[postmarked 10 Apr 1923, to Hotel Traymore] Dear Mother: After all the visit invitations I have received from Margaret Wasserman, her note to Pete, etc., I wrote her a note the other day telling her I was coming down to hear the debate, and staying at Bryn Mawr (as I then thought), and asked her if she couldn't meet me for a while Sunday morning before I come back, since I didn't want to be in Philliw without letting her know and since we had tried so repeatedly to meet at games,... Show more[postmarked 10 Apr 1923, to Hotel Traymore] Dear Mother: After all the visit invitations I have received from Margaret Wasserman, her note to Pete, etc., I wrote her a note the other day telling her I was coming down to hear the debate, and staying at Bryn Mawr (as I then thought), and asked her if she couldn't meet me for a while Sunday morning before I come back, since I didn't want to be in Philliw without letting her know and since we had tried so repeatedly to meet at games, etc. Yesterday I received a super-cordial letter from her mother telling me that since Margaret was out of town for a few days and since she saw from the envelope that it was from Vassar, she opened it, and was answering to save time. It urged me to spend all day Sunday there, and Sunday night if possible, and said that if Margaret were home she would probably want to give up her Saturday night engagement, but that she didn't think she ought to. However, wouldn't I stay there anyhow, as she and Mr. W. and Catherine would be home. If it meets with your approval, as it does Lester's absolutely, I think I would like to accept the dinner invitation, and leave Sunday afternoon. That would be just spending part of the morning there, and dinner. I'd like to show M. that I don't make a mountain out of a molehill, also that I am not a poor sport. As I said, I'd like to doit if you don't disapprove. Please let me know immediately, I'll await a wire from you before answering the letter. After all this, I decided to send you her letter. Please return it. Also let me know immediately. Love, Fannie After her demonstration of "remorse" at Princeton in November, I'd feel much better if were "nice" and went there Sunday. Show less
[postmarked 26 Feb 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: The debate squads are announced. 37 people tried out, not including myself. Debate has come up in the world! I tried ouot so successfully, [in the ??firm] that I am on both the league team and the team for the Penn and Williams debate. I am the only one who is on both. The league debate is on gov't ownership and control of the Coal Mines. I haven't read a word yet and am up for fractice for tomorrow afternoon. We are only... Show more[postmarked 26 Feb 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: The debate squads are announced. 37 people tried out, not including myself. Debate has come up in the world! I tried ouot so successfully, [in the ??firm] that I am on both the league team and the team for the Penn and Williams debate. I am the only one who is on both. The league debate is on gov't ownership and control of the Coal Mines. I haven't read a word yet and am up for fractice for tomorrow afternoon. We are only going to have six practices, thank goodness. Not having read a word I know which side I want--negative, because it goes to Smith. I want to go away. Wellesley comes here. The Penn and Williams debates, in April, are on prohibition. From now on, particularly till Friday, my letters will be brief, as I must do some debate reading and also must do a lot of Ec Sem before Friday when i report. I spent the entire day writing my drama makeup paper. That is a terrible course to get behind in. I just finished it--seven hours. Father, I asked the girl about your endow-ment fund check. She received it all right, but said they are very slow about depositing them in the New York office, where all ours are sent.If anyone has any dope on the coal mines, kindly speak up, from now until March 17. I made out this schedule to send to you before I went to the Infirm. I also made out one for myself to live on from tomorrow till Friday. It is the only effecient way of getting my work done. The pneumonia girl is getting better, Mother. I felt quite pepless this morning, but felt fine this afternoon, and didn't have to take a nap at all. I am going to bed at nine tonight. I also went for a short walk, and it didn't tire me as much as yesterday. My cold is practically gone. I forgot to mention that six of the debaters are seniors. Last year one was! You know [what subject] you will hear from now on, so you might just as well make the best of it! I will need a white sweater for the debate. I wrote to Marse to ask him if he will be in N. Y. at his factory in the near future. If not, could you see if they have any nice ones when you are in Horne's or McCreery's, Mother,wherever you get yours? I'd like a tuxedo that buttons down the front, and nice soft wool if possible. Otherwise, i slipover, if that can't be gotten. It must be all white. Don't go specially, and ask [???] fist if he can get it, or is going to. And if it's any trouble at all I can go to an exhibit and order one, probably. I borrowed Jane's last year, but I prefer not to borrow. [RSVP]Did you read the [demo] article in the Mag section of the Times on VC? Show less
[postmarked 2 May 1923?] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I guess the lady from Simmonds is coming for Third Hall, Pete. I shall see to it that I meet her. Wish you could see the gala event, too, although as far as the play goes, you will see it repated[sic] at Commencement. Paid a deposit yesterday on the house, so it is yours for sure. Amawaiting your answer, Mother, about keeping one room or two for Lucy at Mullaly's before cancelling them. Plase find out immediately if you have not... Show more[postmarked 2 May 1923?] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I guess the lady from Simmonds is coming for Third Hall, Pete. I shall see to it that I meet her. Wish you could see the gala event, too, although as far as the play goes, you will see it repated[sic] at Commencement. Paid a deposit yesterday on the house, so it is yours for sure. Amawaiting your answer, Mother, about keeping one room or two for Lucy at Mullaly's before cancelling them. Plase find out immediately if you have not already done so. The class day dress is very nice, Mother. Am hoping to competely[sic] finish my history topic this afternoon. it is vast, if nothing else. Millsy said yesterday our Seminar topics don't have to be in till exams start. That is quite a relief. In all other courses long topics have to be in a week before the last meeting of the course. This leniency on his part will help a lot, and I won't be rushed to distraction. In fact, I could finish it after my exams if I wanted to, but I wanted to have that week to play. Love, Fannie Show less
[postmarked 26 May 1922] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: Do you want to leave Thursday morning or afternoon? R. S. VP. right away so that I can tell Helen. She does not finish her last exam until 12:50, so if we go in the aft, she can go with us, otherwise she can't. I just happened to come across the clipping you sent about Miss Yost today--I had read the wrong side of the paper. This is her first year as Dean of Stanford--she is V. C. '05. I mean Dean of Women. She was taught... Show more[postmarked 26 May 1922] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: Do you want to leave Thursday morning or afternoon? R. S. VP. right away so that I can tell Helen. She does not finish her last exam until 12:50, so if we go in the aft, she can go with us, otherwise she can't. I just happened to come across the clipping you sent about Miss Yost today--I had read the wrong side of the paper. This is her first year as Dean of Stanford--she is V. C. '05. I mean Dean of Women. She was taught Freshman English, narrative writing, and arguemtnation[sic]. She thought I "had a lot of dope on myself" and quite approved of me--otherwise I couldn't hand her a terrible lot! In that, she showed good sense, however. I went to bed at four-thirty yesterday afternoon in a vain attempt to shake off being sleepy, but as yet feel just as sleepy. I think it is a disease of some sort! I am still buried in "The Ring and the Book". As soon as I finish that, I shall start studying for exams. I have a terrific am't to do for the two Friday Biology ones, and French Rev on Saturday, but very little for J on Monday and Social Psych on Tuesday. That is real luck!This marks the last of Peru, Indiana, with Davison address. I feel more "Seniorish than ever. I forgot to tell you yesterday that the night before Mrs. MacCracked join Peggy Higgins and me and told us that Maizrie was following our example, and had just particpated in her first debate, "Resolved that it is More Profitable to Live in the Country than in the City". Whereupon her grandmother said that she had won the debate, and felt infinitely more important than any of us did in our most glorious moments of victory! She is thirteen and in her first year of high school. I had a letter from Louise the other day Mother. She said she had seen you and you "did look so well". The letter was the heighth[sic] of illiteracy, otherwise very enjoyable. Love, Fannie[eve w/ pm 26 May 1922] Dear Mother: Helen and I got our heads together for an hour and a half yesterday afternoon and decided that we wanted to give a Vassar Endowment Fund dance at the country club the end of June. Now don't laught[sic] but listen to our plan. In the first place, Dot Krolick's older V. C. sister, Rutn Franklin, and another Vassar girl gave one at their club in Detroit Christmas vacation, charged five dollars a couple, and make four hundred and fifty dollars--and they paid for the club and music and everybody has, is doing, or will do something at home efore next fall in the way of earning something because nothing has ever been done like that at home among the elites Jews, at least for ages, and so some people would buy tickets even if they wouldn't come. We don't know officially, but we though we could get the country club and music and what food we would have to buy for $100, and programs--V. C. ones. Then we thought we could charge $5 a couple, and all our pleasure seeking youth at home would come--it wouldn't cost them any more than coming out there for a Saturday night dinner-dance--less, in fact. And then we thought a good many people of "your age" would buy a ticket out of the kindness of their hearts--like a "church benefit", you know! We could work like the dickens ourselves and make sandwiches--and perhaps some kind sould like--well, maybe you, Mrs. Hertz, Mrs. Kaufmann, Cousin Rachel, and a few others, would give us a cake or two. And Mr. Fishel might even give some ice-cream. Then after that, we wouldn't beg any more. We would not have any waiters--we would serve ourselves and get Lucy, Helen J.Class Insecta Order [Orthoptop] Locustetc., and some yo nger kids--fifteen and sixteen year olds who yould feel highly flattered and important, to help us serve. And we would give it a lot of publicity, and be very nice asking people to buy tickets, and we thought we could make somewhere between $200 and #300 above our expenses. We would do a lot of cheap rose and gray decorations and try to make it as Vassar-y as possible. We thought we could seel at tickets to seventy-five couples--counting the kids just younger than us, and kind grown-ups who wouldn't turn you down for five dollars. We think people would want to encourage our good intention, etc. and for the sake of the novelty of it buy tickets, and "think it just grand what college does for girls nowadays, and we do wish we could have had such a privilege, too". It will all depend, or course, upon what happens to me with the M.D.s, but I hardly think anything would interfere so late in June, or very early in July. What do you think of the idea? Throw cold water on it, if you think it is really impossible, but we think it is very hopeful. At any rate, or one thing we are certain--and that is that we are going to earn something somehow this summer for the Fund--and the more we make the merrier. We concluded by saying--that we certainly couldn't lose any money, and so no harm would be done.! P. S. do you think the club might let us have the dining-room floor "cheap" for the cause? I doubt it myself. R. S. V. P. immediately. We have the spirit!!!!!!!!!!!For Mother Planaria Showing alimentary canal anterior end eye spots posterior end redraw [showing] width in [drawing] of alimentary canal < > For Mother Show less
