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Griswoldsville (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
y all who knew her that my early years were full of the testimony borne by surviving friends to the beauty and charm of her character. She had been a pupil at the school of Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, of saintly memory, and had inherited from her own mother a taste for intellectual pursuits. She was especially fond of poetry and a few lovely poems of hers remain to show that she was no stranger to its sacred domain. One of these was printed in a periodical of her own time, and is preserved in Griswold's Female Poets of America. Another set of verses is addressed to me in the days of my babyhood. All of these bear the imprint of her deeply religious character. Mrs. Margaret Armstrong Astor, of whom more will be said in these annals, remembered my mother as prominent in the society of her youth, and spoke of her as beautiful in countenance. An old lady, resident in Bordentown, N. J., where Joseph, ex-king of Spain, made his home for many years, had seen my mother arrayed for a dinner
Bowling Green (Indiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
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 ropes. Our favorite resort was the Battery, where the fst indisposition was sure to call down upon us the administration of the drugs then in favor with the faculty, but now rarely used. My father's affliction was such that a change of scene became necessary for him. The beautiful house at the Bowling Green was sold, with the new furniture which had been ordered expressly for my mother's pleasure, and which we never saw uncovered. We removed to Bond Street, which was then at the upper extremity of New York city. My father's friends said to him
Bloomingdale (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
erous settlements in the western part of the State of New York, where one often saw the boys with their bows and arrows, and the squaws carrying their papooses on their backs. The journey here mentioned must have taken place when I was little more than four years old. Another year and a half brought me the burden of a great sorrow. I recall months of sweet companionship with the first and dearest of friends, my mother. The last summer of her life was passed at a fine country-seat in Bloomingdale, which was then a picturesque country place, about six miles from New York, but is now incorporated in the city. My father was fond of fine horses, and the pets of the stable played no unimportant part in our childish affection. The family coach was an early institution with us, and in the days of which I now speak, its exterior was of a delicate yellow, known as straw-color, while the lining and cushions were of bright blue cloth. This combination of color was effected to please my
Napoleon (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
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 method. Under his care my voice improved in character and in compass, and the daily exercises in holding long notes gave strength to my lungs. I think that I have felt all my life through the benefit of those early lessons. Signor Cardini remembered Italy before the invasion of Napoleon I., and sometimes entertained me with stories of the escapades of his student life. He had resided long in London, and had known the Duke of Wellington. He related to me that once, when he was visiting the great soldier at his country-seat near the sea, the duke invited him to look through his telescope, saying, Signor Cardini, venez voir comme on travaille les Franqais. This must have had reference to some manoeuvre of the English fleet, I suppose. Mr. Boocock thought that it would be
Huguenot (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
e Committee of the Whole, during the secret sessions of Congress. His death, in the spring of 1776, is said 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 someti
Walter Scott (search for this): chapter 3
ed some of their forbears in a humorous light. The solid fame which he acquired in later days effaced the remembrance of this old-time grievance, and in the days in which I had the pleasure of his acquaintance, he held an enviable position in the esteem and affection of the community. He always remained a bachelor, owing, it was said, to an attachment, the object of which had been removed by death. I have even heard that the lady in question was a beautiful Jewess, the same one whom Walter Scott has depicted in his well-known Rebecca. This legend of the beautiful Jewess was current in my youth. A later authority informs us that Mr. Irving was really engaged to Matilda, daughter of Josiah Ogden Hoffman, a noted lawyer of New York, and that the death of the lady prevented the intended marriage from taking place. He could never, to his dying day, endure to hear her name mentioned, it is said, and, nearly thirty years after her death, the accidental discovery of a piece of her emb
Henry Clay (search for this): chapter 3
ce, when a temperance meeting was going on in one of our large parlors, Mr. King called and, finding my father thus engaged, began to frolic with us young people. He even dared to say: How I should like to open those folding doors just wide enough to fire off a bottle of champagne at those temperance folks! He was the patron of my early literary ventures, and kindly allowed my fugitive pieces to appear in his paper. He always advocated the abolition of slavery, and could never forgive Henry Clay his part in effecting the Missouri Compromise. He and his brother James, my father's junior partner, were sons of Rufus King, a man eminent in public life. I was a child of perhaps eight years when I heard my elders say with regret that old Mr. King was dying. Quite late in his life, Mr. Charles King became President of Columbia College. This institution, with the houses of its officers, occupied the greater part of Park Place. Its professors were well known in society. The college
s ago. He is now best remembered by his Marco Bozzaris, a noble lyric which we have heard quoted in view of recent lamentable encounters between Greek and Barbarian. Among the lecturers who visited New York, I remember Professor Silliman of Yale College, Dr. Follen, who spoke of German literature, George Combe, and Mr. Charles Lyell. Charles King, for many years editor of a daily paper entitled The New York American, was a man of much literary taste. He had been a pupil at Harrow when Byron was there. He was an appreciative friend of my father, although as convivial in his tastes as my father was the reverse. I remember that once, when a temperance meeting was going on in one of our large parlors, Mr. King called and, finding my father thus engaged, began to frolic with us young people. He even dared to say: How I should like to open those folding doors just wide enough to fire off a bottle of champagne at those temperance folks! He was the patron of my early literary ven
Charles Lyell (search for this): chapter 3
tor of the Evening Post. I first heard of Fitz-Greene Halleck as the author of various satirical pieces of verse relating to personages and events of nearly eighty years ago. He is now best remembered by his Marco Bozzaris, a noble lyric which we have heard quoted in view of recent lamentable encounters between Greek and Barbarian. Among the lecturers who visited New York, I remember Professor Silliman of Yale College, Dr. Follen, who spoke of German literature, George Combe, and Mr. Charles Lyell. Charles King, for many years editor of a daily paper entitled The New York American, was a man of much literary taste. He had been a pupil at Harrow when Byron was there. He was an appreciative friend of my father, although as convivial in his tastes as my father was the reverse. I remember that once, when a temperance meeting was going on in one of our large parlors, Mr. King called and, finding my father thus engaged, began to frolic with us young people. He even dared to say
Andrew Jackson (search for this): chapter 3
pianoforte was perfect. I remember creeping under the instrument to hide my tears when I heard him sing the ballad of Lord Ullin's Daughter. Charles Augustus Davis, the author of the Letters of J. Downing, Major, Downingville Militia, Second Brigade, to his old Friend Mr. Dwight, of the New York Daily Advertiser, was a gentleman well known in the New York society of my youth. The letters in question contained imaginary reports of a tour which the writer professed to have made with General Jackson, when the latter was a candidate for reflection to the Presidency. They were very popular at the time, but have long passed into oblivion. I remember that in one of them, Major Downing describes an occasion on which it was important that the general should interlard his address with a few Latin quotations. Not possessing any learning of that kind, he concluded his speech with: E pluribus unum, gentlemen, sine qua non. The great literary boast of the city at the time of which I spe
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