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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country 2 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 5. (ed. Frank Moore) 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 20 (search)
l from Tunis, probably, An easy morning's ride. Nothing in literature, I am sure, so condenses into a few words that gorgeous atom of life and fire of which she here attempts the description. It is, however, needless to conceal that many of her brilliant fragments were less satisfying. She almost always grasped whatever she sought, but with some fracture of grammar and dictionary on the way. Often, too, she was obscure, and sometimes inscrutable; and though obscurity is sometimes, in Coleridge's phrase, a compliment to the reader, yet it is never safe to press this compliment too hard. Sometimes, on the other hand, her verses found too much favor for her comfort, and she was urged to publish. In such cases I was sometimes put forward as a defense; and the following letter was the fruit of some such occasion: Dear friend,--Thank you for the advice. I shall implicitly follow it. The one who asked me for the lines I had never seen. He spoke of a charity. I refused
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, XXIV. a half-century of American literature (1857-1907) (search)
French Academy alone even attempts,--however it may fail in the accomplished results,--may at least be kept before us as an ideal for American students and writers, even should its demands be reduced to something as simple as those laid down by Coleridge when he announced his ability to inform the dullest writer how he might write an interesting book. Let him, says Coleridge, relate the events of his own life with honesty, not disguising the feeling that accompanied them. Quarterly Review, ers, even should its demands be reduced to something as simple as those laid down by Coleridge when he announced his ability to inform the dullest writer how he might write an interesting book. Let him, says Coleridge, relate the events of his own life with honesty, not disguising the feeling that accompanied them. Quarterly Review, XCVIII, 456. Thus simple, it would seem, are the requirements for a really good book; but, alas! who is to fulfill them? Yet if anywhere, why not in America?
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Short studies of American authors, Poe. (search)
lips. When the lyric ended, it was like the ceasing of the gypsy's chant in Browning's Flight of the Duchess; and I remember nothing more, except that in walking back to Cambridge my comrades and I felt that we had been under the spell of some wizard. Indeed, I feel much the same in the retrospect, to this day. The melody did not belong, in this case, to the poet's voice alone: it was already in the words. His verse, when he was willing to give it natural utterance, was like that of Coleridge in rich sweetness, and like that was often impaired by theories of structure and systematic experiments in metre. Never in American literature, I think, was such a fountain of melody flung into the air as when Lenore first appeared in The Pioneer; and never did fountain so drop downward as when Poe re-arranged it in its present form. The irregular measure had a beauty as original as that of Christabel ; and the lines had an ever-varying, ever-lyrical cadence of their own, until their aut
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Short studies of American authors, Helen Jackson. ( H. H. ) (search)
me one asked Emerson a few years since whether he did not think H. H. the best woman-poet on this continent, he answered in his meditative ay, Perhaps we might as well omit the woman, thus placing her, at least in that moment's impulse, at the head of all. He used to cut her poems from the newspapers as they appeared, to carry them about with him, and to read them aloud. His especial favorites were the most condensed and the deepest, those having something of that kind of obscurity which Coleridge pronounced to be a compliment to the reader. His favorite among them all is or was the sonnet entitled Thought. Messenger, art thou the king, or I? Thou dalliest outside the palace-gate Till on thine idle armor lie the late And heavy dews: the morn's bright, scornful eye Reminds thee; then, in subtle mockery, Thou smilest at the window where I wait Who bade thee ride for life. In empty state My days go on, while false hours prophesy Thy quick return; at last in sad despair I cease
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 48: Seward.—emancipation.—peace with France.—letters of marque and reprisal.—foreign mediation.—action on certain military appointments.—personal relations with foreigners at Washington.—letters to Bright, Cobden, and the Duchess of Argyll.—English opinion on the Civil War.—Earl Russell and Gladstone.—foreign relations.—1862-1863. (search)
creet members of our aristocracy exclaimed at the outbreak of the Civil War, The republican bubble has burst; but the experience of the last two years shows that, whether in peace or war, the republic, instead of a bubble, is the greatest and most solid fact in history. It is to be hoped that gradually our educated mob of the clubs will become, however unwillingly, acquainted with the warlike resources of America. The probable division of the United States was an inherited English idea. Coleridge gave expression to it in his Table Talk, p. 201 (Jan. 4, 1833). 10. The London Times, which then swayed English opinion far more than at a later period, was a potent influence against the American cause. An American living in London during the war collected in scrap-hooks all the leaders, correspondence, telegrams, and items concerning the United States which appeared in the Times. Mr. Bright, who saw them once, used to say that there were more lies between those covers than betwee
