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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Longfellow (search)
ermany, and then returned to Portland, the same true American as when he left there, without foreign ways or modes of thinking, and with no more than the slight aroma of a foreign air upon him. Longfellow and his whole family were natural cosmopolitans. There was nothing of the proverbial Yankee in their composition. Whittier was a Quaker by creed, but he was also much of a Yankee in style and manner. Emerson looked like a Yankee, and possessed the cool Yankee shrewdness. Lowell's Biglow Papers testified to the fundamental Yankee; but the Longfellows were endowed with a peculiar refinement and purity which seemed to distinguish them as much in Cambridge or London as it did in Portland, where there has always been a rather superior sort of society. It was like French refinement without being Gallic. No wonder that a famous poet should emanate from such a family. What we notice especially in the Longfellow Letters during this European sojourn is the admonition of Henry's fat
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Lowell (search)
to be an inspiration of the moment; a good foundation to begin with, but which he found afterwards it was necessary to modify. In the preface to one of his Biglow Papers he speaks of his life in Concord as being As lazy as the bream Which only thinks to head up stream. The men whom he chiefly associated with there were namee of poetical satire since Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, --keen and even saucy, but perfectly good-humored. About the same time he commenced his Biglow Papers, which did not wholly cease until 1866, and were the most incisive and aggressive anti-slavery literature of that period. Soon afterwards he wrote The visionficer in the streets of Boston, covered all over with brass let alone that which nature had sot on his countenance, which inspired his writing the first of the Biglow Papers. They were hastily and carelessly written, and Lowell himself held them in slight estimation as literature; but they became immediately popular, as no poetry
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 13: the dream of the republic (search)
of its offshoots; and yet all the resources of assisted emigration and subsidized railroads, though they can tempt natives of the United Kingdom there, cannot keep them there. If, now, those born in Great Britain itself prefer the life of the self-governing republic, why should not those also prefer it who had the misfortune to be born somewhere else-as, for instance, in Venezuela or in Mexico? There remains only that general proposition, which Lowell satirized without mercy in his Biglow Papers fifty years ago, that all who do not speak English must needs be an inferior race, and that Anglosaxondom's idea must break them all to pieces. Yet there was a time when Bolivar was a recognized hero throughout this continent for rescuing first Venezuela and then Peru from the Spanish dominion; and when he died, in 1830, his name was associated in the public voice with that of Washington. We are now told that the South American states are unstable as to government and have occasional w
is now Putnam Avenue,—but these have now unfortunately vanished. There were ample woods for wildflowers,— Norton's woods and Palfrey's woods especially,—and I have deposited at the Botanical Garden my early botanical notebooks, showing what rare wild-flowers, such as the cardinal flower, the fringed gentian, and the gaudy rhexia, once grew within the town limits. There were also birds now banished which I ineffectually vexed with bow and arrow, envying hopelessly the double-barreled gun—perhaps equally superfluous —of my elder brother. Often I have taken part in those May parties described so pityingly by Lowell in Biglow Papers. We learned to skate on Craigie's Pond, to swim in the then unpolluted Charles River, to row at Fresh Pond. We were without many things which now make the bliss of boys, —bicycles and kodaks and toboggans,—but after all, the Cambridge village of those days was a pleasant birthplace. Yet in what place is it not a happy thing for a boy to ha
been expected to be the place where something unique and germinal in its relation to the civic and ethical well-being of this land should break forth. 2. But, passing beyond the historical significance of the city, its large intellectual meaning, and its being favored of God in the bestowal upon it of genius and of poetry, we need to come to the nearer years. I think it would be impossible for those streets which Lowell had trod, and for the slopes where he had chanted to himself the Biglow Papers and the deathless Commemoration Ode, to be other than almost trembling with passionate desire for fair play, for good government, for the realization of the rights of man, and for the fulfillment of the civic and moral possibilities of all dwelling within its borders. Lowell was a better singer of good politics than a practical worker in its details, though his practical services in several particulars rank high in the annals of such endeavor; but the spirit of Lowell, and of his friend
