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Charles Beck (search for this): chapter 4
The experience lately described by an elder contemporary of discovering that he personally knew more than at least the tutors of his time was one which never troubled me. Two of the four tutors, Bowen and Lovering, were men eminent as scholars from youth to old age; the third, Jones Very, was a man of genius; and the fourth, Charles Mason,--now Judge Mason, of Fitchburg,--certainly knew incomparably more of Latin than I did. Of the older professors, Felton was a cultivated Greek scholar, and Beck brought to Latin the thoroughness of his German drill. I need not say what it was to read French with Longfellow; and it is pleasant to remember that once — during one of those preposterous little rebellions which then occurred every two or three years, and which have wholly disappeared under a freer discipline — when the students were gathered in the college yard, and had refused to listen to several professors, there was a hush when Longfellow appeared, and my classmate, John Revere, cried
Fitzjames O'Brien (search for this): chapter 4
when I at last found myself, one autumn morning, admitted on examination, without conditions, and standing on the steps of University Hall, looking about with a new sense of ownership on the trees my father had planted. I was not yet fourteen, and was the youngest in my class; but never since in life have I had such a vivid sense of a career, an opportunity, a battle to be won. This is what gilds the memory of college life: that we dwelt there like Goethe's fairy Melusina or the heroine of O'Brien's Diamond Lens, in a real but miniature world, a microcosm of the visible universe. It seems to me that I never have encountered a type of character in the greater world which was not represented more or less among my classmates, or dealt with any thought or principle which was not discussed in elementary form in our evening walks up Brattle Street. Harvard College was then a comparatively small affair, as was the village in which it existed; but both had their day of glory, which was C
Joseph Lovering (search for this): chapter 4
onsidered that Channing's method reared most of the well-known writers whom New England was then producing,that it was he who trained Emerson, C. F. Adams, Hedge, A. P. Peabody, Felton, Hillard, Winthrop, Holmes, Sumner, Motley, Phillips, Bowen, Lovering, Torrey, Dana, Lowell, Thoreau, Hale, Thomas Hill, Child, Fitzedward Hall, Lane, and Norton,--it will be seen that the classic portion of our literature came largely into existence under him. He fulfilled the aspiration attributed to Increase Ma in respect of which we could complain. The experience lately described by an elder contemporary of discovering that he personally knew more than at least the tutors of his time was one which never troubled me. Two of the four tutors, Bowen and Lovering, were men eminent as scholars from youth to old age; the third, Jones Very, was a man of genius; and the fourth, Charles Mason,--now Judge Mason, of Fitchburg,--certainly knew incomparably more of Latin than I did. Of the older professors, Felto
Francis Edward Parker (search for this): chapter 4
in stimulating ambition. We wrote themes every fortnight and forensics once a month; and as these were marked on a scale of 48, and ordinary recitations on a scale of 8, the importance of this influence may be seen. Never in my life have I had to meet such exacting criticism on anything written as came from Professor Channing, and never have I had any praise so encouraging as his. My marks were often second in the class, sometimes equaling --O day of glory!--those of my classmate, Francis Edward Parker, who was easily first; and to have a passage read to the class for praise, even anonymously, was beyond all other laurels, though the satisfaction might be marred occasionally by the knowledge that my elder sister had greatly helped in that particular sentence. When it is considered that Channing's method reared most of the well-known writers whom New England was then producing,that it was he who trained Emerson, C. F. Adams, Hedge, A. P. Peabody, Felton, Hillard, Winthrop, Holmes,
Francis James Child (search for this): chapter 4
new departure as compared with that given by Professor Channing down to 1841 at least. The evidence would seem to be that between that period and 1846, when Professor Child graduated, Professor Channing had in some way lost his hold upon his pupils as his years advanced; so that when Professor Child succeeded to the chair, in 185Professor Child succeeded to the chair, in 1851, it was with a profound distrust in the whole affair, insomuch that the very department of rhetoric and oratory came near being wiped out of existence, and was saved by the indignant protest of the late Charles Francis Adams. Certain it is that this department was, in my time, by far the most potent influence in determining co C. F. Adams, Hedge, A. P. Peabody, Felton, Hillard, Winthrop, Holmes, Sumner, Motley, Phillips, Bowen, Lovering, Torrey, Dana, Lowell, Thoreau, Hale, Thomas Hill, Child, Fitzedward Hall, Lane, and Norton,--it will be seen that the classic portion of our literature came largely into existence under him. He fulfilled the aspiration
