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Accomack (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
mber 18, 1839, Mr. Alcott records in his memoranda that Margaret Fuller gave her views of the proposed Dial, which she afterwards edited. This is the first record, so far as I know, of the precise name of the periodical, this being apparently borrowed from a manuscript bearing the same name and composed by Mr. Alcott. Alcott's Ms. Diary, XIV. 79. Meanwhile, to accentuate the literary tendency of the new movement in a yet more marked way, a young Harvard graduate, Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, then Latin tutor at the University, who was an occasional member or visitor of the Symposium Club, had taken for his Master of Arts oration in 1839 this daring theme, No good possible but shall one day be real, and had thus boldly turned his searchlight upon the position and prospects of American literature :-- When Horace was affecting to make himself a Greek poet, the genius of his country, the shade of immortal Romulus, stood over him, post mediam noctem visus quum somnia vera, and
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 2
-- Its labors may be considered as a true revival of polite learning in this country, after that decay and neglect which resulted from the distractions of the Revolutionary War, and as forming an epoch in the intellectual history of the United States. This epoch may, however, be better indicated by the foundation of the North American Review, which immediately followed. This periodical, during far the larger part of its early career, was under the editorship of Cambridge men. After the farvard Law School, who had for many years a higher foreign reputation than any other American author, thus wrote in 1819 to Sir William Scott: So great is the call for talents of all sorts in the active use of professional and other business in America, that few of our ablest men have leisure to devote exclusively to literature or the fine arts, or to composition on abstract science. This obvious reason . . . will explain why we have few professional authors and those not among our ablest men
Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
ding their last half-dollar on a copy of Spenser's Faerie Queene, instead of a dinner. He was a man of wide reading, great memory, and great inventive power; his favorite work in embryo being a tale which was to occupy twelve volumes each as large as Sue's Wandering Jew, then widely read. Two of these volumes were to contain an incidental summary of the history of the world, told by a heavenly spirit to a man wandering among the Mountains of the Moon in Africa. He came to Cambridge under Lowell's patronage and secured a place in the post-office at a salary of two hundred dollars, on which modest income he married a maiden as poor as himself, who brought him as a dowry two eagles,--formidable pets,--whose butcher's bills made great inroads on his pay. With all these peculiarities he was a capital journalist and had much organizing power, the main work of bringing into existence the Free Soil (afterward Republican) party falling upon him. He made, however, no permanent contribution t
Worcester (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
in 1853, four years sooner. The late Mr. Francis H. Underwood gave the fullest indication of this when he wrote in Our Day (December, 1891): It was the project of a young enthusiast [Mr. Underwood himself], who desired to enlist the leading authors of New England in the crusade against slavery, and it had been the subject of conferences at intervals with Lowell, Longfellow, and Mrs. Stowe for more than three years. The following letters, both addressed to me,--I was then living in Worcester, Massachusetts,--will explain what occurred during these intervening years:-- Boston, November 21, 1853. Dear Sir, Messrs. J. P. Jewett & Co. of this city propose to establish a Literary and Anti-Slavery magazine -commencing probably in January. The publishers have energy and capital, and will spare no pains to make the enterprise completely successful. They will endeavor to obtain contributions from the best writers, and will pay liberally for all they make use of. Politics and the Huma
Chicago (Illinois, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
othe? What is the present population of Chillicothe? or, Columbus? What is the population of Columbus? and then, putting away the item in some appropriate pigeon-hole of his vast memory, would relapse into his rocking-chair once more. These various periodicals, with their editors, gave to Cambridge the constant attitude of dawning knowledge, of incipient literature, which, indeed, properly belongs to a college town. It is to be observed that all new university centres, as Baltimore or Chicago, thus now signalize their arrival through the creation of new periodicals by the dozen. The North American Review existed at a time when the Four Reviews, as they were called, were still the foundation of all American thought, and when sets of the Modern British Essayists had taken the place in young men's libraries of the British Essayists of Addison's period. The result was a well-bred, clearly written, somewhat prosaic style common to both nations, but practically brought to an end
