“I went down to the old crypt” [SHOS]
In the musical Hamilton, the characters wonder aloud, "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"
We're fortunate that Dr. John Watson lived to tell Sherlock Holmes's story — even as sad as that story was in "The Final Problem."
It was evident that Sherlock Holmes knew his demise was likely, as he admitted to Watson in his farewell note that he made arrangements for the disposition of his property before they left England. But even so, Holmes knew that if he did survive, he had the best publicity man in the world who could tell his story: John Watson guarded the legacy of Sherlock Holmes.
When "The Final Problem" reached the reading public, Watson wrapped it up with one of the highest compliments he could pay to his friend and colleague, calling him "the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known."
High praise indeed not just on the weight of its own, but because it is an echo of another bit of praise. In the final paragraph of Phaedo, Plato said the following about the death of Socrates:
"Such was the end, Echecrates, of our friend, who was, as we may say, of all those of his time whom we have ever known, the best and wisest and most righteous man."
When we peek in at Baker Street Elementary, it's pretty clear who's the wisest...
Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.
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