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Samuel Longfellow (search for this): chapter 5
ether, late in the evening, from Emerson's lectures or the concerts which were already introducing Beethoven. Sometimes there was a reception after the lecture, usually at the rooms of a youth who was an ardent Fourierite, and had upon his door a blazing sun, with gilded rays emanating in all directions, and bearing the motto Universal unity. Beneath this appeared a neat black-and-white inscription, thus worded: Please wipe your feet. Our evening walks from Boston were delightful; and Longfellow's poem of The bridge does little more than put into verse the thoughts they inspired. The walk was then, as is certainly not now the case, a plunge into darkness; and there is no other point from which the transformation of the older Boston is more conspicuous. You now cross the bridge at night through a circle of radiant lights glancing in brilliant lines through all the suburbs; but in the old nights there was here and there in the distance a dim oil lamp; in time oil gave place to ke
James Freeman Clarke (search for this): chapter 5
so Miss Peabody herself, desultory, dreamy, but insatiable in her love for knowledge and for helping others to it. James Freeman Clarke said of her that she was always engaged in supplying some want that had first to be created; it might be Dr. Kraitng; there were anti-slavery conventions, with Garrison and Phillips; then on Sunday there were Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke, to show that one might accomplish something and lead a manly life even in the pulpit. My betrothed was one of thciations which were then unattractive to me, and have never yet, I fear, quite asserted their attraction. I learned from Clarke the immense value of simplicity of statement and perfect straightforwardness of appeal; but in the direction of pure thopliced choir was singing --that I was again in the hands of Theodore Parker. Under the potent influences of Parker and Clarke I found myself gravitating toward what was then called the liberal ministry; one very much secularized it must be, I fore
T. S. Jouffroy (search for this): chapter 5
re 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 alone in Boston, I think, had French and German books for sale. There I made further acquaintance with Cousin and Jouffroy, with Constant's De la religion and Lerouxa De l'humanite, the relics of the French Eclecticism, then beginning to fade, but still taught in colleges. There, too, were Schubert's Geschichte der Seele and many of the German balladists who were beginning to enthrall me. There was also Miss Peabody herself, desultory, dreamy, but insatiable in her love for knowledge and for helping others to it. James Freeman Clarke said of her that she was always engaged in supplying some want that had first
Stephen Minot Weld (search for this): chapter 5
undertaken; as when the recognized leader of a certain class of the Harvard Law School abandoned, from conscientious scruples, the career of a practicing lawyer, and spent his life as a conveyancer. What turned me away from the study of the law was not this moral scruple, but what was doubtless an innate preference, strengthened by the influence of one man and one or two books. After leaving college I taught for six months as usher in the boarding-school at Jamaica Plain, kept by Mr. Stephen Minot Weld; and then, greatly to my satisfaction, became private tutor to the three young sons of my cousin, Stephen Higginson Perkins, a Boston merchant, residing in a pretty cottage which he had designed for himself in Brookline. In him I encountered the most attractive man I had yet met and the one who was most to influence me. He was indeed a person of unique qualities and great gifts; he was in the prime of life, handsome and refined, a widower, whose modest household was superintended b
Wendell Phillips (search for this): chapter 5
agerness, Bryce is very happy; at the Ocean House he has just heard a man say European twice! Another and yet more tonic influence, though Lowell was already an ardent Abolitionist, came from the presence of reformatory agitation in the world outside. There were always public meetings in Boston to be attended; there were social reform gatherings where I heard the robust Orestes Brownson and my eloquent cousin William Henry Channing; there were anti-slavery conventions, with Garrison and Phillips; then on Sunday there were Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke, to show that one might accomplish something and lead a manly life even in the pulpit. My betrothed was one of the founders of Clarke's Church of the Disciples, and naturally drew me there; the services were held in a hall and were quite without those merely ecclesiastical associations which were then unattractive to me, and have never yet, I fear, quite asserted their attraction. I learned from Clarke the immense value o
W. L. Garrison (search for this): chapter 5
saying with eagerness, Bryce is very happy; at the Ocean House he has just heard a man say European twice! Another and yet more tonic influence, though Lowell was already an ardent Abolitionist, came from the presence of reformatory agitation in the world outside. There were always public meetings in Boston to be attended; there were social reform gatherings where I heard the robust Orestes Brownson and my eloquent cousin William Henry Channing; there were anti-slavery conventions, with Garrison and Phillips; then on Sunday there were Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke, to show that one might accomplish something and lead a manly life even in the pulpit. My betrothed was one of the founders of Clarke's Church of the Disciples, and naturally drew me there; the services were held in a hall and were quite without those merely ecclesiastical associations which were then unattractive to me, and have never yet, I fear, quite asserted their attraction. I learned from Clarke the im
N. P. Willis (search for this): chapter 5
ly five years which had formerly made him only my elder brother's crony was now becoming less important, and I found myself approaching that maturer period which a clever woman defined as the age of everybody. To be sure, I could recall the time when my brother had come home one evening with the curt remark, Jim Lowell doubts whether he shall really be a lawyer, after all; he thinks he shall be a poet. Now that poet was really launched, and indeed was the best launched man of his time, as Willis said. I used to go to his room and to read books he suggested, such as Puttenham's Arte of Poesie, and Chapman's plays. He did most of the talking; it was a way he had; but he was always original and trenchant, though I sometimes rebelled inwardly at his very natural attitude of leadership. We occasionally walked out together, late in the evening, from Emerson's lectures or the concerts which were already introducing Beethoven. Sometimes there was a reception after the lecture, usually a
Charles Dana (search for this): chapter 5
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 it was said, an economical transformation of their sisters' skirts or petticoats. All the young men of this party except Dana wore these gay garments and bore on their heads little round and visorless caps with tassels. Mr. Perkins, whose attire was always defiantly plain, regarded these vanities with ill-concealed disapproval, but took greatly to Dana, who dressed like a well-to-do young farmer and was always handsome and manly. My uncle declared him to be full of sense and knowledge, and the others to be nonsensical creatures. Dana was indeed the best all-round man at Brook Farm, --a good teacher, editor, and farmer,--but was held not to be quite so zealous or unselfish for the faith as were some of the others. It was curious that
Henry Fowle Durant (search for this): chapter 5
ne. Not that the law-book had failed to interest me,--for it was a book,--but I could not consent to surrender my life to what it represented, nor have I ever repented that decision. I felt instinctively what the late Dwight Foster said to me long after: The objection to the study of the law is not that it is not interesting,--for it is eminently so,--but that it fills your mind with knowledge which cannot be carried into another stage of existence. Long after this, moreover, my classmate Durant, at the height of his professional success, once stoutly denied to me that there was any real interest to be found in legal study. The law, he said, is simply a system of fossilized injustice; there is not enough of intellectual interest about it to occupy an intelligent mind for an hour. This I do not believe; and he was probably not the highest authority; yet his remark and Judge Foster's always helped me to justify to myself that early choice. With all this social and intellectual oc
Maria Fay (search for this): chapter 5
case with my brother; but I had more continuous influences in the friendship of two fair girls, both of whom were frank, truthful, and attractive. One of them — Maria Fay of convent fame, already mentioned — was a little older than myself, while the other, just my own age, Mary Devens, was the younger sister of Charles Devens, aftse built by my elder brother, and belonging in these latter days to Radcliffe College. This was next door to the Fay House of that institution, then occupied by Judge Fay. And 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 youngeMaria 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
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