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[71]

During this year and the next, Crawford made his home at 241 Beacon Street. Here he wrote his first three books, “Mr. Isaacs,” “Dr. Claudius,” and “A Roman singer.” He was a delightful inmate, and the months he spent under our mother's roof were happy ones. A tender camaraderie existed between aunt and nephew. During his first winter in Boston he thought of going on the stage as a singer, and studied singing with Georg Henschel. He had a fine voice, a dramatic manner, full of fire, but an imperfect ear. This fault Henschel at first thought could be remedied: for months they labored together, trying to overcome it. Crawford delighted in singing, and “Auntie” in playing his accompaniments. At dusk the two would repair to the old Chickering grand to make music — Schubert, Brahms, and arias from the oratorios they both loved. In the evening the three guitars would be brought out, and aunt and nephew, with Maud or Brother Harry, would sing and play German students' songs, or the folk-songs of Italy, Ireland, and Scotland. Our mother was sure to be asked for Matthias Claudius's “Als Noah aus dem Kasten war”: Crawford would respond with “Im schwarzen Wallfisch zu Ascalon.”

This was the first of thirty happy years passed at 241 Beacon Street, the house Uncle Sam bought for her. The day she moved in, a friend asked her the number of her new house.

“241,” she answered. “You can remember it because I'm the two-forty one.”

Oscar Wilde was at this time making a lecture tour through the United States. This was the heyday of

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