of attaching excessive importance to conventionalities of dress, manners, and speech.
He was charged with using his influence to starve and paralyze literary originality.”
I do not clearly know what was meant by the first of these charges, but it might, doubtless, be said that Dr. Holmes
was always conventional, though never in any sense a fop or an exquisite — to revert to the phrase of that day. With an unconcealed preference for what is called the best society, he yet had, in his early medical practice, the advantage enjoyed by all of that profession, in alternating between the houses of rich and poor, and learning that they are composed mentally, as physically, of much the same material.
He also had, as Mr. Morse
his biographer admits, a tinge of the sporting man about him, liked to see a fast trot, and describes the taste for horse flesh of his own Major Rowens
in “Elsie Venner
” so vividly that the most confirmed pedestrian can hardly read the account without a thrill.
He knew the records of the prize ring, and sometimes measured the muscles of fighting champions, perhaps without