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Charles Von Linnaeus (search for this): chapter 5
ut in reality trying to adjust myself, being still only nineteen or twenty, to the problems of life. One favorite place was Hammond's Pond, then celebrated among botanists as the only locality for the beautiful Andromeda polifolia, so named by Linnaeus because, like the fabled Andromeda, it dwelt in wild regions only. The pond was, and I believe still is, surrounded by deep woods and overhung by a hill covered with moss-grown fragments of rock, among which the pink Cypripedium or lady's slippted books, the larger the better: Newton's Principia and Whewell's Mechanical Euclid; Ritter's History of Ancient philosophy; Sismondi's Decline and fall of the Roman empire; Lamennais' Paroles d'un Croyant and Livre du Peuple; Homer and Hesiod; Linnaeus's Correspondence; Emerson over and over. Fortunately I kept up outdoor life also and learned the point where books and nature meet; learned that Chaucer belongs to spring, German romance to summer nights, Amadis de Gaul and the Morte d'arthur t
H. F. R. Lamennais (search for this): chapter 5
year, and a subsequent similar year, the most desultory and disconnected books, the larger the better: Newton's Principia and Whewell's Mechanical Euclid; Ritter's History of Ancient philosophy; Sismondi's Decline and fall of the Roman empire; Lamennais' Paroles d'un Croyant and Livre du Peuple; Homer and Hesiod; Linnaeus's Correspondence; Emerson over and over. Fortunately I kept up outdoor life also and learned the point where books and nature meet; learned that Chaucer belongs to spring, Ghe morning chill soon checked this foolish enterprise. On one of these nights I had an experience so nearly incredible that I scarcely dare to tell it, yet it was, I believe, essentially true. Sitting up till four one morning over a volume of Lamennais, I left the mark at an unfinished page, having to return the book to the college library. A year after I happened to take the book from the library again, got up at four o'clock to read, began where I left off, and afterwards,--not till afterw
Henry Clapp (search for this): chapter 5
eing John A. Collins. Defenders of the established order also took part; one of the best of the latter being Arthur Pickering, a Boston merchant; and in all my experience I have never heard a speech so thrilling and effective as that in which Henry Clapp, then a young radical mechanic, answered Pickering's claim that individuality was better promoted by the existing method of competition. Clapp was afterwards the admired leader of a Bohemian clique in New York and had a melancholy career; butClapp was afterwards the admired leader of a Bohemian clique in New York and had a melancholy career; but that speech did more than anything else to make me at least a halfway socialist for life. The Brook Farm people were also to be met occasionally at Mrs. Harrington's confectionery shop in School Street, where they took economical refreshments; and still oftener at Miss Elizabeth Peabody's foreign bookstore in West Street, which was a part of the educational influences of the period. It was an atom of a shop, partly devoted to the homoeopathic medicines of her father, a physician; and she
as my friend Maria Fay was a cousin of some of the Brothers and Sisters, they made the house an occasional rendezvous; and as there were attractive younger kindred whom I chanced to know, I was able at least to look through the door of this paradise of youth. Lowell's first volume had just been published, and all its allusions were ground of romance for us all; indeed, he and his betrothed were to me, as they seemed to be for those of their circle, a modernized Petrarch and Laura or even Dante and Beatrice; and I watched them with unselfish reverence. Their love-letters, about which they were extremely frank, were passed from hand to hand, and sometimes reached me through Thaxter. I have some of Maria White's ballads in her own handwriting; and I still know by heart a letter which she wrote to Thaxter, about the delay in her marriage,--It is easy enough to be married; the newspaper comers show us that, every day; but to live and to be happy as simple King and Queen, without the
Thomas Carlyle (search for this): chapter 5
of bright young people was not strictly a part of the Transcendental Movement, it was yet born of the Newness. Lowell and Story, indeed, both wrote for The Dial, and Maria White had belonged to Margaret Fuller's classes. There was, moreover, passing through the whole community a wave of that desire for a freer and more ideal life which made Story turn aside from his father's profession to sculpture, and made Lowell forsake law after his first client. It was the time when Emerson wrote to Carlyle, We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform; not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket. I myself longed at times to cut free from prescribed bondage, and not, in Lowell's later phrase, to pay so much of life for a living as seemed to be expected. I longed anew, under the influence of George Sand and of Mrs. Child's Letters from New York, to put myself on more equal terms with that vast army of hand-workers who were ignorant o