to Boston each morning in the hourlies to aid in making the daily papers of our neighboring city, and rode out again in the evening to take their well-earned repose at their homes hard by the banks of the placid Charles. Among these were Joseph Tinker Buckingham (ne Tinker), The father of Mr. Buckingham was Nehemiah Tinker, but the son took his mother's name by permission of the Massachusetts legislature, in 1806. He has been immortalized by Mr. Lowell, in the first series of the Biglow Papers, which was published in the Courier, in 1846-1848, when Mr. Buckingham was its editor. his Folks gin the letter to me and i shew it to parson Wilbur and he ses it oughter Bee printed, send it to mister Buckinum, ses he, i don't allers agree with him, ses he, but by Time, ses he, I du like a feller that ain't a Feared. It was in the New England Magazine, then under the editorial care of Mr. Buckingham, that Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes published his first Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XV: journeys (search)
st Dickens—it is not the thing to admire him, his subjects are thought commonplace and his sentiments forced. Walt Whitman among their set is the American poet; the taste for Miller has passed by and though he is here his poetry is forgotten. He was thought original and characteristic and when he came to parties with trousers thrust in his boots, he was thought the only American who dared do in England as he would do at home. Whittier was unknown they said, and Lowell only through the Biglow Papers. Swinburne calls him no poet but a critic who tries to write poetry. (13-14 June) I spent in Conway's Convention which was very interesting and called out strong character and ready speaking. I was on the committee too to draft the Constitution which differs somewhat from our Free Religious Association (as does the name Association of Liberal Thinkers). The best known people in it were Voysey (a small and narrow soul who got alarmed and withdrew), Leslie Stephen (who married Miss T
Francis Jackson Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879; the story of his life told by his children: volume 3, Chapter 6: third mission to England.—1846. (search)
Davis (Ms. Jan. 8, 1847): ‘I wonder if you enjoyed his description of the Fair as much as I did. I saw Garrison the other day, and he seemed to be especially pleased with it, and the account of Stephen Foster delighted him. Of that and Maria Chapman he spoke most particularly. Miller made one error, and only one, in his copy, and that was sweet instead of swift eyes. Mrs. Chapman's eyes are not sweet, but swift expresses exactly their rapid, comprehensive glance.’ The author of the Biglow Papers had already begun that inimitable satire of the national crime against Mexico, marked, so far, by Taylor's military successes at Lib. 16.82, 167. Matamoras and Monterey. The demoralization which war immediately produces as a mere status, was lamentably shown by the compliance of the Whig governors Briggs Geo. N. Briggs, Wm. Slade. and Slade (of Massachusetts and Vermont respectively) with the President's request for a State call for volunteers. Lib. 16.87, 90, 91, 113. This action di
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VI (search)
n. It is much the same in literature. Lady Morgan, describing the high society of Dublin in her day, speaks of one man as a great favorite who always entered every drawing-room by turning a somersault. This is one way of success for an American book; but the other way, which is at least more dignified, is rarely successful except when combined with personal residence and private acquaintance. Down to the year 1880 Lowell was known in England, almost exclusively, as the author of the Biglow Papers, and was habitually classed with Artemus Ward and Josh Billings, except that his audience was smaller. The unusual experience of a diplomatic appointment first unveiled to the English mind the all-accomplished Lowell whom we mourn. In other cases, as with Prescott and Motley, there was the mingled attraction of European manners and a European subject. But a simple and home-loving American, who writes upon the themes furnished by his own nation, without pyrotechnics or fantastic spelli
ayou, Fla., I., 91. Big Beaver Creek, Mo., II., 326. Big Bethel, Va., I., 262, 348; VIII., 104. Big Black River, Miss., II., 189, 191, 220, 334, 340. Big Creek Gap, Tenn., I., 358. Big Hill, Madison Co., Ky. , II., 322. Big River bridge, Mo., I., 352. Big Sandy River, Ky., I., 180. Big Shanty, Ga., IV., 206. Big Tybee Island, Ga., I., 361; VI., 236. Bigelow, J., II., 106, 250; VI., 25, 291. Bigelow, J., Jr. II., 121. Biglow Papers, J. R. Lowell, IX., 23, 256. Biles, E. R., VIII., 319. Billings, J. S., VII., 223. Billups, J., VII., 123. Billy, horse of G. H. Thomas, IV., 314. Biloxi, Miss., VI., 312. Bird's Point, Mo. (see also Charleston, Mo.), I., 177, 350. Birdsong Ferry, Miss., II., 340. Birge, H. W., X., 197. Birney, D. B.: II., 51, 237; III., 76, 90, 208, 321; X., 187, 212, 290. Birney, W., X., 219. Bisland, La., II., 332. Bivouac in McC
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