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Walter Scott (search for this): chapter 3
d. I saw her at a favorable distance, and she looked beautiful. And as the scene rose in interest, her attitudes, her gestures, had the expression which an Angelo could give to sculpture. After she tells her story,—and I was almost suffocated by the effort she made to divulge her sin and fall,—she sunk to the earth, her head bowed upon her knee, her white drapery falling in large, graceful folds about this broken piece of beautiful humanity, crushed in the very manner so well described by Scott when speaking of a far different person, not as one who intentionally stoops, kneels, or prostrates himself to excite compassion, but like a man borne down on all sides by the pressure of some invisible force, which crushes him to the earth without power of resistance. A movement of abhorrence from me, as her insipid confidante turned away, attested the triumph of the poet-actress. Had not all been over in a moment, I believe I could not have refrained from rushing forward to raise the fai
rost the summer's bloom shall drive away; Nature's wide temple and the azure dome Have plan enough for the free spirit's home! Your Schiller has already given me great pleasure. I have been reading the Revolt in the Netherlands with intense interest, and have reflected much upon it. The volumes are numbered in my little book-case, and as the eye runs over them, I thank the friendly heart that put all this genius and passion within my power. I am glad, too, that you thought of lending me Bigelow's Elements. I have studied the Architecture attentively, till I feel quite mistress of it all But I want more engravings, Vitruvius, Magna Graecia, the Ionian Antiquities, &c. Meanwhile, I have got out all our tours in Italy. Forsyth, a book I always loved much, I have re-read with increased pleasure, by this new light. Goethe, too, studied architecture while in Italy; so his books are full of interesting information; and Madame De Stael, though not deep, is tasteful. American Histor
Don Carlos (search for this): chapter 3
ed to smile brightly and talk wisely all the while. But these clouds at length passed away. And now let me try to tell you what has been done. To one class I taught the German language, and thought it good success, when, at the end of three months, they could read twenty pages of German at a lesson, and very well. This class, of course, was not interesting, except in the way of observation and analysis of language. With more advanced pupils I read, in twenty-four weeks, Schiller's Don Carlos, Artists, and Song of the Bell, besides giving a sort of general lecture on Schiller; Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia, first part of Faust,—three weeks of thorough study this, as valuable to me as to them,— and Clavigo,—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<
at the beginning of winter, comprising certain subjects, about which I had always felt deficient. These were the History and Geography of modern Europe, beginning the former in the fourteenth century; the Elements of Architecture; the works of Alfieri, with his opinions on them; the historical and critical works of Goethe and Schiller, and the outlines of history of our own country. I chose this time as one when I should have nothing to distract or dissipate my mind. I have nearly complet 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,—Ariosto, Alfieri, and the whole hundred cantos of the Divina Commedia, with the aid of the fine Athenaeum copy, Flaxman's designs, and all the best commentaries. This last piece of work was and will be truly valuable to myself. I had, besides, three private
nd I put up this prayer for my companion, which I recorded, as it rose in my heart: Author of good, Source of all beauty and holiness, thanks to Thee for the purifying, elevating communion that I have enjoyed with this beloved and revered being. Grant, that the thoughts she has awakened, and the bright image of her existence, may live in my memory, inciting my earth-bound spirit to higher words and deeds. May her path be guarded and blessed. May her noble mind be kept firmly poised in its nall, and dearest mother is overpowered with sorrow, fatigue, and anxiety. I suppose she must be ill too, when the children recover. I shall endeavor to keep my mind steady, by remembering that there is a God, and that grief is but for a season. Grant, oh Father, that neither the joys nor sorrows of this past year shall have visited my heart in vain! Make me wise and strong for the performance of immediate duties, and ripen me, by what means Thou seest best, for those which lie beyond. * *
ed anything to my own satisfaction. I have sketched a number of plans, but if ever accomplished, it must be in a season of more joyful energy, when my mind has been renovated, and refreshed by change of scene or circumstance. My translation of Tasso cannot be published at present, if it ever is. My object is to examine thoroughly, as far as my time and abilities will permit, the evidences of the Christian Religion. I have endeavored to get rid of this task as much and as long as possiblall 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,—Ariosto, Alfieri, and the whole hundred cantos of the Divina Commedia, with the aid of the fine Athenaeum copy, Flaxman's designs, and all the best commentaries. This last piece of work was and will be
te author. Perhaps I have spoken unadvisedly; if so, I shall recant on further knowledge. And thus recant she did, when familiar acquaintance with the genial and sagacious humorist had won for him her reverent love. Richter. Poet of Nature! Gentlest of the wise, Most airy of the fanciful, most keen Of satirists!—thy thoughts, like butterflies, Still near the sweetest scented flowers have been With Titian's colors thou canst sunset paint, With Raphael's dignity, celestial love; With Hogarth's pencil, each deceit and feint Of meanness and hypocrisy reprove; Canst to devotion's highest flight sublime Exalt the mind, by tenderest pathos' art, Dissolve, in purifying tears, the heart, Or bid it, shuddering, recoil at crime; The fond illusions of the youth and maid, At which so many world-formed sages sneer, When by thy altar-lighted torch displayed, Our natural religion must appear. All things in thee tend to one polar star, Magnetic all thy influences are! Some murmur at the
Christian (search for this): chapter 3
Meister. As to what you say of Shelley, it is true that the unhappy influences of early education prevented his ever attaining clear views of God, life, and the soul. At thirty, he was still a seeker,—an experimentalist. But then his should not be compared with such a mind as ——'s, which, having no such exuberant fancy to tame, nor various faculties to develop, naturally comes to maturity sooner. Had Shelley lived twenty years longer, I have no doubt he would have become a fervent Christian, and thus have attained that mental harmony which was necessary to him. It is true, too, as you say, that we always feel a melancholy imperfection in what he writes. But I love to think of those other spheres in which so pure and rich a being shall be perfected; and I cannot allow his faults of opinion and sentiment to mar my enjoyment of the vast capabilities, and exquisite perception of beauty, displayed everywhere in his poems. March 17, 1836.—I think Herschel will be very valuabl
me the needed books on the subject, and I am now beginning to work in good earnest. It is very possible that the task may be taken from me by somebody in England, or that in doing it I may find myself incompetent; but I go on in hope, secure, at all events, that it will be the means of the highest culture. In addition to other labors, Margaret translated, one evening every week, German authors into English, for the gratification of Dr. Channing; their chief reading being in De Wette and Herder. It was not very pleasant, she writes, for Dr. C. takes in subjects more deliberately than is conceivable to us feminine people, with our habits of ducking, diving, or flying for truth. Doubtless, however, he makes better use of what he gets, and if his sympathy were livelier he would not view certain truths in s. steady a light. But there is much more talking than reading; and I like talking with him. I do not feel that constraint which some persons complain of, but am perfectly
ervation and analysis of language. With more advanced pupils I read, in twenty-four weeks, Schiller's Don Carlos, Artists, and Song of the Bell, besides giving a sort of general lecture on Schiller; Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia, first part of Faust,—three weeks of thorough study this, as valuable to me as to them,— and Clavigo,—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,—Ariosto, Alfieri, and the whole hundred cantos of the Divina Commedia, with the aid of the fine Athenaeum copy, Flaxman's designs, and all the best commentaries. This last piece of work was and will be truly valuable to myself. I had, besides, three private pupils, Mrs.——, who became very att
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