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Wendell Phillips (search for this): chapter 8
VII On literary tonics some minor English critic wrote lately of Dr. Holmes's Life of Emerson: The Boston of his day does not seem to have been a very strong place; we lack performance. This is doubtless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time abolitionists of whom the English Earl of Carlisle wrote that they were fighting a battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern heroism. It was also the place which nurtured those young Harvard students who are chronicled in the Harvard Memorial Biographies—those who fell in the war of the Rebellion; those of whom Lord Houghton once wrote tersely to me: They are men whom Europe has learned to honor and would do well to imitate. The service of all these men, and its results, giv
A. C. Swinburne (search for this): chapter 8
t the current opinion of those around them. The contributions toward the discussion of social questions which have of late flowed so freely from clergymen and other nonexperts, must undoubtedly do good to those from whom they proceed, if to no others. The essential thing is that the literary man should be interested in something which he feels to be of incomparably more importance to the universe than the development of his own pretty talent. We see the same thing across the ocean, when Swinburne writes his Song in Time of Order, and Morris marches in a Socialist procession. Here lies the power of the Russian writers, of Victor Hugo. Probably no man who ever lived had an egotism more colossal than that of Hugo, yet he was large enough to subordinate even that egotism to the aims that absorbed him—to abhorrence of Napoleon the Little—to enthusiasm for the golden age of man. I like to think of him as I saw him at the Voltaire Centenary in 1876, pleading for Universal Peace amid th
Bayard Taylor (search for this): chapter 8
Whittier, Longfellow, and Lowell; not that they would not have been conspicuous in any case, but that the moral attribute in their natures might have been far less marked. The great temporary fame of Mrs. Stowe was identified with the same influence. Hawthorne and Holmes were utterly untouched by the antislavery agitation, yet both yielded to the excitement of the war, and felt in some degree its glow. It elicited from Aldrich his noble Fredericksburg sonnet. Stedman, Stoddard, and Bayard Taylor wrote war songs, as did Julia Ward Howe conspicuously. Whitman's poem on the death of Lincoln is, in my judgment, one of the few among his compositions which will live. Wallace, who must be regarded as on the whole our most popular novelist—whatever may be thought of the quality of his work—won his first distinction in the Civil War. Cable, Lanier, Thompson, and other strong writers were also engaged in it, on the Confederate side. It is absolutely impossible to disentangle from the w
tless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time abolitionists of whom the English Earl of Carlisle wrote that they were fighting a battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern heroism. It was also the place which nurtured those young Harvard students who are chronicled in the Harvard Memorial Biographies—those who fell in the war of the Rebellion; those of whom Lord Houghton once wrote tersely to me: They are men whom Europe has learned to honor and would do well to imitate. The service of all these men, and its results, give a measure of the tonic afforded in the Boston of that day. Nay, Emerson himself was directly responsible for much of their strength. To him more than to all other causes together, says Lowell, did the y
ries, to be solicitous about a revival of Anglomania, forgetting that the very word Anglomania implies separation and weaning. I can recall when there was no more room for Anglomania in New York than in Piccadilly, for the simple reason that all was still English; when the one cultivated newspaper in the country was the New York Albion, conducted for British residents; when the scene of every child's story was laid abroad and not at home; when Irving was read in America because he wrote of England, and Cooper's novels were regarded as a sort of daring eccentricity of the frontier. Fifty years ago Anglomania could scarcely be said to exist in this country; for the nation was still, for all purposes of art and literature, a mere province of England. Now all is changed; the literary tone of the United States is more serious, more original, and, in its regard for external forms, more cultivated than that now prevailing on the other side. Untravelled Americans still feel a sense of awe
Maurice Thompson (search for this): chapter 8