Nov 1st A bright mild day. I spent part of it at S.S. trying to write; the thought of Nip constantly hovering about my mind. Men of my temperament make much of their griefs. It is anther form of our self indulgence. We roll the bitter morsel under our tongues and extract the last drop of bitterness. It is probable that I make the death of Nip the occasion to gloat over the past and of that which can never return. This is my disease, it is in my system and the loss of the dog brings it out... Show moreNov 1st A bright mild day. I spent part of it at S.S. trying to write; the thought of Nip constantly hovering about my mind. Men of my temperament make much of their griefs. It is anther form of our self indulgence. We roll the bitter morsel under our tongues and extract the last drop of bitterness. It is probable that I make the death of Nip the occasion to gloat over the past and of that which can never return. This is my disease, it is in my system and the loss of the dog brings it out afresh. It gives an acute form. But I was deeply attached to him, and the thought of him will always be precious to me. In afternoon go to Vassar to hear Prof Bracq lecture on French Criticism. Not an original mind.2nd Mild, S.W. wind with signs of rain. Alone at S.S. Of all the domestic animals, none calls forth so much love, solicitude and sorrow as the dog. He occupies the middle place between the other animals and man. Our love for him is below that for our fellows and above that we have for any other dumb creature. How many men there are now in the [crossed out: country] world, millions of them, whose love for their dogs is next to that they have for their friends and families, and their grief at their loss next to a domestic bereavement. My grief for Nip has lost the acuteness of the first day and night, but I carry in my heart a constant heavy sorrow. I rather wish I had buried him in some secluded spot near by instead of here in front of the house, where I could have gone on occasions, withdrawn from other thoughts and things. I fear I shall cease to notice the humble grave constantly before me. 3. Bright, Clear, still sharp. A pretty severe frost. Spend the day at SS. 5. Mild, fine weather. Go to West Point to see Princeton and the Cadets play foot ball. A sombre hue to all my days. 6 Light rain last night. Clearing today, with prospects of cooler. Leaves nearly all off. 9. Beautiful day, mild, still, with gleams of sunshine. Go to P. at night, a black experience. 10 Heavy cold rain all day, began in the night. Probably 2 inches of water. 11 Clearing and growing much colder. 12 Mild fair day. at S.S. 13. Fair day. " " 14 Severe frosts, fair day. 15. Fine day. Go to P. in afternoon and evening. Feel much better. 16 Severe frosts; fine bright day. 17 Cold slow rain all day. 18 Fog and mist all day, rain setting in at 4 P.M. and continuing all night. 19 Still raining from the North. Last night came the sad news of the death of Prof. Van Ingen of Vassar, a man I have known and loved many years. A genial, hearty, frank, simple man, and a fine artist. I met [crossed out: saw] him Tuesday night on the street as well and hearty as I ever saw him. He was going to the dentist. I walked along with him. He urged me to go home20 Rain continued slowly all day yesterday. Clearing this morning and cooler--but still mild. To-day they bury Van Ingen. I should be there but no train or boat. Genial soul, again farewell.with him--said he was coming up on Sunday for the day, and there we parted to meet no more in life. Farewell, farewell. --Last night as I was walking along the road my ear was attracted by the fine, shrill lisping and piping of some Kinglets in an apple tree. I paused to see what was the occasion of it. There were 4 or 5 Kinglets all more or less excited, and two of them especially so. I think the excitement of the others was only a reflection of that of these two. They were hopping about each other, apparently peering down upon something beneath them. I suspected a cat concealed behind the wall and so look over, but there was nothing there. Observing them more closely, I saw that the two birds were entirely occupied with 22 Start for Cambridge to-day, a clear day. Reach Boston on time, 9:05 PM. Julian finds us at U.S. Hotel, looking well and happy. 23. Find rooms at Felton Hall. 24 Light rain. Go out to Belmont to dinner with Kennedy. Julian and I walk out and enjoy the walk greatly. An enjoyable day. 25. Clear sharp day. Go to Boston in P.M. to hear Zangwell, a discourse full of point, wit, and sense. A hatchet-faced man, with hair that suggests a wig; it seems to sit upon his head rather than to grow out of it. Voice not big or strong but agreeable. One of the coming leaders in literature. 26 A full blown winter snow storm, began last night; a tearing wind; a fog of snow; street cars all stopped, trains delayed, milk men snow bound. Continues near all day, 13 or 14 inches, from Phil. to Maine. N.E. gets the brunt of it. Temperature at freezing. 27 Clear, sharp, a white world with green grass under the snow. Shovels and snow plows everywhere busy. Travel and traffic resumed. Began writing to-day in Harvard reading room. 29 More snow--about 4 inches. Dec 4. Rain this P.M. becoming pretty heavy at night; takes off half the snow. Dine with Prof. Shaler. 5. Near all day in Boston and at the Athenaeum. Walk back. Fine day. 6 Sharp, nearly clear. My heart palpitation nearly gone. Sent off a paper to Century on Saturday, on Wild Life About My Cabin. Must begin another. 7 Fine day, snow more than half gone. Walk to B.--From Dorothy Wordsworth: “At once the clouds seemed to cleave asunder, and left her in the centre of a black-blue vault. She sailed along followed by multitudes of stars, small and bright and sharp.” Appropriated by W. in his “Night-piece.” Day after she and William gathered sticks in the woods, bringing home “large burthens” of them. Day after day they walked to Stowey with Coleridge. Once she went alone and returned in the evening with him. --A vol. of George Meredith’s poetry in my hands for the first time, “Lyrics and Sonnets." Find I have little use for him. The utterance is thick in even the best passages. He is a poet undoubtedly but the poetry rarely runs clear in more than two or three lines at a time, while much of the time it is mud, mud, opaque as a dirt road. His thought is so swathed in hiswords, his cumbrous, tortuous epithets, that it can hardly go at all. One feels in reading him, oh, the beauty of ease, limpidity, simplicity. To be difficult is not to be profound. Opacity is not the same as depth, harshness is not a sign of power. Plate glass offers the eye no resistance, but this wavy or twisted and contorted glass bewilders and obscures. Browning’s glass has a twist in it, but Meredith’s has smoke and sand. We have a right to eternally demand of every poet or writer that he speak clear and distinct. We may not always catch his ideas, but we shall understand his words. Verbal opacity is not to be tolerated. When Whitman says “The cloth laps a first sweet eating and drinking” I do not know the idea he wishes to convey, but his language is as transparent as can be. 10 Pretty cold--about 20. Write in forenoon and walk to Boston in afternoon. Dined with Prof. James on the 9th. Like him much. Mrs. J. a very attractive and entertaining woman. Prof. Harris of Andover there, like him too. Young James a very handsome [crossed out: youth] young man. 11 Still cold and cloudy. Winter seems really here to stay. Julian comes down and sits a while with us in the morning. --“It was yielding to the gusty wind with all its tender twigs. The sun shone upon it and it glanced in the wind like a flying sunshiny [crossed out] shower. It was a tree in shape, with stems and branches, but it was like a spirit of water.” From Dorothy’s Journal. p. 65. 17. After a restless night I got up with a chill. Continues till noon, then fever and pain in back and limbs. Take quinine. 18. A wretched night, no sleep, intense pain in flesh and bones. Is it ague? Have the Dr. A little better during the day. 19. Mild and bright, walk out a little. Poor sleep; pain not so severe. Walk to P.O. Go to lunch with Dr. Cleghorn in P.M. Meet Dr. Bowditch. 24 Much rain and fog the past few days. Fever left me some days ago, but liver or kidneys still wrong. Feel much below par. My sickness the grippe; much of it all over the country. 25. To dinner with Trowbridge at Arlington. His cider does me good. A pleasant family. 26 Bright and sharp. Am better, begin to feel normal, not thepeculiar weakness of two years ago. Hear from Hiram that Eden is better. 30 Bright and spring like 55 degrees, fear it kills the winter. Go to Boston and review contract with H.M. and C. for $750 per year. Yesterday lunched with Scudder and met Higginson. H. was very agreeable and complimentary--a fine, scholarly, accomplished talker and diner out. Looks ruddy and well, tho’ his voice begins to show his 75 years. 31. Light rain, still mind. I am gaining my strength very slowly. 1899. Jan 1st Winter upon us again in earnest. Rain and snow yesterday, snow with rapid falling temperature all night. Cold this morning with 6 or 8 inches of snow. Air full of snow. At the library last night was surprised to see a paper of mine in N.A. Review, sent it two months ago. No proof was sent to me. See in it some sentences that should have been changed or stricken out. I seem better this morning. A poor day yesterday. Cough about over, but strength and ambition at low ebb. 5. Mild and spring like--snow nearly all gone. We go to Salem. I stand for some time on Gallows Hill where the witches were hung, among them an ancestor of mine, Rev. George Burroughs, over 200 years ago. A typical N.E. landscape, barren and rugged, low broken rocky waves with a ragged covering of turf--a body of rock with a tattered and torn covering of soil. Nothing to mark the site of the hanging. If I had the means Iwould put up a monument there. Walked about the streets of S. and into the Roger Williams house (Witch House). Thought often of Hawthorne and many other things. Health below par this day--one of my bad days. 6. Feel more like myself this morning. Snowing and growing colder. March weather. Julian just in. Told me he had been reading Howell's and Thoreau’s Walden. Liked T, but was disturbed by the economic problem he presents etc. 7 Storm over. Colder and clearing this morning. Last night attended dinner of the Russell Democratic Club, a guest of Col. Higginson. H. made a fine and telling speech. Much rain and sleet yesterday and some snow last night. Feel almost well today. 