or lady's slipper used to grow profusely. The Andromeda was on the other side of the lake, and some one had left a leaky boat there, which I used to borrow and paddle across the dark water, past a cedar forest which lined it on one side, and made me associate it with the gloomy Mummelsee of one of my beloved German ballads by August Schnezler:--Amid the gloomy Mummelsee Do live the palest lilies many. All day they droop so drowsily In azure air or rainy, But when the dreadful moon of night Rains down on earth its yellow light, Up spring they, full of lightness, In woman's form and brightness. My lilies were as pale and as abundant as any German lake could ever boast; and among them there was to be seen motionless the black prow of some old boat which had sunk at its moorings and looked so uncanny that I never would row near it. Above the lake a faint path wound up the hill among the rocks, and at the summit there was a large detached boulder with a mouldering ladder reaching it
Isaac Newton (search for this): chapter 5
oved too much for me,--the enormous wealth of the world of knowledge, and the stupendous variety of that which I wished to know. Doubtless the modern elective system, or even a wise teacher, would have helped me; they would have compelled me to concentration, but perhaps I may have absolutely needed some such period of intellectual wild oats. This was in September, 1843. I read in that year, and a subsequent similar year, the most desultory and disconnected books, the larger the better: Newton's Principia and Whewell's Mechanical Euclid; Ritter's History of Ancient philosophy; Sismondi's Decline and fall of the Roman empire; Lamennais' Paroles d'un Croyant and Livre du Peuple; Homer and Hesiod; Linnaeus's Correspondence; Emerson over and over. Fortunately I kept up outdoor life also and learned the point where books and nature meet; learned that Chaucer belongs to spring, German romance to summer nights, Amadis de Gaul and the Morte d'arthur to the Christmas time; and found that
Barbara Channing (search for this): chapter 5
ll others; the claim was only comparative, and would not at all stand the test of English gardening or even of our modern methods, except perhaps in the fruit produced. I remember that Stephen Perkins once took an English visitor, newly arrived, to drive about the region, and he was quite ready to admire everything he saw, though not quite for the reason that his American host expected. It is all so rough and wild was his comment. Into this summer life, on the invitation of my cousin Barbara Channing, who spent much time in Brookline, there occasionally came delegations of youths from Brook Farm, then flourishing. Among these were George and Burrill Curtis, and Larned, with Charles Dana, late editor of the New York sun; all presentable and agreeable, but the first three peculiarly costumed. It was then very common for young men in college and elsewhere to wear what were called blouses,--a kind of hunter's frock made at first of brown holland belted at the waist,--these being g
John A. Collins (search for this): chapter 5
eminent, was then held wholly secondary in interest to his handsome brother Burrill, whose Raphaelesque face won all hearts, and who afterwards disappeared from view in England, surviving only in memory as Our Cousin the Curate, in Lotus-Eating. But if I did not see much of Brook Farm on the spot, I met its members frequently at the series of exciting meetings for Social Reform in Boston, where the battle raged high between Associationists and Communists, the leader of the latter being John A. Collins. Defenders of the established order also took part; one of the best of the latter being Arthur Pickering, a Boston merchant; and in all my experience I have never heard a speech so thrilling and effective as that in which Henry Clapp, then a young radical mechanic, answered Pickering's claim that individuality was better promoted by the existing method of competition. Clapp was afterwards the admired leader of a Bohemian clique in New York and had a melancholy career; but that speech
d Maria Fay was a cousin of some of the Brothers and Sisters, they made the house an occasional rendezvous; and as there were attractive younger kindred whom I chanced to know, I was able at least to look through the door of this paradise of youth. Lowell's first volume had just been published, and all its allusions were ground of romance for us all; indeed, he and his betrothed were to me, as they seemed to be for those of their circle, a modernized Petrarch and Laura or even Dante and Beatrice; and I watched them with unselfish reverence. Their love-letters, about which they were extremely frank, were passed from hand to hand, and sometimes reached me through Thaxter. I have some of Maria White's ballads in her own handwriting; and I still know by heart a letter which she wrote to Thaxter, about the delay in her marriage,--It is easy enough to be married; the newspaper comers show us that, every day; but to live and to be happy as simple King and Queen, without the gifts of for
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