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SOCIETY AND SOLITUDE.

SOCIETY AND SOLITUDE.

I FELL in with a humorist on my travels, who had in his chamber a cast of the Rondanini Medusa, and who assured me that the name which that fine work of art bore in the catalogues was a misnomer, as he was convinced that the sculptor who carved it intended it for Memory, the mother of the Muses. In the conversation that followed, my new friend made some extraordinary confessions. “Do you not see,” he said, “the penalty of learning, and that each of these scholars whom you have met at S- , though he were to be the last man, would, like the executioner in Hood's poem, guillotine the last but one ?” He added many lively remarks, but his evident earnestness engaged my attention, and in the weeks that followed we became better acquainted. He had good abilities, a genial temper, and no vices; but he had one defect, — he could not speak in the tone of the people. There was some paralysis on his will, such that when he met men on common terms he spoke weakly and from the point, like a

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