9 Cool, crisp weather--seem about well again. Called at Col. Higginson’s yesterday P.M. Julian and I dined at Professor James’ in the evening. 10 Cold and clear--down to 3 above this morning. Go to town in morning. In afternoon pack up and get ready to leave in morning. At 3 Julian comes in and we talk till 4--about his courses, his future career, etc., a long and interesting talk. The boy is evidently to be a story writer, says he loves it etc. Every day or two a new plot comes to him. Urges me to write a novel etc. It pains me to leave the boy but perhaps it is best. We have had many long walks together, but all things must end. 11 Leave C. this morning at 9:15. Julian bids us good by in the electric car. A cold morning, 3 above. Reach Albany at 4 1/2, wait 2 hours for train to P. Reach P at 8 1/2. 12 Find room and board at 69 Market, a little warmer. 13. Go up to W.P. A mist of snowand rain; ice 8 or 9 inches. Men at work marking. 14 Mild, heavy rain at times; threatens another break up. Evidently winter can not keep his hold. That terrible blow and snow storm of Nov. 27 was premature and seems to have demoralized the weather forces. It was too violent for Nov. Then the warm spell of the 5th seemed [crossed out: to say the] a fit sequel. Winter has got to see-sawing or wobbling and probably one extreme will follow another till spring. 15. Mild and March like today; a tearing March wind all last night, snow nearly all gone; ice crop threatened. 19 Fine, mild day. Go to N.Y. stay at Gilder’s till Tuesday morning. Weather beautiful, dry as summer, and mild most of the time. See Zangwill, Howells, Stockton, Miss Edith Thomas, Helen Gray Cone, and others. Call on Garland several times.Never saw N.Y. more beautiful, the long vistas of those streets, the fine weather, the slight haze, the beautiful women, all filled the eye. Stay two nights with Miss Burt, one with Chubb, one with the Gills at Bay Ridge. A heavy thunder shower on Tuesday night the 24th, like July. Rained hard in the afternoon also. 28. Back home, (to P.) to-day. Mild day. 29 Bright day and sharp. A long walk north of town. No snow, roads dusty. 30 Clear and cold. Go up to W.P. Ice-house being rapidly filled; ice 9 1/2 inches. 31. Flurries of snow this morning and colder. A long walk in P.M. with Booth. Feb 1 Flurry of snow last night. Clear this morning, mercury about 10. Not a flake of snow yet to impede the ice harvest. No scraping. --A certain bacillus thrives only in the aqueous humor of the eye of the white mouse. --Have been trying to re-read Byron through Arnold’s Selections from him. How barren it all seems to me. A strenuous spirit, but not a poetical one. Eloquent, oratorical, but rarely poetic. The quiet luminous beauty of true poetry is not in him. Feb 2nd Winter keeps his grip this time. Mercury still low (14 degrees). This morning still clear and dry. Saw winter wren yesterday at Highland. A little brown bird darted quickly under a bridge, emerged from the other side and stopped under a log on the side of the bank. It curtsied and gesticulated and I saw it was the winter wren. As I followed it up it took refuge under logs and brush and stone like a mouse. --For the production of such a poet as Tennyson (judging after the fact) an old ripe civilization is necessary, long ages of culture, a leisure class, a deep rich social soil, great personages, a great history, etc. Poets of the same type in this country are feebler because they are not the outcome of the same social and historical conditions; they are planted in a thinner cruder soil. Whitman, our only poet of first-class power, is not the product of our cultured and refined classes, the Church, the College etc., but of the people, the democratic masses. He strikes his roots into a soil that is deep and fertile; the blood in his veins is fresh and well-oxygenated. He is great because the people are great. Tennyson is great because the culture and heroism of the British upper classes are great. Emerson voices the religious aspiration and idealism of N.E. Longfellow its social culture and refine-ment, Whittier its philanthropic and reformatory spirit, Lowell its scholarship and patriotism, and these poets are great only as their antecedents and environment are great. Whitman alone has the continental life and push of [crossed out: the] a great democratic people back of him. All the unpoetic and repellant features of his work are expressive of American conditions, natural and social. He could not have arisen in England, because the conditions he implies do not exist there. He is as legitimate in America as T. is in England, and English and European critics see this and hail him as our first poet. We may deny him, and strive after the Tennysonian fineness and mellowness, but we cannot reach them [crossed out: it] or equal them [crossed out: it], power alone lies with him. 3rd Rain freezing on the trees and making skating for the boys on the streets and side walks. 4 Ill to-day--fear it is a return of the grippe, felt it coming 3 days ago. At night call Dr. Otis, temperature 102 1/5, pulse 90. No grippe pains, signs of cold in head and lungs, take 14 gr. of quinine during day. Dr. Otis gives me some tasteless water in 2 tumblers; by mistake I come near drinking one of them up. 5 Poor sleep, but fever nearly gone this morning. Keep in bed till afternoon; painless but content to lie in bed. Snows all day, slowly--2 inches. 6. Mild, cloudy, no fever or pain this morning, but not disposed to much exertion. 7 Feeling nearly well and take several walks. A fine mist of snow all day. Sun almost shining at times. Mercury 15 at 8, and 20 at noon. 8 The mist of snow thickened to a full-blown snow storm in the night with a fall of 3 or 4 inches. Still snowing this morning pretty hard; winter in earnest again, mercury 15 degrees. Weather predictions wide of the mark. Now at 10, storm becoming violent. 9 Clear, cold, mercury at zero. Go up to W.P. 10 Very cold, from 8 to 15 below this morning. Cold all over the country. Not quite well yet. 11 Continued severe cold. -12 below here. Cold all over the country, the record broken in many places. 7 below in N.Y. Great cold and snow suffering in Texas. Return of the fever yesterday P.M. Am better this morning. How the snow sings this morning under the wheels and runners. -15 below in Washington. 25 below in Parkersburgh, W.V. 35 below at Millbrook this Co. --Scott in his diary (date Feb 14, 1827) says of Sir George Beaumont, that he was a great friend of Wordsworth and understood his poetry, which he (Scott) considers a rare thing, “For it is more easy to see his peculiarities than to feel his great merit, or follow his abstract ideas.” How limpid and easy of understanding W. seems to us. I am led to ask will such opacity as George Meredith’s seem clear to the next generation? 12 About zero this morning and snowing. Winter has got hold with both hands this time and with his old time grip. 13. A raging snow-storm from the North. Mercury 3 and falling--the most rugged streak of winter weather I have seen for years. In Chicago the temperature has averaged about zero for nearly a week. -40 below in N. Dakota. Great loss of cattle in Texas. 14 Storm raged till middle of the night, at 5 one could hardly see half a block-- Fall of snow near 20 inches over a wide area. Storm said to have been 1000 miles wide. 35 below in Ky. The peach crop must be killed as far south as Georgia. One of the great storms of which one sees but few in a life time. This morning the streets of P. suggest those of ’88. All trains are stopped. I felt sure Feb. would give us snow enough. Two days in doors. 15. Bright and cold-- 2 below this morning, a return of the fever yesterday. --Scott said of himself "that if there be anything good about my poetry or prose either, it is a hurried frankness of composition which pleases soldiers, sailors, or young people of bold and active disposition.” --“No chance of opulence is worth the risk of competence” Sir Gilbert Elliot, quoted by Scott in Journal. --“An orator is like a top. Let him alone and he must stop one time or another--flog him and he may go on forever.” Scott, in Journal. “do not let us break ordinary gems to pieces because they are not diamonds.” Scott, Journal 16 Mild, threatening snow. Light hail and rain at night. 17 Mild, snow melting fast. 18 Still warmer, snow will run to-day. 19 Still mild. 20 Warm and clear, mercury 50, snow melting fast. 21 Still warm with signs of rain, mercury 50. 22 Threatens rain. We go back to W.P. Mrs. B. better. Clear and warm in P.M. 50 degrees. Glad to be here again and out of the accursed city. It all began to have a sickish look to me--people, boarding house and all. Been gone 3 months. 23 Bright, but cooler. Go to P and buy a harness. 24. Mercury down to 22 this morning. Clear. Go over to Slabsides. Men hauling muck. How good it looks to me over there. I am again established in my bark covered study and trying to resume the thread of my life. Rather weak yet from illness and want of exercise. 25. Bright and cold: down to 10 this morning. Begin to feel like myself. 26 A slight return of the grippe. Fever and langor last night and to-day. Rain and hail all day. 27 Warmer; rain over apparently. 28 Clear. Mercury 20. Walk over to Slabsides with Dr. Gordon. March 1st Nearly clear. Mercury 28. No birds yet; snow nearly gone from the road and fields. Spirits dull these days; the grippe seems to have made me much older. --Unless you can write about Nature with feeling, with real love, with more or less hearty affiliation and comradeship with her, it is no use. Your words will not stick, they will awaken no response in the reader. There are two or three writers now making books upon out-door themes that I find I cannot read. The page has no savor, it is dry and tasteless. The writers have taken up these [crossed out] nature themes deliberately, as they might any other; they have no special call to write upon them. I have tried hard to be interested in Gibson’s work, but I can not. It lacks juice, unction. There is feeling in his drawings, but not in his text. Bradford Torrey is the only nature writer at the present time, whose work I can read. 2nd Began snowing in the night, snowed all forenoon--about six inches. Mercury at freezing. First song sparrow to-day, but not in song--in a little hemlock near my study. 3 Bright this morning: snow melting--fear the sleighing is short-lived. Boys hauling muck. Snow disappeared like dew. Sleighing spoiled by noon. 4 One of the typical disagreeable March days, fog and slow rain slush, slush, every where. This is the price we must pay for the exquisite days of April. 5. Heavy rain in the night with thunder. Rain and fog and gloom this morning. Life dull and spiritless. Blue-birds in the air over the hill, and again near home in P.M. A change to cooler at 5 P.M. 6 Clear, lovely this morning, mercury at 30. Air above streaked with blue-bird calls, a sparrow in song under the hill. Day too fair, not a cloud or film till near sundown. A weather breeder. 7 A violent snow storm from N.E. Began at 8. Now at 12 there are several inches of snow, and it is still blowing and snowing like great guns. A male blue-bird on the maple in front sits behind a limb, but at times he is almost blown from his perch. Acts like one of the worst storms of the season. So much for yesterday’s brightness and blueness! Snowed till night, 8 or 10 inches. 