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her mast-head. She had fitted the rooms with pretty devices, and rocked her baby in a cradle fashioned from a barrel cut lengthways, placed on rockers, and upholstered by herself. At its foot she painted three spears as the Lowell crest and three lilies for her own, with the motto Puritas Potestas. This was for their first child, whose early death both Lowell and Longfellow mourned in song. The Lowells sometimes saw company in a modest way, and I remember spending an evening there with Ole Bull and John Weiss. Dr. Lowell, the father, was yet living, always beneficent and attractive; he still sometimes preached in the college chapel, and won all undergraduate hearts by providing only fifteen-minute sermons. If I belonged in the first two categories of Dr. Palfrey's classification of the Divinity School, I happily kept clear of the third, never having been a dyspeptic, though I lived literally on bread and milk during the greater part of a year, for purposes of necessary economy
Edmund Burke (search for this): chapter 6
he is. I did not even learn the lady's name, but years after I met her again, and she recalled the interview; time for her had only confirmed the instantaneous impression which Hurlbert made,--the whole thing suggesting a similar story about Edmund Burke. In Burke's case it was apparently a matter of pure intellect, but in Hurlbert's it was due largely to the constitutional and invariable impulse to attract and charm. I am told — for I had utterly forgotten it — that I myself said of him iBurke's case it was apparently a matter of pure intellect, but in Hurlbert's it was due largely to the constitutional and invariable impulse to attract and charm. I am told — for I had utterly forgotten it — that I myself said of him in those days, He could not stop to buy an apple of an old woman on the sidewalk without leaving her with the impression that she alone had really touched his heart. I have known many gifted men on both sides of the Atlantic, but I still regard Hurlbert as unequaled among them all for natural brilliancy; even Lowell was not his peer. Nor can I be convinced that he was-as President Walker once said to me, when I urged Hurlbert's appointment, about 1850, as professor of history at Harvard--a
Charles Burleigh (search for this): chapter 6
ed adornment, there were men who --as is indeed noticed in European Socialist meetings to-day-bore a marked resemblance to the accepted pictures of Jesus Christ. This trait was carried to an extent which the newspapers called blasphemous in Charles Burleigh,--a man of tall figure, benign face, and most persuasive tongue, wearing long auburn curls and somewhat tangled tempestuous beard. Lowell, whose own bearded condition marked his initiation into abolitionism, used to be amused when he went about with Burleigh and found himself jeered at as a new and still faltering disciple. Finally, there was the Hutchinson Family, with six or eight tall brothers clustered around the one rosebud of a sister, Abby: all natural singers and one might say actors, indeed unconscious poseurs, easily arousing torpid conventions with The Car Emancipation and such stirring melodies; or at times, when encored, giving The bridge of sighs, which seemed made for just the combination they presented. When, in
James Elliot Cabot (search for this): chapter 6
dge, and one for the Greek drama. He was the simplest-hearted of men, shy, near-sighted, and lovable; the tragedy of whose life was that his cruel father had sent him to Union College instead of to Harvard; a loss he made up by staying years at the latter, graduating successively at the Law School and the Divinity School, and finally taking his degree in the undergraduate department at what seemed to us a ripe old age. Another tonic in the way of cultured companionship was that of James Elliot Cabot, fresh from a German university,--then a rare experience,--he being, however, most un-German in clearness and terseness. I remember that when I complained to him of not understanding Kant's Critique of pure reason, in English, he answered tranquilly that he could not; that having read it twice in German he had thought he comprehended it, but that Meiklejohn's translation was beyond making out. These men were not in the Divinity School, but I met their equals there. The leading men of
Roman Catholic (search for this): chapter 6
as of actual events stranger than any novels. He was the breaker, so report said, of many hearts, the disappointer of many high hopes,--and this in two continents; he was the most variously gifted and accomplished man I have ever known, acquiring knowledge as by magic,passing easily for a Frenchman in France, an Italian in Italy, a Spaniard in Spanish countries; beginning his career as a radical young Unitarian divine, and ending it as a defender of despotism. He was also for a time a Roman Catholic, but died in the Church of England. The turning-point of Hurlbert's life occurred, for me at least, when I met him once, to my great delight, at Centre Harbor, I being on my way to the White Mountains and he returning thence. We had several hours together, and went out on the lake for a long chat. He told me that he had decided to go to New York and enter the office of A. Oakey Hall, a lawyer against whom there was then, justly or unjustly, some prejudice. I expressed surprise and
