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The Last Leaf by James Kendall Hosmer

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could touch lightly or discourse profoundly as occasion required,
his learning and insight always telling effectively, either at the
breakfast-table of the plain citizen, or in the pages of the school
text-book. "John," said such a plain man the other day to a friend who
also had been in touch with Fiske, "the biggest thing that ever came
into your life or mine was when that broad thinker familiarly darkened
our doors." The two men stood reverently under John Fiske's portrait,
the autograph signature underneath seeming in a way to connect the
living with the dead, acknowledging the force of the personality which
had made real to them as nothing else had ever done the deepest and
finest things.

John Fiske was often a guest in my home and I have sat, though less
frequently, with him in his library in Berkeley Street in Cambridge,
the flowers from the conservatory sending their perfumes among the
crowded books and the south wind breathing pleasantly from the garden
which had been Longfellow's, in the rear, to the garden of Howells in
front. His passion for music was scarcely less than his interest in
speculation and history. He knew well the great composers, and had
himself composed. Though the master of no instrument, he could touch
the piano with feeling. He had a pleasant baritone voice, and nothing
gave him more refreshment after a week of study or lecturing than to
pour himself out in song. His accompanist had need not only of great
technical skill but of stout vertebrae, and strong wrists; for
hours at a time the piano stool must be occupied while the difficult
melodies of various lands were unriddled and interpreted. Those were
interesting afternoons when, dropping his pen, he plunged into
music as a strong confident swimmer plunges into the stream which
he especially loves, interpreting with warm feeling Mendelssohn and
Beethoven, wandering unlost in the vocal labyrinths of Dvorak and
Wagner, but never happier than when interpreting the emotions of
simple folk-songs, or some noble Shakespearian lyrics like "Who
is Sylvia, what is she, that all the swains commend her?" Music
stimulated him to vivacity and in the pauses would come outbursts of
abandon. One day the pet dog of a daughter of mine ensconced himself
unawares under the sofa and was disrespectfully napping while
John Fiske sang. In a pause the philosopher broke into an animated
declamation over some matter while standing near the sofa, whereat
the pug thinking himself challenged tore out to the front with sudden
violent barks. The two confronted each other, the pug frantically
vindicating his dignity while the philosopher on his side fixing his
eye upon the interrupter declaimed and gesticulated. As to volubility
and sonorousness they stood about equal. I am bound to say the pug
prevailed. John Fiske retired in discomfiture while the pug was
carried off in triumph in the arms of his little mistress. He had
fairly barked the great man down. I once shared with him the misery
of being a butt. In St. Louis in those days the symposium was held in
honour, and particularly N.O. Nelson, the well-known profit-sharing
captain of industry, was the entertainer of select groups whose
geniality was stimulated by modest potations of Anheuser-Bush, in St.
Louis always the Castor and Pollux in every convivial firmament.
Such a symposium was once held in special honour of Dr. Edward Waldo
Emerson, a transient visitor. "Dr. Emerson," said a guest, "in the
diary of your father just edited by you occurs a passage which needs
illumination. 'Edward and I tried this morning for three quarters of
an hour to get the calf into the barn without success. The Irish girl
stuck her finger into his mouth and got the calf in in two minutes.
I like folks that can do things.' Now," said the guest, "we all know
what became of Emerson, we all know what became of Edward, for you are
here to-night, but what became of the Irish girl and the calf?" Dr.
Emerson laughingly explained the probable fate of the girl and the
calf, and in the hilarity that followed, the question arose as to why
the Irish girl's finger had been so persuasive. I, city-bred and green
as grass as to country lore, rashly attempted to explain; the inserted
finger gave a good purchase on the calf which in its pain became at
once tractable, but the men present who had been farm-boys, with loud
laughter ridiculed the suggestion. Did I not know that nature had
provided a conduit through which the needed sustenance was conveyed
from the maternal udder, and that it was quite possible to delude the
unsuspecting calf into the belief that the slyly inserted finger was
that conduit? The triumph of the Irish girl was explained, and I sank
back, covered with confusion. Fiske, however, blurted out: "Why, I
never should have thought of that in all my life," whereat he too
became the target of ridicule.

I never saw John Fiske happier than once at Concord. Our host had
invited us for a day and had prepared a programme that only Concord
could furnish. The prelude was a performance of the Andante to a
Sonata of Rubinstein, Opus 12, rendered exquisitely by the daughter of
our host. I saw the great frame of my fellow-guest heave with emotion
while his breath came almost in sobs as his spirit responded to
the music. Then came a canoe-trip on the river to which John Fiske
joyfully assented though some of the rest of us were not without
apprehension. Fiske in a canoe was a ticklish proposition, but
there he was at last, comfortably recumbent, his head propped up on
cushions, serenely at ease though a very narrow margin intervened
between water-line and gunwale. The performer of the Sonata, who was
as deft at the paddle as she was at the piano, served as his pilot and
propeller while the rest of us formed an escort which could be turned
into a rescue party if occasion required. A stout, capacious rowboat
followed immediately in the wake of the canoe. We went down the dark,
placid current in the fine summer weather to the Battleground, and
then looked into the solemn forest aisle which arches over the narrow
Assabeth. The day was perfect, the flowers and birds were at their
best, the pleasant nature was all about us. All this John Fiske drank
in to the full but still more was he touched by the great associations
of the environment. From the bank yonder had been "fired the shot
heard round the world." The hill-tops, meadows, the gentle river had
been loved and frequented by Hawthorne, Thoreau, and Emerson; in
these surroundings had bloomed forth the finest flowering of
American literature. No heart could be more sensitive than was his
to influences of this kind. As we moved cautiously about him,
anxious about the equilibrium, though he was calm, he discoursed with
animation. The afternoon waned gloriously into the dusk of the happy

The little hill-town of Petersham in the back of Worcester County was
John Fiske's summer home, a spot he tenderly loved. It is a retired
place made very attractive in later years through the agency of his
brother-in-law, who with wise and kindly art has added to the natural
beauty. I saw John Fiske here in his home of homes to which his heart
clung more and more fondly as his end approached. The weight of
his great body, accumulating morbidly in a way which could not be
counteracted, fairly overwhelmed at last his bright and noble life. As
the doctors put it, a heart made for a frame of one hundred and sixty
pounds could not do the work for three hundred. When, in his weakness,
death was suggested to him as probably near, "Death!" said he simply
and sweetly, "why, that only means going to Petersham to stay!" and
there among the flowers and fields, remote from the world, though his
spirit remains widely and solemnly pervasive, he has gone to stay.



When I went to England in 1886 to collect materials for a life of
Young Sir Henry Vane, John Fiske gave me a letter to Dr. Richard
Garnett, then Superintendent of the Reading Room in the British
Museum. He afterwards became Sir Richard Garnett and was promoted to
be Keeper of Printed Books, perhaps the highest position among the
librarians of the world, a post to which he did honour. Dr. Garnett,
slender and alert, the heaped-up litter of volumes and manuscripts in
his study telling at a glance where his tastes lay, was nevertheless
as he needed to be most practical and business-like. Though an
accomplished litterateur touching with versatility poetry, criticism,
history, philosophy, and still other fields, this was his hobby only,
his main work being when I knew him to make available for readers
crowding from all lands seeking information of all kinds, the
treasures of this wonderful store-house. He treated me with the
kindest courtesy, but I have no reason to feel that I was an
exception. He stood on that threshold, a welcomer of all scholars, for
his good nature was no more marked than the comprehensiveness of his
information and the dexterity with which without the least delay, he
put into the hands of each searcher the needed books. Perhaps it was
an unusual favour that, influenced no doubt, by my good introduction,
he took a half-hour out of his busy morning to conduct me himself
through the Egyptian collection. We passed rapidly among statues and
hieroglyphics, his abundant knowledge appearing transiently as he
touched upon object after object while at the same time in an incisive
and witty vein he spoke of America and the events of the day. Pausing
at last before the great scarabaeus of polished syenite whose huge
size required a place in the centre of the corridor, he said with
a twinkle, "I must tell you a story about this of which one of your
countrymen is the hero. I was walking with him here in the collection
and expected from him some expression of awe, but like so many of you
Americans, he wouldn't admit that he saw anything that couldn't be
paralleled in the United States until we stood before the scarabaeus.
Here his mood changed; his face fell, he slowly walked around the
scarabaeus three times and then exclaimed, 'It's the all-firedest,
biggest _bug_ I ever saw in all my born days'"! I palliated
patriotically the over-breezy nonchalance of my countryman and thought
I had got at the bottom of the joke, but that evening at a little tea
I was undeceived. A small company were present of men and women, talk
flowed easily and when it came my turn I told the story of the Yankee
and the scarabaeus which I had heard that day. As I brought out with
emphasis the "all-firedest, biggest _bug_," I noticed that a
frost fell on the mirth, silence reigned for a moment interrupted only
by gasps from the ladies. What impropriety had I committed? Presently
a little man behind the coffee-urn at the far end of the table, whom
I had heard was a bit of a scientist, piped up: "Perhaps the Professor
doesn't know that in England, when we talk about bugs, we mean that
_cimex_ which makes intolerable even the most comfortable bed."
At last I had Dr. Garnett's story in its full force.

When I explained to Dr. Garnett my errand, an elaborate investigation
of an historic figure, said he: "You must know Samuel Rawson Gardiner,
the best living authority for the period of the English Civil War.
Now Dr. Gardiner is peculiar. His great history of that period as yet
takes in nothing later than 1642. Up to that date he will have all the
information and help you generously. Of the time beyond that date he
will have nothing to say, be mute as a dumb man. He has not finished
his investigations and has a morbid caution about making any
suggestion based on incomplete data." A day or two afterward I was
in the Public Record Office in Fetter Lane, the roomy fire-proof
structure which holds the archives of England. You sit in the Search
Room, a most interesting place. Rolls and dusty tomes lie heaped about
you, the attendants go back and forth with long strips of parchment
knotted together by thongs, hanging down to the floor before and
behind, written-over by the fingers of scribes in the mediaeval days
and sometimes in the Dark Ages. The past becomes very real to you as
you scan Domes Day Book which once was constantly under the eye of
William the Conqueror, or the documents of kings who reigned before
the Plantagenets. As I sat busy with some original letters of Henry
Vane, written by him when a boy in Germany in the heart of the Thirty
Years' War, a vigorous brown-haired man came up to me with a pleasant
smile and introduced himself as Samuel Rawson Gardiner. Dr. Garnett
had told him about me and about my especial quest, and with rare
kindness, he offered to give me hints. It was for me a fortunate
encounter, for no other man knew, as Gardiner did, the ground I
desired to cover. He put into my hands old books, unprinted diaries,
scraps of paper inscribed by great figures in historic moments, the
solid sources, and also the waifs and strays from which proper history
must be built up. He would look in upon me time after time in the
Search Room; in the Reading Room of the British Museum we sat side by
side under the great dome. We were working in the same field and the
experienced master passed over to the neophyte the yellow papers and
mildewed volumes in, which he was digging, with suggestions as to how
I might get out of the chaff the wheat that I wanted. He invited me to
his home at Bromley in Kent, where he allowed me to read the proofs
of the volume in his own great series which was just then in press.
It related to matters that were vital to my purpose and I had the rare
pleasure of reading a masterly work and seeing how the workman
built, inserting into his draft countless marginal emendations, the
application of sober second thought to the original conception.
I spent the best part of the night in review and it was for me a
training well worth the sacrifice of sleep. In the pleasant July
afternoon we sat down to tea in the little shaded garden where I
met the son and daughter of my host and also Mrs. Gardiner, an
accomplished writer and his associate in his labours. The interval
between tea and dinner we filled up with a long walk over the fields
of Kent during which appeared the social side of the man. He told me
with modesty that he was descended from Cromwell through Ireton, and
the vigour of his stride, with which I found it sometimes hard to keep
up, made it plain that he was of stalwart stock and might have marched
with the Ironsides. A day or two later he bade me good-bye; he and
his wife departing for the continent for a long bicycle tour. The
indefatigable scholar was no less capable in the fields and on the
high road than in alcoves and the Search Room.

