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[51] in a great domestic tragedy comes back in later years and bursts in upon a gay circle of youths and maidens, the kindred and namesakes of those who took part in that earlier heart-break — a joyous group, who gather laughingly around him, vaguely recall for an instant the names that made up all of life to him, and then whirl away, not even noticing him when he leaves the house.

But there really is no need of sorrow in dwelling amid this ever-rising tide. As Algernon in “Patience” regards himself as a trustee for beauty, to preserve it, show it, and make the most of it, so these exuberant children are trustees for youth. It is amusing to notice that sometimes, indeed, they, like Algernon, grow weary of their trust, and even enjoy assuming the attitudes of old age a little while. No white-haired man is so old-or would be, if he could help it — as many a college bard at twenty who writes for himself, as Dr. Holmes wrote when little more than that age:

Alas! the morning dew is gone-
Gone ere the full of day.

How delicious it is to boast of age when one is young, and of misery when one is happy! It is like the delight of a fresh young girl at wearing hair-powder and attempting to look old; the more venerable the fashion, the more radiant becomes

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O. W. Holmes (1)
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