Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 56

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


Page 56

Suddenly the boy heard Miss Alcott say: “Have you read this new book by Ruskin yet?”

Slowly the great master of thought lifted his eyes from his desk, turned toward the speaker, rose with stately courtesy from his chair, and, bowing to Miss Alcott, said with great deliberation: “Did you speak to me, madam?”

The boy was dumfounded! Louisa Alcott, his Louisa! And he did not know her! Suddenly the whole sad truth flashed upon the boy. Tears sprang into Miss Alcott’s eyes, and she walked to the other side of the room. The boy did not know what to say or do, so he sat silent. With a deliberate movement Emerson resumed his seat, and slowly his eyes roamed over the boy sitting at the side of the desk. He felt he should say something.

“I thought, perhaps, Mr. Emerson,” he said, “that you might be able to favor me with a letter from Carlyle.”

At the mention of the name Carlyle his eyes lifted, and he asked: “Carlyle, did you say, sir, Carlyle?”

“Yes,” said the boy, “Thomas Carlyle.”

“Ye-es,” Emerson answered slowly. “To be sure, Carlyle. Yes, he was here this morning. He will be here again to-morrow morning,” he added gleefully, almost like a child.

Then suddenly: “You were saying——”

Edward repeated his request.

“Oh, I think so, I think so,” said Emerson, to the boy’s astonishment. “Let me see. Yes, here in this drawer I have many letters from Carlyle.”

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