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[169] It is also evident that he did not regard Longfellow as the assured head of the American Parnassus, and at any rate he suggests some Possible rearrangement for the future. Their real friendship seems to have begun with a visit by Longfellow to Lowell's study on October 29, 1846, when the conversation turned chiefly on the slavery question. Longfellow called to see him again on the publication of his second volume of poems, at the end of the following year, and Lowell spent an evening with Longfellow during March, 1848, while engaged on ‘The Fable for Critics,’ in which the younger poet praised the elder so warmly.

Longfellow's own state of mind at this period is well summed up in the following letter to his wife's younger sister, Mrs. Peter Thacher, then recently a mother.

Cambridge, Feb. 15, 1843.
my dear Margaret,—I was very much gratified by your brief epistle, which reached me night before last, and brought me the assurances of your kind remembrance. Believe me, I have often thought of you and your husband; and have felt that your new home, though remote from many of your earlier friends, was nevertheless to you the centre of a world of happiness. With your affection, and your ‘young Astyanax,’

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