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F. S. Stallknecht (search for this): chapter 6
though I lived literally on bread and milk during the greater part of a year, for purposes of necessary economy and the buying of books. I kept up habits of active exercise, played football and baseball, and swam in the river in summer. There was then an attention paid to the art of swimming such as is not now observable; the college maintained large bath-houses where now are coalyards, and we used to jump or dive from the roofs, perhaps twenty feet high; we had a Danish student named Stallknecht, who could swim a third of the way across the river under water, and we vainly tried to emulate him. In winter there was skating on Fresh Pond. I must not forget to add that at all seasons I took long walks with Edward Tuckerman, then the most interesting man about Cambridge, leading a life which seemed to us like that of an Oxford don, and already at work on his Latin treatise on lichens. His room was a delightful place to visit,--a large chamber in a rambling old house, with three sep
W. S. Landor (search for this): chapter 6
dworth's Intellectual system, on which I used to browse at all odd hours — keeping it open on a standing desk. I read Mill's Logic, Whewell's Inductive sciences, Landor's Gebir 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, vLandor'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 ren the sun that they might be set free once more. Probably it was crude enough, but Theodore Parker liked it, and so I felt as did the brave Xanthus, described by Landor, who only remembered that in the heat of the battle Pericles smiled on him. I was asked to preach as a candidate before the First Religious Society at Newburyport
Amos Bronson Alcott (search for this): chapter 6
bly, the first effort to secure to married women the property rights now generally conceded. All of us were familiar with the vain efforts of Garrison to enlist the clergy in the anti-slavery cause; and Stephen Foster, one of the stanchest of the early Abolitionists, habitually spoke of them as the Brotherhood of Thieves. Lawyers and doctors, too, fared hard with those enthusiasts, and merchants not much better; Edward Palmer writing against the use of money, and even such superior men as Alcott having sometimes a curious touch of the Harold Skimpole view of that convenience. It seems now rather remarkable that the institution of marriage did not come in for a share in the general laxity, but it did not; and it is to be observed that Henry James speaks rather scornfully of the Brook Farm community in this respect, as if its members must have been wanting in the courage of their convictions to remain so unreasonably chaste. I well remember that the contrary was predicted and expect
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
circumstances, I held my place for two years and a half. Of course it cannot be claimed that I showed unvarying tact; indeed, I can now see that it was quite otherwise; but it was a case where tact counted for little; in fact, I think my sea-captains did not wholly dislike my plainness of speech, though they felt bound to discipline it; and moreover the whole younger community was on my side. It did not help the matter that I let myself be nominated for Congress by the new Free Soil party in 1848, and stumped the district, though in a hopeless minority. The nomination was Whittier's doing, partly to prevent that party from nominating him; and he agreed that, by way of reprieve, I should go to Lowell and induce Josiah G. Abbott, then a young lawyer, to stand in my place. Abbott's objection is worth recording: if elected, he said, he should immediately get into quarrels with the Southern members and have to fight duels, and this he could not conscientiously do. This was his ground of
lectures and concerts, and superintended the annual Floral Processions which were then a pretty feature of the Fourth of July in Essex County. On the whole, perhaps, I was as acceptable a citizen of the town as could be reasonably expected of one who had 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 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 commu
es, and to occasional visits paid by my parents, traveling in their own conveyance. Being once driven from place to place by an intelligent negro driver, my mother said to him that she thought him very well situated, after all; on which he turned and looked at her, simply saying, Ah, missis! Free breath is good. It impressed her greatly, and she put it into her diary, whence my eldest brother, Dr. Francis John Higginson, quoted it in a little book he wrote, Remarks on slavery, published in 1834. This fixed it in my mind, and I remember to have asked my aunt why my uncle in Virginia did not free his slaves. She replied that they loved him, and would be sorry to be free. This did not satisfy me; but on my afterward visiting the Virginia plantation, there was nothing to suggest anything undesirable: the head servant was a grave and dignified man, with the most unexceptionable manners; and the white and black children often played together in the afternoon. It was then illegal to t
ides 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 worthless fellow. Among many things which were selfish and unscrupulous there must have been something deeper to have called out the warm affection created by him in both sexes. I strongly suspect that if, s lustily as Schramm's pupils in Heine's Reisebilder; the social reform debate, which was sustained for some time after the downfall of Brook Farm; and of course the woman's rights movement, for whose first national convention I signed the call in 1850. Of all the movements in which I ever took part, except the antislavery agitation, this last-named seems to me the most important; nor have I ever wavered in the opinion announced by Wendell Phillips, that it is the grandest reform yet launched
w England, and then resident in Newburyport. With his aid I established a series of prizes for the best prose and poetry written by the young people of the town; and the first evidence given of the unusual talents of Harriet Prescott Spofford was in a very daring and original essay on Hamlet, written at sixteen, and gaining the first prize. I had also to do with the courses of lectures and concerts, and superintended the annual Floral Processions which were then a pretty feature of the Fourth of July in Essex County. On the whole, perhaps, I was as acceptable a citizen of the town as could be reasonably expected of one who had 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 for me in an invitation to take
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