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[435] three years. During this period he devoted himself to the study of his profession with great zeal and diligence. He came regularly to Boston to attend the lectures before the Harvard Medical School, and there received the degree of M. D. in July, 1861. The opportunity which his duties at the hospital presented for exact and certain information was well pleasing to the tendency of his mind, which always inclined toward practical rather than theoretical science. He delighted in close surveillance of disease and remedial experiments, and, though a true student of science in the best sense of the term, was not a great reader of scientific books. His natural self-possession and coolness, his quick sympathy with the sufferings of a patient, and his lively and constant interest in the malady and its development, his reassuring humor and cordial ways, never failed to win the confidence of the rough, warmhearted men to whom he ministered in the hospital, while at the same time they gave full promise of success among the more congenial associations of civil life. His faithfulness and his natural aptitude for the executive management of the institution soon brought him the principal control of its details; and a formal installation in May, 1861, as the assistant physician of the hospital, was but the recognition of services previously performed.

Dr. Richardson was not a mere student. He preferred the business and activity of the world to the cloister of the scholar. The enterprises of industry, no less than the theories of science, interested him; and upon all affairs of public concern he held decided and intelligent views. He was cautious, but independent and fearless in his conclusions, ready, although never forward, in his avowal of them. The dispassionate and reflective mood in which he considered all questions of duty or policy gave a conservative tendency to his opinions; but when fairly persuaded, he followed his convictions zealously and enthusiastically; for cool and impassive as was his brain, his heart was ardent and impulsive.

This contrast of character was exemplified in his conduct during the great civil strife which agitated the nation. Before

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