Lecky was not in England at the time of my visit and I can only claim
to have had with him an epistolary acquaintance. To some extent I have
worked on the same themes with him, and preserve among my treasures
certain letters in which he made me feel that he regarded my
accomplishment as not unworthy. Sir Charles Dilke and the Bishop
of Oxford, William Stubbs, author of the great _Constitutional
History_, I also never met, but I have letters from them which I
keep with those of Lecky as things which my children will prize. With
Edward A. Freeman, however, I came into cordial relations, a character
well worthy of a sketch. He once came to America where with his fine
English distinction behind him he met a good reception. He deported
himself after the fashion of many another great Englishman, somewhat
clumsily. At St. Louis he amusingly misapprehended conditions.
Remembering the origin of the city he took it for granted that the
audience which greeted him was for the most part of French descent,
whereas probably not a dozen persons present had a trace of French
blood in their veins. Because backwoodsmen a few generations before
had possessed that region he took it for granted that we were
backwoodsmen still. He addressed us under these misconceptions,
the result being a "talking down" to a company of supposedly Latin
extraction and quite illiterate. The fact was that the crowd,
Anglo-Saxon with a strong infusion of German, was made up of people of
high intelligence, the best whom the city could furnish, a city at the
time noted for its interest in philosophical pursuits and the home
of a highly educated class. Freeman's well-meant remarks would have
seemed elementary to an audience of school-children. The address
was quite inadequate and the unfortunate visitor had a rather cool
reception. Freeman was only one of many in all this. The astronomer
R.A. Proctor came to similar grief for a similar _gaucherie_, and
even so famous a man as Lord Kelvin suffered in like manner. I have
been told that at Yale University when addressing a college audience
zealous for their own institution, he stumbled badly on the threshold
by enlarging on the great privilege he was enjoying in speaking to the
students of Cornell, proceeding blandly under the conviction that
he was at Ithaca instead of under the elms of New Haven. But this
clumsiness in Freeman and in others was only a surface blemish. He was
a great writer treating with profound learning the story of Greece and
Rome and South-western Europe in general, and illuminating as probably
no other man has done the distant Saxon and early Norman dimnesses
that lie in the background of our own past. I held him in thorough
respect and when, following an article I had prepared in London
for the _Pall Mall Gazette_, I received a polite note from him
inviting me to come to see him at Somerleaze near Wells, I was much
rejoiced. I went thither, passing through the beautiful green heart of
England. In Wiltshire from the car-window I caught sight of a distant
down on which, the substratum of chalk showing through the turf
skilfully cut away, appeared the figure of a gigantic white horse, the
memorial of an old Saxon battle; thence passing near Glastonbury
and skirting the haunts of ancient Druids in the Mendip Hills, I was
attuned for a meeting with a scholar who more than any other man of
the time had aroused interest in the old life of England. I alighted
at Wells where a trap was waiting, and drove between hedgerows for
two miles to the secluded mansion. It lay back from the road, a roomy
manor house thickly surrounded by groves and gardens. I was put at
ease at once by the friendly welcome of Mrs. Freeman, a charming
hostess who met me at the door. Freeman soon entered, a veteran of
sixty, his florid English face set off by a long beard, and hair
rather dishevelled, tawny, and streaked with gray. Like Gardiner he
was of vigorous mould and we presently strode off together through the
lanes of the estate with the sweet landscape all about us. His talk
was animated and related for the most part to the objects which we
passed and the points that came into view on the more distant hills.
It was rather the talk of a local antiquary than of a historian in
a comprehensive sense, though now and then a quickly uttered phrase
linked a trifling detail with the great world movement; the spirit
was most kindly. Returning to the house he stooped to the ground and
picked up a handsome peacock's feather which he gave with a bow as a
souvenir of the walk. At dinner we met Miss Freeman, an accomplished
daughter. There was only one guest besides myself, a man whom I felt
it was good fortune to meet. It was the Rev. William Hunt, since
that time well known as a large contributor to Leslie Stephen's great
Dictionary of National Biography, President of the English Historical
Society, and author of many valuable works. It so happened that a few
weeks before, my Life of Samuel Adams had come under his notice and
gained his approval, which he had expressed in a cordial fashion
in the Saturday Review by an article which had caused me much
satisfaction. An evening followed full of interesting things. Miss
Freeman played the piano for us with much skill, and then came a most
animated talk which, though genial, was critically pungent. The United
States was often sharply attacked and I was put to all my resources
to parry the prods that were directed at our weak places. I did
not escape some personal banter. Feeling that I was in a congenial
atmosphere I announced with warmth my persistent love for England,
though my stock had been fixed in America since 1635. I spoke of
a cherished tradition of my family. The chronicler, Florence of
Worcester, describes an ancient battle in the year of 1016 between
Edmond Ironside and the Danes. The battle was close and the Danes at
one point had taken captive a Saxon champion who looked very much like
the king. By cutting off his head and holding it up before the Saxon
army they well-nigh produced a panic, for the Saxons believed that
their king was slain, and Edmond had a lively quarter of an hour in
correcting the error and restoring order. He finally did so and won
victory at last. The chronicler gave the name of the Saxon who thus
suffered untimely decapitation as Hosmer. I told the story and Freeman
at once insisted that it should be confirmed. He sent his daughter to
the library, who returned bearing a huge tome containing the chronicle
of Florence of Worcester. Freeman turned at once to the date, 1016,
and there was the passage in the quaint mediaeval Latin. It was indeed
a Hosmer who unwittingly had so nearly brought Edmond Ironside to
grief. "Was I descended from the man?" queried Freeman. Quite proud
that my story had been substantiated and perhaps a bit vainglorious
over the fact that a man of my name had looked like a king, I was not
slow in saying that I probably was, that my line for six hundred years
after that date, honest yeomen, had lived near the spot, in the fields
of Kent. Freeman assented to the probability, but it was suggested by
others present that there was a further tradition. The Hosmer of 1016
had lost his head, the Hosmers since that day had been constantly
losing theirs, in fact, there had been no man of that name since that
time in England who had any head worth speaking of, indeed they
were said to be born without heads. Had this curious heredity been
transmitted to the American line? I was forced to admit with confusion
that I could cite no circumstances to rebut the suspicion, but all
was good-natured though pungent, and when we broke up I retired to
the guest chamber in a pleasant excitement. Freeman, who conducted me
himself, brought the guest-book, calling my attention to the fact that
the chamber had shortly before been occupied by Gladstone. The next
morning we drove to Wells where, under the guidance of Freeman and Mr.
Hunt, I studied for some hours the beautiful cathedral. It is not so
large as many cathedrals, but few of them are more interesting. The
front is finely impressive; a curious, inverted arch in the choir
which descends from the ceiling to meet an arch rising from the floor
at a point midway between the roof and pavement is a unique thing in
architecture, a master-stroke of the mediaeval builder who solved
a problem of construction and at the same time produced a thing of
beauty. I remember, too, in a chapel, an example of a central column
rising like a slender stem of a lily and foliating at the top into
a graceful tracery, springing from the columns which surround and
enclose the space. All this is elaborated with exquisite detail in the
white stone. My guides, who were full of feeling for the architectural
perfection, knew well the story of the builders and the interesting
events with which through the centuries a masterpiece had been
associated. It was a charming visit closed, appropriately, by this
inspection under Freeman's guidance, of the cathedral of Wells.

Goldwin Smith was a cosmopolite; a citizen as much of Canada and the
United States as of England; a man indeed who would have preferred to
call himself a citizen of the world. But in England he was born and
bred and began his career; under the Union Jack he died, and he may
rightly be classed as an English historian. My acquaintance with
Goldwin Smith began a quarter of a century back, in the interchange
of notes and books. I was interested in the same fields which he had
illustrated. I looked upon him as more than any other writer, perhaps,
my master. I was in love with his spirit from the first and thought
that no other man had considered so well topics connected with the
unity of English-speaking men in a broad bond of brotherhood. I did
not set eyes on him until 1903, being for that year President of the
American Library Association which was to meet at Niagara Falls. I
invited Goldwin Smith to give the principal address. The librarians of
Canada, as well as the United States, were to assemble on the frontier
between the two countries, and it seemed desirable that a man standing
under two flags should be spokesman and this character fitted Goldwin
Smith precisely. But that year he became eighty years old. In the
spring he was ill and did not dare to undertake in June an elaborate
address. When we assembled at Niagara Falls, however, I found him
there. He had come from Toronto to show his good-will and he spoke
several times in our meetings; deliverances which, while neither long
nor formal, were well worth hearing. He was a stately presence, tall,
slender, and erect even at eighty, with a commanding face and head
which had every trait of dignity. I had several opportunities for
private talk and it appeared that his natural force was by no means
abated. It would no doubt be more just to class him as a critic in
politics, literature, and philosophy rather than an historian, but in
the latter capacity, too, his service was great. His talk was fluent,
incisive, and put forward without reference to what might be the
prejudices or indeed the well-based principles of his listeners. He
lashed bitterly the Congress of the United States for refusing through
fear of Irish disapproval to do honour to John Bright. His tongue
was a sword and cut sharply, and while he won respect always, often
excited opposition and sometimes hatred. Napoleon in particular was a
_bete noire_, to whom he denied even the possession of military
genius. His courage was serene and he was quite indifferent as to
whether he were hissed or applauded. He moved in a lofty atmosphere
and the praise and blame of men counted for little with him, as on his
high plane he discussed and judged. But it was impossible to entertain
for Goldwin Smith any other feeling than profound respect, his
accomplishments were vast, his memory unfailing, his ideals the
highest, his sense of justice the keenest. His was a nature perhaps to
evoke veneration rather than affection, and yet to men worthy of it he
could be heartily cordial and friendly. The inscription on the stone
erected to his memory at Cornell University is "Above all nations is
humanity." In his thought any limitation of the sympathies within the
comparatively narrow bounds of one country was a vice rather than a
virtue, and no nation was worthy to endure which did not stand for
the good of the world at large; into love for all humanity narrower
affections should emerge. He invited me to spend some days at the
Grange at Toronto in his beautiful home, but circumstances made it
impossible. I am glad to have seen Goldwin Smith at Niagara; that
majestic environment befitted the subduing stateliness of his
presence, his intellect, power, and elevation of view. He was one of
the most exalted men I have ever known.

Of my friend Bishop Phillips Brooks, I hope to say something
by-and-by. I only mention now that when I asked him in 1886 for a
letter or two to friends in England, whither I was going to collect
material for a life of the colonial governor, he heartily said, "I
will give you a letter to the best Englishman I know, and that is
James Bryce."

Arriving one July day in London, I posted my letter and received at
once an invitation from Mr. Bryce to call upon him in Downing Street,
where, as Under Secretary of State, he then made his official home.

Mark Twain's tears over the grave of Adam, a relative buried in a
strange land, all will recall. On a basis as good perhaps, I walked
through Downing Street with a certain sense of proprietorship, for did
it not bear the name and had it not been the home of my brother in the
pleasant Harvard bond, Sir George Downing, of the class of 1642? In
the ante-room with its upholstery of dark-green leather I mused for
a few minutes alone, over diplomatic conferences of which it had
probably been the scene, but Mr. Bryce quickly entered, slight and
sinewy, in his best years, kindly, courteous to the man sent by a
friend whom he held among the closest. Bryce at that time was on the
threshold of his fame. He had written _The Holy Roman Empire_
which I knew well. He had been Regius Professor at Oxford, whose
shades he had not long before forsaken for politics. That he had a
special interest in and knowledge of America, the world did not know.
He apologised for turning me off briefly then, but "Come to dinner,"
said he, "at my house to-night in Bryanstone Square." I was prompt to
keep the appointment. A drizzle filtered through the night as the cab
arrived at the door, but there was a cheery light in the windows and
a warm welcome to the entering guest. There were three or four besides
myself; a young officer just home from the campaign in the Soudan, Dr.
Richter the authority in music and art, and the brother and sister of
the host. I felt it a high distinction that I handed out to dinner
the stately lady, the mother of my host. The conversation was general.
Bits of African experience from the young soldier, glimpses into
Richter's special fields, and a contribution or two from the
Mississippi Valley, from me. In the talk that followed the dinner Mr.
Bryce showed himself at home in German as much as in English, but what
surprised me most was his puzzling curiosity about minutiae of our own
politics. Why did the Mayor of Oshkosh on such and such dates veto
the propositions of the aldermen as to the gas supply? And why did the
supervisors of Pike County, Missouri, pass such and such ordinances as
regards the keeping of dogs? These, or similar questions were fired at
me rapidly, uttered with a keen attention as to my reply. I was quite
confused and lame on what was supposedly my own ground. How queer, I
thought, was the interest and the knowledge of this stranger. But in
a few months I felt better. _The American Commonwealth_ appeared,
revealing Bryce as a man who had set foot in almost our every State
and Territory, and who had an intimacy with America such as no
American even possessed.

I am speaking here of historians, but may appropriately give a
little space to an account of that wonderful acre or two of ground
at Westminster, where for so many centuries the history of the
English-speaking race has been to such an extent focused.

