Throughout his life he was much interested in politics, and though his temperamental indolence and his aversion for public life often prevented his accepting office, he exercised as a contributor, to the press and through his friendships, a powerful political influence, especially in New England.
From France he proceeded to Switzerland, and spent nearly a year at Lausanne, where many old friendships and studies were resumed, and new ones begun.
Friendships among "gentle and simple" - of the former, with Lady Farewell, grand-daughter of the protector Somerset - bear witness to the attraction of Alleine's private life.
In 1873 he first met Mr Sidney Colvin, who was to prove the closest of his friends and at last the loyal and admirable editor of his works and his correspondence; and to this time are attributed several of the most valuable friendships of Stevenson's life.
Petrarch's inner life after this date is mainly occupied with the passion which he celebrated in his Italian poems, and with the friendships which his Latin epistles dimly reveal to us.