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[146] remained always cordial, but never intimate, Longfellow always recognizing his early obligations to the elder bard and always keeping by him the first edition of Bryant's poems, published in 1821. Both poets were descended from a common pilgrim ancestry in John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, whose story Longfellow has told.1

Thus much for first experiences with the world of readers. The young professor's academical standing and services must be reserved for another chapter. But he at once found himself, apart from this, a member of a most agreeable social circle, for which his naturally cheerful temperament admirably fitted him. It is indeed doubtful if any Harvard professor of to-day could record in his note-books an equally continuous course of mild festivities. There are weeks when he never spends an evening at home. He often describes himself as ‘gloomy,’ but the gloom is never long visible. He constantly walks in and out of Boston, or drives to Brookline or Jamaica Plain; and whist and little suppers are never long omitted. Lowell was not as yet promoted to his friendship because of youth, nor had he and Holmes then been especially brought together, but Prescott, Sumner, Felton, and others constantly appear.

1 Bigelow's Life of Bryant, p. 3.

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