In looking up Young Sir Henry Vane, it seemed fitting to have some
knowledge of Parliament, and I welcomed the chance when, on the 19th
of August, 1886, Parliament convened. It was a time of agitation. At
the election just previous the Liberals, with Gladstone at the head
of the Cabinet, had undergone defeat and the Conservatives had come in
with Lord Randolph Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The
first night was sure to be full of turmoil and excitement. Through
Mr. Bryce's good offices I had a seat in the Strangers' Gallery. The
student of history must always tread the precincts of Westminster with
awe. There attached to the Abbey is the Chapter House. The central
column divides overhead into the groins that form the arched ceiling,
the stones at its base still bearing a stain from the rubbing elbows
of mediaeval legislators, the floor worn by their hurrying feet, for
from the time of Edward I. the Chapter House remained for centuries
the legislative meeting-place. The old St. Stephen's Chapel to which
Parliament at length removed was burned some eighty years since, but
Westminster Hall, its attachment--the great hall of William Rufus,
escaped and the new buildings of Parliament stand on the site of its
former home. The present House of Commons occupies the ground of the
old Chapel and in size and arrangement differs little from it. The
Hall is small. The seven hundred members seated on the benches which
slope up from the centre, crowd the floor space, while the galleries
for the press at one end, for strangers at the other, and for the use
of the Lords and the Diplomatic corps at the sides give only meagre
accommodation. I passed into the building at nightfall, getting
soul-stirring glimpses into the great area of Westminster Hall, in
which burned only one far-away light. Its grandeur was more impressive
in the dimness than in the glare. The lofty associations of the spot,
coronations of kings, the reverberations of eloquence, the illustrious
victims that had gone out from its tribunal to the scaffold thronged
in my thought as I momentarily paused. But time pressed and I passed
on to the central Hall where I stood in a jostling crowd, absorbed in
the present with little thought of the fine frescoes that lined the
walls or of the history that had been made in that environment. I was
to send in my card to Mr. Bryce and while I stood puzzled as to what
course to take, a good friend came to my side in the person of Sir
Henry Norman. He had not then received his knightly title but was
simply assistant to W.T. Stead on the _Pall Mall Gazette_,
pushing his way, but already marked for a distinguished and eccentric
career. He came to America as a youth and entered the Harvard
Theological School. Inverting his pyramid, after beginning with the
cone, he put in the base, taking up the work of undergraduate, and
studying for an A.B. At Harvard he is best remembered as Creon in
the _Oedipus Tyrannus_, where his handsome face and figure and
mellifluous Greek won much admiration. Soon after, he cast to the
winds both his Greek and theology and was in London fighting his way
in the Press. Since then he has become famous for Oriental travel and
observation, in which field he is an authority, and also as a member
of Parliament. A friendship with him had been conciliated for me by a
good letter from Edwin D. Mead, and I was glad to have him by my side
that night. Through his help I soon was in the hands of Mr. Bryce and
under his guidance found the way to my appointed seat. The House was
in an uproar as I entered and from my point of vantage I looked down
upon the scene, undignified, but full of most virile life. At the
opposite end of the Hall sat Speaker Peel, in gown and wig, his
sonorous cries of "Order! order!" availing little it seemed, to quiet
the assembly. In the centre of the Chamber stood the famous table,
the mace reposing at the end, the symbol that the House was in formal
session. On one side sat the members of the new Cabinet, the foremost
and most interesting figure, Lord Randolph Churchill. Opposite to
them across the width of the table were the leaders of the opposition,
Gladstone at the fore. The benches were densely crowded with members.
Under my feet where I could not see them were the Irish members, not
visible but noisily audible. Many men of note were in their seats that
night. A powerful voice was ringing through the Chamber as I took my
seat, which I soon found was that of Bradlaugh. His utterance was a
sustained declamation. But there were ejaculations, sometimes mere
hoots and cat-calls, sometimes crisply-shouted sentences rose into the
air. "I belong to a society for the abolition of the House of Lords,"
came thundering up. It was from Sir Wilfred Lawson, the radical from
Carlisle, whose statue now stands on the Thames Embankment. Lord
Randolph Churchill made that night what I suppose was the great speech
of his life, for some two hours facing the Irish members waging a
forensic battle, memorable for even the House of Commons. From my
perch I looked directly into his face at a distance of not many feet
as he confronted the Irish crowd. Rather short of stature, he was a
compact figure, and his face had in it combative energy as the marked
characteristic. He outlined the policy of the new government with
serene indifference to the stormy disapproval which almost every
sentence evoked. When the outcry became deafening, he paused with a
grim smile on his bull-dog face until the interruption wore itself
out. "This disturbance makes no difference to me," he would quietly
say, "I am only sorry to have the time of the House wasted in such
unreasonable fashion." Then would come another prod and a new chorus
of howls rolling thunderously from the cavern under my feet. It is
not in line with my present plan to describe this speech; that may be
found in Hansard under the date. I touch only on the outside manner
as he fought his fight. It was a fine example of cool, imperturbable,
unshrinking assault, and I thought that in some such way his ancestor,
the great Duke of Marlboro, might have ruled the hour at Blenheim and
Malplaquet. Many years after it fell to me to introduce to an audience
his son Winston Churchill who, when his father was Chancellor of the
Exchequer, was a schoolboy at Harrow. I took occasion to describe
briefly the battle I had seen his father wage at Westminster. It
pleased Winston Churchill then fresh from the fields of South Africa.
"That was indeed a great speech of my father's," he said. Since then
the son has developed into a combatant probably not less formidable
than his forebears.

This was well worth while for me, desiring to see the Parliament of
England in its most interesting moods, but something came later which
I treasure more. While the conflict proceeded, in his place near
the mace but a yard or two distant from the conspicuous figure sat
Gladstone. I had seen him enter the House, a massive frame dressed in
a dark frock-coat which hung handsomely upon his broad shoulders, with
the strong head and face above, set in a lion-like mane of disordered
hair. He sat unmoved and quiet throughout the conflict as he might
have done at a ladies' tea-party, but now he rose to speak. At once
complete silence pervaded the Chamber. I believe I have never seen so
impressive an exhibition of the power of a great personality. Foes as
well as friends waited almost breathless for the words that were to
come. It was a time of crisis. He had just met defeat. What could the
discredited leader say?

He began in a voice scarcely above a whisper, though in the silence it
was distinctly audible, but the tones strengthened and deepened as he
proceeded. His audience hung upon his every word, and so he discoursed
for half an hour. It was not a great speech,--a series of calm,
unimpassioned statements in which clearness of phrase and absolute
abstention from aggressive attack upon his opponents were the most
marked characteristics. It was courteous toward friend and foe,
and foes no less than friends received each clear-cut sentence with
attention most respectful. I was a bit disappointed not to see the old
lion aroused and in his grandeur. But it is a thing to prize that I
witnessed a manifestation made in his full strength and in the acme of
his dominance. It was worth while to see that even in no great mood,
the force of his leadership was recognised and reserve power of the
man fully felt. Like every Achilles, Gladstone was held by the heel
when dipped. One may well feel that he came short as a theologian. The
scholars slight his Homeric disquisitions. Consistency was a virtue
which he probably too often scouted, but his high purpose, his
spotlessness of spirit, and strong control of men no one can gainsay.
In the slang of the street of that time he was the "G.O.M.," the Grand
Old Man as well to those who fought him as to those who loved him.
An impressive incident of the session occurred in the address of the
"Mover of the Queen's Speech." The orator in brilliant court attire,
a suit of plum-coloured velvet with full wig and small-clothes which
seemed almost the only bit of colour in the soberly, sometimes rather
shabbily, dressed assemblage, a costume which through long tradition
attaches to the function which he discharged, prefaced his remarks
with this tribute: "However we may differ from the honourable member
for Midlothian, we are all willing to admit that he is the most
illustrious of living Englishmen." In spite of the general bitterness
of the tumultuous controversy, one felt that there lay beneath it
all a certain fine magnanimity. Both Liberal and Tory believed in
the substantial patriotism and good purpose of the adversary as a
fundamental concession and that all were seeking the best welfare
of England. The differences regarded only the expedients which were
proper for the moment. One could see that foes furious in the arena
might at the same time be closest personal friends. It was not a
riddle that in the tea-rooms and the smoking-rooms Greek and Trojan
could sit together in friendly _tete-a-tete_, or that such
incidents could occur as the genial congratulations extended by
Gladstone to Joseph Chamberlain over the fine promise of his son
Austin Chamberlain making his debut in Parliament; congratulations
extended when the two statesmen were at swords' points,--a friendly
talk as it were, through helmet bars when the slash was at the

As I went home that night, through the streets of London, my mind and
heart were full. My special studies at the moment were familiarising
me with what lay behind the scene which I had just beheld. In similar
fashion in the days of Edward I. and Simon De Montfort, the Commons of
England, then struggling up, had wrestled in the narrow Chapter House.
And so they had fought in the Lancastrian time; and after the Tudor
incubus had been lifted off. So under the Stuarts had the wrangling
proceeded from which came at length the "Petition of Right."
Substituting the doublet and the steeple hat for their modern
equivalents, the spectacle of the Long Parliament must have been very
similar. Speaker Lenthall no doubt shouted "Order! Order!" as did
his successor Speaker Peel, while Pym, Hampden, Cromwell, and Vane
passionately inveighed against Prelacy and the "Man of Blood," as
I had just heard the Radicals of the Victorian era overwhelm with
diatribe the obstructors of the popular will. Then, during the
subsoiling which the land, growing arid and worthless through
mediaeval blight, underwent in 1832 and after, when the Reform Bill
and its successors, like deeply penetrating plows, threw to the
surface much that was unsightly, yet full of potentialities for good,
the spot was the same. The conditions and the environment looking at
it in the large were not widely different, the ancient Anglo-Saxon
freedom struggling ever for its foothold as the centuries lapse, now
precariously uncertain as Privilege and Prerogative push hotly, now
fixed and strong in great moments of triumph; and the end is not yet.
In the earlier time the destinies of America were closely interlocked
with England and came up no less for decision in the great arena
at Westminster. The destinies of the two peoples are scarcely less
interlocked at the present moment. We are gravitating toward closer
brotherhood, and the thoughtful American sees reason to study with the
deepest interest each passage of arms in the ancient memorable arena.

* * * * *

I saw in Germany in 1870, usually through the good offices of
Bancroft, our minister, the most eminent historians of that day.
Giesebrecht and von Raumur were no longer living, but men were still
in the foreground to the full as illustrious. Heidelberg in those
days was relatively a more conspicuous university than at present. Its
great men remain to it, though the process of absorption was beginning
which at last carried the more distinguished lights to Berlin. The
lovely little town, whose streets for nearly six hundred years have
throbbed with the often boisterous life of the student population,
is at its best in the spring and early summer. The Neckar ripples
tumultuously into the broad Rhine plain, from which towers to the
height of two thousand feet the romantic Odenwald. From some ruin of
ancient watch-tower or cloister on the height, entrancing views spread
out, the landscape holding the venerable towns of Worms and Speyer,
each with its cathedral dominating the clustered dwellings, while the
lordly Rhine pours its flood northward--a stream of gold when in the
late afternoon it glows in the sunset. The old castle stands on its
height, more beautiful in its decay, with ivy clinging about the
broken arches, and the towers wrecked by the powder-bursts of ancient
wars, than it could ever have been when unshaken.

Among the professors at Heidelberg, von Treitschke was one of the
most eminent, and it was my privilege one day to hear him lecture on
a theme which stirred him--the battle of Leipsic, the great
_Voelkerschlacht_ of 1813, when Germany cruelly clipped the
pinions of the Napoleonic eagle. The hall was crowded with young men,
_corps-studenten_ being especially numerous, robust youths in
caps and badges, and many of the faces were patched and scarred from
duels in the Hirsch-Gasse. Von Treitschke, a dark, energetic figure,
was received with great respect. Deafness, from which he suffered,
affected somewhat his delivery. He told the story of the great battle,
the frantic effort against combined Europe of the crippled French, the
defection of the Saxons in the midst of the fight, the final driving
of Napoleon across the Elster, the death of Poniatowski and the
retreat to France. His voice was a deep, sonorous monotone and every
syllable was caught eagerly by his auditors. They and the speaker
were thoroughly at one in their intense German feeling. It was a
celebration of triumph of the Fatherland. The significance of it all
was not apparent, that sunny spring morning, but we were on the eve of
a catastrophe which apparently no one foreboded; Metz, Gravelotte, and
Sedan were only a few months away. The fire which I saw burning so hot
in the souls of both speaker and hearers was part of the conflagration
destined to consume widely and thoroughly before the summer closed.

Ernst Curtius was probably the most distinguished Hellenist of his
time. He had studied the Greeks on their own soil and gone with German
thoroughness into their literature, history, and art. He had excellent
powers of presentment, wrote exhaustively and yet attractively and won
early recognition. He was selected for the post of tutor to the Crown
Prince, an honour of the highest. The Crown Prince, afterwards Emperor
Frederick, held him in high regard and in 1870 his position in the
world of scholars was of the best. I had the honour to pay him a visit
in his home one pleasant Sunday afternoon in company with Bancroft. I
remember Bancroft's crisp German enunciation as he presented me; "Ich
stelle Ihnen einen Amerikaner vor," and he mentioned my name. I bowed
and felt my hand grasped cordially in a warm, well-conditioned palm,
while a round, genial face beamed good-naturedly. The interview was in
the Professor's handsome garden, his accomplished wife and daughters
were of the party, and I remember _Maiwein_ with pretzels on a
lawn with rose-bushes close beside and music coming through the open
windows of the house. The hospitality was graceful, there was no
profound talk but only pleasant chatter. The daughters were glad to
have a chance to try their English and I was glad for the moment to
slip out of the foreign bond and disport myself for their benefit in
my vernacular, but the Professor needed no practice. His English was
quite adequate, as, on the other hand, the German of Bancroft was well
in hand.

