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Switzerland (Switzerland) (search for this): chapter 7
invited to the house of his father, Mr. John Jacob Astor. This house, which the old gentleman had built for himself, was situated on Broadway, between Prince and Spring streets. Adjoining it was one which he had built for a favorite granddaughter, Mrs. Boreel. He was very fond of music, and sometimes engaged the services of a professional pianist. I remember that he was much pleased at recognizing, one evening, the strains of a brilliant waltz, of which he said: I heard it at a fair in Switzerland years ago. The Swiss women were whirling round in their red petticoats. On another occasion, we sang the well-known song, Am Rhein; and Mr. Astor, who was very stout and infirm of person, rose and stood beside the piano, joining with the singers. Am Rhein, am Rhein, da wachset susses Leben, he sang, instead of Da wachsen unsere Reben. My sister-in-law, Emily Astor Ward, was endowed with a voice whose unusual power and beauty had been enhanced by careful training. We sometimes sang t
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 7
the great world in grown-up days was at a dinner party given by a daughter of General Armstrong, married to the eldest son of the first John Jacob Astor. Mrs. Astor was a person of very elegant taste. She had received a part of her education in Paris, at the time when her father represented our government at the Court of France. Her notions of propriety in dress were very strict. According to these, jewels were not to be worn in the daytime. Glaring colors and striking contrasts were to be library of La Grange, and an admirable collection of French and German works. At this period, he desired to make literature, rather than science, the leading pursuit of his life. He devoted much time to the composition of a work descriptive of Paris. He wrote many chapters of this in French, and I was proud to be allowed to render them into English. He brought into the Puritanic limits of our family circle a flavor of European life and culture which greatly delighted me. My brother had
Round Hill, Ark. (Arkansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
some cakes or biscuits. My eldest brother, Samuel Ward, the fourth of the same name, has been so well known, both in public and in private life, that my reminiscences would not be complete without some special characterization of him. In my childhood he was my ideal and my idol. A handsome youth, quick of wit and tender of heart, brilliant in promise, and with a great and versatile power of work in him, I doubt whether Round Hill School ever turned out a more remarkable pupil. From Round Hill my brother passed to Columbia College, graduating there from after a four years course. His mathematical attainments were considered remarkable, and my father, desiring to give him the best opportunity of extending his studies, sent him to Europe before he had attained his majority, with a letter of credit whose amount the banker, Hottinguer, thought it best not to impart to the young student, so much did he consider it beyond his needs. My brother's career in Europe, where he spent so
Brussels (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 7
r calling upon my aunt one morning, in company with a lady friend much inclined to embonpoint. The lady's name was Euphemia, and Miss White addressed her thus: Feme, thou female Falstaff. She took some notice of me, and began to talk of the gayeties of her youth, and especially of a ball given at Newport during the war, at which she had received especial attention. On returning the visit we found the sisters in the quaintest little sitting-room imaginable, the floor covered with a green Brussels carpet, woven in one piece, with a medallion of flowers in the centre, evidently manufactured to order. The furniture was of enameled white wood. We were entertained with cake and wine. The younger of the sisters was much afraid of lightning, and had devised a curious little refuge to which she always betook herself when a thunderstorm appeared imminent. This was a wooden platform standing on glass feet, with a seat and a silken canopy, which the good lady drew closely around her, re
Newport (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
of Independence. Miss Charlotte White was what was called a character in those days. She was tall and of commanding figure, attired after an ancient fashion, but with great care. I remember her calling upon my aunt one morning, in company with a lady friend much inclined to embonpoint. The lady's name was Euphemia, and Miss White addressed her thus: Feme, thou female Falstaff. She took some notice of me, and began to talk of the gayeties of her youth, and especially of a ball given at Newport during the war, at which she had received especial attention. On returning the visit we found the sisters in the quaintest little sitting-room imaginable, the floor covered with a green Brussels carpet, woven in one piece, with a medallion of flowers in the centre, evidently manufactured to order. The furniture was of enameled white wood. We were entertained with cake and wine. The younger of the sisters was much afraid of lightning, and had devised a curious little refuge to which
