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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 17 (search)
ality, for instance, in his Men and letters, in his papers on Dr. Mulford and Longfellow. The first is an analysis of the life and literary service of a man too litte depth apparently contracts the sides (page 17). So in his criticism called Longfellow and his art, Scudder repeatedly expresses in a sentence what might well have occupied a page, as where he says of Longfellow, He was first of all a composer, and he saw his subjects in their relations rather than in their essence (page 44). He is equally penetrating where he says that Longfellow brought to his work in the college no special love of teaching, but a deep love of literature and that unacademi liberalizing power (page 66). He touches equally well that subtle quality of Longfellow's temperament, so difficult to delineate, when he says of him: He gave of himw American writers whom he commemorates so nobly at the close of his essay on Longfellow and his art, in Men and letters : It is too early to make a full survey of th
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 18 (search)
r, Colonel Hay, and Frederic Harrison, all of whom were well brought out by our host and talked admirably. I quote some extracts from the talk:-- Mr. Atkinson said that quite the best after-dinner speech he had ever heard was from Mr. Samuel Longfellow, brother of the poet. An excellent speech had been made by Mr. Longworth, and the proceedings should have closed, when Mr. Longfellow was very tactlessly asked to address the meeting, which he did in the words: It is, I think, well known tMr. Longfellow was very tactlessly asked to address the meeting, which he did in the words: It is, I think, well known that worth makes the man, but want of it the fellow, and sat down. After this mild beginning we have records of good talk. Other subjects [Grant Duff says] were the hostility of the Socialists in London to the Positivists and to the Trades Unions; the great American fortunes and their causes, the rapid melting away of some of them, the hindrance which they are to political success ; and servants in the United States, of whom Atkinson spoke relatively, Colonel Hay absolutely, well, saying th
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 19 (search)
s of exchange. Dr. Henry Bryant is well remembered in Boston for the large collection of birds given by him to the Boston Natural History Society. Soon after his graduation, in 1840, Elliot Cabot went abroad with the object of joining his elder brother in Switzerland, visiting Italy, wintering in Paris, and returning home in the spring; but this ended in his going for the winter to Heidelberg instead, a place then made fascinating to all young Americans through the glowing accounts in Longfellow's Hyperion. They were also joined by two other classmates,--Edward Holker Welch, afterwards well known in the Roman Catholic priesthood, and John Fenwick Heath, of Virginia, well remembered by the readers of Lowell's letters. All of these four were aiming at the profession of the law, although not one of them, I believe, finally devoted himself to its practice. Migrating afterwards to Berlin, after the fashion of German students, they were admitted to the University on their Harvard deg
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 20 (search)
s fifteen, simply because he had tried to explain it to her when she was a little child, and she had been afraid to tell him that she did not understand, and also afraid to ask any one else lest he should hear of it. Yet she had never heard him speak a harsh word, and it needed only a glance at his photograph to see how truly the Puritan tradition was preserved in him. He did not wish his children, when little, to read anything but the Bible; and when, one day, her brother brought her home Longfellow's Kavanagh, he put it secretly under the pianoforte cover, made signs to her, and they both afterwards read it. It may have been before this, however, that a student of her father's was amazed to find that she and her brother had never heard of Lydia Maria Child, then much read, and he brought Letters from New York, and hid it in the great bush of old-fashioned tree-box beside the front door. After the first book, she thought in ecstasy, This, then, is a book, and there are more of them.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, chapter 22 (search)
led to the discovery, at first seeming almost incredible, that the poems which most claimed the attention of the world have for that very reason been gradually most changed and perverted in printing. Gray's Elegy in a country Churchyard, for instance, has appeared in polyglot editions; it has been translated fifteen times into French, thirteen into Italian, twelve times into Latin, and so on down through Greek, German, Portuguese, and Hebrew. No one poem in the English language, even by Longfellow, equals it in this respect. The editions which appeared in Gray's own time were kept correct through his own careful supervision; and the changes in successive editions were at first those made by himself, usually improvements, as where he changed some village Cato to some village Hampden, and substituted in the same verse Milton for Tully and Cromwell for Caesar. But there are many errors in Pickering's edition, and these have been followed by most American copies. It may perhaps be d
