previous next
[78] Looking in through the keyholes we could see old leather portmanteaux looking “like stranded porpoises,” as Holmes describes them, or andirons waiting to resume their places in the chimneys. In the large outer garret we could see names written with diamonds on the windowpanes — names of students who had taken their degrees before the Revolutionary War. Among them was the name of John Tracy, beneath which some one, possibly a rival in scholarship or love, had written stultus by way of brief verdict. We knew that in this house the battle of Bunker Hill was planned, and we knew that on yonder green the American soldiers had halted for prayers from the college president ere they marched to the field. Looking across the common, then unfenced, we saw the tree beneath which Washington had taken command of the Continental Army, and not far off was the old churchyard, and Dr. Holmes had made that plot of ground classic to us by poems which we knew by heart. We pondered over those long inscriptions where, as Holmes himself has said, “The dead presidents stretched their weary bones under epitaphs stretched out at as full ”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (3)
George Washington (1)
John Tracy (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: