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[304] an object, and the Common Council, presided over by Mr. James Lawrence, proposed that a board of trustees for such an institution should be appointed. When, therefore, both Mr. Everett and Mr. Ticknor—the latter greatly to his surprise—were invited to become members of this board, they conferred together anew on the project; and, although the mayor, on hearing Mr. Ticknor's views, was much pleased with them, and urged him to take the place, yet he at one time determined to decline the office, certainly unless the library were to be open for the free circulation of most of its books, and unless it were to be dedicated, in the first instance, rather to satisfying the wants of the less favored classes of the community, than—like all public libraries then in existence—to satisfying the wants of scholars, men of science, and cultivated men generally.1

Mr. Everett's opinion was not changed; but seeing Mr. Ticknor's determination to co-operate in no other plan, and perhaps feeling himself the difficulties of beginning with any other, he agreed at last—though not convinced—that the experiment of a popular institution of the freest sort should be tried, and the two friends accepted their appointments as trustees of a prospective library. From that moment their co-operation in its affairs was cordial and complete; and although Mr. Everett never fully believed in the practical benefits of Mr. Ticknor's plan, he was perfectly faithful to his promise, that it should have a fair chance.2

But the library did not yet exist. In an attic of the City Hall—in the old building, of which no part was spacious, or

1 See letter to Trustees, April 16, 1860, printed in the Eighth Annual Report, pp. 34, 35.

2 In a note of May 15, 1867, from Mr. Jewett, the first Superintendent of the Public Library, to Mr. Ticknor, he says:

Few persons alive know as well as you and I do, that with regard to the great features of the plan,—the free circulation of the books, and the paramount importance attached to the popular department,—Mr. Everett had, from the beginning, serious misgivings, and that he yielded his own doubts only to your urgency. He repeated to me within, I think, a week previous to his death, the doubts which he said he had always entertained on these points, and said that he did not think that he should have yielded his assent, but for your determination not to put your hand to the work unless these features of the plan were adopted in all their prominence.

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