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Rowena Pratt (search for this): chapter 3
ump. 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 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 th
irds 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 too should be a collegian. To these were to be added many delightful volumes of the later English poets, Collins, Goldsmith, Byron, Campbell, and others, given at different times to my aunt by George Ticknor. In some of them --as in Byron's Giaour --he had copied additional stanzas, more latel
Nathaniel Hawthorne (search for this): chapter 3
ite 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 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 d
dren 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 were a good many pr
George Gordon Byron (search for this): chapter 3
rved against that magic period when I too should be a collegian. To these were to be added many delightful volumes of the later English poets, Collins, Goldsmith, Byron, Campbell, and others, given at different times to my aunt by George Ticknor. In some of them --as in Byron's Giaour --he had copied additional stanzas, more lateByron's Giaour --he had copied additional stanzas, more lately published; this was very fascinating, for it seemed like poetry in the making. Later, the successive volumes of Jared Sparks's historical biographies — Washington, Franklin, Morris, Ledyard, and the Library of American biography --were all the gift of their kindly author, who had often brought whole parcels of Washington's andous generation; and the initials of older students still remained carved in vast confusion on the end of the woodshed, like the wall which commemorates Canning and Byron at Harrow. Above all, a literature circulated under the desks, to be read surreptitiously,--such books as those to which Emerson records his gratitude at the Lati
Hannah Adams (search for this): chapter 3
favor. He liked to read theology, but was in no respect a scholar; indeed, Dr. Peabody says that, on receiving for the institution its first supply of Hebrew Bibles, my father went to the president, Dr. Kirkland, with some indignation, saying that the books must all be returned, since the careless printer had put all the title-pages at the wrong end. In his adversity as in his wealth, he was a man of boundless and somewhat impetuous kindness, and espoused with such ardor the cause of Miss Hannah Adams, the historian, against her rival in that profession, the Rev. Dr. Morse, that he was betrayed into a share in one or two vehement pamphlets, and very nearly into a law-suit. He died when I was nine years old, and my chief training came consequently from my mother and my aunt Miss Anne G. Storrow, then known to all the Cambridge world as Aunt Nancy, who was to my mother like a second self in the rearing of her children. My mother's early life was like a chapter in a romance. Capta
Betsy Tudor (search for this): chapter 3
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 royal governors of that name, and the two others were her near kinsmen. She might, indeed, have sat for the heroine of Whittier's ballad, Amy Wentworth; but it was a soldier, not a sailor, whom she married; and when she went to Englandfortunately under the proper escort of a kinswoman — she was ap
Jared Sparks (search for this): chapter 3
thers, and made a little library to be preserved against that magic period when I too should be a collegian. To these were to be added many delightful volumes of the later English poets, Collins, Goldsmith, Byron, Campbell, and others, given at different times to my aunt by George Ticknor. In some of them --as in Byron's Giaour --he had copied additional stanzas, more lately published; this was very fascinating, for it seemed like poetry in the making. Later, the successive volumes of Jared Sparks's historical biographies — Washington, Franklin, Morris, Ledyard, and the Library of American biography --were all the gift of their kindly author, who had often brought whole parcels of Washington's and Franklin's letters for my mother and aunt to look over. A set of Scott's novels was given to my elder brother by his life-long crony, John Holmes. Besides all this, the family belonged to a book club,--the first, I believe, of the now innumerable book clubs: of this my eldest brother wa
Susanna Dobson (search for this): chapter 3
e 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 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 th
Benjamin Peirce (search for this): chapter 3
this day. Seeing the uniform respect with which my mother and aunt and elder sisters were treated by the most cultivated men around us, I cannot remember to have grown up with the slightest feeling that there was any distinction of sex in intellect. Why women did not go to college was a point which did not suggest itself; but one of my sisters studied German with Professor Charles Follen, while another took lessons in Latin and Italian from Professor Bachi and in geometry from Professor Benjamin Peirce. I forget where this especial sister studied English, but she wrote for me all the passages that were found worth applauding in my commencement oration. Yet it is a curious fact that I owe indirectly to a single remark made by my mother all the opening of my eyes to the intellectual disadvantages of her sex. There came to Cambridge a very accomplished stranger, Mrs. Rufus King, of Cincinnati, Ohio, -afterward Mrs. Peter,--who established herself there about 1837, directing the co
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