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Charles E. Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe compiled from her letters and journals by her son Charles Edward Stowe 26 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises 16 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 16 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 10 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Women and Men 8 0 Browse Search
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 2 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, John Greenleaf Whittier 2 0 Browse Search
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 2. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier) 2 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book. You can also browse the collection for John Ruskin or search for John Ruskin in all documents.

Your search returned 8 results in 8 document sections:

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, VI (search)
ine. It was after Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu had been asked to hear Voltaire demolish Shakespeare at an evening party in Paris that she made her celebrated answer, when the host expressed the hope that she had not been pained by the criticism: Why should I be pained? I have not the honor to be among the intimate friends of M. de Voltaire. Even at this day the French journalists are quite bewildered by the Pall Mall Gazette's lists of English immortals; and ask who Tennyson is, and what plays Ruskin has written. Those who happened, like myself, to be in Paris during the Exposition of 1878 remember well the astonishment produced in the French mind by the discovery that any pictures were painted in England; and the French Millet was at that time almost as little known in London as was his almost namesake, the English Millais, in Paris. If a foreign nation represented posterity, neither of these eminent artists appeared then to have a chance of lasting fame. When we see the intellectu
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XI (search)
mirer a letter from Zelter which was obviously witten in a fortunate hour. Pen, paper, handwriting, were all favorable; so that for once, Goethe said, there was a true and complete expression of the man, and perhaps one never again to be obtained in like perfection. The student of literature is constantly impressed with the existence of these single autographs, these high-water marks as it were, of 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, among which there may be one, conceived in some happy hour, that shall live. After the few great reputations there is perhaps no better anchorage in the vast sea of fame than a single sonnet like that of Blanco White. Since, at the best, one's reputation is to be d
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XIII (search)
ng which may be called a literary background. His readers, at any rate, demand for him, if he does not perceive the need of it for himself, that there shall be something which suggests a wide and flexible training, with large vistas of knowledge. They like to see in him that full man who is made, as Lord Bacon says, by reading. One main reason why Homer and Plato and Horace and even Dante seem to supply more of this kind of fulness than can be got from an equivalent study of Balzac and Ruskin, is doubtless because the older authors are remoter, and so make the vista look more wide. The vaster the better; but there must be enough of it, at least, to convey a distinct sensation of background. Of course, when this background obtrudes itself into the foreground, it becomes intolerable; and such books as Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy are tiresome, because they are all made up of background, and that of the craggiest description; but, after all, the books which offer only foreground
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XVIII (search)
en. The result is a tribute to that natural inequality of men which is as fully recognized, in a true republic, as their natural equality; that is, they are equal in the sense of being equally men, but not equal in their gifts as men. It is curious to see how the social falsities of English society tell on educated Englishmen, so surely as they grow old enough to shed the generous impulses of youth. It was in vain that Tennyson wrote Clara Vere de Vere, and Froude The Nemesis of Faith, and Ruskin Modern Painters, and Swinburne the Song in Time of Order: let them once reach middle life and they are all stanch Tories and accept dukes; and now Huxley follows in their train. But here in America we find no difficulty in selecting our natural leaders, sooner or later, and owning them; they do not have to fight for recognition, in most cases; it comes by a process like the law of gravitation. In our colonial town records the object of the meeting was often stated as being to know the To
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XXII (search)
understand his oracles. He has commentators, which is perhaps another reason for his not being understood. His reputation will go on increasing, because scarce anybody reads him. How little he was known in England a hundred years ago may be seen from the fact that Dr. Nathan Drake, who had quite a name as a critic a century ago, spoke of Dr. Darwin's placid and pedantic poem, The Botanic Garden, as showing the wild and terrible sublimity of Dante. A hundred years from this have ended in Ruskin's characterization of Dante as the central man of all the world, as representing in perfect balance the imaginative, moral, and intellectual faculties, all at their highest. When we consider that this was said of a man born more than six centuries before the words were written, it certainly illustrates the concentration of fame upon a single name. With scarcely less superb exclusiveness, Goethe described Napoleon as a compendium of the world (Dieses Compendium der Welt). In allusion to
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XXIII (search)
ge best by seeing in how few lines he can put vividly before us some theme which Tennyson or Browning afterward hammers out into a long poem. In English literature there seemed to be developing, in the time of Addison, something of that steady, even, felicitous power which makes French prose so remarkable; but it has passed, since his day, possibly from excess of vigor, into a prolonged series of experiments. Johnson experimentalized in one direction, Coleridge in another; Landor, Macaulay, Carlyle, Ruskin, in other directions still; and the net result is an uncertain type of style, which has almost always vigor and sometimes beauty, but is liable at any moment to relapse into Rider Haggard and a fiddlestick's end. It is hard for our modest American speech to hold its own, now that the potent influence of Emerson has passed away; but we are lost unless we keep resolutely in mind that prose style ought not to be merely a bludgeon or a boomerang, but should be a weapon of precision.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XXV (search)
arely finds among Germans or Frenchmen. It comes, perhaps, from the habit of local self-government. If the streets are not well lighted, or if one's horse stumbles over an ill-kept pavement, the natural impulse is to complain of it to every one we meet, and to write about it in the local newspaper. Instead of putting only our strong points forward, we are always ready to discuss our weakest side. This must always be remembered in digesting the criticisms of Englishmen. Dickens, Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold, have said nothing about Americans more unpleasant than they had previously said about their own countrymen; and why should we expect to fare any better? It is only in foreign countries that even we Americans stand up resolutely for our own land. I lived for some time with a returned fellow-countryman of very keen wit, who, after long residence in Europe, found nothing to please him at home. One day, meeting one of his European companions, I was asked, How is ——? Does he stand up
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, Index (search)
222. Plato, 48, 114. Plot, the proposed abolition of, 135. Plutarch, 4, 174. Poe, E. A., 66, 155, 190, 219. Popkin, J. S., 117, 169, 171, 172, 174. Posterity, a contemporaneous, 51. Precision, weapons of, 192. Prescott, W. H., 59. Q. Quincy, Edmund, 22. Quintilian, 232. R. Racine, Jean, 92. Ramler, C. W., 90. Raphael da Urbino, 188. Rainsford, W. S., 79. Richter, J. P. F., 182. Rollo Books, the, 180. Roscoe, William, 216. Russell, W. Clark, 202. Ruskin, John, 53, 97, 114, 187 197, 206. Rousseau, J. J., 179. S. Sala, G. A., 203. Sand, George, 56. Scherer, Edmond, 5. Schiller, J. C. F. von, 90, 179, 189. Scott. Sir Walter, 10, 15, 46, 94. Scudder, S. H., 73. Self-depreciation, the trick of, 206. Sentimental, decline of the, 178. Seward, Anna, 218. Shadow of Europe, the, 27. Shakespeare, William, 16, 21, 48, 52, 186, 188, 189, 191. Shelley, P. B., 190. Sheridan, P. H., 47, 123. Sidney, Sir, Philip, 83. Slavery, Emers