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Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
s graceful and charming, but sometimes also with a humorous smile playing upon his face. There were some very good dancers among the ladies who skimmed the floor almost like swallows; but the finest waltzer in Cambridge or Boston was Theodore Colburn, who had graduated ten years previously, and with the advantage of a youthful figure, had kept up the pastime ever since. The present writer has never seen anywhere another man who could waltz with such consummate ease and unconscious grace. Lowell's eyes followed him continually; but it is also said that Colburn would willingly dispense with the talent for better success in his profession. Next to him comes the tall ball-player, already referred to, and it is delightful to see the skill with which he adapts his unusual height to the most petite damsel on the floor. Here the Spree is omnipotent, but it does not like Class Day, for then Boston and its suburbs pour forth their torrent of beauty and fashion, and Cambridge for the time b
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 3
rst game, which the Cambridge ladies attended, was played on the Delta in May of that year with the Trimountain Club of Boston. Flagg was the finest catcher in New England at that time; and, although he was never chosen captain, he was the most skilful manager of the game. It was he who invented the double-play which can sometimef lecture on primeval rocks and the crust of the earth's surface. He told them that Boylston Hall was made of syenite; that most of the stone called granite in New England was syenite, and if they wanted to see genuine granite they should go to the tops of the White Mountains. Then looking at his watch he said: Ah, I see I am la his was never seen in an Anglo-Saxon face. It reminded you at once of Byron's Corsair, and suggested contingencies such as find no place in quiet, law-abiding New England,--the possibility of sudden and terrible concentration. His clothing had been long since out of fashion, and he always wore a faded cloth cap, such as no stude
Concord, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
The college pump was a venerable institution, a leveller of all distinctions; and many a pleasant conversation took place about its wooden trough. No student thought of owning an equipage, and a Russell or a Longworth would as soon have hired a sedan chair as a horse and buggy, when he might have gone on foot. Good pedestrianism was the pride of the Harvard student; and an honest, wholesome pride it was. There was also some good running. Both Julian Hawthorne and Thomas W. Ward ran to Concord, a distance of sixteen miles, without stopping, I believe, by the way. William Blaikie, the stroke of the University crew, walked to New York during the Thanksgiving recess-six days in all. The undergraduates had not yet become acquainted with tennis, the most delightful of light exercises, and foot-ball had not yet been regulated according to the rules of Rugby and Harrow. The last of the pernicious foot-ball fights between Sophomores and Freshmen took place in September, 1863, and com
Paris, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
so far as it helped the advancement of his studies. For many years Madam Agassiz taught a select school for young ladies (to which Emerson, among others, sent his daughters), in order to provide funds for her husband to carry on his work. It is to be feared that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was rather stingy to him. Edward Everett once made an eloquent address in his behalf to the legislature, but it had no effect. Louis Napoleon's munificent offers could not induce him to return to Paris, for he believed that more important work was to be done in the new world,--which, by the way, he considered the oldest portion of the globe. In height and figure Agassiz was so much like Doctor Hill that when the two were together this was very noticeable. They were both broadshouldered, deep-chested men, and of about the same height, with large, well-rounded heads; but Agassiz had an elastic French step, whereas Doctor Hill walked with something of a shuffle. One might even imagine A
South America (search for this): chapter 3
of people called Tories, in 1776, and who might properly be called so still. As a matter of fact, Agassiz had long since passed the meridian of his reputation, and his sun was now not far from setting. He had returned from his expedition to South America with a valuable collection of fishes and other scientific materials; but his theory of glaciers, which he went there to substantiate, had not been proven. Darwin's Origin of species had already swept his nicely-constructed plans of original his life he spent his summers at the Isles of Shoals, and generally with one or more reverend gentlemen in his company. He was besides a most munificent patron of the university. He provided the means for Agassiz to go on his expedition to South America, and in conjunction with Doctor Hill reestablished commons for the students — a reform, as he once stated, as advantageous to their morals as to their purses. He afterwards built the dormitory which is known by his name. He was so kind-hear
