had more eloquence than the Doctor
, and a far more varied range of prose, but there may be here and there a Yankee guesser about the taste of future generations who will bet on The Autocrat
, after all.
The character and career of Francis Parkman afford curious material to the student of New England
's golden age. In the seventy years of his heroic life, from 1823 to 1893, all the characteristic forces of the age reached their culmination and decline, and his own personality indicates some of the violent reactions produced by the over-strain of Transcendentalism.
For here was a descendant of John Cotton, and a clergyman's son, who detested Puritanism and the clergy; who, coming to manhood in the eighteen-forties, hated the very words Transcendentalism, Philosophy, Religion, Reform; an inheritor of property, trained at Harvard, and an Overseer and Fellow of his University, who disliked the ideals of culture and refinement; a member of the Saturday Club
who was bored with literary talk and literary people; a staunch American who despised democracy as thoroughly as Alexander Hamilton
, and thought suffrage a failure; a nineteenth century historian who cared nothing for philosophy, science,