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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 4 4 Browse Search
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2 4 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 6: Lowell's closing years in Cambridge (search)
ther forms more satisfying, he took up the dropped threads of his life, receiving the Dante Club and the Modern Language Association as if each were the Royal Society. In looking back on London, too, he was able to see its limitations as well as its delights; was ready to recognize the barren fig-tree side of it, in Lord Houghton's phrase; the limitation and disappointment resulting from the very excess and hurry. It is the same side that we see in books of personal recollections, like Lady Eastlake's Diaries or Sir Frederick Pollock's Remembrances, where the writer goes from one brilliant breakfast or luncheon or dinner to the next, meeting all the wits and sages, and bringing away only two or three anecdotes. Lowell himself recognized all this limitation, yet delighted in the retrospect; skimmed for you the cream of it, and then took you out on the piazza to watch the squirrels and robins. Becoming again, in some sense, a recluse, he was such a recluse as Sir Henry Wotton might
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 15: the cant of cosmopolitanism (search)
ned in manners among a circle of professional couriers. Some of the most essentially vulgar women ever seen in American society have been those most versed in European drawing-rooms, and, by all testimony, not unpopular there. The brilliant Lady Eastlake went so far as to assert that high society in London positively likes vulgarity, if it be but new ; and that Sir Francis Palgrave was right in saying that a person who would say rude things would be sure to take in London. And in circles of o fine as those of his own grandfather, in New England; and when he himself first visited England, at fifty or thereabouts, he was described in the London papers as having the bearing of a lord and the figure of a guardsman. In the same way Lady Eastlake describes Motley's visible annoyance at being constantly addressed as Milord at German hotels; and I knew a Boston lady, going abroad for the first time after middle life, who was identified for her husband by the Suisse at a crowded cathedra
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 19: the problem of drudgery (search)
d not have our share in the cares and vexations of men. If our lives are sound, these matters are secondary to the fact that we are doing, in some way or other, good and useful work. If it is not well for us to live only on the very finest wheat, we may well accept serenely a due proportion of wholesome bran. Above all, let us remember that life is short, that there are but twenty-four hours in the day, and that we cannot combine everything. To live greatly in society we must forego work in the studio or the library; to live greatly in these last one must forego much of society; to live a life of philanthropy one must often resign them all. The late President James Walker, of Harvard University, said, as the result of much observation, Put it down as a rule that no really eminent lawyer ever reads a book --for lack of time. And Elmsley, the Greek critic, when asked by Lady Eastlake why the Germans beat the English in scholarship, replied, Because they never go out to tea. 1896
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Chapter 18: Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.—January, 1839, to March, 1839.—Age, 28. (search)
d the later years of his life at Cannes, in France, where he died, about 1870. Sumner was his guest at dinner on different occasions, at 27 Park Road, Regent's Park. And the dinner! it is to be spoken of always. There was a small company: our host and his wife,—one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen; Courtenay, Philip Courtenay; Queen's counsel, belonging to the Northern Circuit. Sumner dined with him at 23 Montague Street, Russell Square. M. P., and his beautiful daughter; Eastlake, the accomplished artist; and Lord Brougham. Then the house was a little gem. It is in Regent's Park, removed from the bustle of town. The door-panels of the drawing-room are copies of some of the first masters; and the room is hung round with attractive paintings, and adorned with some of the finest curiosities of art. The dining-room is painted in imitation of a room of Pompeii. You may not know that Courtenay is the great epicure of London. His taste in matters of the table is repute
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Jan. 16, 1839. (search)
d the later years of his life at Cannes, in France, where he died, about 1870. Sumner was his guest at dinner on different occasions, at 27 Park Road, Regent's Park. And the dinner! it is to be spoken of always. There was a small company: our host and his wife,—one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen; Courtenay, Philip Courtenay; Queen's counsel, belonging to the Northern Circuit. Sumner dined with him at 23 Montague Street, Russell Square. M. P., and his beautiful daughter; Eastlake, the accomplished artist; and Lord Brougham. Then the house was a little gem. It is in Regent's Park, removed from the bustle of town. The door-panels of the drawing-room are copies of some of the first masters; and the room is hung round with attractive paintings, and adorned with some of the finest curiosities of art. The dining-room is painted in imitation of a room of Pompeii. You may not know that Courtenay is the great epicure of London. His taste in matters of the table is repute