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On literary tonics

some minor English critic wrote lately of Dr. Holmes's ‘Life of Emerson:’ ‘The Boston of his day does not seem to have been a very strong place; we lack performance.’ This is doubtless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time abolitionists of whom the English Earl of Carlisle wrote that they were ‘fighting a battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern heroism.’ It was also the place which nurtured those young Harvard students who are chronicled in the ‘Harvard Memorial Biographies’—those who fell in the war of the Rebellion; those of whom Lord Houghton once wrote tersely to me: ‘They are men whom Europe has learned to ’

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J. G. Whittier (1)
E. C. Stedman (1)
Wendell Phillips (1)
Theodore Parker (1)
Wendell Holmes (1)
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