"What other university people would you like to see?" said Bancroft to
me one day. I mentioned von Ranke, Lepsius, and Mommsen as men whose
names were familiar, whose faces I should like to look upon.

"Find out the _sprech-stunden_ of these men," said Bancroft to
his secretary, and presently a slip was put into my hand containing
the hours at which I could be conveniently received. Following the
direction, I was one day admitted to the library of von Ranke, a plain
apartment walled by books from floor to ceiling, with a desk well-worn
by days and nights of work. As I awaited his entrance the facts of
his career were vivid in my mind. He was a man of seventy-five and had
been a scholar almost from his cradle. He was known to me particularly
through his history of the popes, which was and perhaps is still the
judicial authority with regard to the line of pontiffs, but that was
only one book among many. He belonged to a class of which Germany has
been prolific, whose consciences assault them if they let their pens
lie idle, and who have no recourse in self-defence but building about
themselves a barricade of books. After researches in various fields,
von Ranke now was undertaking a history of the world, with no thought
apparently of a probable touch from the dart of death in the near
future; and he did indeed live until nearly ninety and long produced a
volume a year.

He entered presently from an inner room, rather a short, well-rounded
figure with a face marked by a clear eye and much vivacity. He
conversed well in English and was curious about American education and
offered, rather ludicrously, I remember, to exchange the publications
of the University of Berlin with those of the little fresh-water
college in which I was at that time a young teacher. Could the scholar
be aiming a sly sarcastic hit at the bareness of our educational
outposts in the West? But no, his frank look and voice showed that he
was unaware of the real conditions. The talk was not long, there was a
hearty expression of regard for Mr. Bancroft who was fully accepted by
the German learned world as one of their _Gelehrten_, trained as
he had been in youth in their schools, and in that day our best-known
historian. I bowed myself out respectfully from the presence of the
little man and sincerely hope that the merit of his great history is
in no way abated because I took a half-hour of his time.

I met Lepsius, the great Egyptian scholar, one afternoon in his
garden, a hale, straight man of sixty with abundant grey hair
surmounting a fine forehead, with blue eyes full of penetration behind
his spectacles. I had little knowledge of the subject he had studied
so profoundly and almost laughed outright when his pretty daughter
asked me if I had read her father's translation of the _Book of the
Dead_. Of von Ranke's themes I thought I knew something and was
more at ease with him, as with Mommsen whom I met about the same time.

Theodor Mommsen, more than any other, forty years ago, was the leading
historian of Germany. He began his career as a student of law, in
the antiquities of which he became thoroughly versed. In particular
Justinian and the Roman authorities, among whom he stands as chief,
were the objects of Mommsen's research. From jurisprudence he passed
to the study of general history, and of the most interesting period of
Rome he absorbed into his mind all the lore that has survived. This
he digested and set forth in a monumental work, which, translated into
English, has been, in the English-speaking world of scholars at least,
as familiar as household words. At a still later time he was an active
striver in the political agitations of his day.

I sent in my card to Mommsen with some trepidation and was at
once admitted. I found him sitting at leisure among his books and
Bancroft's introduction brought to pass for me a genial welcome. He
was a man not large in frame with dark eyes, and black hair streaked
with grey. No doubt but that like German scholars in general he could
talk English, but he stuck to German and I was rather glad he did
so; I could take him in better as he discoursed fluently in his
mother-tongue. Mommsen was a man of sharp corners who often in his
political career brought grief to adversaries who tried to handle him
without gloves. I was fortunate in catching him in a softer mood and
witnessed an amiability with which he was not usually credited. His
little daughters were in the room, pretty children with whom
the father played with evident pride and joy, interrupting the
conversation to caress the curly pates, and trotting them on his knee.
He put keen questions to me as regards America, showing that while
busy with Caesar and the on-goings of the ancient forum he had been
wide awake also to modern happenings. He expressed much regard for
Bancroft and praised Grant for selecting as minister to Germany a
personality so agreeable to European scholars. He told me of the
jubilee of Bancroft which was about to be celebrated with marked
honours. Fifty years before Bancroft had "made his doctor" at
Goettingen, one of the earliest Americans to achieve that distinction,
and the German universities meant to show emphatically their
recognition of his merit. The celebration afterwards took place, not
interrupted by the warlike uproar in which the land was about to be
involved. A proud honour indeed for the American minister. It was
a noteworthy occasion to talk thus familiarly with one of the most
illustrious scholars of the time, and I recall fondly the pleasant
details of the picture.

At Heidelberg the February before I had had an interview with
Schenkel, then the leading theologian of that university. Him I found
in his _Studir-Zimmer_ without fire on a cold day. He seemed to
scorn the use of the _Kachelofen_, the great porcelain stove, and
was wrapped from head to foot in a heavy woollen robe which enveloped
him and was prolonged about his head into a kind of cowl. He presented
a figure closely like the portraits of some old reformers heavily
mantled in a garb approaching the monkish _Tracht_ which they
had forsaken. It seemed out of character for Schenkel, for he was an
avowed liberal and particularly far away from old standards, but the
sharp winter drove a champion of heterodoxy into this outer conformity
with the old. In the case of the Berlin _Gelehrten_, however,
the mediaeval dress was quite discarded. I chanced to see them in
the spring with their windows wide open to the perfume of gardens and
songs of nightingales, and in the case of Mommsen, my picture of
his environment has traits of geniality, for he sat in light summer
attire, his face aglow with fatherly impulses as he played in the soft
air with his children.

One of the most interesting men whom I met in Berlin was Hermann
Grimm, then just rising among the characters of mark, but best known
at that time as the son of the famous Wilhelm Grimm and the nephew
of Jakob Grimm,--the "Brothers Grimm," whose names through their
connection with the fairy tales are stamped in the memories not only
of men and women, but of children throughout the civilised world.
The "Brothers Grimm," it must be remembered, were scholars of the
profoundest. The Teutonic folk-lore engaged them not simply or
mainly as a source of amusement, but as a subject proper for deep
investigation. They painfully gathered in out-of-the-way nooks from
the lips of old grandames in chimney corners and wandering singers in
obscure villages, the survivals of the primitive superstitions of the
people. These they subjected to scientific study as illustrating
the evolution of society, a deep persistent search with results
elaborately systematised, of which the delightful tales so widely
circulated are only a by-product. Aside from their service in the
field of folk-lore they grappled with many another mighty task. The
vast dictionary, in which German words are not only set down in their
present meaning but followed throughout every stage of their etymology
with their relations to their congeners in other tongues indefatigably
traced out, is a marvel of erudition. Theirs also was the great
_Deutsche Grammatik_, a philosophical setting forth of the German
tongue in its connection with its far-spreading Aryan affinities. The
"Brothers Grimm" were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their
deaths they are not divided. Jakob was never married. Wilhelm was
married, the child of the union being the distinguished man with whom
it was my fortune to talk.

They worked together affectionately until far into old age, and I have
described their graves in the _Matthai Kirchhof_ where they lie
side by side.

I found Hermann Grimm in the study which had been the workshop through
long years of his father and uncle. He was a handsome man in his
vigorous years and had married the daughter of Bettine von Arnim,
the Bettine of Goethe. It is not strictly right to class him as a
historian. He was poet, playwright, critic, and novelist, perhaps
mainly these, but soon after, in his position as a professor in the
university, he was to produce his well-known _Vorlesungen ueber
Goethe_, a work which though mainly critical, at the present time
is a biography of conspicuous merit, which envisages the events of a
famous epoch. I may, therefore, properly include him here, though
the wide range of his activities makes it difficult to place him
accurately. It paved the way for our interview that I knew Ralph Waldo
Emerson, of whom he was, in Germany, the special admirer and student.
He had just translated Emerson into German and sat at the feet of the
Concord sage, infused by his inspiration. Hermann Grimm had never seen
Emerson, and listened eagerly to such details as I could give him of
his personality. He dwelt with enthusiasm upon passages in poems
and essays by which he had been especially kindled, and hung upon my
account of the voice and refined outward traits of the teacher whom
he so reverenced. I afterwards procured a fine photograph of Hermann
Grimm which I sent to Emerson. A kind letter from him, which I still
treasure, let me know that I had put Emerson deeply in my debt; up to
that time he had never seen a portrait of his German disciple, though
the two men had been in affectionate correspondence. At a later
time they met and cemented a friendship which was very dear to both.
Hermann Grimm showed me with pride the relics of his father and uncle;
the rows of well-thumbed volumes; the wellscored _Heften_ over
which their hands had moved; their inkstands and pens; the rough
arm-chairs and tables where they had sat. I think a trace from the
smoke of their pipes and midnight lamp still adhered to the ceiling,
and possibly cobwebs still hung in the corners of the bookcases which
had been there from an ancient day.

Quaint portraits of the "Brothers Grimm" at work in their caps and
rough dressing-gowns were at hand, but Hermann Grimm had rather
the appearance of a well-groomed man of the world. His coat was
fashionable, his abundant hair and flowing beard were carefully
trimmed. He was not a recluse, though faithful to his heredity and
devoted mainly to scholarly research. He was at ease in the clubs
and also at Court and enjoyed the give and take of a social hour with



When, in 1851, I arrived as a freshman in Cambridge, I encountered
on my first visit to the post-office a figure standing on the steps,
which at once drew my attention. It was that of a man in his best
years, handsome, genial of countenance, and well-groomed. A silk hat
surmounted his well-barbered head and visage, a dark frock-coat was
buttoned about his form, his shoes were carefully polished and he
twirled a little cane. To my surprise he bowed to me courteously as
I glanced up. I was very humble, young westerner that I was in the
scholastic town, and puzzled by the friendly nod. The man was no other
than Longfellow, and in his politeness to me he was only following his
invariable custom of greeting in a friendly way every student he
met. His niceness of attire rather amused the boys of those days who,
however, responded warmly to his friendliness and loved him much.
This story was current. He had for some time been a famous man and
was subjected to much persecution from sight-seers which he bore
good-naturedly. Standing one day at the Craigie House gate he was
accosted by a lank backwoodsman: "Say, stranger, I have come from way
back; kin you tell me how I kin git to see the great North American
poet?" Longfellow, entering into the humour of the situation, gave to
the stranger his ready bow and responded: "Why, I am the great North
American poet," at the same time inviting him into the garden with
its pleasant outlook across the Charles toward the Brookline Hills.
It would be quite unjust to think that there was any conceit in his
remark, it was all a joke, but the thoughtless boys of those days
took it up, commemorating it in a song, a parody of the air

"Professor Longfellow is an excellent man,
He scratches off verses as fast as he can,
With a hat on one whisker and an air that says go it,--
He says I'm _the_ great North American poet.
Hey, fellow, bright fellow, Professor Longfellow,
He's the man that wrote Evangeline, Professor Longfellow."

This was my first introduction to college music and I often bore a
quavering tenor as we shouted it out in our freshman enthusiasm. The
ridicule, however, was only on the surface; we thoroughly liked and
respected the genial poet and it was a great sorrow to us that he
resigned during our course, although his successor was no other than
James Russell Lowell, whose star was then rising rapidly with the
_Biglow Papers_. It was our misfortune that the succession was
not close. We had two professors of modern literature, both famous
men, but the usual calamity befell us which attaches to those who
have two stools to sit upon. We fell to the ground. We had a little
of Longfellow and a little of Lowell, the gap in the succession
unfortunately opening for us. I did, however, hear Longfellow lecture
and it is a delightful memory. His voice was rich and resonant,
bespeaking refinement, and it was particularly in reading poetry
that it told. I recall a discussion of German lyrics, the criticism
interspersed with many readings from the poets noted, which was
deeply impressive. At one time he quoted the "Shepherd's Song" from
_Faust_, "Der Schaefer putzte sich zum Tanz." This he gave with
exquisite modulation, dwelling upon the refrain at the end of
each stanza, "Juchhe, Juchhe, Juchheise, heise, he, so ging der
Fiedelbogen!" This he recited with such effect that one imagined he
heard the touch of the bow upon the strings of the 'cello with the
mellow, long-drawn cadence. He read to us, too, with great feeling,
the simple lyric, _Die wandelnde Glocke_; upon me at least this
made so deep an impression that soon after having the class poem
to write, I based upon it my composition, devoting to it far too
assiduously the best part of my last college term. I have always
felt that I was near the incubation of Longfellow's best-known poem,
perhaps his masterpiece, the all-pervading _Hiawatha_. The
college chapel of those days was in University Hall and is now the
Faculty Room, a beautiful little chamber which sufficed sixty years
ago for the small company which then composed the student body.
At either end above the floor-space was a gallery. One fronted the
pulpit, curving widely and arranged with pews for the accommodation
of the professors and their families. Opposite this was the choir loft
over the preacher's head, a smaller gallery containing the strident
old-fashioned reed organ, and seats for the dozen or so who made up
the college choir. Places in the choir were much sought after, for
a student could stretch his legs and indulge in a comfortable yawn
unmolested by the scrutiny of the proctors who kept a sharp watch
on their brethren on the settees below. The professors brought their
families, and the daughters were sometimes pretty. Behind the green
curtains of the choir loft one could scan to his heart's content quite
unobserved the beauties at their devotions. The college choir of
my time contained sometimes boys who had interesting careers. The
organist who, while he manipulated the keys, growled at the same time
an abysmal bass, afterward became a zealous Catholic, dying in Rome as
Chamberlain in the Vatican of Pope Leo XIII. Horace Howard Furness
was the principal stay of the treble, his clear, strong voice carrying
far; my function was to afford to him a rather uncertain support. My
voice was not of the best nor was my ear quite sure. I ventured
once to criticise a fellow-singer as being off the _pitch_; he
retorted that I was _tarred_ from the same stick and he proved it
true, but there we sang together above the heads of venerable men who
preached. They were good men, sometimes great scholars, but the
ears they addressed were not always willing. A somewhat machine-like
sermoniser who, it was irreverently declared, ran as if wound up but
sometimes slipped a cog, had been known to pray "that the intemperate
might become temperate, the intolerant tolerant, the industrious
dustrious." Longfellow always came with his beautiful wife, the
heroine of _Hyperion_, whose tragic fate a few years later
shocked the world. He used to sit withdrawn into the corner of his
high-backed pew, separated from us in the choir loft by only a short
intervening space, motionless, absorbed in some far-away thought.
Though his eyes were sometimes closed I knew that he was not asleep;
what could be the topic on which his meditation was so intent? Not
long after _Hiawatha_ appeared, and I shall always believe that
in those Sunday musings in the quiet little chapel while the service
droned on he was far away.