William Henry Channing (search for this): chapter 6
y of the Sistine Madonna which had been my housemate at Brookline, had, however, been printed in The present, a short-lived magazine edited by my cousin, William Henry Channing; the verses being afterward, to my great delight, reprinted by Professor Longfellow in his Estray. My first prose, also, had appeared in The present, -anw England ordinations — in 1629. To this the society readily assented, at least so far as that there should be no ordaining council, and there was none. William Henry Channing preached one of his impassioned sermons, The gospel of to-day, and all went joyously on, youth at the prow and pleasure at the helm, not foreseeing the stg a disciple of vegetarianism; that faith being then a conspicuous part of the Sisterhood of Reforms, but one against which I had been solemnly warned by William Henry Channing, who had made experiment of it while living as city missionary in New York city. He had gone, it seemed, to a boarding-house of the vegetarian faithful i
Francis James Child (search for this): chapter 6
various times, to The Harbinger, published at Brook Farm and edited by the late Charles A. Dana. My first poem, suggested by the fine copy of the Sistine Madonna which had been my housemate at Brookline, had, however, been printed in The present, a short-lived magazine edited by my cousin, William Henry Channing; the verses being afterward, to my great delight, reprinted by Professor Longfellow in his Estray. My first prose, also, had appeared in The present, -an enthusiastic review of Mrs. Child's Letters from New York, then eagerly read by us young Transcendentalists. I dipped ardently, about that time, into the easier aspects of German philosophy, reading Fichte's Bestimmung des Menschen (Destiny of Man) with delight, and Schelling's Vorlesungen über die Methode des Akademische Studiums (Lectures on Academical Study). The influence of these authors was also felt through Coleridge's Literary remains, of which I was very fond, and in Vital Dynamics, by Dr. Green, Coleridge's frie
Lydia Maria Child (search for this): chapter 6
movement drew a line of cleavage through all Boston society, leaving most of the more powerful or wealthy families on the conservative side. What finally determined me in the other direction was the immediate influence of two books, both by women. One of these was Miss Martineau's tract, The Martyr age in America, portraying the work of the Abolitionists with such force and eloquence that it seemed as if no generous youth could be happy in any other company; and the other book was Mrs. Lydia Maria Child's Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans. This little work, for all its cumbrous title, was so wonderfully clear, compact, and convincing, it covered all its points so well and was so absolutely free from all unfairness or shrill invective, that it joined with Miss Martineau's less modulated strains to make me an Abolitionist. This was, it must be remembered, some years before the publication of Uncle Tom's cabin. I longed to be counted worthy of such companionship; I
Jesus Christ (search for this): chapter 6
s serenity which now seems a part of the discipline of the Salvation lassies. There were always present those whom Emerson tersely classified as men with beards; this style, now familiar, being then an utter novelty, not tolerated in business or the professions, and of itself a committal to pronounced heresy. Partly as a result of this unwonted adornment, there were men who --as is indeed noticed in European Socialist meetings to-day-bore a marked resemblance to the accepted pictures of Jesus Christ. This trait was carried to an extent which the newspapers called blasphemous in Charles Burleigh,--a man of tall figure, benign face, and most persuasive tongue, wearing long auburn curls and somewhat tangled tempestuous beard. Lowell, whose own bearded condition marked his initiation into abolitionism, used to be amused when he went about with Burleigh and found himself jeered at as a new and still faltering disciple. Finally, there was the Hutchinson Family, with six or eight tall br
Christian (search for this): chapter 6
re of reformatory action opened for me in an invitation to take charge of the Worcester Free Church, the first of several such organizations that sprang up about that time under the influence of Theodore Parker's Boston society, which was their prototype. These organizations were all more or less of the Jerusalem wildcat description — this being the phrase by which a Lynn shoemaker described one of them — with no church membership or communion service, not calling themselves specifically Christian, but resembling the ethical societies of the present day, with a shade more of specifically religious aspect. Worcester was at that time a seething centre of all the reforms, and I found myself almost in fashion, at least with the unfashionable; my evening congregations were the largest in the city, and the men and women who surrounded me — now almost all passed away — were leaders in public movements in that growing community. Before my transfer, however, I went up to Boston on my firs
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