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Joseph Green Cogswell (search for this): chapter 6
iters, George Sand appeared to me by far the superior, though I then knew of her works only Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre, Spiridion, Jacques, and Andre. It was at least ten years after this time that Consuelo revealed to the world the real George Sand, and thereby made her peace with the society which she had defied and scandalized. Of my German studies I have already made mention. I began them with a class of ladies under the tuition of Dr. Nordheimer. But it was with the later aid of Dr. Cogswell that I really mastered the difficulties of the language. It was while I was thus engaged that my eldest brother returned from Germany. In conversing with him, I acquired the use of colloquial German. Having, as I have said, the command of his fine library, I was soon deep in Goethe's Faust and Wilhelm Meister, reading also the works of Jean Paul, Matthias Claudius, and Herder. Thus was a new influence introduced into the life of one who had been brought up after the strictest rule o
Lorenzo Da Ponte (search for this): chapter 6
hematics. The French language was somehow burnt into my mind by a cruel French teacher, who made my lessons as unpleasant as possible. My fear of him was so great that I really exerted myself seriously to meet his requirements. I have profited in later life by his severity, having been able not only to speak French fluently but also to write it with ease. I was fourteen years of age when I besought my father to allow me to have some lessons in Italian. These were given me by Professor Lorenzo Da Ponte, son of the veteran of whom I have already spoken. With him I read the dramas of Metastasio and of Alfieri. Through all these years there went with me the vision of some great work or works which I myself should give to the world. I should write the novel or play of the age. This, I need not say, I never did. I made indeed some progress in a drama founded upon Scott's novel of Kenil-worth, but presently relinquished this to begin a play suggested by Gibbon's account of the fal
Honore De Balzac (search for this): chapter 6
dden, the morbid discontent which characterized these poets made itself felt in our community as well as in England. Here, as elsewhere, it brought into fashion a certain romantic melancholy. It is true that at school we read Cow. per's Task, and did our parsing on Milton's Paradise Lost, but what were these in comparison with:— The cold in clime are cold in blood, or:— I loved her, Father, nay, adored. After my brother's return from Europe, I read such works of George Sand and Balzac as he would allow me to choose from his library. Of the two writers, George Sand appeared to me by far the superior, though I then knew of her works only Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre, Spiridion, Jacques, and Andre. It was at least ten years after this time that Consuelo revealed to the world the real George Sand, and thereby made her peace with the society which she had defied and scandalized. Of my German studies I have already made mention. I began them with a class of ladies under the
Walter Scott (search for this): chapter 6
of age when I besought my father to allow me to have some lessons in Italian. These were given me by Professor Lorenzo Da Ponte, son of the veteran of whom I have already spoken. With him I read the dramas of Metastasio and of Alfieri. Through all these years there went with me the vision of some great work or works which I myself should give to the world. I should write the novel or play of the age. This, I need not say, I never did. I made indeed some progress in a drama founded upon Scott's novel of Kenil-worth, but presently relinquished this to begin a play suggested by Gibbon's account of the fall of Constantinople. Such successes as I did manage to achieve were in quite a different line, that of lyric poetry. A beloved music-master, Daniel Schlesinger, falling ill and dying, I attended his funeral and wrote some stanzas descriptive of the scene, which were printed in various papers, attracting some notice. I set them to music of my own, and sang them often, to the acc
I began them with a class of ladies under the tuition of Dr. Nordheimer. But it was with the later aid of Dr. Cogswell that I really mastered the difficulties of the language. It was while I was thus engaged that my eldest brother returned from Germany. In conversing with him, I acquired the use of colloquial German. Having, as I have said, the command of his fine library, I was soon deep in Goethe's Faust and Wilhelm Meister, reading also the works of Jean Paul, Matthias Claudius, and Herder. Thus was a new influence introduced into the life of one who had been brought up after the strictest rule of New England Puritanism. I derived from these studies a sense of intellectual freedom so new to me that it was half delightful, half alarming. My father undertook one day to read an English translation of Faust. He presently came to me and said,— My daughter, I hope that you have not read this wicked book! I must say, even after an interval of sixty years, that I do not co
