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[87] was instantaneous and overwhelming. I am sure that this was not quite the case, for I remember well that Underwood, when I expressed delight at the first number, seemed very glad to have me say it, because there was, as he said, a minority of readers, who were disposed to pooh-pooh it, and maintained that Dr. Holmes was “a tiresome little man.” This was perhaps only the natural Nemesis encountered by a joker of many years' standing; at any rate all such malcontents soon passed into oblivion and were heard no more.

He disarmed criticism in the end by courageously persisting in the same method which had originally produced it, namely, by the most fearless intimacy with his audience, never keeping back any jest or any expression of confidence. He frankly says in one place that good talkers are very apt to be bores,--thus meeting criticism halfway. The discursiveness of his articles only matches the same quality of his mind; and there probably never was a man whose conversation and whose writing were so little unlike. I knew one celebrated talker in Rhode Island who astonished a dinner party

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