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Charles Grandison (search for this): chapter 3
literature and history of the eighteenth century; and most of these I read. There was a fine set of Dr. Johnson's works in a dozen volumes, with an early edition of Boswell; all of Hoole's Tasso and Ariosto; a charming little edition of the British essayists, with pretty woodcuts; Bewick's Birds and Quadrupeds; Raynal's Indies; the Anti-Jacobin; Plutarch's Lives; Dobson's Life of Petrarch; Marshall's and Bancroft's Lives of Washington; Miss Burney's and Miss Edgeworth's works; and Sir Charles Grandison. There were many volumes of sermons, which my mother was fond of reading,--she was, I think, the last person who habitually read them,--but which I naturally avoided. There were a good many pretty little Italian books, belonging to one of my elder sisters, and a stray volume of Goethe which had been used by another. In out-of-the-way closets I collected the disused classical textbooks of my elder brothers, and made a little library to be preserved against that magic period when I
Dexter Pratt (search for this): chapter 3
nly, Washington Irving came there, while visiting a nephew who had married my cousin. Margaret Fuller, a plain, precocious, overgrown girl, but already credited with unusual talents, used to visit my elder sister, and would sometimes sit on a footstool at my mother's feet, gazing up at her in admiration. A younger sister of Professor Longfellow was a frequent guest, and the young poet himself came, in the dawning of his yet undeveloped fame. My nurse was a certain Rowena Pratt, wife of Dexter Pratt, the Village Blacksmith of Longfellow; and it is my impression that she was married from our house. It is amusing to remember that Professor Longfellow once asked me, many years after, what his hero's name was. My special playmate, Charles Parsons, was a nephew of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was in those years studying in Europe; and in the elder Dr. Holmes's house Charles Parsons and I often tumbled about in a library, -indeed, in the very same library where the Autocrat had himself
Anne Appleton (search for this): chapter 3
f her children. My mother's early life was like a chapter in a romance. Captain Thomas Storrow, an English officer, being detained a prisoner in Portsmouth during that war, fell in love with a Portsmouth maiden, who adventurously married him at the age of seventeen, in 1777, and sailed with him to England. These were my mother's parents. The marriage had all the requisite elements of romance — youth, inexperience, two warring nations, and two deeply dissatisfied families. The bride, Anne Appleton, represented two of the best families in the then somewhat aristocratic province of New Hampshire, the Appletons and the Wentworths; the latter, in particular, holding their heads so high that they were declared by a wicked Portsmouth wit to speak habitually of Queen Elizabeth as Cousin Betsy Tudor. This was the nest in which my grandmother had been reared. She had lived from childhood in the house of her grandfather, Judge Wentworth; her great-grandfather was the first of the three ro
George Washington (search for this): chapter 3
sity, yet nearly a thousand volumes remained, chiefly of English literature and history of the eighteenth century; and most of these I read. There was a fine set of Dr. Johnson's works in a dozen volumes, with an early edition of Boswell; all of Hoole's Tasso and Ariosto; a charming little edition of the British essayists, with pretty woodcuts; Bewick's Birds and Quadrupeds; Raynal's Indies; the Anti-Jacobin; Plutarch's Lives; Dobson's Life of Petrarch; Marshall's and Bancroft's Lives of Washington; Miss Burney's and Miss Edgeworth's works; and Sir Charles Grandison. There were many volumes of sermons, which my mother was fond of reading,--she was, I think, the last person who habitually read them,--but which I naturally avoided. There were a good many pretty little Italian books, belonging to one of my elder sisters, and a stray volume of Goethe which had been used by another. In out-of-the-way closets I collected the disused classical textbooks of my elder brothers, and made a l
Abraham Rees (search for this): chapter 3
le boy, and was called old-fashioned; he was very precocious, and though only three months older than myself was a year before me in college, graduating at just seventeen,--each of us being the youngest in our respective classes. There was between our houses only the field now occupied by the Hemenway Gymnasium and the Scientific School; and while we were not schoolmates, we were almost constantly together out of school hours. Many an hour we spent poring over the pictures in the large old Rees' Cyclopaedia; afterwards, when weary, piling up the big volumes for fortifications, to be mutually assailed by cannonading apples from a perpetual barrel in the closet. Meanwhile, the kindly old grandfather, working away at his sermons or his American Annals, never seemed disturbed by our romping; and I remember vividly one winter evening, when he went to the window, and, scratching with his knife-blade through the thick frost, shaped the outlines of rough brambles below, and made a constell
John Hoole (search for this): chapter 3
