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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Literature as an art. (search)
ture is strongest will be its own guide at last. And it is a comfort thus to end in the faith that, as the foundation of all true greatness is in the conscience, so we are safe if we can but carry into science and art the same earnestness of spirit which has fought through the great civil war and slain slavery. As the Puritan has triumphed in this stern contest, so must the. Puritan triumph in the more graceful emulations that are to come; but it must be the Puritanism of Milton, not of Cromwell only. The invigorating air of great moral principles must breathe through all our literature; it is the expanding spirit of the seventeenth century by which we must conquer now. It is worth all that has been sacrificed in New England to vindicate this one fact, the supremacy of the moral nature. All culture, all art, without this, must be but rootless flowers, such as flaunt round a nation's decay. All the long, stern reign of Plymouth Rock and Salem Meeting-House was well spent, sinc
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, A charge with Prince Rupert. (search)
worked its own cure among the Puritans, and the army of Cromwell was a moral triumph almost incredible; but at the time ofchees,--that Harry Marten deserved the epithet with which Cromwell saluted him,--that Pym succeeded to the regards of Straffe drayman and Venner the cooper, culminating at last in Noll Cromwell the Lrewer? The formidable force of these upstarts onlg to cover some ignominious retreat with a new epigram on Cromwell's red nose, that irresistible member which kindled in its Rupert is the nephew of the King,--Hampden the cousin of Cromwell; and as the former is believed to be aiming at the Crown, so the latter is the only possible rival of Cromwell for the Protectorate,--the eyes of all being fixed upon him as their pmporary wit only familiarize, but do not mar, the tame of Cromwell (Cleaveland's Cesar in a Clown ),--William the Conqueror to be general instead of Essex, and Protector in place of Cromwell? But that may not be. Had I Hampden's earlier counsels
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Mademoiselle's campaigns. (search)
row for her father was speedily assuaged by the opportunity it gave her to introduce the fashion of gray mourning instead of black; it had previously, it seems, been worn by widows only. Servants and horses were all put in deep black, however, and the court observed that I was very magnifique in all my arrangements. On the other hand, be it recorded, that our Mademoiselle, chivalrous royalist to the last, was the only person at the French court who refused to wear mourning for the usurper Cromwell! But, if thus addicted to funeral pageants, it is needless to say that weddings occupied their full proportion of her thoughts. Her schemes for matrimony fill the larger portion of her history, and are, like all the rest, a diamond necklace of great names. In the boudoir, as in the field, her campaigns were superb, but she was cheated of the results. Her picture should have been painted, like that of Justice, with sword and scales,--.the one for foes, the other for lovers. She spent