Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 35



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 35

trip to Boston. He had never been away from home, so this trip was a momentous affair.

He arrived in Boston on Sunday evening; and the first thing he did was to despatch a note, by messenger, to Doctor Oliver Wendell Holmes, announcing the important fact that he was there, and what his errand was, and asking whether he might come up and see Doctor Holmes any time the next day. Edward naïvely told him that he could come as early as Doctor Holmes liked—by breakfast-time, he was assured, as Edward was all alone! Doctor Holmes’s amusement at this ingenuous note may be imagined.

Within the hour the boy brought back this answer:

  I shall certainly look for you to-morrow morning at eight o’clock to have a piece of pie with me. That is real New England, you know.

Very cordially yours,


Edward was there at eight o’clock. Strictly speaking, he was there at seven-thirty, and found the author already at his desk in that room overlooking the Charles River, which he learned in after years to know better.

“Well,” was the cheery greeting, “you couldn’t wait until eight for your breakfast, could you? Neither could I when I was a boy. I used to have my breakfast at seven,” and then telling the boy all about his boyhood, the cheery poet led him to the dining-room, and for the first time he breakfasted away from home and ate pie—and that with “The Autocrat” at his own breakfast-table!



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