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rother for $123 dated about 1859 . . . having long held them as worthless, this being with compound interest at perhaps 4 pr. ct. though the notes were without interest. . .Great surprise. In June the invalid was transported to Dublin, and in July made the following note:— July 30. Sent to printers first (new) instalment of narrative. [ Cheerful Yesterdays. ] . . . Collapse. . . . This involves putting back on milk diet and cessation of drives for a time. Giving up autumn journey pa was off his hands he wrote, Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic, Book and Heart, and Old Cambridge. In 1900, he began a Life of Longfellow for the American Men of Letters series, and in 1902 wrote a biography of Whittier, recording in July, Have worked for ten days on Whittier—averaging 1000 words daily. The French writer, Th. Bentzon (Mme. Blanc), after visiting this country in the nineties, wrote an account of Colonel Higginson which was translated with the inapt title, A Typi
ity, joining in the latter. Aldrich's Monody on the Death of Wendell Phillips, beginning,— One by one they go Into the unknown dark, was read, this being a poem for which Colonel Higginson had deeply cared. His ashes were deposited in the Cambridge Cemetery by the side of the little grave where he had strewn flowers on Decoration Day for thirty years. Of this spot, overlooking the Charles River Valley and commanding a view of the city of his birth, he had written:— Shadows come and shadows go O'er the meadows wide; Twice each day, to and fro, Steals the river-tide; Each morn with sunrise-glow Gilds the green hillside. On the bright May morning of 1911, when we stood there sorrowing, Dr. Crothers recalled a thought which had come to him in the church when he heard the bugle sounding Taps and the distant response. I thought, he said, of the passing of Mr. Valiant-for-truth in Pilgrim's Progress. So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
much to my satisfaction, after seven years and four months. An extension of a year's time without compensation was however granted at Colonel Higginson's request, and the History was satisfactorily completed. These fragments from the diary after his recovery show the continued activity:— Oct. 20, 1897. Evening presided at Anthony Hope Hawkins's reading. Had him here afterwards. Feb. 12, 1898. Springfield. Spoke at Lincoln dinner after half hour's reception to 100 men. March 9. Spent morning at State House—outrageous bill against Sunday Concerts. May 31, 1900. Evening, Boer meeting and presided. Got through well, though voice not strong. The three Boer envoys unusually fine looking men. This was a meeting at Faneuil Hall where envoys from the Boer Republic presented their side of the South African trouble with England. From a newspaper account of a similar meeting in Worcester at which Colonel Higginson presided, this extract is taken:— However<
had befriended a young man who was convicted of burglary and sentenced to prison, and had given substantial aid to establish him in business when he was released. His own account of this bit of good fortune is found in his diary:— May 2. Received from Mrs. check for $500 for two notes of her brother for $123 dated about 1859 . . . having long held them as worthless, this being with compound interest at perhaps 4 pr. ct. though the notes were without interest. . .Great surprise. In June the invalid was transported to Dublin, and in July made the following note:— July 30. Sent to printers first (new) instalment of narrative. [ Cheerful Yesterdays. ] . . . Collapse. . . . This involves putting back on milk diet and cessation of drives for a time. Giving up autumn journey part planned. Giving up (probably)winter lecturing. Giving up (probably) England next year. Very possibly semi-invalidism for the rest of my life. Still this to be quietly faced and recognized. How
nd recognized. However, these anxieties proved needless, as the next year saw him sufficiently recovered to embark for Europe. It pleased him to find that during the year in bed he had earned more by writing than in several previous years. In April of this year (1896) he made a list of books read in the previous six months—forty-two in all. He also noted that in seven years he had read four hundred and seventy-nine books. Giving away books was another source of pleasure, those given to difhe elect and more faith in the many. During the winter of 1911, strength gradually failed, though interest in the affairs of life never flagged. In February, he read a paper on Dickens, with all his old spirit, before the Round Table, and in April, he attended a meeting of the Authors' Club in Milton. His last thoughts and directions were for others, and his last days painless and serene. On the evening of May 9, while soft spring airs lifted the curtains of his windows, his visible pres
