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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 4: (search)
me Minister. I made his acquaintance and delivered my message. Before I left home I had made several attempts to read Dante, and found it not only difficult to get a copy, but impossible to get help in reading. Balhorn knew everything about DanDante. He was not fully occupied, but he could not be hired,—he was too well off to be paid in money. A brother of my friend Mr. James Savage had sent me from Hamburg a box of very fine Havana cigars, and I found that Herr Balhorn would read and explain Dante to me, and consider some of those fine cigars—so rare in Germany—a full compensation; and he continued the reading, certainly as long as the cigars lasted. Mr. B. was a lawyer,—an upright, strong man,—and he was virtually promised, that,o took a good deal of luggage; but I like to remember that even in those countries I carried a few books, and that I never separated myself from Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, and the Greek Testament, which I have still in the same copies I t
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 7: (search)
Note by Mr. Ticknor. September 27.—Between Brigg and Domo d'ossola, we have today crossed the Alps by the Simplon,—a most astonishing proof of the power of man . . . . It is impossible to give any idea of this magnificent work, which, for twenty miles together, is as perfect as a gentleman's avenue; of the difficulties the engineers were obliged to encounter, which, even after success, seem insuperable; or the terrors of the scenery, which reminded me of some of the awful descriptions in Dante's Inferno . . . . . We were eight hours in ascending, and four and a half in the descent. September 29.—On going a little about Domo d'ossola this morning,—which is a neat little town,—I found that not only the climate, but the architecture, had changed. While coming down the mountains, I observed the refuges built on their sides, to serve as a shelter to travellers, were more appropriate in their forms and ornaments than the same buildings on the other side; but I attributed it to ac
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 10: (search)
ion he has bestowed unwearied pains, was, among those of his own age, what his father was in the oldest class,—the first at Madrid. He has much learning, good taste, and sense for all that is great and beautiful, extraordinary talents, and an enthusiasm which absolutely preys upon his strength and health. But, though he is passionately fond of letters, his whole spirit is eaten up with political and military ambition. He thinks of nothing but Italy, and, taking his motto from his favorite Dante, Ahi serva Italia di dolore ostello, etc., is continually studying the Principe and Arte di Guerra, and dreaming over Machiavelli's grand plan to consolidate it all into one great, splendid empire, with the Alps for a barrier against the intrusions of the North. I knew him intimately, for there was seldom a day we did not meet at least once, and I shall always remember him with affection, for it is rare in Europe to meet a young man with so high talents and so pure a character. On Wednesda
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 12: (search)
osing prospects that their height and situation naturally imply. But it is in vain to talk of the prospects of this enchanting spot, for if I were to begin I should never finish. . . . My life during these three days was tranquil, and the pleasure I enjoyed was of that quiet kind which leaves no weariness. I rose early, and opening my windows to the balmy freshness of the season, and the beautiful prospect of the rock, and its valleys, with the plain, and the ocean, sat down and read in Dante, or Camoens, or Lord Byron, whose descriptions here are faithful as nature, more so even than I found them in Spain; though there I was struck with them. At nine o'clock, Count Bombelles—with whom I lodged-came into my chamber, and we went over to the beautiful country-house of the Lacerda family, where we breakfasted. Then followed immediately the excursions to the rock, or along the road, on which, when at about two o'clock we became somewhat hungry and very fatigued, we stopped in some
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 13: (search)
shows how suddenly this power was broken up. York is as grand and imposing as almost any of them, I think, unless it be that at Seville, where there is a solemn harmony between the dim light that struggles through its storied windows, the dark, threatening masses of the pile itself, the imposing power of the paintings,. . . . and the deep, wailing echoes of that worship which is to be found and felt, in all its original dignity and power, only beyond the Pyrenees. . . . Excepting that, I know nothing that goes before York. . . . . The next point that surprised me was Newcastle. I merely passed the night there,. . . . but the appearance of the country about it was extraordinary. At the side of every coal-pit a quantity of the finer parts that are thrown out is perpetually burning, and the effect produced by the earth, thus apparently everywhere on fire, both on the machinery used and the men busied with it, was horrible. It seemed as if I were in Dante's shadowy world. . . . .
