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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 1: discontinuance of the guide-board (search)
ield so long as it has a right to do it, and it can only be asked to fulfil the conditions of its being. If we excuse it, as we plainly must, from the perpetuation of the guide-board, we can only ask that it shall go on and do its work so well that no such aid shall be needed; that its moral, where there is one, shall be reasonably plain; that is, so clearly put as to produce a minimum of misunderstanding. How important this is may be appreciated when we consider that so great an artist as Goethe, writing Die Wahlverwandschaften, expressly, as he thought, to vindicate the marriage laws, was supposed by his whole generation to have written against them, simply through an ill-chosen title and a single unseemly incident. And another reasonable condition is that fiction, being thus set free, should be a law unto itself and stop short of undesirable materials; that it should obey that high and significant maxim of the Roman augurs-never to let the sacred entrails be displayed outside the
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 5: a bit of war photography (search)
e heroic in the end. In my own limited experience, the only young officer whom I ever saw thoroughly and confessedly frightened, when first under fire, was the only one of his regiment who afterwards chose the regular army for his profession, and fought Indians for the rest of his life. As for The Red Badge of Courage, the test of the book is in the way it holds you. I only know that whenever I take it up I find myself reading it over and over, as I do Tolstoi's Cossacks, and find it as hard to put down. None of Doyle's or Weyman's books bear re-reading, in the same way; you must wait till you have forgotten their plots. Even the slipshod grammar seems a part of the breathless life and action. How much promise it gives, it is hard to say. Goethe says that as soon as a man has done one good thing, the world conspires against him to keep him from doing another. Mr. Crane has done one good thing, not to say two; but the conspiracy of admiration may yet be too much for him. 1896
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 19: the problem of drudgery (search)
or children to play, where the work always ends in something graceful and beautiful and useful, and even the shavings are sweet-scented and the dust is clean. If we cannot get away from drudgery, whether of grande dame or boat-builder, let us at least try for some species of it that is enjoyable. It is this test which puts literature and art so high among pursuits — the fact that, for those who love them, their very drudgery is, within reasonable limits, a pleasure. The artist is, said Goethe, the only man who lives with unconcealed aims; and he also loves even to mix his colors and stretch his canvas. Haydon, the painter, says in his diary that when he gets a large canvas up, and goes to work on a new historical picture, kings are not his superiors. Every writer feels the same in entering on a new work, large or small; and if he is healthy and reasonable the pleasure holds out to the end, though perhaps with some intermittent periods of fatigue and discouragement. The old Ger
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 28: the really interesting people (search)
ith the cheerful frankness of her nation, Isn't it a pity, don't you think, that all the really interesting Americans are dead? It was not, perhaps, a very encouraging inducement for a surviving American to make himself interesting; and probably the talk which followed became a series of obituaries. As a matter of fact, it always seems as if the interesting people had just passed away, as in any town it always seems as if the really fine trees had lately died or had been cut down. But, as Goethe remarked, the old trees must fall in order to give the younger growth a chance; and it would be wiser to say that the really interesting people are always those who survive. The younger they are, indeed, the more interesting. The older ones have been gauged and measured; they may yet, while they live, do something better than they have ever done, but it will be essentially in the same lines. Gladstone goes on with his statesmanship and his scholarship to the end of life; so did Holmes wi
John Harrison Wilson, The life of Charles Henry Dana, Chapter 3: community life (search)
ng down his illusions and taking up the methods of a practical business-man. He was then, and remained throughout his life, devoted to idealism, poetry, and romance, but never after that time did he allow either to lead him away from the practical duties of the hour. It is worthy of passing notice that Dana for a part of this period also kept a book of quotations which abounds in extracts from Coleridge, Longfellow, Wordsworth, Carlyle, Motherwell, Cousin, Considerant, Fourier, Schiller, Goethe, Spinoza, Heine, Herman, Kepler, Bruno, Novalis, Bohme, Swedenborg, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Thucydides, Euripides, and Sallust. It is still more worthy of notice that they were made always in the script and language in which they were written, whether it was English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Latin, or Greek. These extracts consist of lofty thoughts and sentiments, which necessarily touched responsive chords in his own soul, or else they would not have been gat
John Harrison Wilson, The life of Charles Henry Dana, Index (search)
