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[165] city of Boston. His best-known prose sentence is: “Boston State House is the hub of the Solar system.” It is easy to smile, as indeed he did himself, at such fond provinciality, but the fact remains that our literature as a whole sadly needs this richness of local atmosphere. A nation of restless immigrants, here today and “moved on” tomorrow, has the fibres of its imagination uprooted, and its artists in their eager quest of “local color” purchase brilliancy at the cost of thinness of tone, poverty of association. Philadelphia and Boston, almost alone among the larger American cities, yield the sense of intimacy, or what the Autocrat would call “the cumulative humanities.”

Young Holmes became the pet and the glory of his class of 1829 at Harvard. It was only in 1838 that their reunions began, but thereafter they held fifty-six meetings, of which Holmes attended fifty and wrote poems for forty-three. Many of “the Boys” whom he celebrated became famous in their own right, but they remain “the Boys” to all lovers of Holmes's verses. His own career as a poet had begun during his single year in the Law School. His later years brought him some additional skill in polishing his lines and a riper human

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