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[81] in barrels within the closet of every faithful and studious clergyman. How dear this study was to Holmes himself may be seen in this letter, written after I had described, at a breakfast given him by his publishers,1 an occasion where his kindly old father had turned from his sermon or his “American Annals” to draw for us in frost on the window-pane a sketch of bristling bushes, with stars above and with the wholesome motto “Per aspera ad astra.

Boston, December 14, 1879.
My dear Higginson,
If I have already thanked you once it is no matter,--let me thank you again for that delightful reminiscence of my father and of the old study. I have a set of book shelves in my brain where every volume is in its place. I can see the frost on the windowthough I do not remember the particular season — and act over the whole little domestic scene in my imagination. Nothing for a long time has called up that picture of the study and my kind-hearted old father-not so old or so white-haired as I am now, at that time — so vividly as your story. ...

Once more — twice more, if I have already written, I thank you.

Faithfully yours, O. W. Holmes.

1 Atlantic Monthly, XLV., supplement.

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