General, 270, 439, 445, 447-449, 458; assassination of, 450, 460. Garibaldi, 497. Garland, Attorney-General, 471. Garrard, General, 304. Garrison, William Lloyd, 101, 102, 149. Geary, General, 285. Georgia, 113, 234. German Federation, 85. German language, 36, 57. Germany, 25, 28, 62, 74, 79, 80, 81, 83, 85, 89. Gettysburg, 248, 249, 310, 316. Giesboro, cavalry depot at, 304. Gilder, Jeannette L., 54. Gillmore, General, 251, 336, 337, 344. Godwin, Parke, 177. Goethe, 56. Goethean indifference to dogma, 27. Gordonsville, 326. Goschen and Giffen, 471. Gould, George, 458. Grand Gulf, 209, 210, 212, 216, 220, 221, 233. Granger, General, Gordon, 254, 264-266, 270, 293, 295. Grant and Ward, 469. Grant, Frederick D., 219, 220. Grant, Life of, 240, 375, 385, 386. Grant's Memoirs, 335; cabinet, 405-414, 432. Grant, U. S., preface, 5, 170, 188, 190, 192, 193,195-203, 205, 208-212, 214, 215, 217-243, 246, 248, 250-253, 255,256, 266-268,275
nk you are a better Christian without church or theology than most people are with both, though I am, and always have been in the main, a Calvinist of the Jonathan Edwards school. God bless you! I have a warm side for Mr. Lewes on account of his Goethe labors. Goethe has been my admiration for more than forty years. In 1830 I got hold of his Faust, and for two gloomy, dreary November days, while riding through the woods of New Hampshire in an old-fashioned stage-coach, to enter upon a profeGoethe has been my admiration for more than forty years. In 1830 I got hold of his Faust, and for two gloomy, dreary November days, while riding through the woods of New Hampshire in an old-fashioned stage-coach, to enter upon a professorship in Dartmouth College, I was perfectly dissolved by it. Sincerely yours, C. E. Stowe. In a letter to Mrs. Stowe, written June 24, 1872, Mrs. Lewes alludes to Professor Stowe's letter as follows: Pray give my special thanks to the professor for his letter. His handwriting, which does really look like Arabic,--a very graceful character, surely,hap-pens to be remarkably legible to me, and I did not hesitate over a single word. Some of the words, as expressions of fellowship, we
gs; and as an ardent scholar has always been a character of peculiar interest to me, I have rarely had your image in my mind without the accompanying image (more or less erroneous) of such a scholar by your side. I shall welcome the fruit of his Goethe studies, whenever it comes. I have good hopes that your fears are groundless as to the obstacles your new book (Oldtown folks ) may find here from its thorough American character. Most readers who are likely to be really influenced by writingnce, as being a perfect Arabian Nights' Entertainment, I want to say that I have accidentally been in the way of confirming some of the most remarkable by personal observation. . . . In regard to all this class of subjects, I am of the opinion of Goethe, that it is just as absurd to deny the facts of spiritualism now as it was in the Middle Ages to ascribe them to the Devil. I think Mr.. Owen attributes too much value to his facts. I do not think the things contributed from the ultra-mundane s
lavery Society of, 174, 189, 213. Glasgow Anti-slavery Society, letter from H. B. S. to, 251. God, H. B. S.'s views of, 39, 42, 43, 46, 47; trust in, 112, 132, 148, 341; doubts and final trust in, 321, 396; his help in time of need, 496. Goethe and Mr. Lewes, 420; Prof. Stowe's admiration of, 420. Goldschmidt, Madame. See Lind, Jenny. Gorres on spiritualism and mysticism, 412, 474. Grandmother, letter from H. B. S. to, on breaking up of Litchfield home, 35; on school life in Ha64; Mrs. Browning on, 356; Holmes, O. W., on, 411; La Mystique and Gorres on, 412,474; Professor Stowe's strange experiences in, 420, 423; George Eliot on psychical problems of, 421; on Charlatanerie connected with, 467; Robert Dale Owen on, 464; Goethe on, 465; H. B. S.'s letter to George Eliot on, 466; her mature views on, 485; a comfort to doubters and disbelievers, 487; from Christian standpoint, 487. Stafford House meeting, 233. Stephens, A. H., on object of Confederacy, 381. Storr
Cambridge History of American Literature: volume 1, Colonial and Revolutionary Literature: Early National Literature: Part I (ed. Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939., Erskine, John, 1879-1951., Sherman, Stuart Pratt, 1881-1926., Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950.), Chapter 1: travellers and observers, 1763-1846 (search)
, characterizes the reaction against the age of reason, and may be found in many observers of nature in America. Its origin is obscure; nor can one readily see why Neoplatonic ideas should cast a spell over minds so diverse as those of Rousseau, Goethe, Wordsworth, and the Quaker Bartram. The suggestion has been made that the writings of the mystic Boehme had an influence upon the Society of Friends. But the sources of the feeling for nature are likely to have been as various as the evidencese European settlements (1757), betrays an acquaintance with more recent works of a similar kind. To one of Carver's borrowed passages on Indian funeral customs Schiller owes the substance of the Nadowessiers Todtenlied, a poem greatly admired by Goethe. Still better known is the employment of what is striking and exotic in Carver and Bartram by Chateaubriand in the composite landscape of Rene and Atala, and his mingling of conventional with imaginary incidents in the Voyage en Amerique. In
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