"In the land of the Dakotas,
By the stream of Laughing Water."

Some years after came the affliction which. cast a deep shadow upon
his happy successful life. His wife one evening in light summer dress
was writing a letter, and, lighting a candle to seal it, dropped the
match among her draperies. The flame spread at once and she expired in
agony; Longfellow was himself badly burned in his effort to extinguish
the flames and always carried the scars. I did not see him in those
years but have heard that his mood changed, he was no longer careful
and debonair but often melancholy and dishevelled. Yet the sweetness
of his spirit persisted to the end. The critics of late have been busy
with Longfellow. His gift was inferior, they say, and his sentiment
shallow. Let them carp as they will, he holds, as few poets have
done, the hearts of men and women; still more he holds the hearts
of children, and the life of multitudes continues to be softened and
beautified by the gentle power of what he has written. Two or three
years since it was my good fortune to be present at the celebration in
Sanders Theatre of the centenary of Longfellow's birth. There was fine
encomium from distinguished men, but to me the charming part of the
occasion was the tribute of the school children who thronged upon the
stage and sang with fresh, pure voices, the _Village Blacksmith_,
the simple lines set to as simple music, "Under the spreading
chestnut-tree, the village smithy stands." In my time the old tree
still cast its shade over the highway which had scarcely yet ceased
to be a village street. The smithy, too, was at hand and the clink of
hammer upon anvil often audible; the blacksmith, I suppose had gone
to his account. During the children's performance a voice noticeably
clear and fine sounded in the high upper gallery, a happy suggestion
of the voice of the mother singing in paradise as the daughter sang
below. Honour to the poet who, while so many singers of our time
vex us with entanglements metaphysical and exasperating, had thought
always for the simplest hearts and attuned his lyre for them!

When I was in the Divinity School we organised a boat club, a
proceeding looked upon askance by sedate doctors of divinity and
church-goers who thought the young men would do better to stick to
their Hebrew, but T.W. Higginson exclaimed that now he had some hope
for the school. It did take time. It was a long walk from Divinity
Hall to the river nor was the exercise brief, I have found rarely more
rapturous pleasure than in the strenuous pulls I had on the Charles,
and I witnessed the development of much sturdy manliness among those
who, forsaking for a time their hermeneutics and homilies, gave
themselves to the outdoor sport. Our club included a number of
law-students and a young instructor or two; among the latter Charles
W. Eliot, then with his foot on the first round of the ladder which
he has climbed so high. Eliot pulled a capital stroke; my place was at
the bow oar where a rather light weight was required who at the
same time had head and strength enough to steer the boat among the
perplexing currents. Our excursions were sometimes long. Once we went
down the Back Bay, thence around Charlestown up the Mystic to Medford,
during which trip I steered the _Orion_ without a single rub,
going and coming under I think some forty draw-bridges. I have
scarcely ever received a compliment in which I took more pride
than when Eliot at the end, as we stood sweating and happy at the
boathouse, told me that I had proved myself a good pilot. One
evening, I remember, the sun had gone down and the surface of Back Bay
perfectly placid at full tide glowed with rich tints; the boats were
shooting numerously over the surface, cutting it sharply, the cut
presently closing behind in a faint cicatrice that extended far. I
thought of the beautiful simile in the _Autocrat of the Breakfast
Table_, just then appearing in the _Atlantic_. Holmes had seen
such things too, and said that they were like the wounds of the angels
during the wars in heaven as described in _Paradise Lost_, gashes
deep in the celestial bodies but closing instantly. In those years Dr.
Holmes was himself an enthusiastic oarsman and that night whom should
we encounter alone in his little skiff but the Autocrat himself, out
for his pleasure; he was plainly recognisable, though in most informal
athletic dress, and as we sped past him a few rods away, Eliot from
the stroke shouted a greeting over the water. "Why, Charlie," came
ringing back the Autocrat's voice, "I did not know you were old enough
to be out in a boat!" Charlie was old enough, in fact our best oar,
and took pleasure in demonstrating his maturity to the family friend
who had seen him grow up.

Dr. Holmes was one of the most versatile of men. We saw him here
at home with the oar in the open. He was an excellent professor of
anatomy, renowned for his insight and readiness in adapting means to
ends in the difficult science where his main work lay. Literature
was merely his hobby, and he was wit, critic, philosopher, historian,
poet, good in all. Many a brilliant man has come to wreck through
being too versatile. "_Ne sutor ultra crepidam_" is undoubtedly
a good motto for the ordinary man, but sticking to his last was
something to which Dr. Holmes could never bring himself, and in a
marvellous way his abounding genius proved masterful in a score of
varying fields. But I have no purpose here to discuss or account
for Dr. Holmes. He was a delightful phenomenon in the life of the
nineteenth century, with whom I chanced to be somewhat in touch,
and it is for me only to note a bit of the scintillation which I saw
brilliantly diffused. He was frequently under my gaze, a low-statured,
nimble figure, a vivacious, always cheerful face with a pronounced
chin, seemingly ever on the brink of some outburst of merriment. I
have heard him described as an "incarnate pun," but that hardly did
him justice; punster he was, but he had a wit of a far higher kind
and moods of grave dignity. His literary fame in those years was
only incipient, his better work was just then beginning. The world
appreciated him as a humourist of the lighter kind and capable, too,
of spirited verse like _Old Ironsides_; it was not understood
that he possessed profounder powers and could stir men to the depths.
I have a vivid image of him at a banquet of the Harvard Alumni
Association of which he was Second Vice-President, clothed in white
summer garb, standing in a chair that his little figure might be
in evidence in the crowd, merrily rattling off a string of amusing

"I thank you, Mr. President,
You kindly broke the ice,
Virtue should always go before,
I'm only _second vice_."

These were the opening lines and the audience responded with roars to
the inimitable fun-maker. In later years we learned to accord him a
higher appreciation. The _Autocrat_ and the _Professor at the
Breakfast Table_ have deep and acute thought as well as wit, and
what one of our poets has produced a grander or more solemn lyric than
the _Chambered Nautilus_? I dwell with emotion upon the funeral
of Lowell, in itself a touching occasion, because it so happened that
I saw on that day three great men for the last time, Justin Winsor,
Phillips Brooks, and Dr. Holmes. I stood on the stairs at the rear of
Appleton Chapel as the audience came down the aisle at the close. The
coffin of Lowell rested for a moment on the grass under its wreaths,
President Eliot and Holmes walked side by side; I have a distinct
image of the countenance of Holmes as they came slowly out. It was no
longer a young face but it had all the old vivacity and even at the
moment was cheerful rather than serious; it had not, however, the
cheerfulness of a man who looks lightly on life, but that of one whose
philosophy enables him to conquer sorrow and look beyond, the face
of a man who might write a triumphant hymn even in an atmosphere of
death. These lines ran in my thought:

"Build thee more stately mansions, oh my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low vaulted past,
Let each new temple, nobler than the last
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine out-grown shell
By life's unresting sea!"

The fame of James Russell Lowell, too, in these years was incipient.
As a writer he had shown himself to be elegantly schooled, but in the
_Fable for Critics_ and the _Biglow Papers_, he had burst
forth as a most effective and slashing satirist. His culture was
closely and perfectly fitted, but when scratched, revealing in full
proportions the "Whang-doodle" Yankee. The whang, however, handling
with all the deftness in the world the broadest and subtlest themes,
and the doodle standing for a patriotism of the noblest. Those
who came into close connection with him say that he grew morbidly
fastidious, shrinking from coarse contacts and was happy at last only
in a delicate environment. When in health, nevertheless, he was a
Yankee of the truest, though sublimated by his genius and superb
accomplishments. I know a little inn far away among the hills on whose
porch half concealed by the honeysuckle, Lowell is said often to have
sat listening to the dialect of the farmers who "vanned" and "vummed"
as they disputed together in the evenings after the chores were done.
Lowell had the dialect in his very bones, and loved it, but took pains
to confirm his knowledge of it by studying on the sod.

"An' yit I love the unhighschooled ways
Ol' farmers hed when I was younger--
Their talk wuz meatier and would stay,
While book-froth seems to whet your hunger.
For puttin' in a downright lick 'twixt humbug's
eyes, there's few can metch it.
An' then it helves my thoughts as slick, ez stret
grained hickory does a hetchet."

On one occasion I heard Lowell tell a story in which he surrendered
himself fully to the rustic heredity that was in him, flinging aside
the accretions of culture. "It is strange," he said, "how even the
moral sense of men may become warped. In a certain Cape Cod village,
for instance, it had long been the custom to profit from the wrecks
that happened upon the dangerous shore, until at last the setting
of false lights and the appropriation of the lost cargoes became a
legitimate business. One Sunday a congregation at church (they were
rigid Puritans and punctilious about worship) was startled by the news
that a West India ship loaded with sugar was going to pieces on the
rocks near by. The birds of prey flocked to make prize of the booty.
A good deacon bagged a large quantity of sugar, piling it on the shore
while he went for his oxen to carry it home. The bad boys, however,
resolved to play a trick on the deacon; they emptied out the sugar and
filled the bags with clean, brown sand, which counterfeited well. This
the deacon laboriously carted to his barn, and only came to a sense of
his loss when his wife at night attempted to sweeten his tea from
the bags. This brought out from the deacon the following remark: 'I
declare, when I felt that 'ar sand agrittin' between my teeth, I don't
know but it was wicked, but I e'en a'most wished that there wouldn't
never be another wreck!'" Lowell told the story with all the humour
possible, rendering the deacon's remark with a twang and an emphatic
dwelling on the double negative (a thing which Lowell believed we had
suffered to drop out of polite speech unfortunately) with inimitable
effect and most evident enjoyment. The substratum of the man was
Yankee but probably no other of the stock has so enriched himself with
the best of all lands and times. He had a most delicate sense of what
was best worth while in all literatures and absorbed it to the full.
One of the greatest mistakes I ever made was in neglecting to become a
member of his class in Dante when the opportunity came to me. What
an interpreter he was of the soul of the great Italian, and with what
unerring instinct he penetrated to what was best in the sages and
poets of the world everywhere! His own gifts as poet and thinker were
of the finest, and they were set off with acquirements marvellous
in their range and in the unerring precision with which they were
selected. I recall him at a very impressive moment. Many regard
Lowell's _Commemoration Ode_, read at the Commemoration in 1865
of the Harvard soldiers who had taken part in the Civil War, as the
high-water mark of American poetry. Whether or not that claim is just
I shall not debate, but it is a great composition and perhaps Lowell's
best. The occasion was indeed a noble one. A multitude had collected
in the college-yard and through it wound the brilliant procession
of soldiers who had taken part in the war, marching to the drum and
wearing for the last time the uniform in which they had fought. From
Major-Generals and Admirals down to the high privates, all were in
blue, and the sun glittered resplendent on epaulet and lace worn
often by men who walked with difficulty, halting from old wounds. The
exercises in the church, the singing of Luther's hymn, _A Mighty
Fortress is our God_, the oration and the impressive prayer of
Phillips Brooks were finished. The assembly collected under the great
tent which filled the quadrangle formed by the street, Harvard and
Hollis Halls and Holden Chapel. I sat at the corner by the side
of Phillips Brooks. He was the Chaplain of the day and I had been
honoured by a commission to speak for the rank and file. The speeches,
though not always happy, preserved a good level of excellence. At
length came Lowell. He stood with his back toward Hollis about midway
of the space. He was then in his best years, brown-haired, dark-eyed,
rather short-necked, with a full strong beard, his intellectual face,
an Elizabethan face, surmounting a sturdy body. His manner was not
impassioned, he read from a manuscript with distinctness which could
be heard everywhere, but I do not recall that his face kindled or his
voice trembled. Even in the more elevated passages, I think we
hardly felt as he proceeded that it was the culmination of the day's
utterances and that we were really then and there in an epoch-making
event. Unfortunately for me my speech was yet to come and, unpractised
as I was, I was uncomfortably nervous as to what I should say. I
lost therefore the full effect of the masterpiece. One or two of the
speakers on the programme had dropped out and behold it was my
turn. The announcement of my name with a brief introduction from the
chairman struck my ear, and it was for me to stand on my feet and do
my best. My voice sounded out into the great space in which the echo
of Lowell's was scarcely silent. I spoke for the rank and file and in
my whole career of nearly eighty years it was perhaps the culminating
moment, when fate placed me in a juxtaposition so memorable.

