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Edward Clarke (search for this): chapter 4
strongest impression which is conveyed by looking back on our number collectively, after a half century's lapse, is that of the utter impossibility of casting in advance the horoscope of a whole set of young men. The class numbered several who afterwards won distinction in different walks in life; and while the actual careers of some might have been predicted, there were other lives which could not possibly have been anticipated by any of us. It required no great foresight to guess that Edward Clarke and Francis Minot would be physicians, and even eminent ones; that Rufus Woodward, of Worcester, would also be a physician, and a naturalist besides; that Thomas Church Haskell Smith, of Ohio, who was universally known among us as Captain Smith, and was the natural leader of the class, in case of civil war would become Major-General Smith, and chief of staff in the Army of the Potomac. Wickham Hoffman, of New York, showed in college the same steadfast and manly qualities which made him
Charles Brockden Brown (search for this): chapter 4
o that man is. On the other hand, the things which these wise men do not know are constantly surprising, at least to a survivor of the less specializing period. I have had a professor of political economy stop me in the street to ask who Charles Brockden Brown was; and when I suggested to a senior student who was seeking a lecturer for some society that he might ask John Fiske, he replied that he had never heard his name. Now, I knew all about Charles Brockden Brown before I was twelve years oCharles Brockden Brown before I was twelve years old, from Sparks's American biography, and it was not easy to see how any one could read the newspapers, even three or four years ago, and not be familiar with the name of John Fiske. Yet this specialization extends, in truth, to all classes of the community. A Boston lawyer, the other day, told a friend of mine that, in his opinion, the Harvard professors were less eminent than formerly. My friend replied with truth that the only difference was that they were less likely to be all-round men,
Francis Bowen (search for this): chapter 4
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 portion of our literature came largely into existence under him. He fulfilled the aspiration attributed to Inad anything 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 profe
Stephen Higginson Perkins (search for this): chapter 4
e other companion, who did more for my literary tastes than all other friends, was the late Levi Lincoln Thaxter, who in after-life helped more than any one to make Browning and Fitzgerald known in this country,--they being more widely read here in each case, for a time, than in their own land. This was the more remarkable as Thaxter never saw either of them, although he corresponded with Browning, who also wrote the inscription for his grave. Thaxter was about my age, though 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 dying year. Thaxter w
Maria White (search for this): chapter 4
wrote the inscription for his grave. Thaxter was about my age, though 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 wier was an enthusiastic naturalist, which was another bond of union, and he bequeathed this taste to his youngest son, now an assistant professor of botany in Harvard University. To Thaxter I owe, finally, the great privilege of borrowing from Maria White the first thin volumes of Tennyson's poems, which seemed to us, as was once said of Keats, to double the value of words; and we both became, a few years later, subscribers to the original yellow-covered issue of Browning's Bells and Pomegranat
A. Oakey Hall (search for this): chapter 4
nd was in all respects a favorite. A classmate who sat next me, George Hay, took delight in inflicting upon the innocent old man the most incredible or old-fashioned English oaths as equivalent to 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
H. I. Bowditch (search for this): chapter 4
studied, by an added stroke of good luck, his Curves and functions, which was just passing through the press, and the successive parts of which were bound up for our use. This increased the charm; it seemed like mathematics in the process of construction. I was already old enough to appreciate the wonderful compactness and close reasoning of these volumes, and to enter with eager zest into filling the intermediate gaps afforded by the long steps often taken from one equation to another. Dr. Bowditch, the translator of Laplace's Mdcanique Celeste, used to say that whenever he came to one of Laplace's Whence it plainly appears, he was in for an hour or two of toil in order to make this exceeding plainness visible. It was often so with Peirce's books, but this enhanced the pleasure of the chase. He himself took part in it: a thought would sometimes flash into his mind, and he would begin to work it out on the blackboard before our eyes; forgetting our very existence, he would labor a
Edmund Quincy (search for this): chapter 4
classmate who sat next me, George Hay, took delight in inflicting upon the innocent old man the most incredible or old-fashioned English oaths as equivalent to 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
G. S. Hillard (search for this): chapter 4
y 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, 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 Mather when he wished to become president of Harvard College: to mould not merely the teaching, but the teachers,--non lapides dolare, sed architectos. The controlling influence of a col
military company, to be watched at its drill on the common, or on its proud march to the suburban tavern where it dined,--Porter's, at what is now North Cambridge,--and on its sometimes devious return. 0 ecstasy of childish love for costume and rhytceiving 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 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 grandfather must have set out on these expeditions.1 Owing doubtless to the fact that, following the universal fashion of gentlemin this condition at any other time. We boys used to watch the Harvard Washington Corps on its return from the dinner at Porter's, quite secure that some of our acquaintances would stagger out of the ranks and find lodgment in the gutter. The regul
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