of the war, and felt in some degree its glow. It elicited from Aldrich his noble Fredericksburg sonnet. Stedman, Stoddard, and Bayard Taylor wrote war songs, as did Julia Ward Howe conspicuously. Whitman's poem on the death of Lincoln is, in my judgment, one of the few among his compositions which will live. Wallace, who must be regarded as on the whole our most popular novelist—whatever may be thought of the quality of his work—won his first distinction in the Civil War. Cable, Lanier, Thompson, and other strong writers were also engaged in it, on the Confederate side. It is absolutely impossible to disentangle from the work of any but the very youngest of our living American authors that fibre of iron which came from our great Civil War and the stormy agitation that led up to it. What is to succeed that great tonic?—for we can hardly suppose that the human race is to be kept forever at war for the sake of supplying a series of heroic crises. It is evident that no particular <
W. S. Landor (search for this): chapter 8
of Order, and Morris marches in a Socialist procession. Here lies the power of the Russian writers, of Victor Hugo. Probably no man who ever lived had an egotism more colossal than that of Hugo, yet he was large enough to subordinate even that egotism to the aims that absorbed him—to abhorrence of Napoleon the Little—to enthusiasm for the golden age of man. I like to think of him as I saw him at the Voltaire Centenary in 1876, pleading for Universal Peace amid the alternate hush and roar of thousands of excitable Parisians—his lion-like head erect, his strong hand uplifted, his voice still powerful at nearly eighty years. So vast was the crowd, so deserted the neighboring streets, that it all recalled the words put by Landor into the lips of Demosthenes: I have seen the day when the most august of cities had but one voice within her walls; and when the stranger on entering them stopped at the silence of the gateway, and said, Demosthenes is speaking in the assembly of the peop
E. C. Stedman (search for this): chapter 8
VII On literary tonics some minor English critic wrote lately of Dr. Holmes's Life of Emerson: The Boston of his day does not seem to have been a very strong place; we lack performance. This is doubtless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time abolitionists of whom the English Earl of Carlisle wrote that they were fighting a battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern heroism. It was also the place which nurtured those young Harvard students who are chronicled in the Harvard Memorial Biographies—those who fell in the war of the Rebellion; those of whom Lord Houghton once wrote tersely to me: They are men whom Europe has learned to honor and would do well to imitate. The service of all these men, and its results, gi
W. L. Garrison (search for this): chapter 8
VII On literary tonics some minor English critic wrote lately of Dr. Holmes's Life of Emerson: The Boston of his day does not seem to have been a very strong place; we lack performance. This is doubtless to be attributed rather to ignorance than to that want of seriousness which Mr. Stedman so justly points out among the younger Englishmen. The Boston of which he speaks was the Boston of Garrison and Phillips, of Whittier and Theodore Parker; it was the headquarters of those old-time abolitionists of whom the English Earl of Carlisle wrote that they were fighting a battle without a parallel in the history of ancient or modern heroism. It was also the place which nurtured those young Harvard students who are chronicled in the Harvard Memorial Biographies—those who fell in the war of the Rebellion; those of whom Lord Houghton once wrote tersely to me: They are men whom Europe has learned to honor and would do well to imitate. The service of all these men, and its results, giv
Horace Binney Wallace (search for this): chapter 8
t temporary fame of Mrs. Stowe was identified with the same influence. Hawthorne and Holmes were utterly untouched by the antislavery agitation, yet both yielded to the excitement of the war, and felt in some degree its glow. It elicited from Aldrich his noble Fredericksburg sonnet. Stedman, Stoddard, and Bayard Taylor wrote war songs, as did Julia Ward Howe conspicuously. Whitman's poem on the death of Lincoln is, in my judgment, one of the few among his compositions which will live. Wallace, who must be regarded as on the whole our most popular novelist—whatever may be thought of the quality of his work—won his first distinction in the Civil War. Cable, Lanier, Thompson, and other strong writers were also engaged in it, on the Confederate side. It is absolutely impossible to disentangle from the work of any but the very youngest of our living American authors that fibre of iron which came from our great Civil War and the stormy agitation that led up to it. What is to succe
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