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Fanny Kemble (search for this): chapter 3
to throb with youthful love. This character,—which did actual fathers know how to be, they would fulfil the order of nature, and image Deity to their children,—Vandenhoff represented sufficiently, at least, to call up the beautiful ideal. Fanny Kemble. When in Boston, I saw the Kembles twice,— in Much ado about Nothing, and The Stranger. The first night I felt much disappointed in Miss K. In the gay parts a coquettish, courtly manner marred the wild mirth and wanton wit of Beatrice. Yithin herself, though tasteful enough to comprehend any part. So I went home, vexed because my heart was not full, and my brain not on fire with enthusiasm. I drank my milk, and went to sleep, as on other dreary occasions, and dreamed not of Miss Kemble. Next night, however, I went expectant, and all my soul was satisfied. 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 g<
here is a gloom in deep love, as in deep water; there is a silence in it which suspends the foot, and the folded arms and the dejected head are the images it reflects. No voice shakes its surface; the Muses themselves approach it with a tardy and a timid step, with a low and tremulous and melancholy song. The Sibyl I understood. What grace in that beautiful oval! what apprehensiveness in the eye! Such is female Genius; it alone understands the God. The Muses only sang the praises of Apollo; the Sibyls interpreted his will. Nay, she to whom it was offered, refused the divine union, and preferred remaining a satellite to being absorbed into the sun. You read in the eye of this one, and the observation is confirmed by the low forehead, that the secret of her inspiration lay in the passionate enthusiasm of her nature, rather than in the ideal perfection of any faculty. A Christ, by Raphael, that I saw the other night, brought Christianity more home to my heart, made me more lo
III. Groton and Providence. Letters and journals. What hath not man sought out and found, But his dear God? Who yet his glorious love Embosoms in us, mellowing the ground With showers, and frosts, with love and awe. Herbert. No one need pride himself upon Genius, for it is the free-gift of God; but of honest Industry and true devotion to his destiny any man may well be proud; indeed, this thorough integrity of purpose is itself the Divine Idea in its most common form, and no really honest mind is without communion with God Fichte. God did anoint thee with his odorous oil, To wrestle, not to reign; and he assigns All thy tears over, like pure crystallines, For younger fellow-workers of the soil To wear for amulets. So others shall Take patience, labor, to their hearts and hands, From thy hands, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer, And God's grace fructify through thee to all. Elizabeth B. Barrett. While I was restless, nothing satisfied, Distrustful, most perple
ing from the shoulders upwards, and against them leans the divine head. The eye seems fixed on the centre of being, and the lips are gently parted, as if uttering strains of celestial melody. The head of Aspasia was instinct with the voluptuousness of intellect. From the eyes, the cheek, the divine lip, one might hive honey. Both the Loves were exquisite: one, that zephyr sentiment which visits all the roses of life; the other, the Amore Greco, may be fitly described in these words of Landor: There is a gloom in deep love, as in deep water; there is a silence in it which suspends the foot, and the folded arms and the dejected head are the images it reflects. No voice shakes its surface; the Muses themselves approach it with a tardy and a timid step, with a low and tremulous and melancholy song. The Sibyl I understood. What grace in that beautiful oval! what apprehensiveness in the eye! Such is female Genius; it alone understands the God. The Muses only sang the praises
George Ripley (search for this): chapter 3
al is, that I shall teach the elder girls my favorite branches, for four hours a day,—choosing my own hours, and arranging the course,—for a thousand dollars a year, if, upon trial, I am well enough pleased to stay. This would be independence, and would enable me to do many slight services for my family. But, on the other hand, I am not sure that I shall like the situation, and am sanguine that, by perseverance, the plan of classes in Boston might be carried into full effect. Moreover, Mr. Ripley,—who is about publishing a series of works on Foreign Literature,—has invited me to prepare the Life of Goethe, on very advantageous terms. This I should much prefer. Yet when the thousand petty difficulties which surround us are considered, it seems unwise to relinquish immediate independence. She accepted, therefore, the offer which promised certain means of aiding her family, and reluctantly gave up the precarious, though congenial, literary project. School experiences. Th
ain those of others. Frequently I felt pleasure and admiration, but more frequently disappointment, sometimes positive distaste. There are many topics treated of in this book of which I am not a judge; but I do pretend, even where I cannot criticize in detail, to have an opinion as to the general tone of thought. When Herschel writes his Introduction to Natural Philosophy, I cannot test all he says, but I cannot err about his fairness, his manliness, and wide range of knowledge. When Jouffroy writes his lectures, I am not conversant with all his topics of thought, but I can appreciate his lucid style and admirable method. When Webster speaks on the currency, I do not understand the subject, but I do understand his mode of treating it, and can see what a blaze of light streams from his torch. When Harriet Martineau writes about America, I often cannot test that rashness and inaccuracy of which I hear so much, but I can feel that they exist. A want of soundness, of habits of pa
Edgeworth (search for this): chapter 3
iend, Mrs. Farrar. How animating this intercourse then was to her, appears from her journals. Miss Martineau received me so kindly as to banish all embarrassment at once. * * We had some talk about Carlyleism, and I was not quite satisfied with the ground she took, but there was no opportunity for full discussion. * * I wished to give myself wholly up to receive an impression of her. * * What shrewdness in detecting various shades of character! Yet, what she said of Hannah More and Miss Edgeworth, grated upon my feelings. * * Again, later:— I cannot conceive how we chanced upon the subject of our conversation, but never shall I forget what she said. It has bound me to her. In that hour, most unexpectedly to me, we passed the barrier that separates acquaintance from friendship, and I saw how greatly her heart is to be valued. And again:— We sat together close to the pulpit I was deeply moved by Mr.——'s manner of praying for our friends, and I put up this prayer for
Priestley (search for this): chapter 3
o 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 portrait of Fox, and his second letter to Robert Hall, after his recovery from derangement. Do you remember what he says of the want of brilliancy in Priestley's moral sentiments? Those remarks, though slight, seem to me to show the quality of his mind more decidedly than anything in the book. That so much learning, benevolence, and almost unparalleled fairness of mind, should be in a great measure lost to the world, for want of earnestness of purpose, might impel us to attach to the latter attribute as much importance as does the wise uncle in Wilhelm Meister. As to what you say of Shelley, it is true that the unhappy influences of early e
iving 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 attractive to me,——, and little—— who had not the use of his eyes. I taught him Latin orally, and read the History of England and Shakspeare's historica
Elizabeth B. Barrett (search for this): chapter 3
tegrity of purpose is itself the Divine Idea in its most common form, and no really honest mind is without communion with God Fichte. God did anoint thee with his odorous oil, To wrestle, not to reign; and he assigns All thy tears over, like pure crystallines, For younger fellow-workers of the soil To wear for amulets. So others shall Take patience, labor, to their hearts and hands, From thy hands, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer, And God's grace fructify through thee to all. Elizabeth B. Barrett. While I was restless, nothing satisfied, Distrustful, most perplexed—yet felt somehow A mighty power was brooding, taking shape Within me; and this lasted till one night When, as I sat revolving it and more, A still voice from without said,—‘Seest thou not, Desponding child, whence came defeat and loss? Even from thy strength.’ Browning. Heaven's discipline has been invariable to me. The seemingly most pure and noble hopes have beer blighted; the seemingly most promising co
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