October 21st (search for this): chapter 16
touching thing thus to close the half century of our family's residence in Brattleboro, where they went in 1842. But the gradual disappearance of early friends never visibly depressed him. He lived in the present, and when disappointed in a contemporary wrote in his diary, Thank God, there are always children! The lecture habit was assiduously pursued, and on the four hundredth anniversary of the landing of Columbus, 1892, he wrote, I give a Columbus and musical address in New York on October 21, for which I am to be paid $250, twice the biggest fee I ever get for a speech. This celebration took the form of a concert, the handbill stating: In the course of the proceedings an oration will be delivered by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The author's seventieth birthday came in 1893. It was made an especially festive occasion by his friends, and the little red house was thronged. These celebrations were continued through successive birthdays when flowers, letters, telegrams
ted and published in London. Of course it gratified me, even if sometimes overstated and undeserved, gratified more than such pleasant personal tributes as those of Justin McCarthy, Tom Hughes, and others in their books of reminiscences. In February of the same year, he writes:— It was curious after my seven months absence [in Europe] when I wrote nothing for print, to come back and find the same continuous impulse of hard work in my study. April 3, 1902. Evening. E. E. Hale Festeding years:— Every year makes me, at least, more democratic, with less reverence for the elect and more faith in the many. During the winter of 1911, strength gradually failed, though interest in the affairs of life never flagged. In February, he read a paper on Dickens, with all his old spirit, before the Round Table, and in April, he attended a meeting of the Authors' Club in Milton. His last thoughts and directions were for others, and his last days painless and serene. On the e
ore written out my Lowell lectures in full. Jan. 5, 1903. The lecture was considered a great success. All standing room occupied and almost everybody stayed through. I found reading to be far easier than speaking without notes (as I have done so long) and almost as effective; it seemed like beginning a new career and my voice served me well. Of the third course, in 1905, he wrote:— Feb. 28. First Lowell lecture (Wordsworth-shire). A great success—an unexpectedly fine voice. March 7. Second Lowell lecture. Carlyle, Ruskin, Froude, Hunt. March 28. Fifth Lowell lecture. Dickens, Thackeray and reading Tennyson's poems. April 4. Last Lowell lecture. Considered very successful and was pronounced by John Lowell the best he ever heard in that hall. In May, 1903, he spoke at the Concord Emerson celebration:— Meeting good and my address successful. After it, Senator Hoar turned to me and said, grasping my hand, What I have to say is pewter and tinse<
college] until actually called up. When she came and had more applause than any, I felt that I would rather give up my degree for to-morrow than that all her efforts and mine should fail. For in 1898 Colonel Higginson was given by Harvard the degree of Ll.D., an honor already conferred upon him by Western Reserve University two years earlier. As he went forward to receive this honor, he was greeted with a prolonged burst of enthusiasm which was almost overpowering. He wrote in his diary, June 26:— Received degree of Ll.D. somewhat tardily, but glad of delay for the sake of the roar of applause from the audience (beginning with the young men) which greeted it. It was wholly a surprise to me and was something to have lived for. The secret of Colonel Higginson's popularity was the overflowing fountain of sympathy which pulsed in his veins. Lowell's lines might have been written about him:— [He] doeth little kindnesses Which most leave undone, or despise. One of these wa
Feb. 12. Evening at North End school—very turbulent—Italian boys, but I enjoyed talking to them, until I read from Army Life which was a mistake. Never read before children. Mar. 12. Boston before legislative committee at State House, with 8 old soldiers against me. This meeting was to consider the erection of a statue to General Butler, which Colonel Higginson opposed. Mar. 19. At Binghamton, N. Y. P. M. Lecture and had good audience of perhaps 250 in hard storm. June 28. Phi Beta Kappa. At meeting, gave notice of amendment next year in regard to women's admission to dinner. Two grandchildren came to cheer these later days, the first a boy named Wentworth born in 1906, of whom he wrote:— The beautiful and happy baby makes my health or illness a secondary trifle—if I can only pass quietly away without those melancholy intermediate days or weeks when I may be only a burden. And at Ipswich, two years later, he thus announced the arrival of a sec
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