8 Fair and quiet. Snow in drifts. Hauling muck again. Overhauling my letters last night and to-day. A sad task. 9 Cold this morning, down to 12. 10 Milder, Sleighing poor in places. 11 Mercury at 40. Snow going fast, cloudy threatening rain. Go to P. 12 To Julian, After I had kindled my study fire this morning at 8 1/2 you could have seen me come forth and greet a robin--the first robin who sat calling and saluting and laughing on the top of the old maple in front. Then you could have seen me standing on the edge of the bank listening to the song sparrows down toward the ice house, then to the blue-birds high overhead, then to a flock of blackbirds going North then to the call of the jack snipe. The river was hidden by fog--the trains heard but not seen, and mist dimmed thelandscape all about. Clouds covered the sky, wind SW. Still, mercury above 40. The most spring like morning yet. What does the robin say? I think it is “all hail” “wake up” “how have you been?” “glad to be back" "ha, ha, ha.” --Reading Lockhart’s Life of Scott. Read Scott’s Journals while in P. in Feb. What shall one say of Scott? A prodigious man; prodigious worker, player, eater, drinker (on occasion). Copious, fluent, abounding in all good feelings and instincts. He wanted a great deal of everything--money, friends, retainers, land, dogs. He was [crossed out: prod] a prodigal nature--prodigal of himself, of his time, of his means. Lived his life fast and under pressure and was used up at 60. Not fine or delicate, dull of nose, obtuse of palate, heavy of ear, but all but inexhaustible. He has no style, or rather hisstyle is that of the great average mass of mankind--ready, fluent, transparent, but nothing in and of itself; lacks individuality and delicacy. Nothing is felicitously said, but all is well said. The words have no aroma, there is no intellectual pressure, none of that kind of heat and intensity that turns carbon into the diamond. No suggestiveness, no phrase that lingers on the tongue, akin to Southey, but greater by far. The finest, best work can never be done with such rapidity--some of his novels written in six weeks--The Bride of Lammermoor written during great and acute bodily pain. A wholesale writer. One has no purely literary or artistic pleasure in reading him, but the pleasure of companionship, of health, of a flow of animal spirits, of content with a copious brotherly nature. What saves him from oblivion then, and makes each succeedinggeneration turn to him for entertainment? Is it his humanity, his atmosphere, his geniality and a kind of perennial youth in him? The same as in Homer. He does not savor of Art, but of life. He was so canny, so copious, so ardent--a world by himself. He does not appeal to a select circle, but to a great multitude. He has great magnetism and the kind of attraction that great bodies always have. A poor critic--he thought Campbell really a great poet--and Crabbe--and could not see much in Wordsworth--could not understand him. He did not want the rare--he wanted the abundant, the plenteous, but he wanted it alive and growing. Writer of impromptu novels to buy farms with, says Carlyle. 12 -10 1/2. Ice just began to move up, very slowly.13. River dotted with great masses of languidly moving ice fields. A futile attempt at a thunder shower [crossed out: last] yesterday afternoon. Much thunder (not heavy) and light dashes of rain--as one so often sees in summer. Spend the day at Slabsides with Booth and Lowne. Seem quite well again and life has a better flavor. 14 Colder, cloudy, mercury 28. Looking for Julian home from H. J. Came on 5:04 train. I met him at station; looks fairly well, tho, a little pale. 15 Rain and hail nearly all day, mostly rain. Julian goes on the river. Gets 2 ducks and a “duckling." 16 Cold. J. walks over to Black Creek in P.M. Sees some ducks.17 Bright and cold--down to 18. Julian and Hud go over to Black Creek and spend the day. Plenty of ducks but poor luck in shooting. Each fire 9 times and get only one duck. 18 Snow all forenoon--3 inches, rain in P.M. Julian goes on the river; ducks very plentiful and tame, but the vast sheets of floating snow--acres of cotton batting--impede his boat; impossible to row through it. He gets two black ducks. 19. Rain, rain; the snow saturated with water and clinging to the earth like a bather’s suit--every dimple and depression brought out. Heavy rains at 5 and change of wind to N.W. Colder with snow squalls at night. 20 Cold and windy. Julian and Hud go to Black Creek. No ducks. 21 Cold, down to 15 this morning. Julian and I go on the river. Water covered with thin ice that cuts two holes in the boat. A flock of wild geese. J. puts me ashore at Pratt’s dock and he tries for some ducks in front of ice house; gets one. Then tries for the geese. I watch him a long time with the field glasses and get much excited. His tactics are very clever. At the last I see all the geese stretch up their wings and launch into the air; no, not all, two lie flopping on the water; then comes the report of his gun. He is a mile or more away, opposite Hyde P. The geese go up the river, and alight, and linger about till 3 or 4 o’clock. We do not try them again. One more duck falls to J’s gun; then we bring up the boat to be mended. 22. Snowing from N.E. now at 11, about 3 inches; river covered with [crossed out] a sheet of wet snow. Weds. 22 In afternoon snow ceases. Julian goes down the river, gets 8 ducks, 4 at one shot. Calm, and misty and chilly. 23 Mist, fog, and rain. March at its worst. A more disagreeable month I never saw. Julian off on the river again. 7 ducks. --Occasionally Scott’s metaphors are suggestive. When at some public dinner they praised him for what he had done for Scotland, he said in reply that [crossed out: he described no] what he had done was analogous to what the servant does who scours the brasses; he had rubbed up Scotland a little and brought out its beauty. What he really did was to invest the scenery with a deep human interest; he made it the theatre of his tragedies and dramas. He spread himself over the landscape. He did not try to brighten things up, but he added something out of himself that stirred the imagination of the tourist. 24 Bright and cold, sleighing till noon. 25. Cold, down to 20, hazing up towards night--with signs of coming storm. Julian on river again. 7 ducks. 26. Sunday. Began snowing in the night, about 3 inches; light snow till 10 o’clock. Cold wind from North. Julian leaves on the 10 o’clock train for Cambridge, looking much better than when he came. Why should I be sad? It is for the best. But I have no other companion. Sun shines at 11. 27 Clear and cold, down to 18 this morning, wind N. Men digging post holes. 28 Snowing again this morning--the same subject continued.--Looking over some pictures of African birds this morning, it occurred to me that there were fashions among the birds as well as among the women, and that they were about as absurd and capricious in the one case as in the other. --always approaching the monstrous, the women, by their dress, always exaggerate some part, as the hips, the bust, the arms, the hair, so with the tropical birds. Now it is the tail, now the crown, or neck, or rump, or bill, to say nothing of colors. And the same sexual purpose lies back of each--to captivate the male in the one case, and the female in the other. 29. Rain all night, with snow squalls in the morning; ground overflowing with water. Appearance of a cold wave. March grows worse and worse. It one extreme follows another April must be fine.Yesterday morning on my way to P.O saw a large flock of gold finches, 50 or more, in a maple, holding their spring musical jubilee--earlier than ever before heard them. What a fine musical jangle it was--a sort of spray or shower of fine musical notes. They all sat motionless, and apparently each sang independently of every other. Had they sung in chorus, the effect must have been striking. Presently some of them began to fly down to some weeds, and the jubilee gradually ceased. 30 Cleared off yesterday before noon with cold wind and snow flakes in the air in P.M. This morning clear and windy. Mercury about 25. Health good all this week and spirits bright. Trying to write out my lecture on “The Art of Seeing Things.” 31 Milder, overcast. Professor Bracq calls. I finish my paper. Walk to Mr. Acker’s in P.M. April 1st Quite spring-like, tho chilly; good sap day; birds very merry. How I delight in the tee-hee of the robin. Sometimes it is nearer a "ha ha, ha." Ice at last all disappears from the river. Write to Julian and return his story. Poor boy, how he is yet to toil and sweat before he can shine in print. 2nd Still hard and cold--only a few degrees above freezing in the middle of the day. Flurries of snow each day, with streaks of sunshine. Walk to S.S. in afternoon. Finish “The Art of Seeing Things" Show less
This journal includes Burroughs' usual musings on nature as well as notes on authors he was reading, particularly Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are also long passages about his father, who died in January 1884, accompanied by a brief family history.
1883 Nov. 9 In the light of Darwins theory it is almost appaling to think of ones self, of what he represents, of what he has come through. It almost makes one afraid of himself. Think of what there is inherent in his germ; think of the beings that lived, the savage lower forms, that he might move here, a reasonable being. At what a cost he has been purchased; a million years of unreason, for his moment of reason; a million years of gross selfishness, that he might have a benevolent throb. ... Show more1883 Nov. 9 In the light of Darwins theory it is almost appaling to think of ones self, of what he represents, of what he has come through. It almost makes one afraid of himself. Think of what there is inherent in his germ; think of the beings that lived, the savage lower forms, that he might move here, a reasonable being. At what a cost he has been purchased; a million years of unreason, for his moment of reason; a million years of gross selfishness, that he might have a benevolent throb. "Bought with the blood of Christ" is the hyperbole of the Church; but every babe that is born today is bought with the blood of countless ages of barbarism, and countless lives of beings; and this not figuratively, but literally. Out of an ocean of darkness and savagery, is distilled this drop of human blood, with all its possibilities. - Probably the most selfish creatures in the world are to be found among the childless women, - all the love, and sympathy and helpfulness, etc. that nature meant to flow out toward offspring, turned inward upon themselves. They come in time to look upon themselves as the child of themselves, which they pity and pet and caress and indulge and for whom nothing in this world is good enough. 