but was equally formidable.
It was that I should be ordained as Theodore Parker had been, by the society itself: and this all the more because my ancestor, Francis Higginson, had been ordained in that way — the first of all New England ordinations — in 1629.
To this the society readily assented, at least so far as that there shors later, Amidst the frowns and hard words I have met with for this Undertaking, it is no small refreshment to me that I can have the Learned Reverend and Aged Mr. Higginson for my Abetter.
This was my ancestor, the Rev. John Higginson, of Salem, then ninety years old; but my own strongest impulse came incidentally from my mother. preached himself out of his pulpit.
I supposed myself to have given up preaching forever, and recalled the experience of my ancestor, the Puritan divine, Francis Higginson, who, when he had left his church-living at Leicester, England, in 1620, continued to lecture to all comers.
But a new sphere of reformatory action opened f
and Imaginary conversations.
Maria Lowell lent me also Landor's Pentameron, a book with exquisite passages; Alford's poems, then new, and, as she said, valuable for their simplicity; and the fiery German lays of Hoffmann von Fallersleben, some of which I translated, as was also the case with poems from Ruckert and Freiligrath, besides making a beginning at a version of the Swedish epic Frithiof's Saga, which Longfellow admired, and of Fredrika Bremer's novel, The H — family.
I returned to Homer and Dante in the originals, and read something of Plato in Cousin's French translation, with an occasional reference to the Greek text.
Some verses were contributed by me, as well as by my sister Louisa, at 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 c