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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Carlyle's laugh and other surprises, VIII: Emerson's foot-note person, --Alcott (search)
oubtless often erred, at first, in the direction of inflation in language. When the Town and Country Club was organized in Boston, and had been, indeed, established largely to afford a dignified occupation for Alcott, as Emerson said, Alcott wished to have it christened either the Olympian Club or the Pan Club. Lowell, always quick at a joke, suggested the substitution of Club of Hercules instead of Olympian ; or else that, inasmuch as the question of admitting women was yet undecided, The Patty-Pan would be a better name. But if Alcott's words were large, he acted up to them. When the small assaulting party was driven back at the last moment from the Court House doors in Boston, during the Anthony Burns excitement, and the steps were left bare, the crowd standing back, it was Alcott who came forward and placidly said to the ring-leader, Why are we not within? On being told that the mob would not follow, he walked calmly up the steps, alone, cane in hand. When a revolver was fi