writing-table was arranged and became as much his natural resort at a hotel, where he was to stay a short time, as was his library table at home.
An old Spanish book seemed to take him out of the world around him, wherever he might be; yet if any person, high or low, interrupted his studies, having a reasonable cause for doing so, he was habitually prompt and courteous in turning to the new subject brought before him. He was rarely absent-minded, and scarcely ever visibly impatient of interruption.
The growth of the History is intimately connected with the growth of his Spanish library, for his books were his necessary tools, and the library took its character from the literary purpose for which it was collected.
His correspondence with Don Pascual de Gayangos
his constant orders to Mr. Rich
and to others, for Spanish books, and for all accessory materials, became, as the years went on, more and more marked by indications of the absorbing subject he had in hand.
Three years and a half after his return to America
he wrote as follows to Mr. Washington Irving
, who had just accepted the post of Minister from the United States
, and with whom, it had been hoped, Mr. Cogswell
would go as Secretary