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Life in Cambridge town. Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
No town in this country has been the occasion of two literary descriptions more likely to become classic than two which bear reference to the Cambridge of fifty years ago. One of these is Lowell's well-known Fireside Travels, and the other is the scarcely less racy chapter in the Harvard Book, called Harvard Square, contributed by our townsman John Holmes, younger brother of the Autocrat,—a man mentioned more than once in Lowell's prose Lowell's prose and verse.
Emerson said once of John Holmes that he represented humor, while his brother, Dr. O. W. Holmes, represented wit; and certainly every page of this Harvard Square chapter is full of the former and rarer quality.
Charles Lamb's celebrated description of the Christ Church hospital and school of his boyhood does not give more of the flavor of an older day.
Those who refer to that chapter will see at the head a vignette of Harvard Square in 1822, taken from a sketch made at the period