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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, I. A Cambridge boyhood (search)
rest, and bearing no words, only the carved goblet and sun (Vas — sol),--the monument beneath which lie, according to tradition, the bodies of two slaves:-- At her feet and at her head Lies a slave to attend the dead, But their dust is white as hers. This poem was not yet written, but Holmes's verses on this churchyard were familiar on our lips, and we sighed with him over his sister's grave, and over the stone where the French exile from Honfleur was buried and his epitaph was carved in French. Moreover, the ever-roaming girls whom Holmes exhorted to bend over the wall and sweep the simple lines with the floating curls then fashionable,--these were our own neighbors and sweethearts, and it all seemed in the last degree poetic and charming. More suggestive than all these were the eloquent fissures in the flat stones where the leaden coats of arms had been pried out to be melted into bullets for the Continental army. And it all so linked us with the past that when, years after, I
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 8 (search)
k it unpardonable that it did not show itself everywhere at once; the thing of importance is that it has arrived. The new literary impulse was indigenous, and, as far as it felt an exotic influence, that force was at any rate not English; it was French, Italian, and above all German, so far as its external factors went. Nothing could be much further from the truth than the late remark of an essayist that Boston is almost the sole survival upon our soil of a purely English influence. As a mattrench or too German, and not English enough; and when George Ripley's library was sold, it proved to be by far the best German library in New England except Theodore Parker's. There was at that time an eager clamoring not only for German, but for French, Italian, and even Swedish literature; then, when the Atlantic circle succeeded to the domain of the Transcendentalists, it had in Longfellow the most accomplished translator of his day; and the Continental influence still went at least side by
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 10 (search)
orters, and said: When I speak to these pencils, I speak to a million of men. . . . My voice is beaten by theirs [those of the mob], but they cannot beat types. All honor to Faust, for he made mobs impossible. At last the mayor promised the chairman, Edmund Quincy, to protect the evening session with fifty policemen; but instead of this he finally prohibited it, and when I came, expecting to attend it, I found the doors closed by police, while numerous assailants, under their leader, Jonas H. French, were in possession of the outer halls. A portion of these, bent on mischief, soon set off in search of it among the quarters of the negroes near Charles Street, and I followed, wishing to stand by my friends in that way, if it could be done in no other. Lewis Hayden afterwards said that I should not have done this, for the negroes were armed, and would have shot from their houses if molested. But there was only shouting and groaning on the part of the mob, with an occasional breakin
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, X. Literary Paris twenty years ago (search)
mpression that Adolphe Belot, Jules Claretie, and Hector Malot were there, and I am inclined to think that Max Nordau also was present. The discussions were in French, and therefore of course animated; but they turned at first on unimportant subjects, and the whole thing would have been rather a disappointment to me — since Vic this he said in English, which he continued to use with us, although he did not speak it with entire ease and correctness, and although we begged him to speak in French. Afterwards, when he was named as one of the vicepresi-dents of the new association, the announcement was received with applause, which was renewed when he wentltaire day; but I had not seen that, and it was, in case of Rousseau, the scene of the only daylight celebration. Crowds of people were passing in, all seemingly French; we did not hear a syllable of any other language. We were piloted to good seats, and found ourselves in the middle of enthusiastic groups, jumping up, sitting d
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, chapter 13 (search)
high type of character. There was no one in the legislature for whose motives and habits of mind I had more entire respect than for those of a young Irish-American lawyer, since dead, who sat in the next seat to mine during a whole session. I believe that the instinct of this whole class for politics is on the whole a sign of promise, although producing some temporary evils; and that it is much more hopeful, for instance, than the comparative indifference to public affairs among our large French-Canadian population. The desire for office, once partially gratified, soon becomes very strong, and the pride of being known as a vote-getter is a very potent stimulus to Americans, and is very demoralizing. Few men are willing to let the offices come to them, and although they respect this quality of abstinence in another, if combined with success, they do not have the same feeling for it per se. They early glide into the habit of regarding office as a perquisite, and as something to be
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays, Index. (search)
02. Fields, J. T., 176, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 292. Fillmore, Millard, 136. Finnegan, General, 262. Fiske, John, 58, 59. Fitzgerald, Lord, Edward, 66. Fletcher, Andrew, of Saltoun, 183. Follen, Charles, 16. Forbes, Hugh, 220, 221, 222. Foster, Abby Kelley, 146. Foster, Dwight, 88. Foster, S. S., 116, 146, 327. Fourier, Charles, 101. Francis, Convers, 100, 101. Franklin, Benjamin, 16. Free Church of Worcester, 146. Freeman, Watson, 155. Freiligrath, Ferdinand, 100. French, J. H., 245. Frithiof's Saga, 101. Frothingham, 0. B., 44, 005, 006, 175. Froude, J. A., 272, 277, 278, 279. Froude, Mrs. J. A., 277. fugitive Slav epoch, the, 132-166. Fugitive Slave Law, Passage of, 135. Fuller, Margaret, 12, 77, 91, 92. Gardner, Joseph, 233. Garfield, J. A., 349. Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 220. Garrison, W. L., 97, 116, 125, 126, 127, 135, 139, 242, 327- Gasparin, Madame de, 266. Geary, J. W., 203, 205, 206. German influence on American thought, 188. Gibbon