12. Go home today to see Uncle Edmund Kelly, very cold and windy. Reach home at noon in a driving snow squall. Father opens the door before I reach it, and greets me with copious tears. Uncle Edmund sitting by the stove with his hat on. Find him but little changed, except more silent than he used to be. Sits long without remark, and reads the paper as an old man reads, that is appears to read it all; with equal interest, a want of interest doesn�t discriminate and select the news. Over 80 years old, the last of my uncles - all dead but him; very spry and quick for one so old; see grandfather very plainly in him; the look of Mother too and of Wilson. His favorite word an adjective is "monstrous", as "She was a monstrous smart woman," "it is monstrous cold," "she suffered monstrous" etc. etc. He told me of his old uncle John Kelly, grand father's brother, that he was a monstrous queer man, lived in the woods in a little hut a regular hermit life, people used to take him food to keep him from starving. When walking along the road he would stop and stand a long time and look all around (I feel the same trait in myself). Uncle Edmund used to go to his hut; as soon as near enough, he could hear him talking as if there were half a dozen persons there. He had two children "off toward Albany" who used to clothe him, and who finally kept him with them, and he died there. When a young man Uncle Edmund used to cut wood at the glass works in Woodstock during the winter; could cut and pick up 4 1/2 cords of stove wood in a day. He left for home Tuesday night: thinks he never will come again; I shall never see he and father together again; they parted that night just at sundown for the last time, Uncle Edmund with wet eyes and few words, father with copious tears and outspoken farewells - two men past 80, their wives dead, and nearly all their early friends and comrades in the grave. How wintery and desolate life did look to them both I know full well. Uncle Edmund had never before found mothers place vacant. He had been to the graves of all his Kindred on Red Kill, to his father and mothers and to all his brothers and sister's, as if to bid them a last farewell.- The old home was pretty desolate to me, only Hiram and Father left, now that Eden and Margaret have gone. Soon, soon it will be only Hiram. On Wednesday Hiram and I walk over the mountains, through wind and snow to Edens near Hobart. A hard long tramp. 17 A bright cold hard day, a day like polished iron. 19 A soft mild Indian summer day; sunlight weak, many times diluted with autumn shadows, but tender and dreamy. No thoughts in me; only a vague longing and unrest. - My best and truest friend among womankind, Mrs. Fanny A. Mead of Lansing, Mich., is dead, since Oct. 25th. Nearly all night Nov. 15th I lay awake thinking of her. In many ways the noblest, most loving, most discerning, most charitable woman I have known in this world. She visited me here the latter part of August 1880. Her death nearly blots out the West for me. - No matter how much learning, or force, or capacity of any kind [crossed out: you have] a man has a man has, unless he has that something which we call style - an apt and original expression and individual flavor of his own, he can make no permanent contribution to literature. Style is the precious spices etc. that embalm and keep thought. The iridescent hue of pearl is an effect of style - the manner of arrangement of the particles - not any new matter.27. A succession of remarkable sunsets and sunrises for several days past, culminating to-night in the most remarkable sky-glow, or sky bloom I ever saw. I have seen sunsets for over 40 years, and never saw one like that before; a cloudless sky flushing crimson that spread nearly up to the zenith and reached far around to the south east - and that an hour after the sun had actually set. At 6 o'clock the western sky was yet dark crimson. In many cities, in N.Y. and in Poughkeepsie, an alarm of fire was sounded and the fire companies were out to extinguish the sun set. The reflection of a distant fire upon a low clouded midnight sky, [crossed out: was] is not more marked than was this evening glow. The wonder was, [crossed out: such] the sky was cloudless the upper atmosphere itself seemed to turn to blood. 28. The same phenomenon again to night, only less pronounced. After sun-down a peculiar phosphorescent glow suffused the west; gradually a crimson bank formed far up from the horizon, which slowly crept down till it lay low in the west, and then near 6.P.M. dropped below the horizon. The mornings, too, have been exceptionally brilliant, the pale, phosphorescent glow of the east long before the sun appeared lighting up the world with the most peculiar effects. Dec. 1st Day of great brilliancy; still cloudless, cold. - The soul is not something superadded to the body, is it? [crossed out: It is] Is it not rather a growth and product of the body as much as the flower is of the plant - or the flame of the lamp? Growing as it grows and decaying as it decays? Dec. 6th Fine days and nights lately - a sort of sterner Indian summer - an austere, but serene Indian chief. Walking along the road in the bright Dec. quiet I pause and hear the fine rasping of squirrel teeth on a hickory nut, or butternut. New ice on the ponds, but the earth beneath is not thoroughly chilled yet, and it doesn�t last. The bluebirds and nuthatches discover a little owl at the bottom of a hollow in an apple tree below my study, and by their cries advertise to me [crossed out: of] the fact. I peep down and see the rascal with closed eyes, simulating sleep, but suspect he is watching me through those narrow slits. Dec. 9 [Section torn from the page] - People who try to explain Carlyle on the ground of his humble origin, shoot wide of the mark. "Merely a peasant with a glorified intellect, says one irate female. It seems to me he was the least of a peasant of any man of his time, a man of truly regal and dominatingpersonality. The two marks of the peasant, are stolidity and abjectness; he is dull and heavy and he dare not say his soul is his own. No man ever so hustled and jostled Kings and emperors about, and made them toe the mark as did Carlyle. It was not merely his intellect that was towering; it was his character, his will, his standard of morality - and of manhood. He is naturally imperious and haughty. There is no taint of the peasant in him, I remember well his long, slender soft hand, and can feel it yet in my own, a certain coarseness of fiber he had, as have all strong, first class characters, the fiber of the royal oak. [Pages missing?][crossed out: the ills of life] Arnold His vision leads his feeling; he sees first and feels afterward or tries to feel, not always with success. There is no struggle or conflict in him. He is not beaten back by contrary winds, nor carried swiftly and joyously ahead by fawning winds. He is calm and mildly contemptuous in a world of Philistines. Dec. 12 No snow yet, not much cold - no ice on the ponds. Peculiar, brilliant, phosphorescent sunsets and sunrises, with clouds at sunset of light olive green. How local, how circumscribed limited seems the sunset, and sun-rise - each a particular phenomenon confined to this one spot - a universal fact appearing as a special and particular fact. Much meaning in this. Thus the triumph of poetry, of art, is to house and locate the universal so, make the sun-rise and sunset special to you and me. The great universal facts of life and death appear peculiar and original to each one of us, but, behold, all men have the same experience. The rainbow is immediately in your front, spanning your own fields or native valley, but the man beyond the valley sees it spanning his just the same. Every man is a center of the world - all the facts of nature point to him, and he is bound to read them and to meet them from his own point of view. But it is well to remember that others have their point of view also, and that the clouds that appear so dull and leaden there in the south or north, are just as glowing in the sun set to people who see them from the right angle, as ours are here in the west. 13 Still bright and nearly clear, but chilly - the air full of a shining haze. The eastern skies all aglow again this morning - at one time a luminous crimson along the rim of the horizon that spread upward and suffused all the eastern skies with a peculiar phosphorescent light. 18 We speak of the motion of the heavenly bodies, but really this is not motion in the concrete as we know it upon the earth - it is rather motion in the abstract - a motion that is equivalent to eternal repose. See them bowl along there, without effort, without friction, without inertia or resistance overcome, changing their places with reference to each one an other, yet not changing their places in absolute space. Universal motion is equivalent to universal rest. When my boat moves with the tide it is practically at rest; if the shores moved too, then motion were abolished. There is no motion withoutplace, without a fixed point and in astronomic space there is no place, no fixed point, no up, no down, no over, no under. I expect we shall find out by and by that there is no waste or expenditure of heat by the sun in warming the solar system, as we understand it on earth, anymore than there is an expenditure of force in holding the earth in its place, and the other planets in theirs. It is something more subtle and transcendental than the warming of your house. The rays that go off into space probably carry no heat, itbecomes heat only when it is caught by the planets, which supply, as it were, the female principle. I am yet convinced that the sun is an actual burning or conflagration, though all that comes from it may be turned into heat upon the planets. (I can no more than hint the point I am driving at) 20 A cold day, four or five inches of snow upon the ground, first floating ice in the river, and clouds gathering for more snow. The third anniversary of mother's death, and father's 81st birthday, and I am not at the old place as is my wont, buthere in my ground-attic, writing on literature and science, with thoughts far away from home. From a letter to M.B.B [Myron B. Benton] We have all felt and spoken of the priestly and sacerdotal character of Emerson and have seen and felt his value to the spirit and that he was much more than a mere man of letters, but to say he has written the most important prose work of the 19th century, and yet that he is not a great writer, a great expressor, and that he is less in this respect than Addison, is absurd. If he is not a great man of letters, he is a great man speaking through letters, which is perhaps quite as important. His literary gifts were not an equipment that he could turn in any direction.He had no literary faculty that he carried about on his finger like a falcon, and with which he could hawk all manner of game from mice to pheasants, like Voltaire and Swift, but he had a power and at times a largeness of utterance, that these wretches never approached. You may say Bacon was not a great essayist, and yet the wisdom and learning of a great mind [crossed out: is] are revealed in his essays. Perhaps Arnold is correct. Not to be a mere writer, but man writing, would please Emerson best."Indeed the scientific critics like Taine leave a very large spot in my literary palate untouched. In literature, in history, we do not so much want things explained, as we want them portrayed and interpreted. And the explanation of these experts is usually only clever thimble rigging. If they ferret the mystery out of one hole they run it to cover in another. How clear is Taines explanation of those brilliant epochs in the history of nations, when they produce groups of great men and give birth to their great literatures. Why, it is only the result of a "hidden concord of creative forces," and the opposite periods, the nadir, is the result of "inward contrarieties." Truly a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. What causes the inward concord etc, so that we can lay our hand upon the lever and bring about a crop of great men at a given turn, the astute Frenchman does not tell us. 23 Very cold - 8 below this morning, and zero all day. At dark thermometer began to rise and fine snow soon began to fall. 25 A white Christmas - Earth, sky and air, all white, a foot of snow and a hoar frost covering trees and rocks, left by the white fog, a bad headache yesterday. 