the old doctor who serves as the presiding genius of the plot: he knew the kind of people who are never sick but what they are going to die, and the other kind who never know they are sick until they are dead.
If Doctor Holmes had taken this as his text, and written a novel on those lines, he might have created a work of far-reaching importance.
He appears to have known very little concerning poisonous reptiles; had never heard of the terrible fer-de-lance, which infests the caneswamps of Brazil — a snake ten feet in length which strikes without warning and straight as a fencer's thrust.
But Elsie Venner and Holmes's second novel, The Guardian Angel, are, to use Lowell's expression on a different subject:
As full of wit, gumption and good Yankee sense, As there are mosses on an old stone fence.
In the autumn of 1865 some Harvard students, radically inclined, obtained possession of a religious society in the college called the Christian Union, revolutionized it and changed i