a competent female assistant in the high-school-“what we want, gentlemen, is a splendid woman.”
This was at once accepted by all as a complete formula for the situation; it was the later task of actually hunting up this priceless creature, and securing her for eight hundred dollars a year, that proved formidable.
In these days one is certainly impressed with the prominence of literature as a sphere for the Woman of Influence.
When we think of the thousands of high-schools and academies throughout the land in which, next graduation-day, some maiden in white will read an essay on “The genius of George Eliot
,” we may well say with Rufus Choate
, “After all, a book is the only immortality.”
And surely the reader is impressed with the way in which a woman's genius, even if not of the very highest order, may retain its hold after her death, on seeing the late statements of Mr. Routledge
, the great publisher of cheap books in England
, as to the continued demand for Mrs. Hemans
In the last generation the pure and melodious muse of this lady had great reputation; her American editor was Professor Andrews Norton
, father of the present Professor Charles Eliot Norton
, and one of the most cultivated critics of his day; and it appears from the late memoirs of Garrison
that her verses were long the favorite food of that strong and heroic