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[444]

Mr. Ticknor repeatedly took regular officers of high standing on pilgrimages to the old chief at Braintree,—General Robert Anderson, General Donaldson, and others. In the summer of 1862 he met General Scott at West Point, being accidentally with him at the moment he was informed that President Lincoln was on his way to consult him; and when General McClellan visited Boston in 1863, he took great pleasure in meeting him. He talked with every one who could give him trustworthy information, with the same ardor he had always shown in studying public men and measures everywhere.

The excitements of every-day life were great at that period. A long interval of military inaction, during which political intrigues, blunders, and activity of all sorts were abundant,—all watched by Mr. Ticknor with vigilant observation, while he questioned friends fresh from Washington, and often got knowledge quite beyond the public view,—would be succeeded by battles, raids, successes, failures, that filled the air with the sounds of war. More than once the peaceful house in Park Street was roused at midnight by a friend bringing some startling telegram, of which he was sure the knowledge would be nowhere more interesting than there.

During the first eighteen months of the war his work on the biography of his friend was a great solace to Mr. Ticknor. After reading the morning paper with its war news, he could retire to his quiet library, and there, for two or three hours, could work undisturbed, retracing the pleasures and interests of the past. Later some visitor was sure to come in, and probably call his thoughts back to battles, losses, sorrows. His life might seem as sheltered as any, but his mind was full of eager interest, his heart was full of sympathy; the sons of friends and relatives were exposed, and suffered and died for their country; his own house was full of stir, and the hum of voices often reached him, as he sat writing, from ladies busy in other rooms, preparing comforts for men in camps and hospitals. In the afternoon his daily walk usually ended at the Public Library or at Mrs. Prescott's. In his Sunday afternoon walks he was for many winters accompanied by Mr. William W.

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