26 A whiter world I have never seen, only the undersides of the limbs of the trees and their trunks showing any shade. The air still and filled with a white motionless fog - less a fog than a kind of white opaque condition of the air itself - very peculiar. Yesterday the white fleecy air lifted a little, just clearing the tree tops, and hovered there like the vapor of snow, and about 4 o'clock snow began to fall gently from it - and continued till 8. It is a condition of high frosty mountain tops, become general. Every writer has his peculiar note, It is the scientific note or the religious note, or the note of criticism or of conventionality, or of good fellowship - In Emerson there is always the heroic note. In all his writing and speaking [crossed out: this is] this note predominates, the electric touch of brave deeds, of cheerful confronting of immense odds, the inspiration of courage and self-reliance. Perhaps his match in this respect cannot be found in literature, certainly not among ethical or didactic writers. If in his earlier essays this note seems to us now, a little too pronounced, savoring just a little of tall talk, it did not seem so when we first read [crossed out: them] him. It was as clear and frank and sweet as the note of the bugle. Carlyle once defined poetry - as the heroic of speech; a definition that would not suit Mr. Arnold, but which describes well much of Emersons poetry, and so many of those brave sentences in his essays. In Addison we get the note of urbanity, in Franklin of worldly prudence, in Bacon of large wisdom, in Pope of polished common sense, in Cowley of - discontent, in Swift of arrogance and scorn, in Arnold himself of critical disquietude. In Carlyle the note is one of sorrow and lamentation. In Emerson we come at once upon the chivalrous, heroic attitude and temper. No scorn, no contempt, no defiance, but brave counsel and chivalrous service. Books, he said, "are for nothing but to inspire," and in writing his own books he had but one purpose in view, namely to inspire his reader, to break through the crust of custom and conventionality and the commonplace - much more pronounced when he began to write than now, to scatter his torpidity and spur him to higher and nobler thinking and acting. There are words of prudence, words of enlightenment, words that cheer and comfort; words that divide one thing from another like a blade, words that are like lamps to show us the way; and there are words that are like banners leading to victory. Emersons words are banner-words, beautiful, cheering, rallying, inspiring, seconding and pointing the way to all noble endeavor. What audacity of statement, what courage of affirmation what intrepidity of mind. "Self-trust" he says, "is the essence of heroism" and this martial note pulses through all his writings. [crossed out: In] This passage one might think was written for Walt Whitman, had it not been before the fact: "Adhere to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant, and broken the monotony of a decorous age." Jan 5 To N.Y. to hear Arnold lecture on Emerson last night. A large fine audience; lecturer introduced by Curtis, the pensive Curtis, in a "neat little speech." Curtis is the cosset of the elocutionary graces. He fondly leans and sighs upon and languishes upon their bosoms! Arnold put his M.S. up high on a rack beside him, turned to the audience, [crossed out: gave a] let off a sharp glance in my direction through his one Cockney eye glass, straightened himself up and after a delay that was a little too long, lifted up his voice and spoke his piece - voice too thick and foggy - has none of the clearness and grace of his literary style; hence his lecture is better in the reading than in the hearing. There is something almost like pudding in an Englishmans throat when he speaks from the stage.- Met Rev. John Wood in the afternoon at Houghton, Mi and Co. An Englishman of a lower order - not pleasing to look upon - shapeless in face and body - plump, with a suggestion of frowziness. Mouth also full of pudding - comes near to dropping his h's - the British softness, unctuousness - fat in the tones of the voice, and not lean like us or is it fog and mist and smoke and beef and beer etc. Did not know of Grant Allen. I remember that William Rosetti did not know of Roden Noel. - I have found that there are two ways to get the heat out of your fire wood - first by sawing and splitting it yourself, then by burning it. 6th In writing my whole effort is to put myself in communication with the truth. If I can, then my sails fill, if not, how futile I am. I have no talent but to see and state the thing as it is. 8 Cold, dark, lowering days. Lifes skies dark also, a few days ago all so bright. Again must I face the inevitable. Let me be calm, and see that it is best also. A despatch from home to-day at 4 P.M. that Father has had a stroke; is probably dead now. The blow I have so long dreaded and have been schooling myself to meet has at last fallen. In a few hours I shall know the worst. It is his time to die, and he has long been looking and waiting for the end; it is best so, but oh! how can I lose him from the world, my father! Be still, my heart, be still. It comes to all men, and have not I known it would come to me. When I was leaving him last summer he said with a great burst of emotion, that he hoped it would please God to take him with a stroke. I recall the whole scene vividly; he was approaching the table, where the rest of the family had seated themselves for dinner; I was standing near the door. His tears came fast and his voice was choked with emotion. How many times sitting alone in my study, during the bleak winter nights have I said over the names of my dead, his name alwayshovering near, as if so soon to be added to the list. How many times, while Mother was still living, have I at night felt suddenly drawn towards them, as if I must at once be with them; they were there now, but would soon be gone; why did I tarry here? and I would start from my chair and pace the floor. How many times while home with them, did I look at them and listen to them, as if with the eyes and ears of future years when they [crossed out: should] would be gone; as if to anticipate the crying want I should then feel to see and hear them, and store up memories of them that would then appease my aching heart. "Oh, listen" I would say, when I heard their [crossed out: talk] voices at night in their bed, "so soon you will want to hear those voices and they will be forever still." Now hers is still, and maybe his too, and the kindness and affection I have shown him during these years, will bear its own fruit - in my heart. Twenty-three years ago, in winter, I was summoned home by his illness and expected to find him dead. I was all night on a freight train from New Hamburgh to Rhinebeck; how dismal, how wretched. The stage had gone when I reached Rondout, and I got Mr. Gibbs to take me out to Olive; then father North drove me to Roxbury. At Pine Hill I saw John Powell, Jr, he said father - and my heart stood still while he finished his sentence - was better, as the fact proved. Jan. 21 Stern rugged winter day and the cold snows cover a new grave beside Mothers. At rest at last, after 81 years of life. The event he so long predicted and waited for, and I think toward the last began to long for, came, and came as he had hoped. No suffering, no lingering illness to make trouble in the house. I went home on the 9th. Drove up from the station in the moonlight in a whirl of wind and snow. How lonely and bleak the old place looked in that winter-landscape by moonlight - beleaguring winter without and death within. Jane and Abigail were there with Hiram and some of the neighbors. Father had died at seven in the morning as I had learned at Kingston bytelegraph. How the wind howled and buffeted that night, and the steady roar of the mountain like that of the sea came to me in my sleepless chamber. How often in youth I had heard that roar, but with what different ears, as I snuggled down in my bed while mother tucked me in! Early in the morning I went quietly and with composure and looked upon my fathers face. Never had I looked upon his face before, in the morning before he had arisen without speaking his name, and I could not refrain from speaking his name now, and speaking it again and again. The marble face of death, what unspeakable repose and silence there is in it. I saw more clearly than everbefore how much my own features were like his. The nose the same, only in his case cut away more at the nostrils. The forehead too precisely the same. Head nearly as large, as mine, feet and hands smaller. It was his time to die; it is better so, and the reason said, yes, yes, but oh, the heart! The time for its [crossed out: dead] loved ones to die never comes. Father had been as well as usual up to the hour of his stroke. The only change noticed in him in the last days of his life, was an increased longing for mother. The sense of his loss and his desolation seemed to become more acute and he talked of her much, with profuse tears. That last day he asked for penand paper to write to me and to Uncle Edmund, but did not write. He ate his supper as usual that night and between 7 and 8 o'clock went out [crossed out: to the privy]. John Grant went with him to help him over some slippery places in the path. Then in due time went out to help him in. As he neared the privy door he saw father lean heavily forward as if just risen from the seat and then fall, or slowly pitch down in the corner of the privy. Hiram and his man were putting up grain, against going to mill on the morrow, in the Grainery near by. Grant called to them and they together got father up and into the house. He could not stand and could not speak. When asked if he was hurt he nodded yes. They got him to bedand he fell into a slumber from which he never awoke; lived about 36 hours, becoming more choked in his breathing toward the last from phlegm etc but died easily about 7 A.M. Jan. 9. apoplexy, affecting the right side. While Hiram was putting up the grain, he heard father call to him several times, probably to help him around some wood after Grant had left him. This was the last he ever heard his voice in this world. On Friday the 11th we buried him beside Mother; a snowy misty day. Elder Hewitt preached the funeral sermon, a thorough-going old school Baptist sermon arguing and proving the doctrine of election and foreordination etc and having his fling at all other church denominations, such asermon as father delighted in, and would no doubt have preferred should be preached at his funeral. It was very foolish from my point of view. The old Elder has more spirit and fight in him than ten years ago, when he preached Chancey B's sermon, and less feeling and sentiment. He had been near unto death then, but now his health is good, too good for his preaching. I remember this sentence: "A spring cannot rise about nature" meaning above its source, "They both now in Earth's soft arms are reposing" where we all in due time shall also repose. Diverse and separate in life, in death we become one. My father was so much to me, not perhaps in reality, for he cared nothing for the things I did, and knew me not, but fromthe force of the filial instinct and home feeling in me. He knew me not