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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 8 (search)
argely to afford a local habitation and dignified occupation to Mr. Alcott. Had its christening been left to the latter, a rhetorical grandeur would have belonged to its very opening; for he only hesitated whether the Olympian Club or the Pan Club would be the more suitable designation. Lowell marred the dignity of the former proposal by suggesting the name Club of Hercules as a substitute for Olympian; and since the admission of women was a vexed question at the outset, Lowell thought the Patty pan quite appropriate. Upon this question, indeed, the enterprise very nearly went to pieces; and Mr. Sanborn has printed in his Life of Alcott a characteristic letter from Emerson to myself, after I had, in order to test the matter, placed the names of Elizabeth Peabody and Mary Lowell Putnam — Lowell's sister, and also well known as a writer — on the nomination book. Emerson himself, with one of those serene and lofty coups d'etat of which only the saints are capable, took a pen and eras