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[445] Greenough, who says that they included occasional visits to poor dwellings, where a few moments of kindly talk and inquiry usually ended with some small gift of money. Sometimes, however, there was a curious tale, of imposture discovered, to be told at dinner after one of these Sunday explorations.

In the evening a game of whist was the almost essential sedative after exciting days; yet there are well-remembered occasions, when this, too, was interrupted by the apparition of a young officer joyously come to say good-by, on having received his commission and orders for the front, or of one limping in, full of disappointment that he could not yet be allowed to rejoin his regiment. Thus the lives of all were filled with strange elements, thoughts and duties that, by recurrence, acquired a temporary familiarity, but belong to no other than such an exceptional period.

During these years one of Mr. Ticknor's few positive recreations was that of dining, once a fortnight, with the ‘Friday Club,’ the only social club of any kind to which he ever belonged. In 1859 this most pleasant dinner-club was formed, limited to twelve members, and allowing only twelve persons to sit round its board. It need hardly be said that the party, in favor of which Mr. Ticknor made such an exception to his usual habits, was made up of his personal friends, and of men whose conversation rendered their meetings interesting and stimulating.1 Mr. Ticknor continued a member of this club until 1868, when he resigned on the ground of age.

Mr. Ticknor's duties and interests in connection with the Zoological Museum at Cambridge, to which, for the sake of his friend Agassiz, he sincerely devoted himself, and the relations he still held to the Public Library, occupied him in congenial ways, but even here the excitements of the war intruded. He was greatly annoyed, once, by an attempt which was made to cause him to appear in the light of an opponent of the popular military

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