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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Olde Cambridge, Chapter 2: old Cambridge in three literary epochs (search)
more marked way, a young Harvard graduate, Robert Bartlett of Plymouth, then Latin tutor at the University, who was an occasional member or visitor of the Symposium Club, had taken for his Master of Arts oration in 1839 this daring theme, No good possible but shall one day be real, and had thus boldly turned his searchlight upon the position and prospects of American literature :-- When Horace was affecting to make himself a Greek poet, the genius of his country, the shade of immortal Romulus, stood over him, post mediam noctem visus quum somnia vera, and forbade the perversion. ... Is everything so sterile and pygmy here in New England, that we must all, writers and readers, be forever replenishing ourselves with the mighty wonders of the Old World? Is not the history of this people transcendent in the chronicles of the world for pure, homogeneous sublimity and beauty and richness? Go down some ages of ages from this day, compress the years from the landing of the Pilgrims t
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Olde Cambridge, Chapter 3: Holmes (search)
nson, I thank you for the curious little scrap of information so nearly involving my dearest interests,--whether I should be myself or somebody else,--and such a train of vital facts as my household shews (sic) me. How oddly our antenatal history comes out! A few months ago my classmate Devens told me he had recently seen an old woman who spoke of remembering me as a baby and that I was brought up on the bottle — which has made me feel as tenderly every time I visit my wine cellar as Romulus and Remus did when Faustula carried them to the menagerie and showed them the wolf in his cage. Our life is half under ground--quantum vertice, etc. Here are two rootlets of mine that accident has brought to light, not very important to the race, but having an odd sort of interest for one at least. Very truly yours, O. W. Holmese. In childhood I became intimate with the household circle in which Oliver Wendell Holmes was born and bred, the intimacy coming from the fact that my