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Francis Marion (search for this): chapter 2
d not live to sign the Declaration of Independence, he was one of the first men to prophesy the separation of the colonies from the mother country. married to a daughter of Governor Greene, of the same state. My mother was grandniece to General Francis Marion, of Huguenot descent, known in the Revolution as the Swamp-fox of southern campaigns. Her father was Benjamin Clarke Cutler, whose first ancestor in this country was John De Mesmekir, of Holland. Let me here remark that an expert in cortly before my birth, leaving me her name and the dignity of eldest daughter. She was always mentioned in the family as the first little Julia. My two eldest brothers, Samuel and Henry Ward, were pupils at Round Hill School. The third, Francis Marion, named for the General, was my junior by fifteen months, and continued to be my constant playmate until, at the proper age, he joined the others at Round Hill School. A few words regarding my mother may not here be out of place. Married a
May 27th, 1819 AD (search for this): chapter 2
h is going on around him. If any one of us undertakes to set this down, he should do it with the utmost truth and simplicity; not as if Seneca or Tacitus or St. Paul were speaking, but as he himself, plain Hodge or Dominie or Mrs. Grundy, is moved to speak. He should not borrow from others the sentiments which he ought to have entertained, but relate truthfully how matters appeared to him, as they and he went on. Thus much I can promise to do in these pages, and no more. I was born on May 27, 1819, in the city of New York, in Marketfield Street, near the Battery. My father was of Rhode Island birth and descent. One of his grandmothers was the beautiful Catharine Ray to whom are addressed some of Benjamin Franklin's published letters. His father attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the war of the Revolution, being himself the son of Governor Samuel Ward, of Rhode Island, Governor Samuel Ward refused to enforce the Stamp Act, and also did valuable service as a member of
Beethoven (search for this): chapter 2
t of memory in these later times, but I remember some of them with pleasure. It is worth noticing that, while the earliest efforts in music in Boston produced the Handel and Haydn Society, and led to the occasional performance of a symphony of Beethoven or of Mozart, the taste of New York inclined more to operatic music. The brief visit of Garcia and his troupe had brought the best works of Rossini before the public. These performances were followed, at long intervals, by seasons of English and his taste had been formed by hearing the best music in London, which then, as now, commanded all the great musical talent of Europe. He gave me lessons for many years, and I learned from him to appreciate the works of the great composers, Beethoven, Handel, and Mozart. When I grew old enough for the training of my voice, Mr. Boocock recommended to my father Signor Cardini, an aged Italian, who had been an intimate of the Garcia family, and was well acquainted with Garcia's admirable meth
reference to some manoeuvre of the English fleet, I suppose. Mr. Boocock thought that it would be desirable for me to take part in concerted pieces, with other instruments. This exercise brought me great delight in the performance of certain trios and quartettes. The reaction from this pleasure, however, was very painful, and induced at times a visitation of morbid melancholy which threatened to affect my health. While I greatly disapprove of the scope and suggestions presented by Count Tolstoy in his Kreutzer Sonata, I yet think that, in the training of young persons, some regard should be had to the sensitiveness of youthful nerves, and to the overpowering response which they often make to the appeals of music. The dry practice of a single instrument and the simple drill of choral exercises will not be apt to over stimulate the currents of nerve force. On the other hand, the power and sweep of great orchestral performances, or even the suggestive charm of some beautiful vo
William Paley (search for this): chapter 2
ice of our associates and intended, no doubt, that we should receive our education at home. At a later day his plans were changed somewhat, and after some experience of governesses and masters I was at last sent to a school in the near neighborhood of our house. I was nine years old at this time, somewhat precocious for my age, and endowed with a good memory. This fact may have led to my being at once placed in a class of girls much older than myself, especially occupied with the study of Paley's Moral Philosophy. I managed to commit many pages of this book to memory, in a rather listless and perfunctory manner. I was much more interested in the study of chemistry, although it was not illustrated by any experiments. The system of education followed at that time consisted largely in memorizing from the text-books then in use. Removing to another school, I had excellent instruction in penmanship, and enjoyed a course of lectures on history, aided by the best set of charts that I
