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Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899 8 0 Browse Search
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 3 (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.) 2 0 Browse Search
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Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 9: second visit to Europe (search)
d meeting with him was the beginning of a much-valued friendship. We visited together many points of historic interest in the city,—the Pantheon, the Tarpeian Rock, the bridge of Horatius Cocles. He had some fanciful theories about the traits of character usually found in conjunction with red hair. As he and I were both distinguished by this feature, I was much pleased to learn from him that the highest effort of nature is to produce a rosso. He was a devoted student of the works of Auguste Comte, and had recently held some conversation with that remarkable man. In the course of this, he told me, he asked the great Positivist how he could account for the general religious instinct of the human race, so contrary to the doctrines of his philosophy. Comte replied, Que voulez-vous, monsieur? Anormalite cerebrale. My new friend was good enough to interest himself in my literary pursuits. He advised me to study the most important of Comte's works, but by no means to become a conver
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 10: a chapter about myself (search)
lve years old when Rev. James Richmond, who had studied in Germany, dining at my father's house, spoke of one of his German professors who was wont, as the prelude to his exercise, to exclaim: Aus, aus, ihr Fremden. These words meant nothing to me then, but when, eight years later, I mastered the German tongue, I recalled them perfectly, and understood their meaning. One of my first efforts, after my return from Europe in 1851, was to acquaint myself with the Philosophie Positive of Auguste Comte. This was in accordance with the advice of my friend, Horace Wallace, who, indeed, lent me the first volume of the work. The synoptical view of the sciences therein presented revealed to me an entirely new aspect of thought. I did not, for a moment, adopt Comte's views of religion, neither did I at all agree in his wholesale condemnation of metaphysics, which appeared to me self-contradictory, his own system involving metaphysical distinctions as much, perhaps, as any other. On the
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 13: the Boston Radical Club: Dr. F. H. Hedge (search)
d inspiring in religious culture, and to recognize especially within these limits the superstition and intolerance which have been the bane of all religions—this disposition, which was frequently manifested both in the essays presented and in their discussion, offended not only my affections, but also my sense of justice. I had indeed been led to transcend the limits of the old tradition; I had also devoted much time to studies of philosophy, and had become conversant with the works of Auguste Comte, Hegel, Spinoza, Kant, and Swedenborg. Nothing of what I had heard or read had shaken my faith in the leadership of Christ in the religion which makes each man the brother of all, and God the beneficent father of each and all,—the religion of humanity. Neither did this my conviction suffer any disturbance through the views presented by speakers at the Radical Club. Setting this one point aside, I can but speak of the club as a high congress of souls, in which many noble thoughts wer
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 14: men and movements in the sixties (search)
The civil war was then in its first stage. The air was full of secession. Many said, If North and South agree to set aside their bonds of union, and to become two republics, why should they not do it? Then the sacredness of the bond possessed my mind. Was an agreement, so solemnly entered into, so vital in its obligations, to be so lightly canceled? I labored with all my might to prove that this could not be done. I remember too that in one of my lectures I gave my own estimate of Auguste Comte, which differed from the general impression concerning him. I am not sure that I should take the same ground in these days. Whether my hearers were the wiser for my efforts I cannot say, but of this I am sure, that they brought me much instruction. I learned somewhat to avoid anti-climax, and to seek directness and simplicity of statement. On the morning of the day on which I was to give my lecture, I would read it over, and a curious sense of the audience seemed to possess me, a fe