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[1088] to look at any action with a single and satisfied eye. He tore the buds open to see if there were no worm sheathed in the blushful heart, and was so afraid of overlooking some mean possibility, that he lost sight of virtue. Grubbing like a mole beneath the surface of earth, rather than reading its living language above, he had not faith enough to believe in the flower, neither faith enough to mine for the gem, and remains at penance in the limbo of halfnesses, I trust not forever. Then all his characteristics wore brilliant hues. He was very witty, and I owe to him the great obligation of being the first and only person who has excited me to frequent and boundless gayety. The sparks of his wit were frequent, slight surprises; his was a slender dart, and rebounded easily to the hand. I like the scintillating, arrowy wit far better than broad, genial humor. The light metallic touch pleases me. When wit appears as fun and jollity, she wears a little of the Silenus air;—the Mercurial is what I like.

In later days,—for my intimacy with him lasted many years,—he became the feeder of my intellect. He delighted to ransack the history of a nation, of an art or a science, and bring to me all the particulars. Telling them fixed them in his own memory, which was the most tenacious and ready I have ever known; he enjoyed my clear perception as to their relative value, and I classified them in my own way. As he was omnivorous, and of great mental activity, while my mind was intense, though rapid in its movements, and could only give itself to a few things of its own accord, I traversed on the wings of his effort large demesnes that would otherwise have remained quite unknown to me. They were not, indeed, seen to the same profit

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