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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Dr. W. T. G. Morton (search)
for Morton in Congress, but the decision of the French Academy was in men's minds, and a vicious precedent proved stronger than reason. I saw Doctor Morton for the last time about nine months before his death; and the impression his appearance made on me was indelible. He was walking in the path before his house with his eldest daughter, and he seemed like the victim of an old Greek tragedy — a noble CEdipus who had solved the Sphynx's riddle, attended by his faithful Antigone. In July, 1868, a torrid wave swept over the Northern States which carried off many frail and delicate persons in the large cities, and Doctor Morton was one of those who suffered from it. He happened to be in New York City at the time, and went to Central Park to escape the feeling of suffocation which oppressed him, but never returned alive. He now lies in Mount Auburn Cemetery, with a modest monument over his grave erected by his Boston friends, with this epitaph composed by Dr. Jacob Bigelow: