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[2047] interest in these plans, as if I had a firmer hold on life, but I listen with much pleasure to the good suggestions.

Oct. 19th, 1840.—was here. Generally I go out of the room when he comes, for his great excitability makes me nervous, and his fondness for detail is wearisome. But to-night I was too much fatigued to do anything else, and did not like to leave mother; so I lay on the sofa while she talked with him.

My mind often wandered, yet ever and anon, as I listened again to him, I was struck with admiration at the compensations of Nature. Here is a man, isolated from his kind beyond any I know, of an ambitious temper and without an object, of tender affections and without a love or a friend. I don't suppose any mortal, unless it be his aged mother, cares more for him than we do, —scarce any value him so much. The disease, which has left him, in the eyes of men, a scathed and blighted tree, has driven him back to Nature, and she has not refused him sympathy. I was surprised by the refinement of his observations on the animals, his pets. He has carried his intercourse with them to a degree of perfection we rarely attain with our human friends. There is no misunderstanding between him and his dogs and birds; and how rich has been the acquaintance in suggestion! Then the flowers! I liked to hear him, for he recorded all their pretty ways,—not like a botanist, but a lover. His interview with the Magnolia of Lake Pontchartrain was most romantic. And what he said of the Yuca seems to me so pretty, that I will write it down, though somewhat more concisely than he told it:—

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Lake Pontchartrain (Louisiana, United States) (1)

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