In childhood I became intimate with the household circle in which Oliver Wendell Holmes
was born and bred, the intimacy coming from the fact that my father's house stood next to it and that Dr. Holmes
's nephew, Charles Parsons
,--afterward Professor Parsons
of Brown University,--was my especial playmate.
The place was, like many country parsonages of that day, practically a farmhouse with its accompanying acres.
It included the ground now covered by several college buildings in the neighborhood and it extended over the playgrounds now called Holmes's Field.
There were cultivated fields and many outbuildings, sheltering horses and cattle; and one of the happiest spots to us was the corn-barn, raised on high posts, where we shelled corn on rainy days.
In the house our favorite playing place was the garret described by Dr. Holmes
in his “Professor at the breakfast table.”
It was in reference to this garret that he wrote, “The worst of a modern stylish mansion is that it has no place for ghosts.”
In this garret there was abundant room for them; it possessed locked closets for their express accommodation.