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Nahant (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 16
ntly increase. His mother dies suddenly, and he sits all night alone by her dead body, a sense of peace comes over him, as if there had been no shock or jar in nature, but a harmonious close to a long life. Later he gets tired of summer rest at Nahant, which he calls building up life with solid blocks of idleness; but when two days later he goes back to Cambridge to resume his duties, he records: I felt my neck bow and the pressure of the yoke. Soon after he says: I find no time to write. I rtunities of foreigners for help here and help there—fret the day and consume it. He often records having half a dozen men to dine with him; he goes to the theatre, to lectures, concerts, and balls, has no repose, and perhaps, as we have seen at Nahant, would not really enjoy it. It was under these conditions, however, that the Golden Legend came into the world in November, 1851; and it was not until September 12, 1854, that its author was finally separated from the University. He was before t
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 16
e work is like a great hand laid on all the strings of my lyre, stopping their vibrations. How the days resemble each other and how sad it is to me that I cannot give them all to my poem. have fallen into a very unpoetic mood and cannot write. It must be remembered that his eyes were at this time very weak, that he suffered extremely from neuralgia, and that these entries were all made during the great fugitive slave excitement which agitated New England, and the political overturn in Massachusetts which culminated in the election of the poet's most intimate friend, Sumner, to the United States Senate. He records the occurrence of his forty-fourth birthday, and soon after when he is stereotyping the Golden Legend he says: I still work a good deal upon it, but also writes, only two days after, Working hard with college classes to have them ready for their examinations. A fortnight later he says: Examination in my department; always to me a day of anguish and exhaustion. His corre
Racine (Wisconsin, United States) (search for this): chapter 16
aculty meetings, and was therefore a little less dreary than the ordinary class-room of those days. It seemed most appropriate that an instructor of Longfellow's well-bred aspect and ever-courteous manners should simply sit at the head of the table with his scholars, as if they were guests, instead of putting between him and them the restrictive demarcation of a teacher's desk. We read with him, I remember, first the little book he edited, Proverbes Dramatiques, and afterwards something of Racine and Moliere, in which his faculty of finding equivalent phrases was an admirable example for us. When afterwards, during an abortive rebellion in the college yard, the students who had refused to listen to others yielded to the demand of their ringleader, Let us hear Professor Longfellow; he always treats us like gentlemen, the youthful rebel unconsciously recognized a step forward in academical discipline. Longfellow did not cultivate us much personally, or ask us to his house, but he rem
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 16
ed of the routine of this life. This college work is like a great hand laid on all the strings of my lyre, stopping their vibrations. How the days resemble each other and how sad it is to me that I cannot give them all to my poem. have fallen into a very unpoetic mood and cannot write. It must be remembered that his eyes were at this time very weak, that he suffered extremely from neuralgia, and that these entries were all made during the great fugitive slave excitement which agitated New England, and the political overturn in Massachusetts which culminated in the election of the poet's most intimate friend, Sumner, to the United States Senate. He records the occurrence of his forty-fourth birthday, and soon after when he is stereotyping the Golden Legend he says: I still work a good deal upon it, but also writes, only two days after, Working hard with college classes to have them ready for their examinations. A fortnight later he says: Examination in my department; always to me
Peau Chagrin (search for this): chapter 16
a step forward in academical discipline. Longfellow did not cultivate us much personally, or ask us to his house, but he remembered us and acknowledged our salutations. He was, I think, the first Harvard instructor who addressed the individual student with the prefix Mr. I recall the clearness of his questions, the simplicity of his explanations, the well-bred and skilful propriety with which he led us past certain indiscreet phrases in our French authors, as for instance in Balzac's Peau de Chagrin. Most of all comes back to memory the sense of triumph with which we saw the proof-sheets of Voices of the Night brought in by the printer's devil and laid at his elbow. We felt that we also had lived in literary society, little dreaming, in our youthful innocence, how large a part of such society would prove far below the standard of courtesy that prevailed in Professor Longfellow's recitation room. Yet the work of this room was, in those days of dawning changes, but a small part
Golden Legend (search for this): chapter 16
political overturn in Massachusetts which culminated in the election of the poet's most intimate friend, Sumner, to the United States Senate. He records the occurrence of his forty-fourth birthday, and soon after when he is stereotyping the Golden Legend he says: I still work a good deal upon it, but also writes, only two days after, Working hard with college classes to have them ready for their examinations. A fortnight later he says: Examination in my department; always to me a day of angud help there—fret the day and consume it. He often records having half a dozen men to dine with him; he goes to the theatre, to lectures, concerts, and balls, has no repose, and perhaps, as we have seen at Nahant, would not really enjoy it. It was under these conditions, however, that the Golden Legend came into the world in November, 1851; and it was not until September 12, 1854, that its author was finally separated from the University. He was before that date happily at work on Hiawatha.
