questions that agitated his country or his State.’ Abundant testimony could be gathered on this point, as his friends and family know that he never failed to vote at municipal, State, and general elections.

Premising that, from this time forward, all his winters—except one—during the remainder of his life were passed in Boston, and that the summers of 1840, 1841, and 1842 were spent in a quiet spot on the sea-shore,—partly described in the letters, --we give a selection from the correspondence, in chronological order.

To Earl Fitzwilliam.

Boston, October 17, 1838.
my dear Lord Fitzwilliam,—. . . . Since we saw you, we have seen a good deal of our own country, . . . . and I cannot express to you how much I have been struck with the progress everything has made during the three years of our absence. And yet, during those years, we have passed through the severest commercial embarrassments we have ever experienced, and have sustained losses which almost anywhere else would have left deep, if not dangerous traces. But the truth is, the condition of the lowest classes of the people is so truly comfortable, there is so much thrift and prosperity among them, and, above all, so much education, intelligence, and domestic


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