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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1859. (search)
In the second term of his Sophomore year, his eyes—always weak—completely failed him; and by the advice of his physician, he gave up college life and went to Europe. After an extensive tour in England, and the west and north of Europe, he returned home and decided to go into business with his father. To gain a thorough knowledge of his future occupation, he visited Bombay, Australia, Batavia, and Manilla; and on returning, after a few weeks' stay at home, he went on a second voyage to Madras and Calcutta, upon his father's business. During his absence his father died; and when Mason returned to Boston in 1860, he found his prospects in business suddenly obscured. His duty was now to remain at home, and his sturdy manhood did much to cheer the mourning family. Whatever might have been his disappointment, he studiously concealed it, and by an assumed cheerfulness deceived casual observers as to the true state of his feelings; and, though too proud to solicit either advice or