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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays 6 0 Browse Search
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches 4 0 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book 2 0 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: February 1, 1865., [Electronic resource] 2 0 Browse Search
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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Dr. W. T. G. Morton (search)
he persuaded Doctor Morton to make use of it, why was he not present to oversee his subordinate? also, why did he make a charge on his books a few days later against Doctor Morton of five hundred dollars for advice and information concerning the application of ether? It is not customary to charge subordinates for their service but to reward them. The two horns of this dilemma are sharp and penetrating. In a later memorial of the same general tenor, which Doctor Jackson forwarded to Baron Humboldt, he stated that he had applied to other dentists in Boston to make the experiment of etherization, but found them unwilling to take the risk; but the names of the dentists have never been made public, nor did any such appear afterwards to testify in Doctor Jackson's behalf. Still more remarkable was the action of the French Academy of Arts and Sciences in these premises. The French Academy was founded by Richelieu, but abolished in the first French Revolution, with so many other enc
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Leaves from a Roman diary: February, 1869 (Rewritten in 1897) (search)
e most generous manner. He has done the same for Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and many others. He lives with an Italian family who were formerly in the service of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and who were ruined by the recent change of rulers. Dr. Appleton boards with them, and helps to support them in other ways. In spite of his goodness he does not seem to be happy. One of his chief friends in Florence is Fraulein Assig, who was banished from Prussia together with her publisher for editing Von Humboldt's memoirs, which were perhaps too severely critical of the late king of Prussia. The book, however, had an excellent sale, and she now lives contentedly in Florence, where she is well acquainted both with prominent liberals and leading members of the government. Dr. Appleton reports that a cabinet officer lately said to her, We may move to Rome at any time. Louis Napoleon is the main-stay of the papacy, and the only one it has. The retrocession of Venetia to Italy has separated Austr
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, A plea for culture. (search)
ees of all others. The essential thing is, that we should recognize, as a nation, the value of all culture, and resolutely organize it into our institutions. As a stimulus to this we must constantly bear in mind, and cheerfully acknowledge, that American literature is not yet copious, American scholarship not profound, American society not highly intellectual, and the American style of execution, in all high arts, yet hasty and superficial. It is not true, as our plain-speaking friend Von Humboldt said, that the United States are a dead level of mediocrities ; but it is undoubtedly true that our brains as yet lie chiefly in our machine-shops. Make what apology we please for the defect, it still remains; while what the world asks of us is not excuses for failure, but facts of success. When Europe comes to America for culture, instead of America's thronging to Europe, the fact will publish itself and the discussion cease. There is no debate about our reapers and sewing-machines.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Fayal and the Portuguese. (search)
of Phoenician traces yet discoverable. This lent additional interest to a mysterious inscription which we hunted up in a church built in the time of Philip II., at the north end of the island; we had the satisfaction of sending a copy of it to Humboldt, though it is after all supposed to be only a Latin inscription clothed in uncouth Greek characters, such as have long passed for Runic in the Belgian churches and elsewhere. The Phoenician traces remain to be discovered; so does a statue fablemetimes long for the soft, tender green of more temperate zones. The novel beauty of the Dabney gardens can scarcely be exaggerated; each step was a new incursion into the tropics,--a palm, a magnolia, a camphor-tree, a dragon-tree, suggesting Humboldt and Orotava, a clump of bamboos or cork-trees, or the startling strangeness of the great grass-like banana, itself a jungle. There are hedges of pittosporum, arbors veiled by passion-flowers, and two specimens of that most beautiful of all livi
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The new world and the new book, XX (search)
never by any chance hold more than two bits of potato at the same time. The acquisition of knowledge is, after all, a process of selection rather than of collection. We forget as fast as we learn, and it is doubtful if the most learned man really knows more at fifty than at twenty; he has merely driven out a multitude of insignificant details by those of greater value. The travelling salesman and the horse-car conductor are probably possessed of as many items of detached knowledge as Von Humboldt or Darwin; the difference is in their quality and their use. It was one of Margaret Fuller's acutest sayings that a man who expects to accomplish much in the world must learn after five and twenty to read with his fingers. Dr. Johnson, who said to the man who thanked God for his ignorance, Then, sir, you have a great deal to be thankful for, was in a similar position to the person at whom he sneered, but was less frank in his ascriptions of gratitude. The elder Agassiz once said to me
Sale of Autographs. --At an antiquarian sale in Washington city, an autograph letter of Lafayette to Mr. Madison was sold for $16.50; the signature of Napoleon Bonaparte brought $8.50; a letter from William Henry Harrison brought $5.50; John Hancock's autograph, $6.50; Von Humboldt's autograph, $4.75; a letter from Andrew Jackson, $6; a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, $9; Thomas Jefferson's address to the Tammany Society, $5.50; the autograph of Toussaint L'Ouverture, $5.50.