rcumstance beside. They did something to equalize joy and sorrow, honor and shame. Maternal love is love, whether a woman be a wife or only a mother. Only a mother! The happiness beneath that roof may, perhaps, have never reached so high a point as at that precise moment of my passing. In the coarsest household, the mother of a young child is placed on a sort of pedestal of care and tenderness, at least for a time. She resumes something of the sacredness and dignity of the maiden. Coleridge ranks as the purest of human emotions that of a husband towards a wife who has a baby at her breast,--a feeling how free from sensual desire, yet how different from friendship 1 And to the true mother however cultivated, or however ignorant, this period of early parentage is happier than all else, in spite of its exhausting cares. In that delightful book, the Letters of Mrs. Richard Trench (mother of the well-known English writer), the most agreeable passage is perhaps that in which, afte
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country, My out-door study (search)
the foundation of England's greatest ability. The best thoughts and purposes seem ordained to come to human beings beneath the open sky, as the ancients fabled that Pan found when he was engaged in the chase, the goddess Ceres whom no other of the gods could find when seeking seriously. The little I have gained from colleges and libraries has certainly not worn so well as the little I learned in childhood of the habits of plant, bird, and insect. That weight and sanity of thought, which Coleridge so finely makes the crowning attribute of Wordsworth, is in no way so well matured and cultivated as in the society of Nature. There may be extremes and affectations, and Mary Lamb declared that Wordsworth held it doubtful if a dweller in towns had a soul to be saved. During the various phases of transcendental idealism among ourselves in the last twenty years, the love of Nature has at times assumed an exaggerated and even a pathetic a pathetic aspect, in the morbid attempts of youths
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, A book of American explorers, Index. (search)
ada, The French in, 97-118, 267. Cape Cod visited by Standish, 312. Caribbees, The, 21, 23, 28, 29, 35, 39, 50. Cartier, Jacques, 58, 97-118. Carver, Governor, 319, 337. Cassen, George, 237, 238. Castillo, Alonzo del, 77, 90. Champlain, Samuel de, on the war-path, 267-278. Chanca, Dr., 26. Charlesfort, 148, 149, 152. Chemin, John du, 165. Children, Indian, 251. Clap, Captain, Roger, 339, 358-361. Clement, Francis, 301. Cleveland, H. R., 280. Cogswell, J. G., 54. Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, 83. Coligny, Admiral, De, 143. Colman, John, 284. Colonies in New England, unsuccessful, 201-228. Colonies, The lost, of Virginia, 75-200. Colonists in Virginia, Smith's description of, 234. Colony, Massachusetts Bay, 339-362. Plymouth, 225, 309-338. Popham, 223. Virginia (first), 186; (second) 189; Captain John Smith's, 229-263. Columbus, Christopher, Letters of, 19-39; appeal of in his old age, 5; and his companions, 17-52. Columbus, Diego,
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
is only within the last twenty years, however, that the study of Dante, in any true sense, became at all general. Even Coleridge seems to have been familiar only with the Inferno. In America Professor Ticknor was the first to devote a special cours without the help of a single epithet. We will only add a word on what seems to us an extraordinary misapprehension of Coleridge, who disparages Dante by comparing his Lucifer with Milton's Satan. He seems to have forgotten that the precise measurho have but a superficial acquaintance with it, or rather with the Inferno, which is as far as most English critics go. Coleridge himself, who had a way of divining what was in books, may be justly suspected of not going further, though with Carey t Inferno, XXXI. 136-138. And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, That give away their motion to the stars. Coleridge, Dejection, an Ode. See also the comparison of the dimness of the faces seen around him in Paradise to a pearl on a whi
James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Spenser (search)
r to truth and nature. The fact is that what we see is in the mind to a greater degree than we are commonly aware. As Coleridge says,— O lady, we receive but what we give, And in our life alone doth Nature live! I have made the unfortunate Duhan those of his contemporaries. Some of his elegiacs are not ungrateful to the ear, and it can hardly be doubted that Coleridge borrowed from his eclogue of Strephon and Klaius the pleasing movement of his own Catullian Hendecasyllabics. Spenser, mable to barbara or celarent. Another pretty verse in the same eclogue, But gently took that ungently came, pleased Coleridge so greatly that he thought it was his own. But in general it is not so much the sentiments and images that are new as tng to his great toe, about which he had seen Tartars and Turks, Romans and Carthaginians, fight in his imagination; and Coleridge has told us how his eyes made pictures when they were shut. This is not uncommon, but I fancy that Spenser was more ha
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