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[271] it, was supplied to him through friends,—Sumner in America; Freiligrath in Europe,—and yet it must be remembered that he would not, but for a corresponding quality in his own nature, have had just such friends as these. He was not led by his own convictions to leave his study like Emerson and take direct part as a contestant in the struggles of the time. It is a curious fact that Lowell should have censured Thoreau for not doing in this respect just the thing which Thoreau ultimately did and Longfellow did not. It was, however, essentially a difference of temperament, and it must be remembered that Longfellow wrote in his diary under date of December 2, 1859, ‘This will be a great day in our history; the date of a new Revolution,—quite as much needed as the old one. Even now as I write, they are leading old John Brown to execution in Virginia, for attempting to rescue slaves! This is sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind, which will come soon.’

His relations with Whittier remained always kindly and unbroken. They dined together at the Atlantic Club and Saturday Club, and Longfellow wrote of him in 1857, ‘He grows milder and mellower, as does his poetry.’ He went to Concord sometimes to dine with Emerson, ‘and meet his philosophers, Alcott, Thoreau, and Channing.’

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