ke his own sons, and the ode he wrote on this occasion touches a depth of pathos not to be met with elsewhere in his poetry. There was not at that time another family in Cambridge or Boston which contained two such bright intellects, two such fine characters. It did not seem right that they should both have left their mother, who was bereaved already by a faithless husband, to fight the battles of their country, however much they were needed for this. Even in the most despotic period of European history the only son of a widow was exempt from conscription. Then to lose them both in a single day! Mrs. Lowell became the saint of Quincy Street, and none were so hardened or self-absorbed as not to do her reverence. But now the terrible past was eclipsed by the joy and pride of victory. The great heroic struggle was over; young men could look forward to the practice of peaceable professions, and old men had no longer to think of the exhausting drain upon their resources. Fond mot
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 3
us. He asked a blessing on the American people; on all those who had suffered from the war; on the government of the United States; and on our defeated enemies. When the short service had ended, Doctor Hill came forward and said: It is not fittin had discarded; that their form of government, with its constitution and laws, differed so slightly from those of the United States, is sufficient to indicate that their separation was not to be permanent, and that it only required the abolition oface obstinately against them. He was not so practical a man as President Quincy, but he was one of the best scholars in America. His administration has not been looked upon as a success, but he served to break the ice and to open the way for futurd his importance was universally recognized. He had given a vigorous and much-needed impetus to the study of geology in America, and as a compendium of all the different branches of natural history there was nobody like him. In his lifelong single-
Kansas (Kansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
neglected; and the tradition that a French instructor once entertained his class by telling them his dreams, if not true, was at least characteristic. The sons of wealthy Bostonians were accustomed to brag that they had gone through college without doing any real studying. To the college faculty politics only meant the success of Webster and the great Whig party. The anti-slavery agitation was considered inconvenient and therefore prejudicial. During the struggle for free institutions in Kansas, the president of Harvard College undertook to debate the question in a public meeting, but he displayed such lamentable ignorance that he was soon obliged to retire in confusion. The war for the Union, however, waked up the slumbering university, as it did all other institutions and persons. Rev. Thomas Hill was chosen president in 1861, and was the first anti-slavery president of the college since Josiah Quincy; and this of itself indicated that he was in accord with the times,--had n
Boston Harbor (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
dent Hill was seen holding a long and earnest conversation with Agassiz on the path towards his house. The professors threw aside their contemplated work. Every man went to drink a glass of wine with his best friend, and to discuss the fortunes of the republic. The ball-players set off for the Delta, where Memorial Hall now stands, to organize a full match game; the billiard experts started a tournament on Mr. Lyon's new tables; and the rowing men set off for a three-hours' pull down Boston harbor. Others collected in groups and discussed the future of their country with the natural precocity of youthful minds. Here, said a Boston cousin of the two young Lowells, to a pink-faced, sandy-haired ball-player, you are opposed to capital punishment; do you think Jeff. Davis ought to be hung? Just at present, replied the latter, I am more in favor of suspending Jeff. Davis than of suspending the law, --an opinion that was greeted with laughter and applause. The general sentiment of t
Saint Lawrence River (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
cannot work any longer, he said; and when he could not work he was miserable. The trouble that afflicted him was congestion of the base of the brain, a disorder that is not caused so frequently by overwork as by mental emotion. His cure by Dr. Edward H. Clarke, by the use of bromides and the application of ice, was considered a remarkable one at the time; but five years later the disorder returned again and cost him his life. He believed that the Laurentian Mountains, north of the St. Lawrence River, was the first land which showed itself above the waste of waters with which the earth was originally surmounted. Perhaps the most picturesque figure on the college grounds was the old Greek professor, Evangelinus Apostolides Sophocles; a genuine importation from Athens, whom the more imaginative sort of people liked to believe was descended from the Greek poet Sophocles of the Periclean age. He was much too honest himself to give countenance to this rumor, and if you inquired of hi
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