with pity the children of to-day who have no such privilege. My father, in his days of affluence, had bought a great many books in London, and had them bound under his own eye in the solid fashion of that day. Many of them were sold in his adversity, yet nearly a thousand volumes remained, chiefly of English literature and history of the eighteenth century; and most of these I read. There was a fine set of Dr. Johnson's works in a dozen volumes, with an early edition of Boswell; all of Hoole's Tasso and Ariosto; a charming little edition of the British essayists, with pretty woodcuts; Bewick's Birds and Quadrupeds; Raynal's Indies; the Anti-Jacobin; Plutarch's Lives; Dobson's Life of Petrarch; Marshall's and Bancroft's Lives of Washington; Miss Burney's and Miss Edgeworth's works; and Sir Charles Grandison. There were many volumes of sermons, which my mother was fond of reading,--she was, I think, the last person who habitually read them,--but which I naturally avoided. There
Margaret Fuller (search for this): chapter 3
never clearly understood, but it is pleasant to think that I was, at the age of seven months, assisted toward maturity by this benefaction from a man so eminent. Professor Andrews Norton and George Ticknor habitually gave their own writings; and I remember Dr. J. G. Palfrey's bringing to the house a new book, Hawthorne's Twice-told tales, and reading aloud A Rill from the town Pump. Once, and once only, Washington Irving came there, while visiting a nephew who had married my cousin. Margaret Fuller, a plain, precocious, overgrown girl, but already credited with unusual talents, used to visit my elder sister, and would sometimes sit on a footstool at my mother's feet, gazing up at her in admiration. A younger sister of Professor Longfellow was a frequent guest, and the young poet himself came, in the dawning of his yet undeveloped fame. My nurse was a certain Rowena Pratt, wife of Dexter Pratt, the Village Blacksmith of Longfellow; and it is my impression that she was married fro
Edward Everett (search for this): chapter 3
ge, and the popular qualities of my mother and aunt, brought many guests to our house, including the most cultivated men in Boston as well as Cambridge. My earliest documentary evidence of existence on this planet is a note to my father, in Edward Everett's exquisite handwriting, inquiring after the health of the babe, and saying that Mrs. Everett was putting up some tamarinds to accompany the note. The precise object of the tamarinds I have never clearly understood, but it is pleasant to thiMrs. Everett was putting up some tamarinds to accompany the note. The precise object of the tamarinds I have never clearly understood, but it is pleasant to think that I was, at the age of seven months, assisted toward maturity by this benefaction from a man so eminent. Professor Andrews Norton and George Ticknor habitually gave their own writings; and I remember Dr. J. G. Palfrey's bringing to the house a new book, Hawthorne's Twice-told tales, and reading aloud A Rill from the town Pump. Once, and once only, Washington Irving came there, while visiting a nephew who had married my cousin. Margaret Fuller, a plain, precocious, overgrown girl, but al
Francis Higginson (search for this): chapter 3
ouse where Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born. My father's house — now occupied by Mrs. F. L. Batchelder--was begun in 1818, when the land was bought from Harvard College, whose official he had just become. Already the Scientific School and the Hemenway Gymnasium crowd upon it, and the university will doubtless, one of these days, engulf it once more. My father came of a line of Puritan clergymen, officials, militia officers, and latterly East India merchants, all dating back to the Rev. Francis Higginson, who landed at Salem in 1629, in charge of the first large party for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and who made that historic farewell recorded by Cotton Mather, as his native shores faded away: We will not say, as the Separatists said, Farewell, Rome! Farewell, Babylon! But we will say, Farewell, dear England! Farewell, the Christian church in England, and all the Christian friends there! My father had been, like his father before him,--also named Stephen Higginson, and a me
E. N. Horsford (search for this): chapter 3
rflies. Wild flowers, also, have been a lasting delight, though these are a little less fascinating than insects, as belonging to a duller life. Yet I associate with each ravaged tract in my native town the place where vanished flowers once grew,--the cardinal flowers and gentians in the meadows, the gay rhexia by the woodside, and the tall hibiscus by the river. Being large and tolerably strong, I loved all kinds of athletic exercises, and learned to swim in the river near where Professor Horsford's active imagination has established the Lief's booths of the Norse legends. There have been few moments in life which ever gave a sense of conquest and achievement so delicious as when I first clearly made my way through water beyond my depth, from one sedgy bank to another. Skating was learned on Craigie's Pond, now drained, and afterwards practiced on the beautiful black ice of Fresh Pond. We played baseball and football, and a modified cricket, and on Saturdays made our way to t
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