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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 20 0 Browse Search
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches 4 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies 4 0 Browse Search
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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Doctor Holmes. (search)
ar friend of mine, related to my wife; so was Kingsley-dear soul. Renan used to fetch books for me when we first met at the Bibliothique Royale. Emerson stayed at my house on his last visit here. But the best of all my American friends was Wendell Holmes. When he left us he said, I have talked to thousands of people-you are the only one with whom I have had a conversation. We had talked about Zzz-the world as the logos, as the thought of God. What a pure soul his was — a real Serene Highneyed at my house on his last visit here. But the best of all my American friends was Wendell Holmes. When he left us he said, I have talked to thousands of people-you are the only one with whom I have had a conversation. We had talked about Zzz-the world as the logos, as the thought of God. What a pure soul his was — a real Serene Highness. This is trancendentalism from the fountainhead; and here Doctor Holmes may fairly be said to have avenged himself on the Nation's excoriating crit
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Book III (continued) (search)
c that ought to have gone to oblivion. Yet though the fields of secular and religious song are very different, the outstanding types and the drift of development are quite comparable. Three hymns of Timothy Dwight, Ray Palmer, and Oliver Wendell Holmes are broadly representative of tendencies up to 1860. Dwight's contribution, I love Thy kingdom, Lord, belongs to the period of Hail Columbia (which is sometimes wrongly ascribed to him), and is involved in the theology of Jonathan Edwards, Dperiod of durance before an ultimate ransom; but in its way it has reinforced the faith of millions who are no less indebted to its sentiments than to Lowell Mason's rather sentimental Olivet, which he composed for it and which perfectly fits it. Holmes's Sun-day hymn, better known as Lord of all being Throned Afar (1859), is very properly described by one hymnologist as always a favourite in gatherings . . of different denominations and creeds since it admits of the widest doctrinal divergencie
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1860. (search)
a Brigadier-General in the battle of the Wilderness. Serving with Barstow at the fort were many of those who were afterwards among the bravest and brightest soldiers whom their State or their College produced. Among them were some of his most intimate friends and classmates,— names whose fuller history in this volume forbids more than a mention in this place. There were his classmates Henry Abbott, Charles Mudge, Henry Russell, and Caspar Crowninshield, his dear friend Tom Robeson, Wendell Holmes, and a host of others. Living together in this little fort, hearing the daily beat of drums and rattle of arms within, and the rumors of war from without, each one's thought found a quick response in some other breast. Many, eagerly grasping at the first opportunity for duty, came up to town, while the battalion was still at the fort, and joined the Second Massachusetts. Among them Barstow would fain have been. He would gladly have followed his friends Mudge and Robeson. He even obt
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Harvard Memorial Biographies, 1861. (search)
was best that he should prepare himself for the military service of his country, feeling that he was needed there, and believing that he could be more useful as a soldier than in any other position in life. He obtained the consent of his relatives, and of the Faculty of the College, who at the next Commencement conferred upon him, in his absence, the Bachelor's degree; and on April 25, 1861, he went down to Fort Independence to drill with the Fourth Battalion. His classmates Hallowell and Holmes went to Fort Independence at the same time. He soon enlisted in the Second Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which was then being recruited by Colonel George H. Gordon, and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in that regiment, May 28, 1861. His regiment was in camp at Camp Andrew, in West Roxbury, until July 8th, when it received marching orders. Lieutenant Robeson had been assigned to Company F, of which Charles R. Mudge was Captain and Robert G. Shaw First Lieutenant, and
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VI (search)
d comments on the names, like this: Robert Browning, the Scotch poet. There is probably no better manual of universal knowledge than the great French dictionary of Larousse. When people come with miscellaneous questions to the Harvard College librarians, they often say in return, Have you looked in Larousse?Now, when one looks in Larousse to see who Robert Browning was, one finds the statement that the genius of Browning is more analogous to that of his American contemporaries Emerton, Wendell Holmes, and Bigelow than to that of any English poet (celle de n'importe quel poete anglais.) This transformation of Emerson into Emerton, and of Lowell, probably, to Bigelow, is hardly more extraordinary than to link together three such dissimilar poets, and compare Browning to all three of them, or, indeed, to either of the three. Yet it gives us the high-water mark of what contemporaneous posterity has to offer. The criticism of another nation can, no doubt, offer some advantages of its o
