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Maria Fay (search for this): chapter 3
idge, standing by my mother's side; all that I had read of persecutions not implanting so lasting a love of liberty as that one spectacle. I stood by her also the day after, when she went out to take the gauge of public opinion in consultation with the family butcher, Mr. Houghton; and I saw here checkmated by his leisurely retort, Wal, I dunno, Mis' Higginson; I guess them biships are pretty dissipated characters. The interest was enhanced by the fact that a youthful Cambridge neighbor, Maria Fay, was a pupil in the school at the time, and was held up by the terrified preceptress to say to the rioters, My father is a judge, and if you don't go away he will put you all in jail The effect of the threat may have been somewhat impaired by the fact that her parent was but a peaceful judge of probate, and could only have wreaked his vengeance on their last wills and testaments. At any rate, there stood the blackened walls for many years, until the bricks were used in building the insid
Bettine Brentano (search for this): chapter 3
a bow and arrow, we stopped under the mulberry-tree which still stands at the entrance of the street, and he aimed at a beautiful crested cedar-bird which was feeding on the mulberries. By some extraordinary chance he hit it, and down came the pretty creature, fluttering and struggling in the air, with the cruel arrow through its breast. I do not know whether the actual sportsman suffered pangs of remorse, but I know that I did, and feel them yet. Afterwards I read with full sympathy Bettine Brentano's thoughts about the dead bird: God gives him wings, and I shoot him down; that chimes not in tune. I later learned from Thoreau to study birds through an opera-glass. It may appear strange that with this feeling about birds I seemed to have no such vivid feeling about fishes or insects. Perhaps it was because they are so much farther from the human, and touch the imagination less. I could then fish all day by the seashore and could collect insects without hesitation,--always bei
Richard Dana (search for this): chapter 3
of it with hearty dislike, and am glad that it was my happy lot to have come no nearer. The evil was, however, tempered by a great deal of wholesome athletic activity, which Mr. Wells encouraged: there was perpetual playing of ball and of fascinating running games; and we were very likely to have an extra half-holiday when skating or coasting was good. There was no real cruelty in the discipline of the school,--though I have sometimes seen this attributed to it, as in Adams's Life of Richard Dana, --but Mr. Wells carried always a rattan in his hand, and it descended frequently on back and arm. Being very fond of study and learning easily, I usually escaped the rod; but I can see now that its very presence was somewhat degrading to boyish nature. Mr. Wells taught us absolutely nothing but Latin and Greek, yet these he inculcated most faithfully, and I have heretofore described, in an essay On an old Latin text book, the joy I took in them. I well remember that on first being prom
Victoriano Rosello (search for this): chapter 3
nd indeed observed the same thing in another boarding-school, where I taught at a later day — the greater refinement, and I may say civilization, of the day-scholars, who played with their sisters at home, as compared with those little exiles who had no such natural companionship. I must not forget one almost romantic aspect of the school in the occasional advent of Spanish boys, usually from Porto Rico, who were as good as dime novels to us, with their dark skins and sonorous names,--Victoriano Rosello, Magin Rigual, Pedro Mangual. They swore superb Spanish oaths, which we naturally borrowed; and they once or twice drew knives upon one another, with an air which the Pirates' own book offered nothing to surpass. Nor must I forget that there were also in the school certain traditions, superstitions, even mechanical contrivances, which were not known in the world outside. There were mechanisms of pulleys for keeping the desk-lid raised; the boys made for themselves little two-wheele
Walter Scott (search for this): chapter 3
ge 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 was secretary, and I was permitted to keep, with pride and delight, the account of the books as they came and went. Add to this my mother's love of reading aloud, and it will be seen that there was more danger, for a child thus reared, of excess than of scarcity. Yet as a matter
John Holmes (search for this): chapter 3
tional 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 was secretary, and I was permitted to keep, with pride and delight, the account of the books as they came and went. Add to this my mother's love of reading aloud, and it will be seen that there was more danger, for a child thus reared, of excess than of scarcity. Yet as a matter of fact I never had books enough, nor have I ever had to this day. S
George Ticknor (search for this): chapter 3
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 visito 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 —
George Ticknor Curtis (search for this): chapter 3
ards called upon to administer to pupils the terrible manual of Andrews and Stoddard, it seemed to me, as indeed it has always since seemed, a burden too intolerable to be borne. French was taught by his eldest daughter, an excellent woman, though she sometimes had a way of tapping little boys on the head with her thimble; and mathematics we received from a succession of Harvard students, thimbleless. For a time, one fair girl, Mary Story — William Story's sister, and afterwards Mrs. George Ticknor Curtis --glided in to her desk in the corner, that she might recite Virgil with the older class. But in general the ill effect of a purely masculine world was very manifest in the school, and my lifelong preference for co-education was largely based upon what I saw there. I could not help noticing-and indeed observed the same thing in another boarding-school, where I taught at a later day — the greater refinement, and I may say civilization, of the day-scholars, who played with their
William Russell (search for this): chapter 3
these he inculcated most faithfully, and I have heretofore described, in an essay On an old Latin text book, the joy I took in them. I well remember that on first being promoted to translating English into Greek, I wrote on and on, purely for pleasure, doing the exercises for days in advance. I should add that he taught us to write from copies set by himself in a clear and beautiful handwriting, and that we were supposed to learn something of history by simply reading aloud in class from Russell's Modern Europe; this being, after all, not so bad a way. It must not be forgotten that he bestowed a positive boon upon us by producing a Latin grammar of his own, so brief and simple that when I was afterwards called upon to administer to pupils the terrible manual of Andrews and Stoddard, it seemed to me, as indeed it has always since seemed, a burden too intolerable to be borne. French was taught by his eldest daughter, an excellent woman, though she sometimes had a way of tapping lit
I. A Cambridge boyhood In introducing the imaginary Chronicles of P. P., Clerk of this Parish, the poet Pope remarks that any such book might well be inscribed, On the importance of a man to himself. Yet perhaps the first obstacle to be encountered by any autobiographer is the sudden sense of his own extreme unimportance. Does each ant in an ant-hill yearn to bequeath to the universe his personal reminiscences? When, at the dead of night, I hear my neighbors at the Harvard Observatory rthropies which have given Boston merchants a permanent reputation; he was, indeed, frequently mentioned --as his cousin, John Lowell, wrote of himas the Howard or the Man of Ross of his day. I still possess a fine oil painting of this last hero of Pope's lay, a picture sent anonymously to the house, during my father's life, with the inscription that it was for a man who so eminently Copys the Fair Original. Through inquiries very lately made at Ross in England, I found with surprise that no pic
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