“  within a stone's chuck oa the haouse he wuz born in. Knew his uncle Dr. P., wal. Still livina. There's five ministers oa the gospil, twelve doctors, and seventeen liars (lawyers) these I know certin, and I guess there's much's forty piano fortes there, too.” Not a bad scale of civilization, this, though new to me. What I was going to tell, though, was something that took place this morning. He is a reader of --especially quoad the--, which refresh him hugely, and always has something to say when he sees me. He is amazingly proud of his son, (a weakness you and I could pardon were it a daughter) and properly so, for the boy is not like other mathematical prodigies, but has great parts in other respects. This morning he showed me a calculation of the boy's, with regard to the orbit of some comet or other, covering many sheets of paper wafered together — about eight feet of it in all. M. [Maria Lowell]--“ He is fifteen years old?” S.--“ No, ma'am, he ain't but jest gut into his fourteenth year.” M.--“When did he do this?”
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : old Cambridge
Chapter 2 : old Cambridge in three literary epochs
Chapter 3 : Holmes
Chapter 4 : Longfellow
Chapter 5 : Lowell
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