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James Freeman Clarke (search for this): chapter 6
sure to visit highly-educated women. One lady said to her successor, Miss Jacobs, soon after her arrival at the school: Miss Fuller says she thinks in German; do you believe it? It was a discourteous question to a new-comer, who would naturally wish to keep clear of the feuds and the claims of her predecessor; but fortunately Miss Jacobs had ready tact, if Miss Fuller had not. Oh, yes! she said, I do not doubt it; I myself dream in Cherokee; which left her assailant discomfited. James Freeman Clarke has lately said in a sermon that he once went to see Margaret Fuller when she had been teaching in Providence for a year or two. She showed him two packages of letters which she had received from her pupils. These letters, said she, if you should read them, would show you the work I have been doing for my scholars. The first package contains the letters which they usually write to me after they have been in the school two or three months. They say, O Miss Fuller, we did not know,
A. Bronson Alcott (search for this): chapter 6
re true than now. After her father's death she must seek a shorter path to self-support than was to be found in those alluring ways of literature and philosophy which she would have much preferred. An opening offered itself in the school of Mr. A. B. Alcott, in Boston, where Miss Elizabeth P. Peabody had been previously employed. Mr. Alcott's unpublished diary gives the successive steps in the negotiation and enables me to present the beginning and the end together. 1836, August 2d. Emer interested. The editor of the Courier, Mr. J. T. Buckingham, rejoined by quoting the opinion of a Harvard professor that one third of Mr. Alcott's book was absurd, one third was blasphemous, and one third was obscene. Biographical Sketch of A. B. Alcott, p. 15. Such was the hornet's nest into which Margaret Fuller had unwarily plunged herself by following the very mildest-mannered saint who ever tried his hand at the spiritual training of children. With what discrimination she viewed th
Abner Kneeland (search for this): chapter 6
gh minute questioning, joined with some peculiar theories as to punishment, called out an amount of indignation which, at this distance of time, appears almost incredible. The little volume called Record of a school, followed by the two volumes called Conversations on the Gospels, roused this wrath to the highest point. The books and the school were bitterly denounced by the Daily Advertiser and Courier, the latter seriously urging that Mr. Alcott should be prosecuted for blasphemy, as Abner Kneeland had lately been. To this Mr. R. W. Emerson wrote an indignant reply, asserting that Mr. Alcott's only offense lay in his efforts to make children think, and that his experiment was one in which all the friends of education were interested. The editor of the Courier, Mr. J. T. Buckingham, rejoined by quoting the opinion of a Harvard professor that one third of Mr. Alcott's book was absurd, one third was blasphemous, and one third was obscene. Biographical Sketch of A. B. Alcott, p. 15.
Unitarian (search for this): chapter 6
h the New York Mirror, edited by N. P. Willis and George P. Morris. This he abandoned after a time, being tired, as he said, of supporting two poets, and was afterwards editor of the London Cosmopolitan. In addition to his bold choice of an assistant, he invoked the rising prestige of Ralph Waldo Emerson, inviting him to give an address at the dedication of the Academy (Saturday, June 10, 1837), and suggesting to him, he being still in the ministry, to bring sermons and preach in the two Unitarian churches. Margaret Fuller was ill for a time after reaching Providence, and wrote to Mr. Emerson in June, 1837: Concord, dear Concord, haven of repose, where headache, vertigo, other sins that flesh is heir to, cannot long continue. After this came a period of unusual health, during which she wrote in great exhilaration to her friends. To Miss Peabody, for instance (July 8, 1837), she exulted in the glow of returning health, and then gave this account of the school:-- As to the
George Ripley (search for this): chapter 6
h I am not as good as I was, yet, as I said before, I am better than most persons I see, and, I dare say, better than most persons you see. But perhaps you do not need to see anybody, for you are acting, and nobly. If so, you need not come yourself, but send me your two lectures on Holiness and Heroism. Let me have these two lectures, at any rate, to read while in Boston. But her prediction was fulfilled; if she followed her literary longings she must leave Providence, and so she did. Mr. Ripley had suggested to her to write a life of Goethe, but it ended in a translation of Eckermann's Conversations with that great man, prefaced by one of her Dial essays on the subject and published in Ripley's series of Specimens of German authors, probably without compensation. Her plans and purposes on retiring from her school are best stated in a letter to the Rev. W. H. Channing, not before published :-- Providence, 9th December, 1838. I am on the point of leaving Providence, and I do s