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, XXIV. a half-century of American literature (1857-1907) (search)
ch other structures are to rise; the humanity which it holds is entering into the life of the country, and no material invention, or scientific discovery, or institutional prosperity, or accumulation of wealth will so powerfully affect the spiritual well-being of the nation for generations to come. The geographical headquarters of this particular group was Boston, of which Cambridge and Concord may be regarded for this purpose as suburbs. Such a circle of authors as Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, Alcott, Thoreau, Parkman, and others had never before met in America; and now that they have passed away, no such local group anywhere remains: nor has the most marked individual genius elsewhere — such, for instance, as that of Poe or Whitman — been the centre of so conspicuous a combination. The best literary representative of this group of men in bulk was undoubtedly the Atlantic Monthly, to which almost every one of them contributed, and of which they made up the su
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 4: home life: my father (search)
d my sphere of thought was a good deal enlarged by the foreign literatures, German, French, and Italian, with which I became familiar. Yet I seemed to myself like a young damsel of olden time, shut up within an enchanted castle. And I must say that my dear father, with all his noble generosity and overweening affection, sometimes appeared to me as my jailer. My brother's return from Europe and subsequent marriage opened the door a little for me. It was through his intervention that Mr. Longfellow first visited us, to become a valued and lasting friend. Through him in turn we became acquainted with Professor Felton, Charles Sumner, and Dr. Howe. My brother was very fond of music, of which he had heard the best in Paris and in Germany. He often arranged musical parties at our house, at which trios of Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert were given. His wit, social talent, and literary taste opened a new world to me, and enabled me to share some of the best results of his long reside
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 7: marriage: tour in Europe (search)
the dearly loved brother Henry, whose recent death had greatly grieved us. Longfellow and Sumner often visited us in our retirement. The latter once made mention oposed that we should drive over to the Perkins Institution on a given day. Mr. Longfellow came for me in a buggy, while Mr. Sumner conducted my two sisters and our fus an impression of unusual force and reserve. Only when I was seated beside Longfellow for the homeward drive, he mischievously remarked, Longfellow, I see that youLongfellow, I see that your horse has been down, at which the poet seemed a little discomfited. Mr. Sanborn, in the preface to his biography of Dr. Howe, says:— It has fallen to my lot sence I entertained the unknown guest to the best of my ability. He spoke of Longfellow's volume of poems on slavery, then a recent publication, saying that he admirers. Yet we had already given it the writings of Irving, Hawthorne, Emerson, Longfellow, Bryant, and Poe. It is true that these authors were little, if at all, known
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 8: first years in Boston (search)
by translations, by disciples. Dr. Hedge published an English rendering of some of the masterpieces of German prose. Longfellow gave us lovely versions of many poets. John S. Dwight produced his ever precious volume of translations of the minor pdest brother, Samuel Ward, had made Mr. Sumner's acquaintance through a letter of introduction given to the latter by Mr. Longfellow. At his suggestion we invited Mr. Sumner to pass a quiet evening at our house, promising him a little music. Our g They rejoiced in one another's successes, and Summer on one occasion wrote to Dr. Howe, apropos of some new poem of Mr. Longfellow's, What a club we are! I like to indulge in a little mutual. The developments of later years made some changes in strongly divided on the slavery question, Hillard and Felton were less pronounced in their views than the others, while Longfellow, Sumner, and Dr. Howe remained united in opinion and in feeling. Hillard, who possessed more scholarship and literary
Jula Ward Howe, Reminiscences: 1819-1899, Chapter 12: the Church of the Disciples: in war time (search)
that which all must recognize in the Boston of the last forty years. The religious philosophy of the Unitarian pulpit; the intercourse with the learned men of Harvard College, more frequent formerly than at present; the inheritance of solid and earnest character, most precious of estates; the nobility of thought developed in Margaret Fuller's pupils; the cordial piety of such leaders as Phillips Brooks, James Freeman Clarke, and Edward Everett Hale; the presence of leading authors,—Holmes, Longfellow, Emerson, and Lowell,—all these circumstances combined have given to Massachusetts a halo of glory which time should not soon have power to dim. Massachusetts, as I understand her, asks for no false leadership, for no illusory and transient notoriety. Where Truth and Justice command, her sons and daughters will follow; and if she should sometimes be found first in the ranks, it will not be because her ambition has displaced others, but because the strength of her convictions has carri
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