In 1857 I sent a poem to the _Atlantic_ then just beginning
under his editorship. My poem came back with the comment, "Hardly good
enough, but the writer certainly deserves encouragement." This frost,
though not unkind, nipped my budding aspirations in that direction. I
hung my modest harp on the willows and have almost never since twanged
the strings. At a later time in England I came into pleasant relations
with Lowell and saw his tender side. His term as Minister to England
had come to a close. He had just lost his wife and was in deep
affliction, the sorrow telling upon his health, but he took kind
thought for me and helped me zealously in my quest of materials for
a considerable historical work. He enable me to approach august
personages whom otherwise I could not have reached; in particular
securing for me a great courtesy from the Duke of Cleveland, a
descendant of Vane, who gave me _carte blanche_ to visit Raby
Castle in Durham, Vane's former home, a magnificent seat not usually
open to visitors but which I saw thoroughly. I have already mentioned
the funeral of Lowell. It took place on a lovely day in the August of
1891. The procession passed from Appleton Chapel to Mount Auburn, and
I, hurrying on reached the open grave before the line arrived. It was
a spot of great beauty in a dell below the pleasant Indian Ridge on
which just above lies the grave of Longfellow. At a few rods' distance
is the sunny bank where later was laid to rest Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Close at hand to the grave of Lowell lay his gifted wife, Maria
White who wrote the lovely poem "The Alpine Shepherd," and the three
brilliant and intrepid nephews who were slain in the Civil War. The
old horn-beams, quaint and unusual trees, stand sentry on either hand.
I saw the coffin lowered. Standing just behind Phillips Brooks, I
heard for the last time the voice of my boyhood friend reading with
tenderness the burial service. One final experience remained for me
on that day which I especially treasure. Leaving the cemetery I walked
the short distance to the gate of Elmwood, the birthplace and always
the home of Lowell. This spot he especially loved, he knew its trees,
every one, and the birds and squirrels that came to visit them. I
stood at the gate looking toward the old mansion aloof among the
woods. I had often stood there and looked toward the house, but now
it had a different aspect; usually its doors and windows were tightly
closed, but now everything was wide open, the mourners had not
returned to the house and at the moment no living being was visible.
The windows and the portal looked out upon the late afternoon, in the
dead silence; in the heightened feeling of the moment it seemed to me
that the mansion had come to life, that it missed the fine spirit that
had so lately flown forth from it, that with lids widely apart and
distressful it looked forth into the great spacious heavens after a
loved soul that had passed from it into the world beyond. It was only
a dream of my excited fancy, but I shall always think of Elmwood as it
was that afternoon.

I am so fortunate as to have a close association with the town of
Concord. My first American ancestor, landing from his ship in 1635,
went thither with the earliest settlers and established himself on
the level at the west of the town, at that time I suppose the outmost
Anglo-Saxon frontier of the Western continent. Seven generations
of his descendants have lived in the town. I am in the eighth, and,
though not native, and only transiently resident, I have a love for
it and it is a town worth loving. It is fair by nature, pleasant hills
rising among green levels and the placid river creeping toward the
sea. It still maintains its vigorous town-meeting and holds well to
the ancient traditions. The thirteen colonies made on its soil their
first forcible resistance to British aggression and there is no
village in America so associated with great men of letters. When a
boy of ten in 1844 I was swapped with a cousin, he going for a year to
western New York, while I went for a year to the house of my aunt in
Concord, the ancient homestead out of which eighty years before my
great-grandfather had gone with gun in hand to take his part with
the Minute Men. Emerson had just become famous through _Nature_,
Thoreau was then a young man quite unknown to fame. The Alcotts the
year before had lived next door to my aunt, Louisa, a child of twelve,
and her sisters the "Little Women" whom the world now knows so well.
Close to the Battle Ground stood the two tall gate-posts behind which
lay the "Old Manse" whose "Mosses" Hawthorne was just then preserving
for immortality. With all these I then, or a little later, came into
touch and I can tell how the figures looked as scanned by the eyes of
a boy.

Thoreau in those days was known in the town as an irregular, eccentric
spirit, rather hopeless for any practical purpose. He could make a
good lead-pencil but having mastered the art he dropped it, preferring
to lead a vagabond life, loitering on the river and in the woods,
rather to the disquietude of the community, though he had a
comfortable home cared for by his good mother and sister. He housed
himself in a wigwam at Walden Pond and was suspected of having started
from the brands of his camp a forest fire which had spread far. This
strange man, rumour said, had written a book no copy of which had ever
been sold. It described a week on the Concord and Merrimac rivers. The
edition fell dead from the press, and all the books, one thousand or
more, he had collected in his mother's house, a queer library of these
unsold books which he used to exhibit to visitors laughing grimly over
his unfortunate venture in the field of letters. My aunt sent me one
day to carry a message to Mrs. Thoreau and my rap on her door was
answered by no other man than this odd son who, on the threshold
received my message. He stood in the doorway with hair which looked as
if it had been dressed with a pine-cone, inattentive grey eyes, hazy
with far-away musings, an emphatic nose and disheveled attire that
bore signs of tramps in woods and swamps. Thinking of the forest fire
I fancied he smelled of smoke and peered curiously up the staircase
behind him hoping I might get a glimpse of that queer library all
of one book duplicated one thousand times. The story went that his
artless mother used to say that Emerson, when he talked, imitated
Henry, and I well recall a certain slow hesitation and peculiar upward
intonation which made me think of Emerson at whose house I had often
been. The _Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers_ found
its public at last and I suppose a copy of the first edition,
authenticated as having belonged to that queer library, would easily
bring to-day in the market its weight in gold. Whether or not
Thoreau deserves great fame the critics sometimes discuss. I heard a
distinguished man say that he was greatly inferior to Gilbert White
of Selbourne, and I myself feel that Lowell in some of his essays
recording his study of the nature life at Elmwood equalled in fine
insight, and surpassed in expression the observer at Concord. Then in
these later years we have had John Muir and John Burroughs who cannot
be set low, but among American writers Thoreau was the pioneer of
nature-study. Audubon had preceded him but he worked mainly with the
brush; to multitudes Thoreau opened the gate to the secrets of our
natural environment. The subtle delicacy of the grass-blade, the
crystals of the snowflake, the icicle, the marvel of the weird
lines traced by the flocks of wild geese athwart the heavens as they
migrated, these he watched and recorded with loving accuracy and
sensitive poetic feeling as no one in our land before had done. I have
thrown a stone upon the cairn at Walden Pond which has now grown so
high through the tributes of his grateful admirers. I shall throw
still others in grateful admiration if the opportunity comes to me.

Many years ago I used to feel that Louisa Alcott and I were in a
certain way bracketed together. Both were children of Concord in a
sense, she by adoption and I through the fact that it had been the
home of my forbears for seven generations. We were nearly of the
same age and simultaneously made our first ventures into the world of
letters, taking the same theme, the Civil War. One phase of this she
portrayed in her _Hospital Sketches_, another, I in my _Colour
Guard_. So we started in the race together but Louisa soon
distanced me, emerging presently into matchless proficiency in her
books for children. I sometimes saw her after she had become famous
when she was attuning sweetly the hearts of multitudes of children
with her fine humanity. She was a stately handsome woman with a most
gracious and unobtrusive manner. She mingled with her neighbours, one
of the quietest members of the circle. Said a kinswoman of mine who
lived within a few doors:

It is so hard to think of Louisa as being a
distinguished personage; she sits down here with her
knitting or brings over her bread to be baked in
my oven as anybody might do, and chats about village
matters, as interested over the engagements of
the girls and sympathising with those in sorrow as
if she had no broader interest.

She was indeed one of those who bore her honours meekly. I recall
her vividly when she was well past youth, in the enjoyment of the
substantial gains success had brought. In her childhood she had known
pinching poverty, for her philosophic father could never exchange his
lucubrations for bread and clothes, philosophising, however, none the
less. But her success brought with it no flush, only an opportunity
for her pleasant service. In these years my mood toward her had quite
changed; at first I had thought of her as a competitor, perhaps as on
my level. When I learned, however, that about that time she had been
reading my _History of German Literature_ with approval, I felt
that I was greatly honoured, that a mind of high distinction had
condescended to notice my pages. During the '80s when the "School
of Philosophy" was holding its sessions in the rustic temple on the
Lexington Road where her Orphic father was hierophant, it was rumoured
that Louisa looked somewhat askance upon the sublimated discussions
of the brotherhood that gathered. What was said was very wise, but
far removed from what one finds in children's books, but Louisa was
sometimes present, a dignified hostess to the strangers who came,
taking her modest part among the women in the entertainment of the
guests but never in the conclave as a participant. Alas! that she went
so prematurely to her grave in "Sleepy Hollow"!

Hawthorne came into my consciousness when I was a boy of ten at school
near the tall stone gate-posts immortalised by the great novelist
as guarding the entrance to the Old Manse. The big gambrel-roofed
building standing close to the Battle Ground as it stood on the 19th
of April, 1775, was unpainted and weather-stained, the structure
showing dark among the trees as one looked from the road. All the
world knows it as described outside and in by its famous tenant. It
is a shrine which may well evoke breathless interest. The ancient
wainscoting, the ample low-studded rooms, the quaint fireplace, and at
the rear toward the west the windows with their small panes on some
of which Hawthorne made inscriptions. "Every leaf and twig is outlined
against the sky," or words to that effect, "scratched with my wife's
diamond ring"; here the sunset pours in gorgeously but there is more
of shadow than sunlight about the Old Manse, and that is befitting for
a dwelling with associations somewhat sombre. In later years Hawthorne
occupied a house on the Lexington Road, new and modern, writing there
some famous books in an upper study said to be accessible only through
a trap-door, but the Old Manse was the appropriate home for him. It
was there that his young genius produced its earlier fruit and it
deserves to be particularly cherished. As a little child I went once
with my father and mother to Brook Farm in West Roxbury, at the time
when the community was most interesting. The famous disciples of
Fourier were then, I suppose, for the most part present, Margaret
Fuller, Hawthorne, George Ripley, George William Curtis, Charles A.
Dana and the rest, but I was too young to take note of them. I
recall only George Ripley, the head of the enterprise, in a rough
working-blouse who welcomed us at the gate. My father and he were old
friends and as supper-time came and the community gathered singly and
in groups in the dining-hall from the fields and groves outside, he
said to my father: "Your seat at the table will be next to Hawthorne,
but I shall not introduce you, Mr. Hawthorne prefers not to be
introduced to people." It was a cropping out of the strange aloofness
for which Hawthorne was marked. He could do his part in the day's
work, be a man among men, dicker with the importers at the Salem
Custom House and as Consul at Liverpool, rub effectively with the
traders, but his choice was always for solitude, he liked to go for
days without speaking to a human being and to live withdrawn from the
contacts of the world, even from his neighbours and family. Probably
it was because he was so thoroughly a recluse that I recall seeing
Hawthorne only once, although he was in the village in whose streets
I was constantly passing. Driving one day on the road near his home a
companion exclaimed, "There goes Mr. Hawthorne on the sidewalk!" I
put my head forward quickly to get a glimpse from the cover of the
carriage of so famous a personage, and at the roadside was a fine,
tall, athletic person with handsome features. My quick movement
forward in the carriage he took for a bow and he returned it raising
his hat with gentlemanly courtesy, it was all through a mistake that
I got this bow from Hawthorne but all the same I treasure it. A
sister-in-law of his, who was often an inmate of his home, told me
that Hawthorne really believed in ghosts. It will be remembered that
in the introduction to the _Mosses from an Old Manse_, Hawthorne
speaks of the spectre of an ancient minister who haunted it, the
rustling of his silken gown was sometimes heard in the hallways. My
friend attributed this passage to something which happened during one
of her visits. She sat one evening with her sister and Hawthorne in
the low-studded living-room, and, as was often the case, in silence.
She thought she heard in the entry the rustling of silk, it might
have been a whistling of the wind or the swaying of a drapery, but
it seemed to her like the sweeping along of a train of silk. At the
moment she thought that Mrs. Hawthorne was passing through the entry,
but rousing herself from her abstraction she saw her sister sitting
quiet and remembered that she had been so sitting for a considerable
interval. "Why, I distinctly heard," said she, "the rustling of a silk
gown in the entry!" The sisters rose and went into the hallway for an
explanation, but all was dark and still, no draperies were stirring,
no wind whistled, and they returned to their chairs, talking for a
moment over the mysterious sound, then relapsing into their former
quiet. Hawthorne meantime sat dreaming, apparently not noticing the
light ripple in the quiet of the evening; but not long after--when my
friend read the _Mosses from an Old Manse_, she found that the
incident had made an impression upon him and that he interpreted the
sound as a ghostly happening. She told me another story which she said
she had directly from Hawthorne. During a sojourn in Boston he
often went to the reading-room of the Athenaeum and was particularly
interested to see a certain newspaper. This paper he often found in
the hands of an old man and he was sometimes annoyed because the old
man retained it so long. The old man lived in a suburb and for some
reason was equally interested with himself in that paper. This went on
for weeks until one day Hawthorne, entering the room, found the paper
as usual in the hands of this man. Hawthorne sat down and waited
patiently as often before until the old man had finished. After a time
the man rose, put on his hat and overcoat, and took his departure. As
the door of the reading-room closed behind him Hawthorne took up
the paper which lay in disorder as the man had left it, when, lo and
behold, his eye fell in the first column on a notice of the old man's
death. He was at the moment lying dead in his house in the suburbs and
yet Hawthorne had beheld him but a moment before in his usual guise
reading the paper in the Athenaeum! My friend said that Hawthorne told
her the story quietly without attempt at explanation and she believed
his thought was that he had actually seen a ghost. The readers of
Hawthorne will recall passages which are consonant with the idea that
Hawthorne believed in ghosts.

