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[285] fame as a philanthropist and trainer of the blind, was put in to fill the vacancy. All these five men, being of literary pursuits, could scarcely fail of occasionally praising one another, and were popularly known as ‘the mutual admiration society;’ indeed, there was a tradition that some one had written above a review of Longfellow's ‘Evangeline’ by Felton, to be found at the Athenaeum Library, the condensed indorsement, ‘Insured at the Mutual.’ At a later period this club gave place, as clubs will, to other organizations, such as the short-lived Atlantic Club and the Saturday Club; and at their entertainments Longfellow was usually present, as were also, in the course of time, Emerson, Holmes, Lowell, Agassiz, Whittier, and many visitors from near and far. Hawthorne was rarely seen on such occasions, and Thoreau never. On the other hand, the club never included the more radical reformers, as Garrison, Phillips, Bronson Alcott, Edmund Quincy, or Theodore Parker, and so did not call out what Emerson christened ‘the soul of the soldiery of dissent.’

It would be a mistake to assume that on these occasions Longfellow was a recipient only. Of course Holmes and Lowell, the most naturally talkative of the party, would usually have the lion's share of the conversation; but Longfellow, with all his gentle modesty, had a quiet wit of

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