was of the same quality as that, say, of the chief families of
Venice. But these names can never have the effect for the stranger that
they had for one to the manner born. I say had, for I doubt whether in
Boston they still mean all that they once meant, and that their
equivalents meant in science, in law, in politics. The most famous, if
not the greatest of all the literary men of Boston, I have not mentioned
with them, for Longfellow was not of the place, though by his sympathies
and relations he became of it; and I have not mentioned Oliver Wendell
Holmes, because I think his name would come first into the reader's
thought with the suggestion of social quality in the humanities.
Holmes was of the Brahminical caste which his humorous recognition
invited from its subjectivity in the New England consciousness into the
light where all could know it and own it, and like Longfellow he was
allied to the patriciate of Boston by the most intimate ties of life.
For a long time, for the whole first period of hi