he page being written, after the custom of English authors of half a century ago, on both sides of the paper; and as I study it, every curl and twist of the handwriting, every back-stroke of the pen, every substitution of a more piquant word for a plainer one, bespeaks the man of whim.
Perhaps this quality came by nature through a Scotch ancestry; perhaps it was strengthened by the accidental course of his early reading.
It may be that it was Richter who moulded him, after all, rather than Goethe; and we know that Richter was defined by Carlyle, in his very first literary essay, as a humorist and a philosopher, putting the humorist first.
The German author's favorite type of character-seen to best advantage in his Siebenkas of the Blumen, Frucht, und Dornenstiicke --came nearer to the actual Carlyle than most of the grave portraitures yet executed.
He, as is said of Siebenkas, disguised his heart beneath a grotesque mask, partly for greater freedom, and partly because he preferred
Greek Literature in that institution, had proposed that some young graduate of promise should be sent to Germany for purposes of study, that he might afterwards become one of the corps of Harvard instructors.
Accordingly, Bancroft was selected, and went, in the early summer of 1818, to Gottingen.
At that time the University had among its professors Eichhorn, Heeren, and Blumenbach.
He also studied at Berlin, where he knew Schleiermacher, Savigny, and Wilhelm von Humboldt.
At Jena he saw Goethe, and at Heidelberg studied under Schlosser.
This last was in the spring of 1821, when he had already received his degree of Ph. D. at Gottingen and was making the tour of Europe.
At Paris he met Cousin, Constant, and Alexander von Humboldt; he knew Manzoni at Milan, and Bunsen and Niebuhr at Rome.
The very mention of these names seems to throw his early career far back into the past.
Such experiences were far rarer then than now, and the return from them into what was the villagelike li
so he would share those attractions of constantly increasing mildness and courtesy which are so often justly claimed for advancing years.
There was in him, at an earlier period, a certain amount of visible self-will, and a certain impatience with those who dissented from him,--he would not have been his father's son had it been otherwise.
But these qualities diminished, and he grew serener and more patient with others as the years went on. Happy is he who has lived long enough to say with Goethe, It is only necessary to grow old to become more indulgent.
I see no fault committed which I have not committed myself.
This milder and more genial spirit increased constantly as Norton grew older, until it served at last only to make his high-bred nature more attractive.
He was born in Cambridge, November 16, 1827, and died in the very house where he was born, October 21, 1908.
He was descended, like several other New England authors, from a line of Puritan clergymen.
He was the son
In March, 1843, he finally left Gottingen for home by way of Belgium and England, and entered the Harvard Law School in the autumn, taking his degree there two years later, in 1845.
Renewing acquaintance with him during this period, I found him to be, as always, modest and reticent in manner, bearing unconsciously a certain European prestige upon him, which so commanded the respect of a circle of young men that we gave him the sobriquet of Jarno, after the well-known philosophic leader in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister.
Whatever he may say of himself, I cannot help still retaining somewhat of my old feeling about the mental training of the man who, while in the Law School, could write a paper so admirable as Cabot's essay entitled Immanuel Kant ( Dial, IV, 409), an essay which seems to me now, as it then seemed, altogether the simplest and most effective statement I have ever encountered of the essential principles of that great thinker's philosophy.
I remember that when I told Cabot t