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 14: (search)
I have given to myself an idea of industry such as I never saw but in Germany before. After all, however, my recollections of Southey rest rather on his domestic life and his character as a man, for here he seems to me to be truly excellent. . . . . His family now consists of Mrs. Lovell; Mrs. Coleridge and her beautiful daughter, who is full of genius, and to whom he has given an education that enables her, in defiance of an alarming degree of modesty, to speak of Virgil, Cervantes, and Dante as familiar acquaintance; and his own excellent wife, Mr. Ticknor did not see Mrs. Southey, her infant son, whose cradle was in his father's library at this time, being only three weeks old. with six fine children, who are half his occupation and more than half his pride and delight, all living in affection and harmony together, and all supported by the exercise of his talents, in a gentlemanlike establishment, where, besides an ample library, he has the comforts and a great many of the
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 15: (search)
nity of Italy seemed for a moment almost within reach, he threw himself into the forefront of the conflict, served Charles Albert faithfully as his Prime Minister, sent five sons to the army,—where one of them was killed in battle,—and proved, by his Whole course of action, the sincerity and disinterestedness of the political views he had always urged upon his countrymen. During a period of forced inaction, in middle life, he devoted himself to literature, and is widely known by his Vita di Dante, as well as by his Speranze d'italia, and other political writings. He was born in 1789 and died in 1853, leaving a name honored throughout Italy, and distinguished in the cultivated circles of all Europe. Though his correspondence with Mr. Ticknor ceased before very long, yet their affection for each other did not diminish, and in 1836 they met like brothers, and were much together in Turin, and in Paris two years later. From Count Cesare Balbo. Madrid, 12 October, 1818. Transla
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 17: (search)
ught of as I stood the next day in the garden of the Sceurs de la Charite, at Avignon, is precisely the one you have moved in your letter. Was Laura a real existence, or, rather, was she really a person with whom Petrarch was so long and so sincerely in love as his works would imply, and who filled as large a space in his heart as she does in his Sonnets. There is very little, I believe, said on this point, in early times, any more than on the Fiammetta of Boccaccio, and the Beatrice of Dante. I found, however, this morning, a reference in Tiraboschi to one of Petrarch's own letters to a member of the Colonna family; and, looking it up, was surprised to see that this intimate friend of Petrarch treated Laura entirely as an imaginary existence, and that the poet rather evaded the question than contradicted what his friend had said. Believe me, says he, no one can dissemble long, but with great effort. But to labor gratuitously, in order to seem mad, were the height of insanity.
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 20: (search)
Chapter 20: Habits. house in Park Street. hospitality. Review of Webster's works. lecture on teaching the living languages. studies of Milton, Dante, and Shakespeare. public lectures on Shakespeare. death of an infant daughter and of an only son. resignation of Professorship. departure for Europe. The nextstudy of the works of Milton and Shakespeare, as nearly three hundred pages of notes and memoranda will testify. It was delicious. Last summer I did the same for Dante, working on each, often twelve and fourteen hours a day, with uninterrupted and equable pleasure. If I am not a better man for it,—and a happier one too,—why, I shall have misused my opportunities scandalously, as many better men have done before me. He had already been in the habit of expounding Dante to special classes at Cambridge, and mentions doing so, for a section of the Junior class, three times a week during the autumn of 1831. The studies of Shakespeare had one result, in a c
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 23: (search)
any of the royal family, except Prince John, the translator and commentator of Dante's Inferno, whom I found very agreeable, and much disposed for literary conversaretending than his manners. I wanted to see him on account of his knowledge of Dante, of whose Inferno he has printed a translation with very good notes; and duringthings he showed me a beautiful collection of drawings in an album, relating to Dante, which had been from time to time given to him by his family, all original, of talked very well upon our early literature. The Prince talked a little about Dante, but of course made himself as agreeable as he could to the ladies. On the whoas in French, and purely literary and scholar-like, of course a good deal about Dante; but the other invited guest did not say a word, why, I know not. The Prince valy, with a very intellectual Russian wife, who, like himself, is pretty deep in Dante. The Count is a Carlist, and was private secretary —though yet a young man—und
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