John Holmes (search for this): chapter 4
self-subordination to these kings of to-morrow may come, in my own case, from the fact that I am, more than any one else now living in Cambridge, except perhaps John Holmes and Professor Norton, a child of the college; and the latter is my junior, and was once in my eyes one of these very boys. All three of us were, so to speak, b was Commencement Day, now a merely academic ceremonial, but then a public festival for eastern Massachusetts. It has been so well described by both Lowell and John Holmes that I will not dwell upon it in detail. The streets were filled with people, arriving from far and near; there were booths, fairs, horseraces, encampments ofst of the well-known writers whom New England was then producing,that it was he who trained Emerson, C. F. Adams, Hedge, A. P. Peabody, Felton, Hillard, Winthrop, Holmes, Sumner, Motley, Phillips, Bowen, Lovering, Torrey, Dana, Lowell, Thoreau, Hale, Thomas Hill, Child, Fitzedward Hall, Lane, and Norton,--it will be seen that the
Ralph Waldo Emerson (search for this): chapter 4
occasionally by the knowledge that my elder sister had greatly helped in that particular sentence. When it is considered that Channing's method reared most of the well-known writers whom New England was then producing,that it was he who trained Emerson, C. F. Adams, Hedge, A. P. Peabody, Felton, Hillard, Winthrop, Holmes, Sumner, Motley, Phillips, Bowen, Lovering, Torrey, Dana, Lowell, Thoreau, Hale, Thomas Hill, Child, Fitzedward Hall, Lane, and Norton,--it will be seen that the classic portiough he was, like Perkins, two years younger in college; he was not a high scholar, but he was an ardent student of literature, and came much under the influence of his cousin, Maria White, and of Lowell, her betrothed. Thaxter first led me to Emerson and to Hazlitt; the latter being for both of us a temporary and the former a lifelong source of influence. We were both lovers of Longfellow, also, and used to sit at the open window every New Year's Eve and read aloud his Midnight Mass to the
Francis A. Walker (search for this): chapter 4
the quaint Spanish expletives; and when he gravely introduced Odds' fish or Gogzounds, Mr. Sales would look bewildered for a moment, and then roll out his stentorian Ha! Ha! Ha! By Jorge! in a way to add still further to the list of unexpected phrases, and to make the dusty room in Massachusetts Hall jubilant for that day. President Quincy was popular among us, but lost direct weight in our minds through his failure of memory and the necessity of constantly telling him who we were. Dr. Walker we admired because of his wise and sententious preaching, and his reputation, not unjustified, of peculiar penetration into character. Jared Sparks lectured on history, under great disadvantages; and I have always been gratified that it was from him — a man accounted unimaginative — that for the first time the thought was suggested to us of the need of imagination to an historian, not for the purpose of invention, but for re-creating a given period and shaping it in the representation. D
, now a merely academic ceremonial, but then a public festival for eastern Massachusetts. It has been so well described by both Lowell and John Holmes that I will not dwell upon it in detail. The streets were filled with people, arriving from far and near; there were booths, fairs, horseraces, encampments of alleged gamblers in outlying groves. Perhaps the most striking single illustrations of the day's importance lay in the fact that the banks in Boston were closed on that day, and that Boston gentlemen, even if not graduates of the college, often came to Cambridge for a day or two, at that time, taking rooms and receiving their friends. My grandfather, Stephen Higginson, used to come over from Brookline, take quarters in this way at Porter's tavern (the Boylston Street Porter), and keep open house, with probable punchbowl. The practice had ceased before the period of my recollection, but my cousin, the Rev. William Henry Channing, has vividly described the way in which my grand
Charles Sedgwick (search for this): chapter 4
lin Shimmin, of Boston, up to his dying day, that I did not recall the thrill of admiration for his unequaled rushes on the football field; and when we casually met, we always talked about them. Of the two best bowlers in my class, the one, Charles Sedgwick, was at the head of the class in scholarship, and the other, Eben William Rollins, was far down in the rank list, but they were equally our heroes at the cricketing hour. The change chiefly perceptible to me to-day is that whereas we were proud of Sedgwick's scholarship as well as of his bowling, it is likely that, in the present intense absorption in what may be called vicarious athletics, any amount of intellectual eminence would count but as the dust on the fly-wheel. In this respect we go a little further just now, I fancy, than our English kinsfolk. It is a rare thing in our American Cambridge to hear of any student as being admired for his scholarship; but when I was taken, twenty years ago, to see the intercollegiate rac
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