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Jefferson (search for this): chapter 3
to my country, for I am beginning to appreciate the United States and its great men. The violent antipathies,—the result of an exaggerated love for, shall I call it by so big a name as the poetry of being? —and the natural distrust arising from being forced to hear the conversation of half-bred men, all whose petty feelings were roused to awkward life by the paltry game of local politics,—are yielding to reason and calmer knowledge. Had I but been educated in the knowledge of such men as Jefferson, Franklin, Rush! I have learned now to know them partially. And I rejoice, if only because my father and I can have so much in common on this topic. All my other pursuits have led me away from him; here he has much information and ripe judgment. But, better still, I hope to feel no more that sometimes despairing, sometimes insolently contemptuous, feeling of incongeniality with my time and place. Who knows but some proper and attainable object of pursuit may present itself to the clea<
Atlantic, by their censor, Harriet Martineau. I do not like that your book should be an abolition book. You might have borne your testimony as decidedly as you pleased; but why leaven the whole book with it? This subject haunts us on almost every page. It is a great subject, but your book had other purposes to fulfil. I have thought it right to say all this to you, since I felt it. I have shrunk from the effort, for I fear that I must lose you. Not that I think all authors are like Gil Blas' archbishop. No; if your heart turns from me, I shall still love you, still think you noble. I know it must be so trying to fail of sympathy, at such a time, where we expect it. And, besides, I felt from the book that the sympathy between us is less general than I had supposed, it was so strong on several points. It is strong enough for me to love you ever, and I could no more have been happy in your friendship, if I had not spoken out now. Spiritual life. You question me as to t
and noble woman, also a philanthropist, should have delighted to honor; whose disinterested and resolute efforts, for the redemption of poor humanity, all independent and faithful minds should sustain, since the broadcloth vulgar will be sure to assail them; a philosopher, worthy of the palmy times of ancient Greece; a man whom Carlyle and Berkely, whom you so uphold, would delight to honor; a man whom the worldlings of Boston hold in as much horror as the worldlings of ancient Athens did Socrates. They smile to hear their verdict confirmed from the other side of the Atlantic, by their censor, Harriet Martineau. I do not like that your book should be an abolition book. You might have borne your testimony as decidedly as you pleased; but why leaven the whole book with it? This subject haunts us on almost every page. It is a great subject, but your book had other purposes to fulfil. I have thought it right to say all this to you, since I felt it. I have shrunk from the effort
nce only. Where are the enrapturing visions from the celestial world which shone down upon Haydn and Mozart; where the revelations from the depths of man's nature, which impart such passion to the symphonies of Beethoven; where, even, the fascinating fairy land, gay with delight, of Rossini? O, Genius! none but thee shall make our hearts and heads throb, our cheeks crimson, our eyes overflow, or fill our whole being with the serene joy of faith. * * I went to see Vandenhoff twice, in Brutus and Virginius. Another fine specimen of the conscious school; no inspiration, yet much taste. Spite of the threadpaper Tituses, the chambermaid Virginias, the washerwoman Tullias, and the people, made up of half a dozen chimney-sweeps, in carters' frocks and red nightcaps, this man had power to recall a thought of the old stately Roman, with his unity of will and deed. He was an admirable father, that fairest, noblest part,— with a happy mixture of dignity and tenderness, blendking the de
J. Mackintosh (search for this): chapter 3
s, galleries of art, museums of science, antiquities, and historic scenes of Europe, Margaret bent her powers to use such opportunities of culture as she could command in her solitary country-home. Journals and letters thus bear witness to her zeal:— I am having one of my intense times, devouring book after book. I never stop a minute, except to talk with mother, having laid all little duties on the shelf for a few days. Among other things, I have twice read through the life of Sir J. Mackintosh; and it has suggested so much to me, that I am very sorry I did not talk it over with you. It is quite gratifying, after my late chagrin, to find Sir James, with all his metaphysical turn, and ardent desire to penetrate it, puzzling so over the German philosophy, and particularly what I was myself troubled about, at Cambridge,—Jacobi's letters to Fichte. Few things have ever been written more discriminating or more beautiful than his strictures upon the Hindoo character, his portrai