Devonshire (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 7
shed occasions to bring face to face political opponents accustomed to avoid each other, but unable to resist the bon- homie which sought to make them better friends. He became known as King of the Lobby, but much more as the prince of entertainers. Although careful in his diet, he was well versed in gastronomics, and his menus were wholly original and excellent. He had friendly relations with the diplomats who were prominent in the society of the capital. Lord Rosebery and the Duke of Devonshire were among his friends, as were also the late Senator Bayard and President Garfield. Quite late in life, he enjoyed a turn of good fortune, and was most generous in his use of the wealth suddenly acquired, and alas! as suddenly lost. His last visit to Europe was in 1882-83, when, after passing some months with Lord and Lady Rosebery, he proceeded to Rome to finish the winter with our sister, Mrs. Terry. In his travels he had contracted a fatal disease, and his checkered and brillian
California (California, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
ars, my brother married Miss Grimes of New Orleans, a lady of uncommon beauty and talent. In the mean time we had to mourn the death of our beloved father, whose sober judgment and strong will had exercised a most salutary influence upon my brother's sanguine temperament. He now became anxious to increase his income; and this anxiety led him to embark in various speculations, which were not always fortunate. He left the firm of Prime, Ward and King, and was one of the first who went to California after its cession to the United States. The Indians were then in near proximity to San Francisco, and Uncle Sam, as he came to be called, went much among them, and became so well versed in their diverse dialects as to be able to act as interpreter between tribes unacquainted with each other's forms of speech. He once wrote out and sent me some tenses of an Indian verb which had impressed him with its resemblance to corresponding parts of the Greek language. I showed this to Theodore P
Genoa (Italy) (search for this): chapter 7
the late Senator Bayard and President Garfield. Quite late in life, he enjoyed a turn of good fortune, and was most generous in his use of the wealth suddenly acquired, and alas! as suddenly lost. His last visit to Europe was in 1882-83, when, after passing some months with Lord and Lady Rosebery, he proceeded to Rome to finish the winter with our sister, Mrs. Terry. In his travels he had contracted a fatal disease, and his checkered and brilliant career came to an end at Pegli, near Genoa, in the spring of 1884. Of his oft contemplated literary work there remains a volume of poems entitled Literary Recreations. The poet Longfellow, my brother's lifelong friend and intimate, esteemed these productions of his as true poetry, and more than once said to me of their author, He is the most lovable man that I have ever known. I certainly never knew one who took so much delight in giving pleasure to others, or whose life was so full of natural, overflowing geniality and beneficenc
Broadway (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
his natural leading to advantage, had he not become his father's man of business, and thus been forced to devote much of his life to the management of the great Astor estate. At the time of which I speak, he resided on the unfashionable side of Broadway, not far below Canal Street. At this time I was often invited to the house of his father, Mr. John Jacob Astor. This house, which the old gentleman had built for himself, was situated on Broadway, between Prince and Spring streets. AdjoiningBroadway, between Prince and Spring streets. Adjoining it was one which he had built for a favorite granddaughter, Mrs. Boreel. He was very fond of music, and sometimes engaged the services of a professional pianist. I remember that he was much pleased at recognizing, one evening, the strains of a brilliant waltz, of which he said: I heard it at a fair in Switzerland years ago. The Swiss women were whirling round in their red petticoats. On another occasion, we sang the well-known song, Am Rhein; and Mr. Astor, who was very stout and infirm of p
Pegli (Italy) (search for this): chapter 7
as were also the late Senator Bayard and President Garfield. Quite late in life, he enjoyed a turn of good fortune, and was most generous in his use of the wealth suddenly acquired, and alas! as suddenly lost. His last visit to Europe was in 1882-83, when, after passing some months with Lord and Lady Rosebery, he proceeded to Rome to finish the winter with our sister, Mrs. Terry. In his travels he had contracted a fatal disease, and his checkered and brilliant career came to an end at Pegli, near Genoa, in the spring of 1884. Of his oft contemplated literary work there remains a volume of poems entitled Literary Recreations. The poet Longfellow, my brother's lifelong friend and intimate, esteemed these productions of his as true poetry, and more than once said to me of their author, He is the most lovable man that I have ever known. I certainly never knew one who took so much delight in giving pleasure to others, or whose life was so full of natural, overflowing geniality an
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