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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 1: Margaret Fuller Ossoli — Introductory. (search)
he would not have wished to be judged by it after she had once entered on the life of action. The following pages will, I hope, be a more adequate record than has before been given of what she did for our dawning literature; but they yet leave room for a book by some other hand that shall fully delineate the Margaret Fuller Ossoli who stood by the side of Mazzini in Italy, and whose hands the young patriots clasped in the hospital crying, Viva l'italia as they died. At the very moment when Lowell was satirizing her in his Fable for critics, she was leading such a life as no American woman had led in this century before. During our own civil war many women afterwards led it, and found out for themselves what it was; but by that time Margaret Fuller Ossoli had passed away. Still, as I said, I must now make that part of her record secondary and dwell chiefly on its intellectual side; only keeping before my readers the fact that the best part of intellect is action, and that this w
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 8: conversations in Boston. (search)
e the very women who were fighting Miss Martineau's battles. The only list known to me of any of these classes is that given in Miss Fuller's Memoirs. i. 338, note. It contains forty-three names. Among these are to be found the two women who taught Miss Martineau her first lessons in abolitionism on her arrival in America: Mrs. Lydia Maria Child and Mrs. Ellis Gray Loring. The list comprises the wives of Emerson and Parker and the high-minded Maria White who afterwards, as the wife of Lowell, did much to make him an abolitionist; it includes the only daughter of Dr. Channing; it comprises Miss Littlehale, now Mrs. Ednah D. Cheney; it includes many family names identified with the anti-slavery movement in Boston and vicinity from its earliest to its latest phase; such names as Channing, Clarke, Hooper, Hoar, Lee, Peabody, Quincy, Russell, Shaw, Sturgis. These names form, indeed, the great majority of the list, while not a person appears on it who was conspicuously opposed to th
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 10: the Dial. (search)
cendentalism — progress; the Rev. W. B. Greene, a West Point graduate, and afterwards colonel of the Fourteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, who wrote First principles. Miss Fuller herself wrote the more mystical sketches--Klopstock and Meta, The Magnolia of Lake Pontchartrain, Yucca Filamentosa, and i Leila ; as well as the more elaborate critical papers--Goethe, Lives of the great Composers, and Festus. Poetry was supplied by Clarke, Cranch, Dwight, Thoreau, Ellery Channing, and, latterly, Lowell; while Parker furnished solid, vigorous, readable, commonsense articles, which, as Mr. Emerson once told me, sold the numbers. It is a curious fact that the only early Dial to which Parker contributed nothing was that which called down this malediction from Carlyle:-- The Dial, too, it is all spirit-like, aeriform, auroraborealislike. Will no Angel body himself out of that; no stalwart Yankee man with color in the cheeks of him, and a coat on his back? Carlyle-Emerson Correspondence,
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 11: Brook Farm. (search)
us habit of life was decidedly soberer and better ordered than that of to-day; stricter in observance, more conventional in costume. There could hardly be a better illustration of this fact than when Emerson includes in his enumeration of eccentricities men witli beards; for I can well remember when Charles Burleigh was charged with blasphemy, because his flowing locks and handsome untrimmed beard was thought to resemble — as very likely he intended — the pictures of Jesus Christ ; and when Lowell was thought to have formally announced a daring impulse of radicalism, after he, too, had eschewed the razor. The only memorial we retain unchanged from that picturesque period is in some stray member of the Hutchinson family who still comes before the public with now whitening locks and vast collar that needs no whitening; and continues to sing with unchanged sweetness the plaintive melodies that hushed the stormiest meeting when he and his four or five long-haired brothers stood grouped
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 13: business life in New York. (1844-1846.) (search)
wn impatience at her too cautious habits. If an author's case was pressing, he thought she should sit up an hour later that night and give him the finishing stroke; and the papers that brought her most criticism were those in which she yielded to these importunities, against her own better judgment. The editorial we brings its temptations alike to women and men; and sometimes her very utterances of deprecation were ill-expressed and taken for new assertion of herself. When she denied to Lowell the genuine poetic gift and said that she must assert this although to the grief of many friends and the disgust of more, it was unquestionably meant as a bit of sincere humility, and she must have been amazed to find it taken as a phrase of conceit. But she kept higher laws than she broke. In that epoch of strife which I so well remember, that storm-and-stress period, that Sturm-und-Drangzeit, she held the critical sway of the most powerful American journal with unimpaired dignity and cou
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 15: marriage and motherhood. (1847-1850.) (search)
ession of peace and serenity which before was a stranger to her. No companion in nature was ever so much to me as is Ossoli; does not this show that his soul was deep and full of emotion; for who that knew Margaret Fuller would believe that any other companion would have been agreeable to her in her communion with nature. What a beautiful picture is that of their return to Rome after a day spent on the Campagna! Ms. To this narrative I will add another letter, from Mrs. Story to Mrs. J. R. Lowell, transcribed by the latter for Miss Sarah F. Clarke, and giving some additional particulars. It is without a date, but belongs to just this period, and has not before been printed:-- My Dear Miss Clarke,--I have just received a letter from my friend, Emelyn Story, in which she speaks of a friend of yours, and of her husband, in a way which I thought might be interesting and pleasant to you, so I copy it. As to Margaret Fuller's marriage, I might write you at any length upo
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Chapter 18: literary traits. (search)
ture who could have handled the theme so well; Lowell would not have done the work so simply, or Whih go deeper, I venture to think, than anything Lowell has written on the same subject. I do not recrberts, what Landor rarely accomplished — what Lowell could not achieve in his Conversations on the namely, to her fellow-townsmen Longfellow and Lowell. It may readily be admitted at this time thatle poet did not greatly share. In regard to Lowell, the case was a little different, and her toneof culture. We have been accustomed to hear Mr. Lowell so extravagantly lauded by the circle of hishe future development of a poet. She wrote of Lowell, as has already been said, that he was absolute erred as to Scott, and Margaret Fuller as to Lowell; but we must remember that Scott's poetry was ism was made; while Margaret Fuller wrote when Lowell had printed only his Class poem and two early own throne with the blood of his slain foes. Lowell, probably, also thought that, in the case of M[1 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Index. (search)
Lewes, G. H., 229. Longfellow H. W., criticisms on, 188, 204, 218, 193; other references, 131, 283, 293-295, 298. Loring, Mr. and Mrs. E. G., 122,128. Lowell, J. R., criticisms on, 217, 296; retaliation by, 5, 298 ; other references, 128,164, 176, 208, 216, 217, 298, 296-298. Lowell, Maria (White), 128, 272; letter fromLowell, Maria (White), 128, 272; letter from, 244. Lyric Glimpses, 286, 288. M. McDowell, Mrs., 211. Mackie, J. M., 168. Mackintosh, Sir, James, 187, 287, 288. Mann, Horace, 11, 12. Mariana, story of, 28. Marston, J. Westland, 146, 160. Martineau, Harriet, 86, 46, 68, 122-129, 222, 223, 283, 284. Martineau, James, 221. Mary Queen of Scots, 226. Mazzinyond self-culture, 4, 6, 87, 88, 111, 213, 808, 309, 311; reading Jefferson's correspondence, 4, 45, 87, 308; criticism on her Memoirs, 5, 203, 800; criticisms of Lowell on, 5, 298; ancestry, 7; birthplace, 20; autobiographical romance, 22, 188 809; division of her hours, 24, 81; appearance at school, 24; appear. ance in company,