he Holy Ghost, and his bat-like fear of light. His Man-God seemed to be the keeper of a mad-house, rather than the informing Spirit of all spirits. After finishing his discourse, Mr. G. sang a prayer, in a tone of mingled shout and whine, and then requested his audience to sit a while in devout meditation. For one, I passed the interval in praying for him, that the thick film of self-complacency might be removed from the eyes of his spirit, so that he might no more degrade religion. Mr. Hague is of the Baptist persuasion, and is very popular with his own sect. He is small, and carries his head erect; he has a high and intellectual, though not majestic, forehead; his brows are lowering and, when knit in indignant denunciation, give a thunderous look to the countenance, and beneath them flash, sparkle, and flame,—for all that may be said of light in rapid motion is true of them,—his dark eyes. Hazel and blue eyes with their purity, steadfastness, subtle penetration and radiant
unicate with those quite uninitiated, than when I shall have attained to a higher and calmer state of knowledge. I hope a periodical may arise, by and by, which may think me worthy to furnish a series of articles on German literature, giving room enough and perfect freedom to say what I please. In this case, I should wish to devote at least eight numbers to Tieck, and should use the Garden of Poesy, and my other translations. I have sometimes thought of translating his Little Red Riding Hood, for children. If it could be adorned with illustrations, like those in the Story without an End, it would make a beautiful little book; but I do not know that this could be done in Boston. There is much meaning that children could not take in; but, as they would never discover this till able to receive the whole, the book corresponds exactly with my notions of what a child's book should be. I should like to begin the proposed series with a review of Heyne's letters on German Literature,
o pay the seamstress; but I am not willing to have what I write mutilated, or what I ought to say dictated to suit the public taste. You speak of my writing about Tieck. It is my earnest wish to interpret the German authors of whom I am most fond to such Americans as are ready to receive. Perhaps some might sneer at the notion oes of articles on German literature, giving room enough and perfect freedom to say what I please. In this case, I should wish to devote at least eight numbers to Tieck, and should use the Garden of Poesy, and my other translations. I have sometimes thought of translating his Little Red Riding Hood, for children. If it could bo,—thus comprehending samples of all his efforts in poetry, and bringing forward some of his prominent opinions; Lessing's Nathan, Minna, Emilia Galeotti; parts of Tieck's Phantasus, and nearly the whole first volume of Richter's Titan. With the Italian class, I read parts of Tasso, Petrarch,—whom they came to almost adore,—Ario<
April 17th (search for this): chapter 3
while in London, and see the best literary society. If I should go, you will be with mother the while, will not you? Her eldest brother. Oh, dear E——, you know not how I fear and tremble to come to a decision. My temporal all seems hanging upon it, and the prospect is most alluring. A few thousand dollars would make all so easy, so safe. As it is, I cannot tell what is coming to us, for the estate will not be settled when I go. I pray to God ceaselessly that I may decide wisely. April 17th, 1836.—If I am not to go with you I shall be obliged to tear my heart, by a violent effort, from its present objects and natural desires. But I shall feel the necessity, and will do it if the life-blood follows through the rent. Probably, I shall not even think it best to correspond with you at all while you are in Europe. Meanwhile, let us be friends indeed. The generous and unfailing love which you have shown me during these three years, when I could be so little to you, your indulge<
July, 1838 AD (search for this): chapter 3
s moods of thought, such as I had a day or two since, my wound opens again, and all I can do is to be patient, and let it take its own time to skin over. I see it will never do more. Some time ago I thought the barb was fairly out; but no, the fragments rankle there still, and will, while there is any earth attached to my spirit. Is it not because, in my pride, I held the mantle close, and let the weapon, which some friendly physician might have extracted, splinter in the wound? Sunday, July, 1838.—I partook, for the first time, of the Lord's Supper. I had often wished to do so, but had not been able to find a clergyman,—from whom I could be willing to receive it,—willing to admit me on my own terms. Mr. H——did so; and I shall ever respect and value him, if only for the liberality he displayed on this occasion. It was the Sunday after the death of his wife, a lady whom I truly honored, and should, probably, had we known one another longer, have also loved. She was the so
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