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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, Literature as an art. (search)
here is not a really poor one in any language; each had originally some vivid meaning, but most of them have been worn smooth by passing from hand to hand, and hence the infinite care required in their use. Language, says Max Muller, is a dictionary of faded metaphors ; and every writer who creates a new image, or even reproduces an old one by passing it through a fresh mind, enlarges this vast treasure-house. And this applies not only to words of beauty, but to words of wit. All wit, said Mr. Pitt, is true reasoning ; and Rogers, who preserved this saying, added, that he himself had lived long before making the discovery that wit was truth. A final condition of literary art is thoroughness, which must be shown both in the preparation and in the revision of one's work. The most brilliant mind needs a large accumulated capital of facts and images, before it can safely enter on its business. Addison, before beginning the Spectator, had accumulated three folio volumes of notes. Th
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 57: attempts to reconcile the President and the senator.—ineligibility of the President for a second term.—the Civil-rights Bill.—sale of arms to France.—the liberal Republican party: Horace Greeley its candidate adopted by the Democrats.—Sumner's reserve.—his relations with Republican friends and his colleague.—speech against the President.—support of Greeley.—last journey to Europe.—a meeting with Motley.—a night with John Bright.—the President's re-election.—1871-1872. (search)
him. He met also Mrs. Grote, who gave him a manuscript of her husband. Lord Granville came from Walmer Castle to receive him at dinner in his city house. Abraham Hayward invited him with other friends to dine at the Athenaeum Club, where his conversation, as Mr. Hayward wrote, happening to turn on orators, He poured forth a rich store of examples and illustrations with aptness and effect. He had obviously—as may indeed be collected from his speeches-carefully studied the masterpieces of Pitt, Sheridan, Curran, Grattan, and most especially Burke. One Englishman, departing from his natural catholicity of temper, who thought—very foolishly in each case —that both he and Motley had become enemies of England, though a friend of thirty-four years, refused to answer the senator's card. That was Lord Houghton. Lord Houghton had perhaps forgotten that nearly thirty years before the first American edition of his poems had been prompted by Sumner. Reid's Life of Lord Houghton, Sum<
r American fashion to revile as the chief of sinners, there is less of evil than of good. In Wilberforce's Memoirs there is an account of his having once asked Mr. Pitt whether his long experience as Prime Minister had made him think well or ill of his fellow-men. Mr. Pitt answered, Well ; and his successor, Lord Melbourne, beiMr. Pitt answered, Well ; and his successor, Lord Melbourne, being asked the same question, answered, after a little reflection, M y opinion is the same as that of Mr. Pitt. Let us have faith. It was a part of the vigor of the old Hebrew tradition to rejoice when a man-child was born into the world; and the maturer strength of nobler ages should rejoice over a woman-child as well. NothingMr. Pitt. Let us have faith. It was a part of the vigor of the old Hebrew tradition to rejoice when a man-child was born into the world; and the maturer strength of nobler ages should rejoice over a woman-child as well. Nothing human is wholly sad, until it is effete and dying out. Where there is life there is promise. Vitality is always hopeful, was the verdict of the most refined and clear-sighted woman who has yet explored the rough mining villages of the Rocky Mountains. There is apt to be a certain coarse virtue in rude health; as the Germanic ra
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 6: (search)
uce the just effect of instruction. He is, still, to a certain degree, a Frenchman talking brilliantly. May 18.—This evening, by a lucky accident, I went earlier than usual to Miss Williams's, and found there, by another mere accident, Southey . . . . There was little company present, and soon after I went in I found myself in a corner with him, from which neither of us moved until nearly midnight. He is, I presume, about forty-five, tall and thin, with a figure resembling the statues of Pitt, and a face by no means unlike his. His manners are a little awkward, but the openness of his character is so great that this does not embarrass him. He immediately began to talk about America, and particularly the early history of New England, with which he showed that sort of familiarity which I suppose characterizes his knowledge wherever he has displayed it. Of Roger Williams and John Eliot I was ashamed to find that he knew more than I did. Roger Williams, he thought, deserved the reput
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 22: (search)
ll, and this explained it. Later, the government changed its opinion on the measure, Lord Althorp introduced it again, received the most efficient, good-tempered, and sagacious support for it, both in committee and in the House, and carried it, with Copley's aid, in every stage, and in every way, except debate. Lord Spencer talked to me, too, a great deal about his recollections of Fox, Pitt, and Sheridan, placing the latter much lower than his party usually does, and giving more praise to Pitt than I ever heard a Whig give him. He does not talk brilliantly,—he hardly talks well, for he hesitates, blushes even, and has a queer chuckling laugh, —but he interests you and commands your attention. I felt sure all the time that I was getting right impressions from him. . . . . As we went down to the chapel, Lord Spencer told me that so solemn and fine a chapel is nowhere else kept up in England. Dr. Dundas read prayers, and about fifty-five were present. Sunday, October 4.—The fore<
