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‘ [222] this occasion. After all, it was simply impossible to sit at the social board with a man of Mr. Longfellow's world-wide fame, without offering him some tribute of their admiration. There was perhaps no class of persons less fitted to do justice to an occasion of this character than those who were destined to tread the toilsome and dusty road of politics. Nevertheless, he was glad to render his tribute of hearty admiration to one whom they were glad to welcome not only as a poet but as a citizen of America.’1

Mr. Longfellow replied that ‘they had taken him by surprise, a traveller just landed and with Bradshaw still undigested upon his brain, and they would not expect him to make a speech. There were times, indeed, when it was easier to speak than to act; but it was not so with him, now. He would, however, be strangely constituted if he did not in his heart respond to their kind and generous welcome. In the longest speech he could make, he could but say in many phrases what he now said in a few sincere words,—that he was deeply grateful for the kindness which had been shown him.’2

After visiting the House of Lords with Mr. R. C. Winthrop, on one occasion, he was accosted by a laboring man in the street, who asked permission to speak with him, and recited a verse

1 Life, III. 114.

2 Ib. 114, 115.

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (2)
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