previous next
[318] and who did not preserve the letters they received from Mr. Ticknor, so that they appear less prominently; but their influence on his happiness was, nevertheless, great, and his delight in their culture and their characteristic qualities was an important element in his experience. One of these was Joseph Green Cogswell, who, though five years his senior, survived him a few months; of whom he writes in 1820, ‘He is the same admirable creature, full of zeal for everything good, and everything that will promote the cause of learning, not exactly like other people, and not, perhaps, exactly as other people would like to have him, but always disinterested, always scattering good knowledge about him wherever he goes, and always exciting an enthusiasm for it in those he meets, from the excess of his own.’ And again in 1842, after speaking of Cogswell's great acquirements, he adds: ‘I have known him, familiarly, above thirty years, have travelled with him and lived with him, months together, and yet never saw him unreasonably or disagreeably out of temper . . . . He is always pleasant in personal intercourse, under all circumstances, to a degree which, I think, I have never known in any other man.’1

Another was Francis Calley Gray, whose immense and varied stores of accurate knowledge were scarcely made available to any except those who enjoyed his personal acquaintance; but whose conversation, enriched by them, was invaluable to his friends, among whom none was more faithful, or in more constantly familiar relations, than Mr. Ticknor.2

1 Mr. Cogswell's attachment to Mr. Ticknor, which lasted through their joint lives, was thus expressed in a letter written in 1814: ‘George's affection has been very dear to me. He has entered into my feelings, he has loved those that I did, he has felt an unfeigned sympathy in my sorrow, he has uniformly sought my happiness and shared my unlimited confidence. Besides, I was proud in being known to be his friend; when I was walking with him I loved to meet those who knew me; as his companion I felt myself welcome wherever I went.’ Mr. Cogswell, then twenty-eight years old, had already seen the world, and endured severe trials.

2 In the Preface to his ‘History of Spanish Literature,’ Mr. Ticknor calls Mr. F. C. Gray ‘a scholar who should permit the world to profit more than it does, by the large resources of his accurate and tasteful learning’; and Mr. Prescott said of him, ‘I think he was the most remarkable man I ever knew, for variety and fulness of information, and a perfect command of it. He was a walking encyclopedia. I have seen many men who had excellent memories, provided you would let them turn to their libraries to get the information you wanted; but no matter on what subject you talked with him, his knowledge was at his fingers' ends, and entirely at your service.’—Life of Prescott, Appendix F.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Elisha Ticknor (4)
Joseph Green Cogswell (4)
William H. Prescott (2)
Francis Calley Gray (2)
Spanish Literature (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1842 AD (1)
1820 AD (1)
1814 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: