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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 9: going to Europe.—December, 1837.—Age, 26. (search)
you to my mind. Oh, that I spoke your tongue! My mortification and humiliation is great to think of my ignorance. In my own language—dear native English!—I am sometimes told that I excel; and how I shall be humbled by my inability to place myself en rapport with the minds which 1 shall meet! I shall write you in German from Germany. There, on the spot, with the mighty genius of your language hovering over me, I will master it. To that my nights and days must be devoted. The spirits of Goethe and Richter and Luther will cry in my ears, trumpet-tongued. I would give Golconda or Potosi or all Mexico, if I had them, for your German tongue. What I shall write abroad I know not. I shall keep a journal, probably a full one, and shall trust to circumstances to suggest and bring out a subject. I shall remember your suggestions; treasure them all. All your requests I shall remember, and let you know that I shall not forget you. Your good advice I shall ponder well. Ante, p. 198. Lae
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 14: first weeks in London.—June and July, 1838.—Age, 27. (search)
hard, and was asked by the counsel whether he thought many articles of fashion would be carried on a proposed railway; to which the witness promptly replied, As to articles of fashion,—I do not think they much concern either you or I, Sir Charles. The whole room was convulsed with laughter, in which Sir Charles most heartily joined. Hayward, Abraham Hayward, born about 1800; author of several legal publications; editor of the Law Magazine, from which he retired in 1844; translator of Goethe's Faust, and of one of Savigny's works; and contributor to the Quarterly Review. Among his articles published in this periodical is one on American Orators and Statesmen, Dec., 1840, Vol. LXVII. pp. 1-53. See a letter of Judge Story to him, which furnished suggestions for the article,—Story's Life and Letters, Vol. II. pp. 324-327. Sumner was indebted to Mr. Hayward for many civilities, among them an introduction to Mrs. Norton. of the Law Magazine, I know very well. Last evening I met a
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Chapter 20: Italy.—May to September, 1839.—Age, 28. (search)
t a day at the unattractive port of Civita Vecchia. While at Naples, where he remained about twelve days, he visited the well-known points of interest,—the Museum, Lake Avernus, Misenum, Baiae, Capri, Pompeii, and Vesuvius. Leaving Naples May 20, and riding during the night, he had the next day his first view of St. Peter's from the Alban hills. That moment a darling vision of childhood and youth was fulfilled. No pilgrim ever entered the Imperial City with a richer enthusiasm,— not even Goethe, who, in his German home, could not, for some time before he crossed the Alps, look at an engraving of Italian scenery or read a Latin book, because of the pang they gave him. Here Sumner remained till the close of August. Rome and the Campagna have attractions at this season which are withheld in winter, and he always regarded the time of his sojourn there as well chosen. Mr. Ticknor wrote to him, Dec. 3, 1839: I agree with you about the season for seeing Italy. I have been there every
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Chapter 22: England again, and the voyage home.—March 17 to May 3, 1840. —Age 29. (search)
any, and, what is more to the purpose, learned more of the language. Shortly after writing, I left the capital of Prussia; then to Leipsic, Weimar, Gotha, Frankfort, Heidelberg. In this last place I fixed myself for five weeks. I knew the best people there; and I studied, read, and talked German. Indeed, I found myself able, when it was time to leave, to understand all that was said, and to carry on a conversation tolerably well. I love German; but not as Italian,—my dear Italian! After Goethe's Werther's Leiden, I took up the Letters of Ortis,—which I had read as I was leaving Italy, while we were clambering the snow-capped Alps. I think Foscolo's is the best,—though to the German is the palm of originality, if the Heloise of Rousseau does not bear it away. Lessing's Nathan der Weise is considered a masterpiece; but to compare it with my Alfieri! What I have read of Schiller I like very much. I have his works as my compagnon de voyageto America; and hope, before I touch New Y<
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.), Book III (continued) (search)
ces in most of his poetical work. But, after all, it is Goethe, rather than Shelley, who is the index to Taylor's mind. He was so devoted to Goethe, and to German literature generally, that Whitelaw Reid found it necessary to say that those whong, to carry out his fond plan of writing the biography of Goethe, a task for which he was well fitted. He died soon after use, fundamentally, because it is shallow. In his ode on Goethe, written three years before Taylor died, conscious of his t literary masterpieces, notably Dante's Divine comedy and Goethe's Faust, easily lent itself to that result. Still the geng an eight weeks holiday trip across Germany, Gesenius and Goethe. For a full year he continued his classical studies withoparing Sophocles and Euripides with Alfieri, Schiller, and Goethe, and contrasting Greek with French drama. He published (1iniscences—the correspondence with Emerson (1883) and with Goethe (1887), Reminiscences (1887), and letters (1886 and 1889);
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.), Index (search)
he, 266, 280 Girl of the Golden West, the, 272, 281 Girl with the Green eyes, the, 283, 284 Gladden, Washington, 216-218 Gleanings on Husbandry, 432 Glimpses of unfamiliar Japan, 155 Globe (Boston), 513 Globe-democrat (St. Louis), 325 Glory Trail, The, 161 Glossology, 479 Gloucester Moors, 64 Gobel, Gert, 587 Godey's Lady's Book, 305, 315 Godkin, E. L., 101, 121, 326, 327, 361, 488 God, religion, and morality, 600 Godwin, Parke, 313, 437 Godwin, Wm., 454 Goethe, 41, 42, 43, 238, 454, 460, 480 Goetz von Berlichingen, 487 Goldberger, 579 Gold, ein Californisches Lebensbild, 580 Golden bowl, the, 106 Golden era (San Francisco), 4, 154 Goldfaden, A., 607, 608 Goldoni, 77, 450 Goldsmith, 77, 542 Gompers, Samuel, 363 Gone with a Handsomer man, 59 Goodell, William, 136 Good Gracious, Annabelle, 296 Goodloe, D. R., 342, 351 Goodnow, F. J., 360-1 Goodrich, C. A., 477 Goodrich, S. G., 418, 548, 550, 552 n. Goodwin, J.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Literature as an art. (search)
tract these from the current English novels, what is there left? Germany furnishes at present no models of prose style; and all her past models, except perhaps Goethe and Heine, seem to be already losing their charm. Yet for knowledge we go to Germany, more than ever, and there is a certain exuberant wealth that can even imparr violated. In some of the greatest modern authors, however, there are limitations or drawbacks to this symmetry. Margaret Fuller said admirably of her favorite Goethe, that he had the artist's hand, but not the artist's love of structure; and in all his prose writings one sees a certain divergent and centrifugal habit, which coll, so long as this recompense does not intoxicate. The peril is, that all temporary applause is vitiated by uncertainty, and may be leading you right or wrong. Goethe wrote to Schiller, We make money by our poor books. The impression is somehow conveyed to the young, that there exists somewhere a circle of cultivated minds,
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Americanism in literature. (search)
larity in other fields; it is only the tone of our national literature that suffers. There is nothing in American life that can make concentration cease to be a virtue. Let a man choose his pursuit, and make all else count for recreation only. Goethe's advice to Eckermann is infinitely more important here than it ever was in Germany: Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of eve goes to sleep. And in such matters, as the French actor, Samson, said to the young dramatist, sleep is an opinion. It takes more than grammars and dictionaries to make a literature. It is the spirit in which we act that is the great matter, Goethe says. Der Geist aus dem wir handeln ist das Hochste. Technical training may give the negative merits of style, as an elocutionist may help a public speaker by ridding him of tricks. But the positive force of writing or of speech must come from
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, A letter to a young contributor. (search)
t you are tedious; wreathe the chain with roses. The more you have studied foreign languages, the more you will be disposed to keep Ollendorff in the background: the proper result of such acquirements is visible in a finer ear for words; so that Goethe said, the man who had studied but one language could not know that one. But spare the raw material; deal as cautiously in Latin as did General Jackson when Jack Downing was out of the way; and avoid French as some fashionable novelists avoid Enginto a book-maker: after that, though the newspapers may never hint at it, nor his admirers own it, the decline of his career is begun. Yet the author is not alone to blame for this, but also the world which first tempts and then reproves him. Goethe says, that, if a person once does a good thing, society forms a league to prevent his doing another. His seclusion is gone, and therefore his unconsciousness and his leisure; luxuries tempt him from his frugality, and soon he must toil for luxu
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, The Greek goddesses. (search)
oddess. And save in depicting this attribute of humility or contrition, modern literature, at least since Petrarch, seems to me singularly wanting in grand pictures of ideal womanhood. Spenser's impersonations, while pure and high, are vague and impalpable. Shakespeare's women seem at best far inferior, in compass and variety, to Shakespeare's men; and if Ruskin glorifies them sublimely on the one side, Thackeray on the other side professes to find in them the justification of his own. Goethe paints carefully a few varieties, avoiding the largest and noblest types. . Where among all these delineations is there a woman who walks the earth like a goddess? Where is the incessu patuit dea or Homer's di=a gunaikw=n? Among recent writers, George Sand alone has dared even to attempt such a thing; she tries it in Consuelo, and before the divinity has got her wings full-grown, she is enveloped, goddess-like, in the most bewildering clouds. Perhaps it is precisely because these high id
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