Isaac Nordheimer (search for this): chapter 6
low me to choose from his library. Of the two writers, George Sand appeared to me by far the superior, though I then knew of her works only Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre, Spiridion, Jacques, and Andre. It was at least ten years after this time that Consuelo revealed to the world the real George Sand, and thereby made her peace with the society which she had defied and scandalized. Of my German studies I have already made mention. I began them with a class of ladies under the tuition of Dr. Nordheimer. But it was with the later aid of Dr. Cogswell that I really mastered the difficulties of the language. It was while I was thus engaged that my eldest brother returned from Germany. In conversing with him, I acquired the use of colloquial German. Having, as I have said, the command of his fine library, I was soon deep in Goethe's Faust and Wilhelm Meister, reading also the works of Jean Paul, Matthias Claudius, and Herder. Thus was a new influence introduced into the life of one w
od reading for the youth of our country. Its great author introduces into his recital scenes and personages calculated to awaken strange discords in a mind ignorant of any greater wrong than the small sins of a well-ordered household. Although disapproving greatly of Goethe, my father took a certain pride in my literary accomplishments, and was much pleased, I think, at the commendation which followed some of my early efforts. One of these, a brief essay on the minor poems of Goethe and Schiller, was published in the New York Review, perhaps in 1848, and was spoken of in the North American of that time as a charming paper, said to have been written by a lady. I have already said that a vision of some important literary work which I should accomplish was present with me in my early life, and had much to do with habits of study acquired by me in youth, and never wholly relinquished. At this late day, I find it difficult to account for a sense of literary responsibility which neve
sant as possible. My fear of him was so great that I really exerted myself seriously to meet his requirements. I have profited in later life by his severity, having been able not only to speak French fluently but also to write it with ease. I was fourteen years of age when I besought my father to allow me to have some lessons in Italian. These were given me by Professor Lorenzo Da Ponte, son of the veteran of whom I have already spoken. With him I read the dramas of Metastasio and of Alfieri. Through all these years there went with me the vision of some great work or works which I myself should give to the world. I should write the novel or play of the age. This, I need not say, I never did. I made indeed some progress in a drama founded upon Scott's novel of Kenil-worth, but presently relinquished this to begin a play suggested by Gibbon's account of the fall of Constantinople. Such successes as I did manage to achieve were in quite a different line, that of lyric poetry
ue that at school we read Cow. per's Task, and did our parsing on Milton's Paradise Lost, but what were these in comparison with:— The cold in clime are cold in blood, or:— I loved her, Father, nay, adored. After my brother's return from Europe, I read such works of George Sand and Balzac as he would allow me to choose from his library. Of the two writers, George Sand appeared to me by far the superior, though I then knew of her works only Les Sept Cordes de la Lyre, Spiridion, Jacques, and Andre. It was at least ten years after this time that Consuelo revealed to the world the real George Sand, and thereby made her peace with the society which she had defied and scandalized. Of my German studies I have already made mention. I began them with a class of ladies under the tuition of Dr. Nordheimer. But it was with the later aid of Dr. Cogswell that I really mastered the difficulties of the language. It was while I was thus engaged that my eldest brother returned from
Margaret Fuller (search for this): chapter 6
t women writers were by no means as numerous sixty years ago as they are to-day. Neither was it possible for a girl student in those days to find that help and guidance toward a literary career which may easily be commanded to-day. The death, within one year, of my father and most dearly loved brother touched within me a deeper train of thought than I had yet known. The anguish which I then experienced sought relief in expression, and took form in a small collection of poems, which Margaret Fuller urged me to publish, but which have never seen the light, and never will. Among the friends who frequented my father's house was the Rev. Francis L. Hawkes, long the pastor of a very prominent and fashionable Episcopal church in New York. I remember that on one occasion he began to abuse my Germans in good earnest for their irreligion and infidelity, of which I, indeed, knew nothing. I inquired whether he had read any of the authors whom he so unsparingly condemned. He was forced
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