I say. All my aims and aspirations in life were a sealed book to him as much as his peculiar religious experience was to me. Yet I reckon it was the same leaven working in us both. The delight he had in his bible, in his hymn book, in his Church in his creed, I have in literature, in the poets, in nature. His was related in his thought to his souls salvation hereafter, mine to my souls salvation here. Father was a serious man and full of emotion; his tears always came so easily! He had no art to conceal anything; was as frank and transparent as a child; no deceit, or guile, or craft, no self consciousness, hardly any sense of shame; Mother usedto say had no decency, and no manners. "All I ever had" father would rejoin, "I have never used any of them." Had no concealment or shyness; would ask people and strangers, such personal questions! If he met a stranger in the road would often ask him his name; would ask women their ages, or ask people what they did for a living, or what wages they got, or what their politics was. He used to speak in "Church meeting" and tell his religious experiences after the manner of his sect, always I imagine with choking and tearful emotion. He never prayed openly in his family, tho' when younger frequently read the bible aloud and sang hymns. Once when I was a lad, I overheard him praying in the hog-pen at night. I think it a time of more than usual religious excitement with him, and he went upon his knees in the hog-pen then nearly empty, I imagine, as it was winter. I heard and ran away. Knowing it was not for me to hear. He was violent and bigoted in his religious opinions, speaking rudely and contemptuously of other denominations as did the Elders of his church. "The Signs of the Times" was his religious paper for over 40 years, and he would read those long lugubrious "experiences" of the sisters and brethren with deepest emotion. A harshness in his temperament, red hair and freckled complexion when young, yet such a tender streak in him. Such a fountain of tears! He was harsh and severe with his oxen or horses, or cows when they were ugly, "lugging" the cows and whipping the oxen at a great rate, and yet such an affection for his teams after all. He could tell every yoke of oxen or span of horses he ever owned and relate many incidents about them. I well remember the sickness of one of his horses, when I was a boy, had the "horse distemper" and how assiduously father watched and nursed it and finally pulled it through. Yet he had no mercy on a healthy horse and could whip it till it fell dead I verily believe. (I could too). Father made a great deal of noise about the farm, had great strength of voice and could send it over the hills a mile away; was indeed a noisy man, halloing at the cows, the sheep, the boys, and in drawing rocks with the oxen, you could have heardhim a great distance. He never went away from home, while I was a boy on the farm, without stopping out on the "big hill" and calling back to us some command, or renewal of some order, generally entirely superfluous, always to the annoyance of Mother if she was beside him, his voice was so loud and harsh. Often he would call twice before he got out of sight. Even last summer, he used to exercise his voice, by starting the cows from the upper pasture, a quarter of a mile or more, away. Father had no enemies, no quarrels; never lied or cheated or stirred up strife. His word was as good as his bond. He had a kind of selfishness, but it was like that of children,thoughtless and uncalculating, and related mainly to appetite. He was a hearty eater, and at the table would always pick for the best. He would always take my biggest trout, and the next biggest and the next if I would give it to him, as I usually did. It never occurred to him to decline a thing on the score of manners. Mother used to say it was "hoggishness" and he would not gain say her. I doubt if he ever said "thank you" to any person in his life; I certainly never heard him. I took him and sent him many little things in his latter days, which he always accepted without remark. His was not a brooding, silent, self-conscious nature; exactly the reverse. He had no sentiment, and would snortat what you call poetry, and yet was much of a real poet himself. His faults were like those of children and in his old age, he became childish to a degree. His intelligence and judgement were yet good, when appealed to, but his will, his self-control, his force and authority as a man, were feeble. His curiosity was always great and continued to the last. Father never had much faith in me, the least of any of his children. He saw I was an odd one, and had tendencies and tastes from the first that he did not sympathize with. All the other children he helped with money when they began life, but me. When I wanted help as I did twice or three times in a pinch, he refused; and as it turned out I was the only one of his children, that could or wouldhelp him when the pinch came. A curious retribution, but one that gave me pleasure, and him no pain. I was better unhelped, as it proved, and better for all I could help him. He went according to his light, and perhaps I loved him the better for denying me. I never laid up anything against him, not even the fact that once while I was away to school, and got short of funds, and wanted $5 to help me out, he would not send it, tho' mother berated him soundly for it. Hiram sent me the money and I worked in haying and paid him back. Father did not like my tendency to books; was afraid, as I once found, that I would become a methodist minister, his special aversion.When a lad of about 14 I wanted a grammar and an Algebra, but father would not get them, tho' I coaxed and Mother coaxed and scolded both. I was going down to the village on some other errand and wanted his consent to get them then. He peremptorily refused, but after I had got out on the big hill, by the old "pennyroyal rock," he hallowed to me and said I might get them, mother, in the meantime had made it so hot for him. But my blood was up and I did not get them, but waited till I made some money by making and selling maple sugar in the spring, and then paid for the books myself, and the books were all the sweeter by reason of the maple sugar money. And he was a loving father all the same, and my debt to him I never could repay. He nearly always said no to his children when a favor was asked, but could not often keep his ground; children and mother to back them, usually carried the point. Coax long enough and hard enough, and he was pretty sure to give in. He never whipped me but once in his life, and that very mildly as regards the blows, but very harshly as regards the manner. I had let a cow get in the meadow, and run through the tall grass, which I should have and could have headed off. That was while we yet milked in the road, nearly 40 years ago. Forty years ago this winter (in 1844) he was getting out the timber forthe new barn, getting up in the morning and doing his chores and eating his breakfast before day light, and then with his oxen and dinner pail off into the hemlock woods of old Jonas More's and working all day, for many weeks, cutting and hauling the trees to the saw mill. He was no hunter or fisher, but in his earlier days, delighted in horse-racing. He used to say that he was a "dreadful saucy mean boy" full of oaths, and full of impudence to his Elders, but after he "experience religion" all of that was changed. His favorite by-words, were "by-fagus," "dark as podunk," or dark as a pocket. Many visions of him about the farm in other days come to my sorrowing eyes. As a child of 3 or 4 years, on a long [crossed out: summer] warm spring day, I [crossed out: see] look up on the side hill, and see him striding across the furrows, a bag slung about his shoulders sowing grain, probably oats. This is about my earliest remembrance of him. The hired girl had thrown my hat or bonnet down the steps and I stood crying upon the "stone work," and looking hill-ward. [crossed out: when the "stone work"] I see him again in his old age, probably 66 or 8, following the team out in the clover-meadow - dragging in oats. Back and forth, back and forth all day I see him go, the dust from his drag, (for it was very dry) streaming far behind him - the last memory I have of him engaged in the "Springs work." At night he came in dusty and tired. Gradually he gave up workstill milking, and husking corn in the fall. After Mothers death he sold the farm to Eden, and ceased work entirely. Probably his last work was in cleaning the bugs off the potatoes about the house. Hiram says he husked one stout of corn out by the new barn that fall before he died. Father laid claim to few of the virtues or graces; delighted to tell a good story against himself as well as against another. He owned he was a coward, and would make a poor soldier. When the possee came in Anti-Rent times, he ran under the bed, and they said left his feet sticking out. He always laughed when the story was told. No hypocrisy or pretension about father; he had more virtues than he lay claim to. Well, we shall meet again: our dust in the Earth, and the forces that make up our Spirits in the Eternity of force. Shall we knoweach other then? Ah! shall we. As like knows like in nature. I dare not say farther than that. - A little scene last spring, when Hiram was about buying Eden out. We were standing near the kitchen stove; father asked if it was so, and seemed to feel a sudden pang on being told it was. "Oh, boys" he said turning to Hiram and Eden, his tears choking him, "Stay as you be, stay as you be as long as I live." Unkind as Eden had been to him, and poorly as he had succeeded with the farm, father could not bear the thought of seeing him leave the old place. Father's grand father Ephraim, had two brothers; Eden, who was rector of a college in N. Hampshire, and Stephen, who lived in Bridgeport Ct, and was a ship builder and ship owner and Captain. Eden had a son Stephen, who turned out badly and finally brought up in State prison. My great grandfather was named Ephraim; he had [four] five sons; Eden, my grand father, Daniel, William, David and Curtis, and three daughters. Grandfather lived with his father near Quaker Hill in Dutchess Co. during the Revolutionary War. He was a small boy (born in 1770) and was once scared by a soldier who ran after him on all fours. The family moved to the"Nine Partners." Grandfather helped his father clear some land there on condition that he was to have part of it. This he did not get. Great grandfather then moved to Stamford on the town ship, and lived and died and is buried there. Grandfather soon married andcame here when he probably in 1795, or thereabouts, cutting a road through the woods. Father said his uncle William had told him that the family was Welsh - came from Wales, which is probably true. I note many Celtic traits in them, and in myself - these probably lead all others. Feb. 10 A severe disagreeable winter so far, like last winter. Entirely exceptional, as it was the "off year" and a mild winter was due. Not happened before for the 10 years I have lived here; ice on river one foot thick; thermometer has touched from 10 to 14 below zero. - How apt we are to regard our private attractions and repulsions as laws of nature, affecting allmankind! Finished yesterday Carlyle's "Frederick," begun in the Dec. What an experience to read such a work! It colors ones days and all his thoughts. By far the most striking and effective historical work I have ever read. If all histories