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VII (search)
VII On literary tonics some minor English critic wrote lately of Dr. Holmes's Life of Emerson: The Boston of his day does not seem to have been a very strong place; we lack performance. This is doubtless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time ab and Lowell; not that they would not have been conspicuous in any case, but that the moral attribute in their natures might have been far less marked. The great temporary fame of Mrs. Stowe was identified with the same influence. Hawthorne and Holmes were utterly untouched by the antislavery agitation, yet both yielded to the excitement of the war, and felt in some degree its glow. It elicited from Aldrich his noble Fredericksburg sonnet. Stedman, Stoddard, and Bayard Taylor wrote war songs
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XI (search)
individual genius. It is in the perfection and precision of the instantaneous line, wrote Ruskin in his earlier days, that the claim of immortality is made. Dr. Holmes somewhere counsels a young author to be wary of the fate that submerges so many famous works, and advises him to risk his all upon a small volume of poems, amonBut contemporary criticism is also a Nile-gauge, and it records highwater marks with a curious approach to accuracy. There was never a time, for instance, when Holmes's early poem, The Last Leaf, was not recognized as probably his best, up to the time when The Chambered Nautilus superseded it, and took its place unequivocally as his high-water mark. At every author's reading it is the crowning desire that Holmes should read the latter of these two poems, though he is still permitted to add the former. From the moment when Lowell read his Commemoration Ode at Cambridge, that great poem took for him the same position; while out of any hundred critics n
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XV (search)
rils of American humor nothing strikes an American more, on his first visit to England, than the frequent discussion of American authors who are rarely quoted at home, except in stumpspeeches, and whose works hardly have a place as yet in our literary collections, and who still are taken seriously among educated persons in England. The astonishment increases when he finds the almanacs of Josh Billings reprinted in Libraries of American Humor, and given an equal place with the writings of Holmes and Lowell. Finally he is driven to the conclusion that there must be very little humor in England, where things are seriously published in book form which here would only create a passing smile in the corner of a newspaper. He finds that the whole department of American humor was created, so to speak, by the amazed curiosity of Englishmen. It is a phrase that one rarely hears in the United States; and if we have such a thing among us, although it may cling to our garments, we are habitu
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XVIII (search)
of printed catalogues instead of one, it really would afford as fair an approximation as we are likely to obtain to a National gallery of eminent persons. It is easily to be seen that no similar gallery of living persons would have much value. It is not, ordinarily, until after a man's death that serious criticism or biography begins. Comparing a few living names, we find that there are already, in the Cleveland catalogue, subsidiary references to certain living persons, as follows:— Holmes, Whittier12 Mrs. Stowe8 Whitman5 Ex-President Cleveland4 Harte3 Blaine, Howells, James2 Hale, Parkman1 These figures, so far as they go, exhibit the same combination of public and literary service with those previously given. Like those, they effectually dispose of the foolish tradition that republican government tends to a dull mediocrity. Here we see a people honoring by silent suffrages their National leaders, and recording the votes in the catalogue of every town library. T
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XXI (search)
XXI The decline of the sentimental at a private charitable reading, held lately a in Boston, it was noticed that the younger part of the audience responded but slightly in the way of sympathy to Dr. Holmes's poem on the Moore Festival, while to the older guests the allusions seemed all very familiar and even touching. The waning of sympathy for Moore and his Irish Melodies simply shows the diminished hold of the sentimental upon us, taking that word to represent a certain rather melodramatic self-consciousness, a tender introspection in the region of the heart, a kind of studious cosseting of one's finer feelings. Perhaps it is not generally recognized how much more abundant was this sort of thing forty years ago than now, and how it moulded the very temperaments of those who were born into it, and grew up under it. Byron had as much to do with creating it as any one in England; but more probably it goes back to Rousseau in France; hardly, I should think to Petrarch, to whom
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