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November 1st, 1910 AD (search for this): chapter 1
Prefatory note these reminiscences were put together, rather hastily, in my mother's eighty-first year, and were drawn almost entirely from memory. She felt at the time that she had in all probability nearly reached the limit of her earthly life: yet eleven years still remained to her, years of as full mental activity, as deep and wide and varied interests, as any that preceded them. The story of those years will be told in due time, when the full tale of work and thought and love that made up her life shall be completed: meantime it is believed that a new issue of this volume may at this time be acceptable to many. L. E. R. November 1, 1910.
to whom are addressed some of Benjamin Franklin's published letters. His father attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the war of the Revolution, being himself the son of Governor Samuel Ward, of Rhode Island, Governor Samuel Ward refused to enforce the Stamp Act, and also did valuable service as a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses. He frequently served as chairman of the Committee of the Whole, during the secret sessions of Congress. His death, in the spring of 1776, is said to have been due in large measure to the fatigue caused by his incessant labors in behalf of his country. Although he did not live to sign the Declaration of Independence, he was one of the first men to prophesy the separation of the colonies from the mother country. married to a daughter of Governor Greene, of the same state. My mother was grandniece to General Francis Marion, of Huguenot descent, known in the Revolution as the Swamp-fox of southern campaigns. Her father was Ben
at these grandeurs of which I have seen and known something, my contribution to their history can be but of fragmentary and fitful interest. On the world's great scene, each of us can only play his little part, often with poor comprehension of the mighty drama which is going on around him. If any one of us undertakes to set this down, he should do it with the utmost truth and simplicity; not as if Seneca or Tacitus or St. Paul were speaking, but as he himself, plain Hodge or Dominie or Mrs. Grundy, is moved to speak. He should not borrow from others the sentiments which he ought to have entertained, but relate truthfully how matters appeared to him, as they and he went on. Thus much I can promise to do in these pages, and no more. I was born on May 27, 1819, in the city of New York, in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. My father was of Rhode Island birth and descent. One of his grandmothers was the beautiful Catharine Ray to whom are addressed some of Benjamin Franklin's
of New York inclined more to operatic music. The brief visit of Garcia and his troupe had brought the best works of Rossini before the public. These performances were followed, at long intervals, by seasons of English opera, in which Mrs. Austin was the favorite prima donna. This lady sang also in oratorio, and I recall her rendering of the soprano solos in Handel's Messiah as somewhat mannered, but on the whole quite impressive. A higher grade of talent came to us in the person of Mrs. Wood, famous before her marriage as Miss Paton. I heard great things of her performance in La Sonnambula, which I was not allowed to see. I did hear her, however, at concerts and in oratorios, and I particularly remember her rendering of the famous soprano song, To mighty kings he gave his acts. Her voice was beautiful in quality and of considerable extent. It possessed a liquid and fluent flexibility, quite unlike the curious staccato and tremolo effects so much in favor to-day. My fathe
Louis Napoleon (search for this): chapter 2
ividuals whom I have known, and to the events of which I have had some personal knowledge. Let me say at the very beginning that I esteem this century, now near its close, to have eminently deserved a record among those which have been great landmarks in human history. It has seen the culmination of prophecies, the birth of new hopes, and a marvelous multiplication both of the ideas which promote human happiness and of the resources which enable man to make himself master of the world. Napoleon is said to have forbidden his subordinates to tell him that any order of his was impossible of fulfillment. One might think that the genius of this age must have uttered a like injunction. To attain instantaneous communication with our friends across oceans and through every continent; to command locomotion whose swiftness changes the relations of space and time; to steal from Nature her deepest secrets, and to make disease itself the minister of cure; to compel the sun to keep for us th
owing it will hand on an inestimable legacy, an imperishable record. While my heart exults at these grandeurs of which I have seen and known something, my contribution to their history can be but of fragmentary and fitful interest. On the world's great scene, each of us can only play his little part, often with poor comprehension of the mighty drama which is going on around him. If any one of us undertakes to set this down, he should do it with the utmost truth and simplicity; not as if Seneca or Tacitus or St. Paul were speaking, but as he himself, plain Hodge or Dominie or Mrs. Grundy, is moved to speak. He should not borrow from others the sentiments which he ought to have entertained, but relate truthfully how matters appeared to him, as they and he went on. Thus much I can promise to do in these pages, and no more. I was born on May 27, 1819, in the city of New York, in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. My father was of Rhode Island birth and descent. One of his gra
Benjamin Franklin (search for this): chapter 2
ie or Mrs. Grundy, is moved to speak. He should not borrow from others the sentiments which he ought to have entertained, but relate truthfully how matters appeared to him, as they and he went on. Thus much I can promise to do in these pages, and no more. I was born on May 27, 1819, in the city of New York, in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. My father was of Rhode Island birth and descent. One of his grandmothers was the beautiful Catharine Ray to whom are addressed some of Benjamin Franklin's published letters. His father attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the war of the Revolution, being himself the son of Governor Samuel Ward, of Rhode Island, Governor Samuel Ward refused to enforce the Stamp Act, and also did valuable service as a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses. He frequently served as chairman of the Committee of the Whole, during the secret sessions of Congress. His death, in the spring of 1776, is said to have been due in large
George Washington (search for this): chapter 2
innocently inquired; and he said, Do you not know? Our Father who art in heaven. I felt that I ought to have known, and went away somewhat abashed. Another day my mother told me that we were going to visit Red Jacket, a great Indian chief, and that I must be very polite to him. She gave me a twist of tobacco tied with a blue ribbon, which I was to present to him, and bade me observe the silver medal which I should see hung on his neck, and which, she said, had been given to him by General Washington. We drove to the Indian encampment, of which I dimly remember the extent and the wigwams. A tall figure advanced to the carriage. As its door was opened, I sprang forward, clasped my arms around the neck of the noble savage, and was astonished at his cool reception of such a greeting. I was surprised and grieved afterwards to learn that I had not done exactly the right thing. The Indians, in those days and long after, occupied numerous settlements in the western part of the State
n which, being only sixteen years of age, she had set her heart. Years after this time, when such vanities had quite gone out of her mind, she again visited relatives in the city, and came to spend the day with my mother. Of this occasion she said to me: Julia, your mother's tact was remarkable, and she showed it on that day, for, knowing me to be a young woman of serious character, she presented me on my arrival with a plain linen collar which she had made for me. On a table beside her lay Law's Serious call to the Unconverted. Don't you see how well she had suited matters to my taste? This aged relative used to boast that she had never read a novel. She desired to make one exception in favor of the story of the Schonbergr Cotta family, but, hearing that it was a work of fiction, esteemed it safest to adhere to the rule which she had observed for so many years. Her son, lately deceased, once told me that when she felt called upon to chastise him for some childish offense,
Nathanael Greene (search for this): chapter 2
ed by his incessant labors in behalf of his country. Although he did not live to sign the Declaration of Independence, he was one of the first men to prophesy the separation of the colonies from the mother country. married to a daughter of Governor Greene, of the same state. My mother was grandniece to General Francis Marion, of Huguenot descent, known in the Revolution as the Swamp-fox of southern campaigns. Her father was Benjamin Clarke Cutler, whose first ancestor in this country was Jo. Her son, lately deceased, once told me that when she felt called upon to chastise him for some childish offense, she would pray over him so long that he would cry out: Mother, it's time to begin whipping. Her husband was a son of General Nathanael Greene, of Revolutionary fame. The attention bestowed upon impressions of childhood to-day will, I hope, justify me in recording some of the earliest points in consciousness which I still recall I remember when a thimble was first given to m
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