No other author has affected me quite so profoundly as did Hawthorne.
The period of my development from childhood through youth to maturity
was coeval with the time of his literary activities. The first vivid
impression I received from books came from his stories for
children, _Grandfather's Chair_, _Famous Old People_, and _The
Liberty Tree_; when somewhat older I read _The Rill from the Town
Pump_ and _Little Annie's Ramble_, still later came the weird
creations in which Hawthorne's expanding genius manifested
itself, such as _The Minister's Black Veil_, _Rappaccini's
Daughter_, and _The Celestial Railroad_. And not less in young
manhood I was awed and absorbed in the great works of his maturity,
_The Scarlet Letter_, _The Blithedale Romance_, _The House
of the Seven Gables_, and the _Marble Faun._ Meat and drink as
they were to me in my youth and first entrance into life, I naturally
feel that the author of these books was in mind profoundly powerful.
In point of genius among our Americans I should set no man before him.
He was not a moral inspirer nor a leader, he gave to no one directly
any spiritual uplift, nor did he help one directly to strength in
fighting the battles of life. He was a peerless artist portraying
marvellously the secret things of the human soul, his concrete
pictures taken from the old Puritan society, from the New England of
his day and from the passionate Italian life. He portrays but he draws
no lesson any more than Shakespeare, his books are pictures of the
souls of men, of the sweet and wholesome things and also the weakness,
the sin and the morbid defect. These having been revealed the reader
is left to his own inferences. It is fully made plain that he was
a soft-hearted man, at any rate in his earlier time. The stories
he wrote at the outset for children are often full of sweetness and
sympathy. But as he went on with his work these qualities are less
apparent, the spirit of the artist more and more prevailing, until he
paints with relentless realism even what is hideous, not approving or
condemning; it is part of life and must be set down. Many have thought
it strange that Hawthorne apparently had no patriotism. In our Civil
War he stood quite indifferent, a marked contrast with the men among
whom he lived and who like him have literary eminence. These passages
stand in his diary and letters. "February 14, 1862, Frank Pierce came
here to-night.... He is bigoted as to the Union and sees nothing
but ruin without it. Whereas I should not much regret an ultimate
separation." "At present we have no country.... New England is really
quite as large a lump of earth as my heart can take in. I have no
kindred with or leaning toward the abolitionists." But his coolness to
his country's welfare was of a piece with the general coolness toward
well and ill in the affairs of the world. Humanity rolls before him
as it did before Shakespeare, sometimes weak, sometimes heroic,
depressed, exultant, suffering, happy. He did not concern himself to
regulate its movement, to heighten its joy, or mitigate its sorrow.
His work was to portray it as it moved, and in that conception of
his mission he established his masterfulness as an artist, though it
abates somewhat, does it not? from his wholeness as a man.

Some years ago in introducing Dr. Edward Waldo Emerson to an audience
in St. Louis, I said that our great-grandfathers had stood together
with the Minute Men of Concord at the North Bridge on the 19th of
April, 1775. His ancestor as their minister inspiring them with the
idea of freedom, my ancestor as an officer, who by word and deed kept
the farmers firm before the British volleys. The old-time connection
between the two families persisted. Ralph Waldo Emerson and my father
were contemporaries coming through the Harvard gate into the small
company of Unitarian ministers at about the same period and somewhat
associated in their young manhood. Mrs. Emerson had been Lydia Jackson
of Plymouth, baptised, into the old Pilgrim Parish by the father of my
mother. Lydia Jackson and my mother had been girls together, and good
friends. It was natural, therefore, that, with these antecedents when
I as a young boy arrived in Concord, I should come into touch with the
Emersons. They were indeed pleasant friends to me, both Mr. and Mrs.
Emerson receiving with kindness the child whose parents they had known
when children. The Emerson house on the Lexington Road is to-day a
world-renowned shrine, sixty years ago it was the quiet home of a
peaceful family, lovely as now through its natural beauty but not
yet sought out by many pilgrims. The fame of Emerson, only recently
established by his _Nature_ and the earlier poems, was just
beginning to spread into world-wide proportions.

I have before me his image, in his vigorous years, the sloping rather
narrow shoulders, the slender frame erect and sinewy but never robust,
and a keen, firm face. In his glance was complete kindliness and also
profound penetration. His nose was markedly expressive, sharp, and
well to the fore. In his lips there was geniality as well as firmness.
His smooth hair concealed a head and brow not large but well rounded.
His face was always without beard. Though slight, he was vigorous and
the erect figure striding at a rapid pace could be encountered any day
in all weathers, not only on the streets but in the fields and woods.
Unlike his neighbour Hawthorne his instincts were always social. He
mingled affably with low and high and I have never heard a more hearty
tribute to him than came from an Irish washwoman, his neighbour, who
only knew him as he chatted with her over the fence about the round of
affairs that interested her. He always had a smile and a pleasant word
for the school-children and at town-meeting bore his part among the
farmers in discussing the affairs of the community. His voice in
particular bespoke the man. It had a rich resonance and a subtle
quality that gave to the most cursory listener an impression of
culture. His speech was deliberate, sometimes hesitating, and his
phrases often, even when he talked on simple themes, had especial
point and appropriateness.

As a child I recall him among groups of children in his garden a
little aloof but beaming with a happy smile. At a later time, when
I was in college, we used sometimes to walk the twenty miles from
Cambridge to Concord and the student group always found in him a
hospitable entertainer. By that time he had reached the height of his
fame. Those of us who sought him had been readers of _Nature_ or
the poems, of _Representative Men_, and of _English Traits_.
For my own part while I did not always understand his thought, much
of it was entering into my very fibre. In particular the essays on
self-reliance and idealism were moulding my life. We approached him
with some awe, "If he asks me where I live," said one of our number,
a boy who was slain in the Civil War, "I shall tell him I can be
found at No. So-and-so of such an alley, but if you mean to predicate
concerning the spiritual entity, I dwell in the temple of the infinite
and I breathe the breath of truth." But when Emerson met us at the
gate, things were not at all on a high transcendental plane. There was
a hearty "Good-morning," significant from him as he stood among the
syringas, and there were sandwiches and strawberries in profusion, a
plain bread-and-butter atmosphere very pleasant to us after a long and
dusty tramp. On one occasion Emerson withdrew into the background, we
thought too much, while he gave the front place in the library, after
he had superintended royally the satisfaction of our bodily needs, to
his neighbour Bronson Alcott. Mr. Alcott white-haired and oracular,
talked to us about Shakespeare. There was probably a secondary sense
in every line of Shakespeare which would become apparent to all such
as attained the necessary fineness of soul. Perhaps we should find in
this the gospel of a new Covenant in which Shakespeare would be the
great teacher and leader. Mysteries were gathering about him, who was
he? Who really wrote his plays and poems? The adumbrations of a new
supernatural figure were looming in the conception of the world.
Mr. Alcott mused through the afternoon in characteristic fashion and
Emerson sat with us, silently absorbing the mystic speculation.

But Mr. Emerson was not always silent. A good friend of his who was
akin to me and over partial, invited him to her house with a little
circle of neighbours and lo, I was to furnish the entertainment! I had
written a college poem and with some sinking of heart I learned that I
was to read it to this company of which Emerson was to be a member.
I faced the music and for half an hour rolled off my stanzas. At the
close, my kinswoman arranged that I should talk with Emerson in a
corner by ourselves and for another half-hour he talked to me. I am
bound to say that he said little about my poem, but devoted himself
almost entirely to an enthusiastic outpouring over Walt Whitman's
_Leaves of Grass_, an advance copy of which had just been sent
him. A stronger commendation of a piece of literary work than he gave
it would be hard to conceive. He had been moved by it to the depths
and his forecast for its author was a fame of the brightest. It was
then I first heard of Walt Whitman. Soon after the world heard much
of him and it still hears much of him. Emerson did not confine the
expression of his admiration of Walt Whitman to me, as the world
knows; he expressed it with an equal outspokenness to the poet, who
curiously enough thought it proper to print it in gilt letters on the
cover of his book, "I greet you at the beginning of a great career."
To do that was certainly a violation of literary comity, but who shall
give laws to rough-riding genius! It is a penalty of eminence to be
made sponsor unwittingly before the public for men and things when
reticence would seem better. At any rate it brought Whitman well into
notice and I have never heard, rough diamond though he undoubtedly
was, that Walt Whitman's withers were wrung by this breach of

There is a little nook by Gore Hall in Cambridge with which I have
a queer medley of associations. One night I was tossed in a blanket
there during my initiation into the Hasty Pudding Club. Precisely
there I met Emerson rather memorably on the Commemoration Day in 1865
when he said to me, glancing at my soldier's uniform, in very simple
words but with an intonation that betrayed deep feeling, "This day
belongs to you." Immediately after, hard by I shook hands with Meade,
the towering stately victor of Gettysburg in the full uniform of a
corps commander, in contrast indeed to the slight, plainly-dressed
philosopher. And only the other day I helped my little granddaughter
to feed the grey squirrels in the same green nook from which the
rollicking boys, the sage, and the warrior have so long since

I have heard it remarked by a man of much literary discrimination that
Emerson's poetic gift was pre-eminent and that he should have made
verse and not prose his principal medium for expression. As it is his
poems are few, his habitual medium being prose. The critic attributed
this to a distrust which Emerson felt of his power of dealing with
poetic form, the harmonious arrangement of lines. He felt that Emerson
was right in his judgment of himself, that there was a defect here,
and that it was well for him to choose as he did. All this I hesitate
to accept. As regards form, while the verse of Emerson certainly is
sometimes rough, few things in poetry are more exquisite than many
verses which all will recall. What stanzas ever flowed more sweetly
than these written for the dedication of the Concord monument? "By
the rude bridge that arched the flood," or the little poem on the
snow-storm, "Announced by all the trumpets of the sky arrives the
snow." _The Boston Hymn_, too, though in parts informal to the
point of carelessness, has passages of the finest music,

"The rocky nook with hill-tops three,
Looked eastward from the farms
And twice each day the flowing sea
Took Boston in its arms."

Emerson when he gave his mind to it could sing as harmoniously as the
best. Possibly we ought to regret that he did not write for the most
part in verse. It is verse which comes and clings most closely to our
souls and which memory holds most permanently. Prose is the inferior
medium when a great utterance is addressed to men, it is the singer
pre-eminently who holds our hearts and lives forever. But Emerson
chose to be what he was and we are thankful for him. Many were vexed
with Matthew Arnold whom we thought depreciatory, but I find no fault
with his summing up of Emerson, "as the friend of all those who seek
to live in the spirit." His prose and poetry are a precious possession
and we should be grateful for both, and for him. But my purpose here
as always is not to criticise but only to touch the light outside
things, pausing at the edge of profundities.

I knew Emerson when I was a child and I also knew him when I was well
advanced in years at a time when, of course, he was close upon his
end. His old age was pathetic. As often happens his memory failed
while his other faculties were strong and the embarrassment of the
thinker aroused sadness in those who came near him as the trusty
servant fell short, though the mind in general was active. Emerson
felt that I had put him under some obligation by giving him the
first portrait he had ever seen of his faithful German disciple and
translator Hermann Grimm. Perhaps that helped the welcome with which I
was received when I went to see him not far from the end.

