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James Russell Lowell, Among my books 8 0 Browse Search
Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall) 2 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson 2 0 Browse Search
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 2 0 Browse Search
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Lydia Maria Child, Letters of Lydia Maria Child (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier, Wendell Phillips, Harriet Winslow Sewall), To the same. (search)
o the same. Boston, July 27, 1834, I have at last obtained the Christian Examiner, and read your article. As the old Quaker wrote me about the Mother's book, 1 I am free to say to thee, it is a most excellent thing. I think I never read a better article in my life; not even excepting the Edinburgh. I was delighted with it. You bow most reverently to Wordsworth, that great poet, that confidant of angels, as Lavater says of Klopstock. Did not your conscience twinge you for throwing Peter Bell and the Idiot Boy in my teeth so often, and for laughing me to scorn when I said Milton's fame was the sure inheritance of Wordsworth? I was glad for what you said concerning the state of the affections with regard to the perception of elevated truths. I believe the more you look inward the more you will be convinced of the truth of what you advanced on that point, and that, too, not merely in a general point of view, but as applied to your own mind, and the different states of your
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Chapter 2: the Worcester period (search)
here described I saw and some not mentioned; as, for instance, a Greek book, marked in the title-page Percy Shelley and Leigh Hunt, in the latter's hand, but the blank leaves full of Shelley's notes in pencil-writing, delicate as himself. The Wordsworth volumes were captivating, with his own later alterations put in with ink in the neatest way, and showing the delicacy of his literary work. They have the original engravings from Sir George Beaumont, giving the actual scenes of Lucy gray, Peter Bell, and other poems. Fields described Wordsworth's reading of his own poems in old age, quite grandly, and his reading Tennyson aloud also with equal impressiveness; and turning on a silly lady too profuse in her praise of passages, with You admire it? But do you understand it? A long parlor, in a house on Charles Street like Louise's, looking on the beautiful river at full tide, and crowded from end to end with books and pictures. Beautiful engravings of great men, framed with an auto
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 14: (search)
, and a poor widow in the neighborhood sent to him to come and talk to her son, who had been behaving ill. . . . . In the evening he showed me his manuscripts, the longest a kind of poetical history of his life, which, in the course of about two octavo volumes of manuscript, he has brought to his twenty-eighth year, and of which the Excursion is a fragment. It is in blank-verse, and, as far as I read, what has been published is a fair specimen of what remains in manuscript. He read me Peter Bell, the Potter, a long tale, with many beauties but much greater defects; and another similar story, The Waggoner.. . . . The whole amused me a good deal; it was a specimen of the lake life, doctrines, and manners, more perfect than I had found at Southey's, and, as such, was very curious. We sat up, therefore, late, and talked a great deal about the living poets. Of Scott he spoke with much respect as a man, and of his works with judicious and sufficient praise. For Campbell he did not s
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Wordsworth. (search)
e first three books of the Aeneid, a specimen of which was printed in the Cambridge Philological Museum (1832). In 1819 Peter Bell, written twenty years before, was published, and, perhaps in consequence of the ridicule of the reviewers, found a moreetimes not needing, and often incapable of answer. There are three stanzas of such near the close of the First Part of Peter Bell, where Peter first catches a glimpse of the dead body in the water, all happily incongruous, and ending with one which singular unconsciousness of disproportion which so often strikes us in his poetry. For example, a little farther on in Peter Bell we find:— Now—like a tempest-shattered bark That overwhelmed and prostrate lies, And in a moment to the verge Is lo or hinder it. The Wagoner involuntarily suggests a comparison with Tam O'Shanter infinitely to its own disadvantage. Peter Bell, full though it be of profound touches and subtle analysis, is lumbering and disjointed. Even Lamb was forced to confe