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J. O. Choules (search for this): chapter 8
gs, the lecturers were Theodore Parker, Henry James the elder, Henry Giles (then eminent as a Shakespeare lecturer), and the Rev. William B. Greene, afterwards colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Among the hundred or more members, there were well-known lawyers, as Sumner, E. R. Hoar, Hillard, Burlingame, Bemis, and Sewall; and there were clergymen, as Parker, Hedge, W. H. Channing, Hill, Bartol, Frothingham, and Hale; the only non-Unitarian clergyman being the Rev. John 0. Choules, a cheery little English Baptist, who had been round the world with Commodore Vanderbilt in his yacht, and might well feel himself equal to any worldly companionship. The medical profession was represented by Drs. Channing, Bowditch, Howe, and Loring; and the mercantile world by the two brothers Ward, Franklin Haven, William D. Ticknor, and James T. Fields. Art appeared only in John Cheney, the engraver, and literature in the persons of Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Lowell, and Whipple
t Boston. The earlier club had no dinners; in fact, it erred on the side of asceticism, being formed, as Emerson declared, largely to afford a local habitation and dignified occupation to Mr. Alcott. Had its christening been left to the latter, a rhetorical grandeur would have belonged to its very opening; for he only hesitated whether the Olympian Club or the Pan Club would be the more suitable designation. Lowell marred the dignity of the former proposal by suggesting the name Club of Hercules as a substitute for Olympian; and since the admission of women was a vexed question at the outset, Lowell thought the Patty pan quite appropriate. Upon this question, indeed, the enterprise very nearly went to pieces; and Mr. Sanborn has printed in his Life of Alcott a characteristic letter from Emerson to myself, after I had, in order to test the matter, placed the names of Elizabeth Peabody and Mary Lowell Putnam — Lowell's sister, and also well known as a writer — on the nomination book
Lorenz Oken (search for this): chapter 8
usefulness. The old love for natural history survived, and I undertook again the microscopic work which I had begun in Newburyport under the guidance of an accomplished biologist, Dr. Henry C. Perkins. He had also introduced me to the works of Oken and Richard Owen; and I had written for the Christian Examiner (July, 1852) a paper called Man and nature, given first as a lyceum lecture, which expressed something of that morning glow before sunrise which existed after the views of Goethe and OOken had been made public, but when Darwin's great discoveries were yet to be achieved. In Worcester I did a great deal in the way of field observation, and organized, with Hale and others, the local Natural History Society, one branch of which, the botanical club, still bears my name. I also read many books on anthropology, and wrote for the Atlantic various essays on kindred themes, which were afterwards published in a volume as Out-door papers. The preparation for this work gave that enormi
G. S. Hillard (search for this): chapter 8
economies of the club, proved only too appropriate, as the organization had to be very economical indeed. Its membership, nevertheless, was well chosen and varied. At its four monthly gatherings, the lecturers were Theodore Parker, Henry James the elder, Henry Giles (then eminent as a Shakespeare lecturer), and the Rev. William B. Greene, afterwards colonel of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. Among the hundred or more members, there were well-known lawyers, as Sumner, E. R. Hoar, Hillard, Burlingame, Bemis, and Sewall; and there were clergymen, as Parker, Hedge, W. H. Channing, Hill, Bartol, Frothingham, and Hale; the only non-Unitarian clergyman being the Rev. John 0. Choules, a cheery little English Baptist, who had been round the world with Commodore Vanderbilt in his yacht, and might well feel himself equal to any worldly companionship. The medical profession was represented by Drs. Channing, Bowditch, Howe, and Loring; and the mercantile world by the two brothers Wa
e races than any other horse in America. Yet it is to be remembered that there is a compensation in all these matters: the most laborious historian is pretty sure to be superseded within thirty years as it has already been prophesied that even Parkman will be-by the mere accumulation of new material; while the more discursive writer may perchance happen on some felicitous statement that shall rival in immortality-Fletcher of Saltoun's one sentence, or the single sonnet of Blanco White. In 1859 the Atlantic monthly passed into the hands of Ticknor & Fields, the junior publisher becoming finally its editor. It was a change of much importance to all its contributors, and greatly affected my own literary life. Lowell had been, of course, an appreciative and a sympathetic editor, yet sometimes dilatory and exasperating. Thus, a paper of mine on Theodore Parker, which should have appeared directly after the death of its subject, was delayed for five months by being accidentally put u