I had as a fellow-guest a man who had long been intimate with him and
whom he was very glad to see; talking after tea in the library Emerson
said, "I want to tell you about a friend in Germany, his name I cannot
remember," and he moved to and fro uneasily, in his effort to recall
it. "This friend with whom we have taken tea to-night, whose name also
I cannot remember," here again came a distressed look at the failure
of his faculty, "I cannot remember his name either, but he can tell
you of this German friend whose name I have also forgotten." It was a
sorrow to see the breaking down of a great spirit and his agitation as
he was conscious of his waning power. And yet so far as I could see,
it was only the memory that was going; the intellectual strength was
still apparent and the amiability of his spirit was perhaps even
more manifest than in the years when he was in the full possession of
himself. This came out in little things; he was over-anxious at the
table lest the hospitality should come short, troubled about the
supply of butter and apple-sauce, and soon after I saw him on his
knees on the hearth taking care that the fire should catch the wood to
abate the evening coolness that was gathering in the room. At the same
time his mood was playful. Mrs. Emerson sat at hand, a woman in her
old age of striking beauty, with her silver hair beneath a cap of
lace, her violet eyes, and her white face. Miss Ellen Emerson, too,
was present, shielding her father in his decline like a guardian
angel. Mrs. Emerson spoke with pleasure of her old life at Plymouth.
"Ah, Plymouth," broke in Emerson, "that town of towns. We shall never
hear the last of Plymouth!" And so he rallied his wife merrily over
her patriotic love for her birthplace. The time was coming for him
to go and he went serenely, the vital cord softly and gradually
disengaged. In Sleepy Hollow lie near each other the four memorable
graves, Hawthorne's, Thoreau's, Louisa Alcott's, and Emerson's. I know
the spot well, on the ridge which slopes up from the lower ground,
for there my own kin lie buried. Upon the same ridge rise the tall
oracular pines and there is always a sweet murmur which the feeling
heart understands as a sub-conscious requiem breathed by the "Nature"
of which these fine spirits were the interpreters.

A day or two after entering college I made one of a group of freshmen,
who, as the dusk fell, were working off their surplus energy by
jumping over the posts along the curbstone of a quiet street. One of
our number had an unfair advantage, his length of leg being so great
that as he bestrode the post, he scarcely needed to take his feet from
the ground, while for the rest of us a good hop was necessary fairly
to clear the top. That is my earliest memory of Phillips Brooks. Big
as he was, he was a year, perhaps two years, younger than most of us,
and had the boyishness proper to his immaturity. He had come from his
long training in the Boston Latin School, was reputed, like the rest
of his class, to be able to repeat the Latin and Greek grammars from
beginning to end, exceptions, examples, and all, and to have at his
tongue's end other acquirements equally wonderful in the eyes of us
boys who in our distant Western homes had had a smaller chance. He was
an excellent scholar without needing to apply himself, and perhaps
had more distinction in the student societies than in the class-room.
Socially he was good-natured and playful, never aggressive, too modest
to be a leader, rather reticent. It was with surprise that I heard
Brooks for the first time in a college society. The quiet fellow of a
sudden poured out a torrent of words and, young though I was, I
felt that they were not empty. There was plenty of thought and
well-arranged knowledge. This pregnant fluency always characterised
his public deliverances. Of late years it has been reported that
he had at first a defect of speech, and to this the extraordinary
momentum of his utterance was due. In the early time I never heard of
this. He did not stammer, nor was there other impediment; only this
preternaturally rapid outpouring on occasion, from a man usually
quiet. When I heard him preach in later years the peculiarity
remained. It was the Phillips Brooks of the Institute of 1770,
matured, however, into noble spiritual power.

Brooks had attained nearly or quite his full height on entering
college, nor was he slender. His large frame was too loosely knit
to admit of his becoming an athlete. He had no interest in outdoor
sports. I do not recall that he was warmly diligent in study or
general reading. His mind worked quickly and easily. Without effort he
stood well in the class, absorbing whatever other knowledge he touched
without much searching. His countenance and head in boyhood were
noticeably fine, the forehead broad and full, the beardless face
lighting up readily with an engaging smile, the eyes large and
lustrous. It was evident that a good and able man must come out from
the boy Phillips Brooks, but no one, not even President Walker, who
was credited with an almost uncanny penetration in divining the
future of his boys, would have predicted the career of Brooks. Though
decorous and high-minded he was not marked as a religious man. If he
were so, he kept it to himself. Though sometimes hilarious, he was
never ungentle or inconsiderate, a wholesome, happy youth, having due
thought for others and for his own walk and conversation, but without
touch of formal piety. When I was initiated into the Hasty Pudding
Club, I recognised in a tall fiend whose trouser legs were very
apparent beneath the too scanty black drapery which enveloped him, no
other than Phillips Brooks. He was one of the most vociferous of
the imps who tossed me in the blanket, and later, when the elaborate
manuscript I had prepared was brought forth, was conspicuously
energetic in daubing with hot mush from a huge wooden spoon the sheets
I had composed with much painstaking. The grand event in the "Pudding"
of our time was the performance of Fielding's extravaganza of _Tom
Thumb_. I think it was the club's first attempt at an operatic
performance, and it was prepared with great care. I suppose I am
to-day the only survivor among those who took part, and it is a sombre
pleasure to recall the old-time frolic. The great promoter of the
undertaking was Theodore Lyman, able and forceful afterward as
soldier, scientist, and congressman, who died prematurely; but the
music and details were arranged by Joseph C. Heywood, later a devout
Catholic, ending his career in Rome as Chamberlain of Pope Leo XIII.
In the cast Heywood was King Arthur and Lyman, general of the army.
There were besides, a throng of warriors, lords, and ladies wonderful
to behold. The costumes were elaborate. Old trunks and attics of our
friends were ransacked for ancient finery and appointments that might
be made to serve. Provision was made for thrilling stage effects,
chief among them a marvellous cow which at a critical moment swallowed
Tom Thumb, and then with much eructation worked out painfully on the
bass-viol, belched him forth as if discharged from a catapult. The
music was an adaptation of popular airs, operatic and otherwise, to
the words of Fielding, and was fairly good, rendered as it was by
fresh young voices and an orchestra whose members played in the
Pierian Sodality. The merriment of the lines was more robust than
delicate, but with some pruning it passed. The bill of announcement,
which was hung up in the Pudding room, and which possibly is still
preserved, was very elaborately and handsomely designed, and I think
was the work of Alexander Agassiz, who had much skill of that kind.
The performers were all strenuous and some capable, but the hit of the
evening was Phillips Brooks, who personated the giantess Glumdalca to
perfection. He was then nineteen, and had reached his full stature.
He was attired in flowing skirts and befitting bodice, and wore a
towering head-dress of feather dusters or something similar, which
swept the ceiling as he strode. I had been cast originally for the
Queen, but it was afterwards judged that I had special qualifications
for the part of Princess. Like the youths in Comus, my unrazored lips
in those days were as smooth as Hebe's, and I had a slenderness that
was quite in keeping. Dressed in an old brocade gown, an heirloom from
the century before, with a lofty white wig, and proper patches upon my
pink cheeks, I essayed the role of _une belle dame sans merci_.
Brooks and I were rivals for the affection of Tom Thumb, and I do not
recall which succeeded. The tragedy was most extreme. In the closing
scene the entire cast underwent destruction, strewing the stage with
a picturesque heap of slain. We were not so very dead, for the victims
near the foot-lights in order to give the curtain room to fall,
drew up their legs or rolled out of the way, in a spirit of polite
accommodation. The most impressive part of the spectacle was the
defunct giantess, whose wide-spreading draperies and head-gear, as
Brooks came down with a well-studied crash, took up so much of the
floor that the rest of us had no room left to die in dignity. The
piece was so much of a success that we performed it again at the house
of Theodore Lyman, in Brookline,--and still again, at Chickering Hall
in Boston.

Though Brooks could frolic upon occasion, his mood in his student days
was prevailingly grave, and as he matured, warmed, and deepened into
earnest religious conviction. My own close association with him came
to an end at our graduation. Our respective fates led us in fields
widely apart, and we met only at rare intervals. Ten years after
graduation we came together in a way for me memorable. He was
already held in the affectionate reverence of multitudes, and perhaps
established in the position in which he so long stood as the most
moving and venerated of American preachers. At the commemoration for
the Harvard soldiers, in 1865, he was the chaplain, and his prayer
shares with the _Commemoration Ode_ of Lowell the admiration of
men as an utterance especially uplifting. My humble function on
that day was to speak for the rank and file, and Brooks and I, as
classmates, sat elbow to elbow at the table under the great tent. He
was charmingly genial and brotherly. His old playfulness came out as
he rallied me on the deterioration he noticed in my table manners, due
no doubt to my life in camp, and rebuked me with mock sternness
for appropriating his portion of our common chicken. With evident
pleasure, he drew out of his pocket the _Nation_, then just
beginning, and showed me a kind notice of my _Thinking Bayonet_,
written by Charles Eliot Norton. But behind the smile and the joke
lay a new dignity and earnestness, a quality he had taken on since the
days of our old comradeship. So it always was as we met transiently
while the decades passed until the threshold of old age lay across
the path for both of us. Now and then I had from him an affectionate
letter. One of these I found profoundly touching. Theodore Lyman lay
prostrate with a lingering and painful illness from which he never
rose. Brooks wrote that he had carried to him my _Life of Young Sir
Henry Vane_, and read from it to our dying friend. My story had
interest for them, and I felt that whatever might befall my book I had
not worked in vain if two such men found it worthy.

Phillips Brooks early had recognition as the most important religious
influence of his time, and his spirit was not less broad-minded
than it was fervent. In the multitudes that felt the power of his
impassioned address were included men and women of the most various
views, and he quickened the life of the spirit in all households of
faith. His sympathies were most catholic, and this anecdote clearly
illuminates his broad-mindedness. I had dropped into a Boston
bookstore on a quiet morning; Brooks presently came in to browse over
the new issues on the counters. There was no one to disturb us, as we
enjoyed this our last conversation together. He spoke of Channing. "Do
you know," said he, "when Dean Stanley came over here I went to East
Boston to see him on his ship. He said to me almost at once, 'Where
is Mount Auburn?' Why, said I, how strange that the first thing you
inquire about as you arrive is a cemetery! 'But is not Channing buried
there?' said he. I told him I did not know. 'Well, he is and I want
to go at once to the grave of Channing!' So as soon as we could,"
continued Phillips Brooks, "we took a carriage and drove to Mount
Auburn to visit the grave of Channing." He sympathised fully with
the admiration felt by his friend, the great English churchman,
for Channing, and gladly did him homage, and his talk flowed on in
channels that showed his heart was warm toward men of all creeds who
were inspired by the higher life. This noble candour of mind was a
marked element of his power, and has endeared his memory among scores
of sects that too often clash. How sweetly unifying in the midst of a
jarring Christendom has been the spirit of Phillips Brooks!

After this I saw him only once. It was at the funeral of James Russell
Lowell. In Appleton Chapel he stood in his robes, gentle and powerful,
as he read the burial service. When the body was committed to the
grave I stood just behind him and heard his voice in the last hallowed
sentences, "Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, and the spirit to the God
who gave it." I never heard that voice again.



In England, in the fall of 1870, I missed an opportunity to see the
great scientific men of the time. Faraday was still active, and in the
full ripeness of his fame. Huxley, Tyndall, Darwin, Sir Joseph Hooker,
Joule, Lyell, Murchison were in the midst of their best work, and
probably all or most of them were present at the meeting of the
British Association, which took place that year somewhere in the west
of England. Miss Frances Power Cobbe, with whom I had for some time
maintained a correspondence, growing out of the interest I felt in her
_Intuitive Morals_, and other writings, invited me to accompany
her to the meeting, at which, introduced by her, I might have had
interesting interviews. I let the chance go by, and feel to-day that
my memory stands impoverished in that it holds no first-hand knowledge
of the lights, who in their century were the glory of their country
and the world.

In Germany I was more fortunate. Arriving at Heidelberg at a time
before its high prestige had suffered much diminution, I found in all
the four Faculties men of great distinction. One hears that in the
stern centralising to which since 1870 Germany has been subjected the
outer universities have suffered, their strength, their able teachers,
namely, being drawn away for a brilliant concentration at Berlin.
In the little university town of those days students and professors
rubbed closely and great men were sometimes found in odd environments.
Expressing once a desire to see a certain venerable theologian of wide
fame, I was told he was sure to be found on such and such evenings
in a well-known _bier locale_, and there I had opportunity to
observe him, an aged and withered figure, with a proper stein of
the amber fluid frothing at his side, and a halo from an active pipe
enwreathing his grey hair, as he joked and gossiped familiarly with
his fellow-loiterers about the heavy oak table. At another time I was

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