America (Illinois, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
arlyle with his impetuous vigor and by what Holmes called the Macaulay-flowers of literature. These influences in England, with the rise of Emerson and Parker in America, brought a distinct change, and Lowell eminently contributed his share when Professor Bowen, editing the North American, complained of his articles as being too bowy opinions which lay behind the movement called Transcendentalism, there can be no doubt that, so far as literature went, it was the beginning of a new era for America. In the very first number of the Dial, upon its first page Emerson announced it as its primary aim to make new demands on literature ; and it is worth noticing tprobable that we shall use a trifle larger type than our New York contemporary. Poetry, of course, we pay for according to value. There are not above six men in America (known to me) to whom I would pay anything for poetry. There is no medium; it is good or it is good-for-nothing. Lowell I esteem most; after him Whittier (the l
Ripley (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
ld prove a classic,--A summer Cruise on the Coast of New England. One of the controlling influences in the North American, and in all the Cambridge life of that period, was a man whose prominence is now merged in that of a yet more accomplished and eminent son. This was Professor Andrews Norton, admirably described by George Ripley, -the founder of Brook Farm,--who had nevertheless had with him a controversy so vehement that it would have annihilated the mutual appreciation of lesser men. Ripley's characterization is as follows:-- Mr. Norton may be said to have formed a connecting link between the past and the future in American literary cultivation. He appeared at the moment when the scholastic attainments since the period of the Revolution were about to ripen into a more generous development. In early life he was far in advance of most of his contemporaries in sound and exact learning, and in what was then deemed an excessive freedom of speculation. He was connected with
Addison, Steuben County, New York (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
ent literature, which, indeed, properly belongs to a college town. It is to be observed that all new university centres, as Baltimore or Chicago, thus now signalize their arrival through the creation of new periodicals by the dozen. The North American Review existed at a time when the Four Reviews, as they were called, were still the foundation of all American thought, and when sets of the Modern British Essayists had taken the place in young men's libraries of the British Essayists of Addison's period. The result was a well-bred, clearly written, somewhat prosaic style common to both nations, but practically brought to an end by Carlyle with his impetuous vigor and by what Holmes called the Macaulay-flowers of literature. These influences in England, with the rise of Emerson and Parker in America, brought a distinct change, and Lowell eminently contributed his share when Professor Bowen, editing the North American, complained of his articles as being too brilliant. Since that
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
l (1840), and that of the Atlantic Monthly (1857). During each of these epochs a peculiarly important part was taken by Cambridge men. 1. the north American Review The North American Review, though preceded in Boston by the short-lived Massachusetts Magazine and the Monthly Anthology, yet achieved an influence and a prominence which these did not reach, and is still issued, though in another city and in another form. Of the Anthology Club of Boston, Josiah Quincy saidknowing intimately now in living a high philosophy and faith; so shall we find now, here, the elements, and in our own good souls the fire. Of every storied bay and cliff and plain, we will make something infinitely nobler than Salamis or Marathon. This pale Massachusetts sky, this sandy soil and raw wind, all shall nurture us:-- O Nature, less is all of thine, Than are thy borrowings from our human breast. Rich skies, fair fields, shall come to us, suffused with the immortal hues of spirit, of beaute
jected, and though this sketch, as her brother suggests, must not be taken too literally, and though it was only, as has since been pointed out, what was applied to all the professors' children, yet it would now be regarded as extreme and objectionable. When she was fifteen and had returned from a short experience of boarding-school, her actual mode of life was as follows: she rose before five in summer, walked an hour, practised an hour on the piano, breakfasted at seven, read Sismondi's European literature in French till eight, then Brown's Philosophy till half-past 9, then went to school for Greek at twelve, then practised again till dinner. After the early dinner she read two hours in Italian, then walked or rode; and in the evening played, sang, and retired at eleven to write in her diary. All this was at the time of year when young girls are now entering upon their summer vacation or speeding over hill and vale on their bicycles. This was the period when she went to school w
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