April 4th, 1850 AD (search for this): chapter 8
d only a smoking-room, and, on the other hand, as he declared, a number of country ministers, who expected to be boarded and lodged, and to have their washing done, whenever they came up to the city. In either case, the original assessment of five dollars was clearly too small, and the utter hopelessness of raising any additional amount was soon made manifest. After the club had existed six months, a circular was issued, asking the members to remit, if possible, two dollars each before April 4, 1850, that the debts of the club might be paid, and their fellow members be relieved from an unequal burden. This sealed the doom of the enterprise, and the rest is silence. It is now far easier to organize a University Club on a fifty or one hundred dollar basis than it was then to skim the cream of intellectual Boston at five dollars a head. The fine phrase introduced by Mr. Alcott into the constitution, the economies of the club, proved only too appropriate, as the organization had to
also been accepted by the last-named periodical; but these had attracted little notice, and the comparative éclat attendant on writing for the Atlantic monthly made it practically, in my case, the beginning of a literary life. I was at once admitted to the Atlantic Club, an informal dinner of contributors in those days, and at first found it enjoyable. Before this I had belonged to a larger club,rather short-lived, but including some of the same men,--the Town and Country Club, organized in 1849, at Boston. The earlier club had no dinners; in fact, it erred on the side of asceticism, being formed, as Emerson declared, largely to afford a local habitation and dignified occupation to Mr. Alcott. Had its christening been left to the latter, a rhetorical grandeur would have belonged to its very opening; for he only hesitated whether the Olympian Club or the Pan Club would be the more suitable designation. Lowell marred the dignity of the former proposal by suggesting the name Club of
June 6th, 1818 AD (search for this): chapter 8
Cambridge of that day,--they had, on the contrary, everything to learn from the German institutions. The students in question were Cogswell, Everett, Ticknor, and, in a less degree, Bancroft. Three of these went from Harvard College, Everett and Bancroft at the expense of the university; while Ticknor went from Dartmouth. They all brought back to Harvard what they could not find in England, but had gained in Germany; Everett writing to my father in a letter which lies before me (dated June 6, 1818), There is more teaching and more learning in our American Cambridge than there is in Oxford and Cambridge put together. They laid the foundation for non-English training not only in Boston, but in America, at a time when the very best literary journal in New York, and indeed in this country, was called The Albion, and was English through and through. It was, in fact, made a temporary reproach to the early Transcendental movement that it was too French or too German, and not English e
July 9th, 1859 AD (search for this): chapter 8
dining-room: he as the head of the party, and I as the only one who knew the younger lady. As we went upstairs the vivacious Autocrat said to me, Can I venture it? Do you suppose that Mrs. Stowe disapproves of me very much? --he being then subject to severe criticism from the more conservative theologians. The lady was gracious, however, and seemed glad to be rescued at last from her wearisome waiting. She came downstairs wearing a green wreath, of which Longfellow says in his diary (July 9, 1859) that he thought it very becoming. We seated ourselves at table, Mrs. Stowe at Lowell's right, and Miss Prescott at Holmes's, I next to her, Edmund Quincy next to me. Dr. Stowe was at Holmes's left, Whittier at his; and Longfellow, Underwood, John Wyman, and others were present. I said at once to Miss Prescott, This is a new edition of Evelina, or a Young Lady's Entrance into the World. Begin at the beginning: what did you and Mrs. Stowe talk about for three quarters of an hour? She
all we find now, here, the elements, and in our own good souls the fire. Of every storied bay and cliff we will make something infinitely nobler than Salamis or Marathon. This pale Massachusetts sky, this sandy soil and raw wind, all shall nurture us. ... Unlike all the world before us, our own age and land shall be classic to ourselves. The passage above quoted is from the Master of Arts oration of a young scholar — Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth — at the Harvard Commencement exercises of 1839. The original title of the oration was, No Good Possible but shall One Day be Real. Bartlett, who had been the first scholar in his class, and was a tutor in the university, died a few years later, but the prophecy above given attracted much attention, and was printed in an English magazine,--Heraud's monthly (April, 1840);and when in that same year The Dial began to be published, the very first page of the first number gave as its basis the strong current of thought and feeling which for a
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