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 25: (search)
ouse every evening. I met there, besides the Forsters,—with whom I went,—Varnhagen, formerly Prussian Minister in Bavaria, and more famous as the husband of the famous Rahel, many of whose letters, etc., he has published since her death. Quite lately he has printed two volumes of letters addressed to her by Genz, W. von Humboldt, and many more distinguished men, with characters of them by himself, which excite a good deal of remark. Genz, it appears by them, was paid great sums of money by Pitt. The lady, however, under all circumstances, appears to great advantage, and was by common, if not universal consent, a very remarkable person, counting among her correspondents and intellectual admirers a very large number of the most distinguished men in Germany. May 22.—I dined to-day. . . . with Count Raczynski, a Pole of large fortune, a very handsome man, a man of letters, and given to the arts; has a pretty good collection of modern pictures, and is now about to publish, in three <
George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 9: (search)
horseback. He sent his compliments to us, . . . . and when we went down to dinner . . . . we found him as good, frank, and kindly as we had found him at Wentworth, three years ago. The dinner . . . . was made agreeable by his conversation, which was uncommonly free, as if he were not afraid or unwilling to say what he thought about anybody; but his good-nature makes him charitable, and his honesty is proverbial. . . . . Lord Spencer went on with an admirable series of stories and sketches of Pitt, whom he knew much in his early manhood, when his father was Pitt's first Lord of the Admiralty; of Sheridan, who was associated with his own earlier friends; and of Brougham, from whom he has now separated himself, but who was long his very intimate companion, if not friend. Pitt he described as more successful and less good-natured in conversation than I had supposed him, and particularly as liking to make some one in his company his butt, in a way that was neither consistent with good t
Hon. J. L. M. Curry , LL.D., William Robertson Garrett , A. M. , Ph.D., Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 1.1, Legal Justification of the South in secession, The South as a factor in the territorial expansion of the United States (ed. Clement Anselm Evans), The South as a factor in the territorial expansion of the United States. (search)
icy of America as well as the relations of Europe. October 21st, the naval victory of Trafalgar confirmed Great Britain's supremacy on the ocean. December 2d, Austerlitz made Napoleon dictator of continental Europe, shattered the combinations of Pitt and caused his premature death. Both of these events were adverse to American interests. Napoleon had applied the purchase money of Louisiana to building a navy. The most magnificent army which the world had ever seen was assembled at Boulog) Checking his anger, he was calm upon the instant and dictated to his secretary, Daru, the orders by which the entire force of France was thrown with rapidity and precision across the continent of Europe to meet the foes which the combinations of Pitt were accumulating in his rear. Ulm was captured and Austerlitz won. The ocean having been now abandoned to Great Britain, Napoleon placed little value on the friendship of a nation without a navy, three thousand miles away, and determined on
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 18. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Southern Historical Society Papers. (search)
ckenridge, a Guthrie, a Crittenden. But we doubt whether the brightest period of its golden age of oratory can show a name that shown with greater lustre than that of the subject of this sketch. He was an orator of transcendent power, a lawyer of profound learning and splendid ability, and a broad and philosophic statesman. It is seldom that we see a man, anywhere, who had won, as he had, the double fame, and worn the double wreath, of Murray and Chatham, of Dunning and Fox, of Erskine and Pitt, of William Pinkney and Rufus King, in one blended superiority. Thomas Francis Marshall was born in the city of Frankfort, Kentucky, on the 7th day of June, 1800; the same year in which his illustrious uncle, John Marshall, was appointed by President Adams Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. His early education was conducted by his mother, Mrs. Agatha Marshall, an excellent and cultured lady, till his twelfth year, when he entered a grammar school and commenced the st
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 23. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The South's Museum. (search)
gold. Miss Winnie Davis, Daughter of the Confederacy, Regent. In the room were Vice-Regent Mrs. R. N. Northen, Mrs. J. H. Capers, whose husband was a Mississippian; Mrs. H. Clay Drewry, formerly of Vicksburg, Miss.; Mrs. Edmund C. Pendleton, Miss Margaret Humphries, Columbus, Miss.; Mrs. J. E. Stansbury, and Mrs. E. F. Chesley. Among the relics were a copy of General Lee's farewell address to the army at Appomattox; a sword belonging to Colonel Thomas P. August, epaulets belonging to Captain Pitt, slippers made of carpet taken from one of the rooms in the Executive Mansion during the war. Arkansas room. The room representing Arkansas was brilliantly decorated, and here numerous relics were on exhibition also. Miss Francis M. Scott, Arkansas' Daughter, Van Buren, Ark., Regent. The ladies in this room were Mrs. Decatur Axtell, Vice-Regent; Miss May Cantrell, daughter of Dr. William A. Cantrell, an old and prominent physician of Little Rock; Miss Frances M. Scott, daughter of
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