,’ he said, ‘then Southey
's Cowper, the lives of Mackintosh
, 1 Scott
, and so on, and the memoirs are so rich.’
With Mr. Charles Francis Adams
, who visited him that evening, he had a most spirited and agreeable conversation, in the course of which he expatiated, with more force and terseness of expression than usual, on a theory which had for some time taken strong hold on his thoughts.
He said that the ancient civilizations of the world had been undermined and destroyed by two causes,—the increase of standing armies, and the growth of great cities; and that modern civilization had now added to these sources of decay a third, in the hypothecation of every nation's property to other nations.
He also spoke with earnestness of the dissatisfaction of the European
people with all their present forms of government, and of the reasonableness of this discontent.
The next day friends came to bring him the greetings of the season, and he dined with his children and grandchildren, who came to keep the little festival with him. But on the third day of the year there was an obvious change in his condition, and the first signs of paralysis—though slight and almost doubtful —showed themselves.
So gradual was the progress of disease, that for some days he still saw his friends, and still left his bedroom for a part of the day, his mind and his speech not being at all affected.
His friend, Dr. Bigelow
, though older than himself, took a share in the medical charge of his case, and made him daily visits, in which their former habits of humorous discussion still continued; and once, after the patient was confined to bed, the two old classicists were heard quoting Greek
together, à l'envi l'un de l'autre
Mr. George Ticknor Curtis
, who came from New York to see