Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 46



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

Page 46

through the fine old streets of Cambridge with Longfellow. At one point of the walk they came to a theatrical bill-board announcing an attraction that evening at the Boston Theatre. Skilfully the old poet drew out from Edward that sometimes he went to the theatre with his parents. As they returned to the gate of “Craigie House” Edward said he thought he would go back to Boston.

“And what have you on hand for this evening?” asked Longfellow.

Edward told him he was going to his hotel to think over the day’s events.

The poet laughed and said:

“Now, listen to my plan. Boston is strange to you. Now we’re going to the theatre this evening, and my plan is that you come in now, have a little supper with us, and then go with us to see the play. It is a funny play, and a good laugh will do you more good than to sit in a hotel all by yourself. Now, what do you think?”

Of course the boy thought as Longfellow did, and it was a very happy boy that evening who, in full view of the large audience in the immense theatre, sat in that box. It was, as Longfellow had said, a play of laughter, and just who laughed louder, the poet or the boy, neither ever knew.

Between the acts there came into the box a man of courtly presence, dignified and yet gently courteous.

“Ah! Phillips,” said the poet, “how are you? You must know my young friend here. This is Wendell Phillips, my boy. Here is a young man who told me to-day that he was going to call on you and on Phillips



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