Josiah Quincy (search for this): chapter 16
his predecessor, George Ticknor. He had inherited from this predecessor a sort of pioneer-ship in position relative to the elective system just on trial as an experiment in college. There exists an impression in some quarters that this system came in for the first time under President Walker about 1853; but it had been, as a matter of fact, tried much earlier,—twenty years, at least,—in the Modern Language Department under Ticknor, and had been extended much more widely in 1839 under President Quincy. The facts are well known to me, as I was in college at that period and enjoyed the beneficent effects of the change, since it placed the whole college, in some degree, for a time at least, on a university basis. The change took the form, first, of a discontinuance of mathematics as a required study after the first year, and then the wider application of the elective system in history, natural history, and the classics, this greater liberty being enjoyed, though with some reaction, un
Samuel A. Eliot (search for this): chapter 16
therefore must decline, so far as depends upon them, adopting a measure the ulterior effects of which they may not foresee with accuracy, & they express the belief that it will be well to allow the present arrangement to continue for a time, even at the risk, apprehended by Prof. Longfellow, of its producing an injurious effect upon his department. They cannot but hope, however, that the evils le fears may be avoided, or if not, that they may be compensated by equivalent advantages. Saml. A. Eliot I J. A. Lowell, CommitteeHarvard College Papers [Ms.], 2d ser. XIII. 13. A year later than the above correspondence, the subject was evidently revived on the part of the governing powers of the College, and we find the following letter from Professor Longfellow:— Cambridge, Sept. 25, 1846. dear Sir,—In answer to your favor of the 18th inst. requesting my opinion on certain points connected with the Studies of the University, I beg leave to state; I. In regard to the advant
John A. Lowell (search for this): chapter 16
ecline, so far as depends upon them, adopting a measure the ulterior effects of which they may not foresee with accuracy, & they express the belief that it will be well to allow the present arrangement to continue for a time, even at the risk, apprehended by Prof. Longfellow, of its producing an injurious effect upon his department. They cannot but hope, however, that the evils le fears may be avoided, or if not, that they may be compensated by equivalent advantages. Saml. A. Eliot I J. A. Lowell, CommitteeHarvard College Papers [Ms.], 2d ser. XIII. 13. A year later than the above correspondence, the subject was evidently revived on the part of the governing powers of the College, and we find the following letter from Professor Longfellow:— Cambridge, Sept. 25, 1846. dear Sir,—In answer to your favor of the 18th inst. requesting my opinion on certain points connected with the Studies of the University, I beg leave to state; I. In regard to the advantages and disadvan
Alexander Everett (search for this): chapter 16
e facts are well known to me, as I was in college at that period and enjoyed the beneficent effects of the change, since it placed the whole college, in some degree, for a time at least, on a university basis. The change took the form, first, of a discontinuance of mathematics as a required study after the first year, and then the wider application of the elective system in history, natural history, and the classics, this greater liberty being enjoyed, though with some reaction, under President Everett, and practically abolished about 1849 under President Sparks, when what may be called the High School system was temporarily restored. An illustration of this reactionary tendency may be found in a letter addressed by Longfellow to the President and Fellows, placing him distinctly on the side of freedom of choice. The circumstances are these: Students had for some time been permitted to take more than one modern language among the electives, and I myself, before receiving my degree
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