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same time he wrote the well-known poem Old Ironsides, a protest against the proposed breaking up of the frigate Constitution; the poem was printed in the Boston Daily Adver. tiser, and its indignation and fervor carried it through the country, and raised such a popular feeling that the ship was saved from an ignominious destruction. Holmes shortly gave up the study of law, went abroad to study medicine, and returned to take his degree at Harvard in 1836. At the same time he delivered a poem, Poetry: a Metrical Essay, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard, and ever afterward his profession of medicine and his love of literature received his united care and thought. In 1838 he was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Dartmouth College, but remained there only a year or two, when he returned to Boston, married, and practised medi. cine. In 1847 he was made Parkman Professor of Anato omy and Physiology in the Medical School of Harvard College, a position which he retained until the close of 1882, when he retired, to devote himself more exclusively to literature.

In 1857, when the Atlantic Monthly was established, Professor Lowell, who was asked to be editor, consented on condition that Dr. Holmes should be a regular contributor. Dr. Holmes at that time was known as the author of a num. ber of poems of grace, life, and wit, and he had published several professional papers and books, but his brilliancy as a talker gave him a strong local reputation, and Lowell shrewdly guessed that he would bring to the new magazine a singularly fresh and unusual power. He was right, for The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, beginning in the first number, unquestionably insured the Atlantic its early success. The readers of the day had forgotten that Holmes, twenty-five years before, had begun a series with the same title in Buckingham's New England Magazine, a periodical of short life, so they did not at first understand why he should begin his first article, "I was just going to say when

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I was interrupted." From that time Dr. Holmes was a frequent contributor to the magazine, and in it appeared successively, The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, The Professor at the Breakfast-Table, The Professor's Story (afterward called Elsie Venner), The Guardian Angel, The Poet at the Breakfast-Table, The New Portfolio (afterward called A Mortal Antipathy), Our Hundred Days in Europe, and Over the Teacups, prose papers and stories with occa sional insertion of verse; here also were first printed the many poems which he wrote so freely and so happily for festivals and public occasions, including the frequent poems at the yearly meetings of his college class. The wit and humor which have made his poetry so well known would never have given him his high rank had they not been associated with an admirable art which makes


word ne cessary and felicitous, and a generous nature which is quick to seize upon what touches a common life.

Dr. Holmes died at his home in Boston October 7, 1894. His life has been written by his wife's nephew, John T. Morse, Jr., and is published under the title Life and Letters of Oliver Wendell Holmes.




[This poem was first published in 1875, in connection with the centenary of the battle of Bunker Hill. The belfry could hardly have been that of Christ Church, since tradition


that General Gage was stationed there watching the battle, and we may make it to be what was known as the New Brick Church, built in 1721, on Hanover, corner of Richmond Street, Boston, rebuilt of stone in 1845, and pulled down at the widening of Hanover Street in 1871. There are many narratives of the battle of Bunker Hill. Frothingham's History of the Siege of Boston is one of the most comprehensive accounts, and has furnished material for many popular narratives. The centennial celebration of the battle called out magazine and newspaper articles, which give the story with little variation. There are not many disputed points in connection with the event, the principal one being the discussion as to who was the chief officer.] 'T 18 like stirring living embers when, at eighty, one

remembers All the achings and the quakings of “the times that

tried men's souls ; 2. In December, 1776, Thomas Paine, whose Common Sense had 80 remarkable a popularity as the first homely expression of public opinion on Independence, began issuing a series of tracts called The Crisis, eighteen numbers of which appeared. The familiar words quoted by the grandmother must often have been

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