William Wordsworth (search for this): chapter 2
are of a fine house on the Bowling Green, a region of high fashion in those days. In the summer mornings my nurse sometimes walked abroad with me, and showed me the young girls of our neighborhood, engaged with their skipping ropes. Our favorite resort was the Battery, where the flagstaff used in the Revolution was still to be seen. The fort at Castle Garden had already been converted into a pleasure resort, where fireworks and ices might be enjoyed. We were six children in all, yet Wordsworth's little maid would have reckoned us as seven, as a sister of four years had died shortly before my birth, leaving me her name and the dignity of eldest daughter. She was always mentioned in the family as the first little Julia. My two eldest brothers, Samuel and Henry Ward, were pupils at Round Hill School. The third, Francis Marion, named for the General, was my junior by fifteen months, and continued to be my constant playmate until, at the proper age, he joined the others at Roun
Barbiere Di Seviglia (search for this): chapter 2
considerable extent. It possessed a liquid and fluent flexibility, quite unlike the curious staccato and tremolo effects so much in favor to-day. My father's views of religious duty became much more stringent after my mother's death. I had been twice taken to the opera during the Garcia performances, when I was scarcely more than seven years of age, and had seen and heard the Diva Malibran, then known as Signorina Garcia, in the roles of Cenerentola (Cinderella) and Rosina in the Barbiere di Seviglia. Soon after this time the doors were shut, and I knew of theatrical matters only by hearsay. The religious people of that period had set their faces against the drama in every form. I remember the destruction by fire of the first Bowery Theatre, and how this was spoken of as a judgment upon the wickedness of the stage and of its patrons. A well-known theatre in Richmond, Va., took fire while a performance was going on, and the result was a deplorable loss of life. The pulpits of
ceeded by a reaction of intense melancholy. The musical stars of those days are probably quite out of memory in these later times, but I remember some of them with pleasure. It is worth noticing that, while the earliest efforts in music in Boston produced the Handel and Haydn Society, and led to the occasional performance of a symphony of Beethoven or of Mozart, the taste of New York inclined more to operatic music. The brief visit of Garcia and his troupe had brought the best works of Rossini before the public. These performances were followed, at long intervals, by seasons of English opera, in which Mrs. Austin was the favorite prima donna. This lady sang also in oratorio, and I recall her rendering of the soprano solos in Handel's Messiah as somewhat mannered, but on the whole quite impressive. A higher grade of talent came to us in the person of Mrs. Wood, famous before her marriage as Miss Paton. I heard great things of her performance in La Sonnambula, which I was no
Benjamin Clarke Cutler (search for this): chapter 2
aid to have been due in large measure to the fatigue caused by his incessant labors in behalf of his country. Although he did not live to sign the Declaration of Independence, he was one of the first men to prophesy the separation of the colonies from the mother country. married to a daughter of Governor Greene, of the same state. My mother was grandniece to General Francis Marion, of Huguenot descent, known in the Revolution as the Swamp-fox of southern campaigns. Her father was Benjamin Clarke Cutler, whose first ancestor in this country was John De Mesmekir, of Holland. Let me here remark that an expert in chiromancy, after making a recent examination of my hand, exclaimed, You inherit military blood; your hand shows it. My own earliest recollections are of a fine house on the Bowling Green, a region of high fashion in those days. In the summer mornings my nurse sometimes walked abroad with me, and showed me the young girls of our neighborhood, engaged with their skipping
Eliza Cutler (search for this): chapter 2
ed sister, the same one who had accompanied us on the journey to Niagara, should be sent for to have charge of us, and this arrangement was speedily effected. This aunt of ours had long been a care-taker in her mother's household, where she had had much to do with bringing up her younger sisters and brothers. My mother had been accustomed to borrow her from time to time, and my aunt had threatened to hang out a sign over the door with the inscription, Cheering done here by the job, by E. Cutler. She was a person of rare honesty, entirely conscientious in character, possessed of few accomplishments, but endowed with the keenest sense of humor. She watched over our early years with incessant care. We little ones were kept much in our warm nursery. We were taken out for a drive in fine weather, but rarely went out on foot. As a consequence of this overcherishing, we were constantly liable to suffer from colds and sore throats. The young physician of whom I have already spoken
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