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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Francis J. Child (search)
, he wrote to him: I congratulate you on the success of your statement, which I have read with very great interest. John Brown was like a star and still shines in the firmament. We could not have done without him. He considered Governor Andrew's approbation of John Brown as more important than anything that would be written about him in the future. He did not trouble himself much in regard to Lincoln's second election, for he saw that it was a foregone conclusion; but after Andrew Johnson's treachery in 1866, he felt there was a need of unusual exertion. When the November elections arrived, he told his classes: Next Tuesday I shall have to serve my country and there will be no recitations. When Tuesday came we found him on the sidewalk distributing Republican ballots and soliciting votes; and there he remained until the polls closed in the afternoon. He had little patience with educated men who neglected their political duties. Why are you discouraged? he would ask.
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, C. P. Cranch. (search)
light of the past, That I saddened needs must be, And I love her mournfully. Oft I gaze up in her eyes, Raying light through winter skies; Far away she saileth on; I am no Endymion; O, she is too bright for me, And I love her hopelessly! Now she comes to me again, And we mingle joy and pain, Now she walks no more afar, Regal with train-bearing star, But she bends and kisses me- O, we love now mutually! This has the very sheen of moonlight upon it, and certainly is to be preferred to Dr. Johnson's scholastic Endymion : Diana, huntress chaste and fair, Now thy hounds have gone to sleep,-- If Cranch had continued in this line, and perhaps have improved upon it, he would surely have become one of the foremost American poets, but a poet cannot live by verse alone, and after he began to be thoroughly in earnest with his painting, his rhythmic genius fell into the background. From Marseilles George W. Curtis proceeded to Egypt, where he wrote his well known book of Nile travels,
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Doctor Holmes. (search)
had become like children again, and were ready to credit anything that was told in a confident manner. But Doctor Holmes's digressions are infectious. The Autocrat of the breakfast table is an irregular panorama of human life without either a definite beginning or end,--unless the autocrat's offering himself to the schoolmistress (an incident which only took place on paper) can be considered so; but it is by no means a patchwork. He talks of horse-racing, the Millerites, elm trees, Doctor Johnson, the composition of poetry and much else; but these subjects are introduced and treated with an adroitness that amounts to consummate art. He is always at the boarding-house, and if his remarks sometimes shoot over the heads of his auditors, this is only because he intends that they should. The first ten or fifteen pages of the Autocrat are written in such a cold, formal and pedantic manner that the wonder is that Lowell should have published it. After that the style suddenly changes a
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Sumner. (search)
He was always in advance of his party, but conspicuously so in regard to the abolition of slavery, the exposure of Andrew Johnson's perfidy, and the reconstruction of the rebellious States. We might add the annexation of San Domingo as a fourth; apt to allege something different from the true reason. Sumner's most signal triumph happened on the occasion of President Johnson's first Message to Congress in January, 1865. He rose from his seat and characterized it as a whitewashing documend in the councils of the nation. He succeeded where others failed. He defeated Franklin Pierce, Seward, Trumbull, Andrew Johnson, Hamilton Fish, and even Lincoln, on the extradition of Mason and Slidell. He tied Johnson down, so that he could onJohnson down, so that he could only move his tongue. In considering Sumner's oratory, we should bear in mind what Coleridge said to Allston, the painter,--never judge a work of art by its defects. His sentences have not the classic purity of Webster's, and his delivery lacked t
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Chevalier Howe. (search)
ved as a presidential candidate one year later! Doctor Howe was once nominated for Congress as a forlorn hope, and his name was thrice urged unavailingly for foreign appointments. He certainly deserved to be made Minister to Greece, but President Johnson looked upon him as a very ultra man ,--the real objection being no doubt that he was a friend of Sumner, and the second attempt made by Sumner himself was defeated by Hamilton Fish. Doctor Howe was fully qualified at any time to be Ministe all kinds, and had no respect for the restrictions of international law or comity, was vexed with Sumner for not promoting the intervention of the United States in behalf of the insurgent Cubans. This reminds one of Boswell's treatment of Doctor Johnson's friends. Like John Adams and Hampden, Doctor Howe was a revolutionary character,--and so were Sumner and Lincoln,--but he was a man in all matters prudent, discreet and practical. He was as much opposed to inflammatory harangues and Frenc