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[107] gentleman thus designated was understood at that time to be the richest man in Boston. With a mind in which unexpected bubbles of fun were thus liable to come to the surface at any moment, there was naturally combined a temperament which not only took delight in them but in all the cheerful side of human existence. Comparing the temperaments of these eminent friends, Holmes might be designated as sunny, Longfellow as equable, and Lowell as variable and given to extremes. Holmes had, moreover, fewer domestic sorrows than his two friends, but on the other hand had by reason of his greater longevity the hardest trial of old age, in the sense of finding himself alone through the departures of his contemporaries. He did not lament over this, but there is abundant evidence that he felt it deeply. Few men have had in their later years such an intoxicating ovation as was awarded to him in England at the age of seventy-seven; but he wrote five years after to Whittier: “We are lonely, very lonely, in these last years. . . . We were on deck together as we began the voyage of life two ”

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Mary Jane Holmes (2)
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