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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, The close of the War (search)
e had few equals and no superiors. He cared not for money except so far as it helped the advancement of his studies. For many years Madam Agassiz taught a select school for young ladies (to which Emerson, among others, sent his daughters), in order to provide funds for her husband to carry on his work. It is to be feared that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was rather stingy to him. Edward Everett once made an eloquent address in his behalf to the legislature, but it had no effect. Louis Napoleon's munificent offers could not induce him to return to Paris, for he believed that more important work was to be done in the new world,--which, by the way, he considered the oldest portion of the globe. In height and figure Agassiz was so much like Doctor Hill that when the two were together this was very noticeable. They were both broadshouldered, deep-chested men, and of about the same height, with large, well-rounded heads; but Agassiz had an elastic French step, whereas Doctor Hi
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Lowell (search)
e twilight of his life Lowell thought more of these ten years with Maria White than of the six years when he was Ambassador to England,with twenty-nine dinner-parties in the month of June. What would poets do without war The Trojan war, or some similar conflict, served as the ground-work of Homer's mighty epic; Virgil followed in similar lines; Dante would never have been famous but for the Guelph and Ghibeline struggle. Shakespeare's plays are full of war and fighting; and the wars of Napoleon stimulated Byron, Schiller, and Goethe to the best efforts of their lives. In dealing with men like Emerson, Longfellow, and Lowell, who were the intellectual leaders of their time, it is impossible to escape their influence in the antislavery movement, and its influence upon them, unpopular as that subject is at present. That was the heroic age of American history, and the truth concerning it has not yet been written. It was as heroic to the South as to the North, for, as Sumner said, t
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Sumner. (search)
sonalities of his contemporaries troubled him: he could not see over their heads. In 1837 Sumner went to Europe and we find from his letters to Judge Story, George S. Hillard, and others, that he had already obtained a vantage ground from which the civilized world lay before him, as all New England does from the top of Mount Washington. He goes into a French law court, and analyzes the procedure of French justice in a letter which has the value of an historical document. He noticed that Napoleon was still spoken of as l'empereur, although there was a king in France,--a fact pregnant with future consequences. He remained in Paris until he was a complete master of the French language, and attended one hundred and fifty lectures at the university and elsewhere. He enjoyed the grand opera and the acting in French theatres; nor did he neglect to study Italian art. He was making a whole man of himself; and it seemed as if an unconscious instinct was guiding him to his destiny. Fortu
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, The colored regiments. (search)
ersuade him to revoke the order. Kelley was one of the most persistent debaters who ever sat in Congress, and he argued the question with the Secretary of War for more than an hour,--to the great disgust of the latter,but Stanton was as firm as Napoleon ever was. Major Stearns never had another pleasant interview with him. The Secretary's argument was that some white regiments had complained of being placed on an equality with negroes, and that it interfered with recruiting white soldiers. portance of his work cannot readily be measured. It was no longer easy to obtain white volunteers. With a population ten millions less than that of France, the Northern States were maintaining an army much larger than the one which accompanied Napoleon to Moscow. General Thomas's right wing, at the battle of Nashville, was formed almost entirely of colored regiments. They were ordered to make a feint attack on the enemy, so as to withdraw attention from the flanking movement of his veterans
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Dr. W. T. G. Morton (search)
he had applied to other dentists in Boston to make the experiment of etherization, but found them unwilling to take the risk; but the names of the dentists have never been made public, nor did any such appear afterwards to testify in Doctor Jackson's behalf. Still more remarkable was the action of the French Academy of Arts and Sciences in these premises. The French Academy was founded by Richelieu, but abolished in the first French Revolution, with so many other enchanted phantasms. Napoleon re-established it, and gave it new life and vigor by a discriminating choice of membership; but it is a close corporation which renews itself by its own votes, and such a body of men is always in danger of becoming a mutual admiration society, and if this happens its public utility is at an end. In the present instance the action of the French Academy was illogical, unscientific, and mischievous. Doctor Jackson's letter was brought before that august body on January 18, 1847, but previou
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Leaves from a Roman diary: February, 1869 (Rewritten in 1897) (search)
at he will be the successor of Pius IX.; but, as Rev. Samuel Longfellow says, that will depend very much upon whether Louis Napoleon is alive at the time of the election. The singing in the Sistine Chapel is not worth listening to, besides having the government. Dr. Appleton reports that a cabinet officer lately said to her, We may move to Rome at any time. Louis Napoleon is the main-stay of the papacy, and the only one it has. The retrocession of Venetia to Italy has separated Austria eountered the pope near the Quirinal the previous Sunday. Dr. Appleton told us a story at dinner about the youth of Louis Napoleon. His Florentine housekeeper, Gori, remembers Hortense and her two sons very distinctly; for Louis once met him in tprinces had some sort of a feast together, the others all gave the caterer from five to ten francs as a pourboir, but Louis Napoleon gave him a twentyfranc piece. When his companions expressed their surprise at this Louis said: It is only right that