interest taken in her behalf by persons here in our city whose favor is a passport to success. To her has been given with the gift of intellect that of prudence, and when these are united in one person, success must follow in their train. April. Miss Fuller left town this week for Groton, where she intends passing a few weeks, for recruiting her health to enter the Green Street School at Providence. Here, during the last winter, she has been engaged in teaching the French, German, and Italian languages to private classes, also Latin and French in my school. Ms. by Mr. Alcott. Her connection with Mr. Alcott's school, like the school itself, was destined to be short-lived. Mr. Alcott's characteristic methods of dealing with children through minute questioning, joined with some peculiar theories as to punishment, called out an amount of indignation which, at this distance of time, appears almost incredible. The little volume called Record of a school, followed by the two vo
Tristam Burges (search for this): chapter 6
ime here has been full of petty annoyances, but I regret none of them, they have so enlarged my practical knowledge. I now begin really to feel myself a citizen of the world. My plan lies clearer before my mind, and I have examined almost all my materials, but beyond this I have done nothing. I shall, however, have so soon an opportunity to tell you all that I will not now take time and paper. I attended last week, somewhat to the horror of Mr. Fuller, the Whig Caucus here, and heard Tristam Burges. It is rather the best thing I have done. Ms. Jefferson's correspondence bearing fruit again! With that impressed upon her, and her businesslike father in her mind, she shrank from a merely intellectual life, while she yet felt its charms. Her residence in Providence had made her a citizen of the world, and the best thing she had done there was to defy the disapproval of her employer and attend a caucus,--in those days a rare exploit for a woman. We see the same half-conscious i
Thomas Carlyle (search for this): chapter 6
ow to go forward! This package, said she, I label, obtained a hope. She went for occasional brief visits from Providence to Boston, and it may be well to insert a passage from one of her letters to Mr. Emerson, in which she gives a glimpse of the gay world of that city forty-seven years ago. The picture of Daniel Webster and Theodore Parker moving among the jeunesse doree in a ball-room seems like one of the far-fetched improbabilities of an historical novel. The Gigman allusion is to Carlyle's afterwards hackneyed phrase about the respectability that keeps a gig. It is possible that the entertainment may have occurred just before her actual removal to Providence. Last night I took my boldest peep into the Gigman world of Boston. I have not been to a large party before, and only seen said world in half-boots; so I thought, as it was an occasion in which I felt real interest, to wit, a fete given by Mrs. Thorndike for my beautiful Susan, I would look at it for once in satin
ression,--with her supposed profession of teaching crumbling beneath her feet, and nothing before her but an intellectual career, which in a worldly way was then no career; her plans uncertain, her aims thwarted, her destiny a conundrum,--what man of intellectual pursuits, looking back on the struggles of his own early years, can throw a stone at Margaret Fuller? Providence, 1st March, 1838. My dear friend,--Many a Zelterian A phrase suggested by the correspondence between Goethe and Zelter, which she had been reading. epistle have I mentally addressed to you, full of sprightly scraps about the books I have read, the spectacles I have seen, and the attempts at men and women with whom I have come in contact. But I have not been able to put them on paper; for, even when I have attempted it, you have seemed so busy and noble, and I so poor and dissipated, that I have not felt worthy to address you. At present I am not at all Zelterian in my mood, but very sombre and sullen.
A. B. Alcott (search for this): chapter 6
also Latin and French in my school. Ms. by Mr. Alcott. Her connection with Mr. Alcott's schoolMr. Alcott's school, like the school itself, was destined to be short-lived. Mr. Alcott's characteristic methods of dend Courier, the latter seriously urging that Mr. Alcott should be prosecuted for blasphemy, as Abnerson wrote an indignant reply, asserting that Mr. Alcott's only offense lay in his efforts to make chion of a Harvard professor that one third of Mr. Alcott's book was absurd, one third was blasphemoust. I do not believe you are going to cut up Mr. Alcott. There are plenty of fish in the net create wrong, their criticisms killed the school. Mr. Alcott's receipts, which during the previous year hre was another withdrawal of pupils, leaving Mr. Alcott with nobody to teach but his own three daugh parents of his pupils with thirty dollars. Alcott's Ms. Diary, vol. XII The school closed finaldefects. Ms. His offer to her, as stated in Mr. Alcott's diary, was a liberal one for those days, a[4 more...]
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