were as vivid and entertaining as this I should read nothing but history henceforth. A great Carlylean poem and a fit and artistic completion of his career as a writer. Having preached so long and so vehemently about the strong man at the helm, the divine right and the imperative need of the government of the ablest, etc, he cast about him for an example, and having found the nearest approach to it in Frederick, he devotes the rest of his days to portraying him to showing his life and his work; his obedience to the stern behestsof duty, and the love and obedience of his people to him. The last of the Kings, he says. He makes one thoroughly love and admire Frederick. In many ways he was the embodiment of the Carlylean ideals. - "Wordsworth's poetry," says Arnold, "is great because of the extraordinary power with which W. feels the joy offered to us in Nature, the joy offered to us in simple elementary affections and duties, and because of the extraordinary power with which, in case after case he shows us this joy and renders it so as to make us share it." That hits the nail exactly on the head.Feb 12/84 Thinking of Frederick it has often occurred to me how desirable it would be to be one of a people who had a real King like him, the father of his people, a sovereign man at the head of affairs with the reins all in his own hand, a man to reverence, to love, to fear; who called all the women his daughters and all the men his sons, and whom to see or to speak with was the event of a lifetime. Such a man gives head to a nation; he is the head, and the people are the body. Currents of influence must stream down from such a hero to touch the life of the humblest peasant. It is the ideal State; there is an artistic completeness about it. Probably this is why it so moved captivated Carlyleinevitable and inexorable artist that he was. But how impossible to us! how impossible to any people by their own action and choice! We have no Frederick, or if we have, we do not know; neither does he. How to get him at the healm! how to trust him, and obey him? Our only hope is in the collective wisdom of the people, and as extremes so often meet, perhaps this, if thoroughly realized, is as artistic and complete a plan as the other. The "collective folly of the people" Carlyle would say, and perhaps during his whole life he never for a moment saw it otherwise; never saw that the wisdom of the majority could be other than the no-wisdom of blind masses ofof men. Authority, authority, authority, obedience, obedience, obedience, how those words forever sounded in his soul. [crossed out: It may turn out that the universe is a democracy and not a divine disposition that we are all parts of God and that a vast impersonal power rules - the totality of nature determines.] At any rate, there can be no doubt that the democratic movement, the coming forward of the people and the abeyance of single individuals, is a movement of the world of nature; an ocean-current that involves or is the result of, the deepest and widest causes, and there is no stemming it or guiding it; we must trust it. It is the decree of the Eternal. Carlyle never would or could see this; he lashed the sea like Xerxes with his Chains, but it heeded himnot. The Gulf Stream keeps on just the same. Ten fools, or a hundred fools are of course no wiser than one fool - but 10 average men will be wiser in their collective capacity and honesty than any one of the ten. They mentally check and balance each one another, and the result is something like one of Galton's compound (composite) photographs wherein the best features of many faces are combined into one. A nation has a character, a presence, an influence that cannot be found in the individual members. It is said of savage tribes that when they are most peaceable as individuals, they are the most warlike as a tribe and vice versa. There are undoubtedly from time to time currents in humanaffairs, that spring from no one mans will, and that no one man can stem or change. There are natural unseen forces at work that we know not of. Men in their collective capacity will be seized with a spirit that may be entirely foreign to them as individuals. Large masses come under the influence of natural law, and the natural law of mankind is to evolution, to grow, to mount, to expand. A people like ours, therefore though blind, will in the long run and on a large scale, be guided instinctively in the right channels. The impetus, the momentum of the race, is onward and upward. Doubtless, re-action and decay will come in time, but with scienceand right reason, more and more in the lead, this tendency will be more and more counteracted. It was because of Carlyle's fearful bent or bias that he saw not these things. He had not a flexible mind. He saw certain truths with such force and he was precipitated [crossed out: himself] upon them with such vehemence that other truths, equally important, he saw not. If the majority is unsound; how are you to get sound action out of it? But is the majority unsound. If mankind, if the race is unsound, how are we here? Why have we not gone to the dogs long ago? Unsound on a question of philosophy, or of taste, or of literature, in fact, philosophically unsound or darkened, without doubt, but not morallyunsound, else chaos would have come long ago. Collectively sound in instinct, in tendency, in action but in the dark as touching the highest questions, but always able to see and to choose the light. Intellectually the majority is in the dark, or not in the fullest light, but Carlyle proceeds on the assumption that they are morally unsound. This is quite a different thing. Let a people like ours vote on a question of philosophy, or a principle of taste, or a question of mathematics or of jurisprudence, and I would not give much for the verdict. But on a question of primary mortality, or right and wrong as affects conduct, character etc., and who doubts that they would be right? The light comes to the minority first, to the high peaksbut it surely spreads to the majority. But character in the end counts for more than intellect and the character of a people is often the stay and salvation of their leaders. Indeed in our times of keen intellectuality and preponderance of mental acumen, there is more danger that the leaders will prove weak, or dishonest, than there is that the people will prove blind. The majority must afford the stay and ballast to the minority. The people are not politically unsound. Can there be the slightest doubt that a man of shining preeminence, would always command their suffrage? Our most generous, our best selves, always come to the front on such occasions, and any given number of [crossed out: people] persons are sure tovote above themselves, on the principle of emulation. It is doubtful if thieves and pickpockets would publicly vote for one of their own kind. In this country there is generally little choice between the two candidates, and the election hinges upon some mineor circumstance. Feb. 13 Start for Washington today. March 1 In W. since the 14th glad to be here again and see the old familiar places. But a pretty bad time so far; sickness a bad scare about Julian diphtheria in Aaron's family, cold winds etc. On Feb. 24 took a walk to the woods with Dr. Baker, Prof. Ward, and Mr. West, along Piney Branch and Rock Creek. Hepatica in bloom. skunk cabbage in bloom, frog spawn in the pools, a bright lovely day, ground frozen. My old haunts but little changed. A different sentiment in nature as you get reach the Potomac, more atmosphere, and more repose in things. A sentiment very agreeable to me. March 7 Home again today. 9 Ice storm breaking down all the trees; crash, crash on every hand. The devils own winter so far, one of the worst ever known; a winter that would have given some good hints to Dante to be worked up in his Inferno. 13 Spring tokens; chipmunks out; robins, bluebirds and cow buntings here; the nuthatches calling their old calls in the morning; chickadees piping their plaintive love notes; ground coming through the snow; a promise in the air. March 16 Sunday. The Biblical writings are the work of the oriental mind, of an imaginative poetical, exaggerative race, nomadic, wandering, uncivilized; and there can be no doubt but our practical, commercial, industrial, scientific, unpoetic Western races have made a fearful "mess" of them; have perverted and spoiled them utterly. Instead of ideal benefits, we have soughtpractical benefits in them we have materialized and vulgarized these beautiful legends and poems. We want to save our souls by them, not here and now, but by and by. Think of the "plan of salvation", "the scheme of redemption", "vicarious atonement", and so on, which we have framed out of the teachings of Jesus. Nothing in any heathen religion or fetich of a barbarous tribe, rotating callabash, or what not, can be more preposterous, or farther from his real meaning. We pursue the good of the Bible, mechanically, and selfishly. The universe is a kind of police-court where one may bribe the judge with fine words or get off with a fine which another shall pay, or where a good advocate is of first importance.Oh, my brothers and sisters, permit me to tell you, you are a set of asses. Your whole scheme of religion is base and selfish, and is as fictitious as the signs of the zodiac, or the constellations of the astronomers. The stars are there verily, but not the harps, and chairs, and bears, and dippers. The facts of truth and virtue and right conduct remain, too; they too are stars, but your silly schemes to get to heaven and cheat the devil, are inventions of your own cowardice. Be noble men and women, lead true and generous lives, and defy the universe to harm you. Jesus Christ is near, when you forget him and lead as original and fearless as life as he did, from within, not from without.March 22 Back from examining banks on Erie Road this morning at 8 A.M. A bright calm lovely spring day after three days of storm. The river like a great strip of the firmament dotted with stars and moons in the shape of fragments of ice, all but motionless at this moment of near slack water. How the birds call, the old calls, the immemorial calls of spring, sparrows, blue-birds, etc. The call of the nuthatch is one of the most pleasing and spring like of sounds, as is also the fine drawn "phoebe" of the chickadees, like a silk ribbon of a sound. The phoebe bird this morning down toward the ice house. How the bees hum, as in summer! 2 pm A little red butterfly goes dancing swiftly by. A little piper under the hill.- The speculative astronomers do not seem to consider that it is impossible for us to conceive of one planet falling upon another or of the planets falling into the sun. Up is from the earth, down is toward the Earth. Is not this equally true of any of the planets, or upon the sun? Then how can two planetary surfaces come together? Which up would negative the other up? The moon could not fall upon the earth as a meteor falls, or the earth upon the sun. Absolutely, is there any up or down?March 24 Damp still morning, fog on the river. All the [torn page] and twigs of the trees strung [with] drops of water. The grass and [torn page] beaded with fog drops. [Animated?] nature vocal - the distant cawing of crows and crowing of cocks, call of nuthatches and sound of hammers and trains, nearer, the laughter of robins, call of high-hole, and note of phoebe, [crossed out: near] close by the trill and quiver of song sparrows call of blue birds and gurgle of cow-bunting. Two lines of ducks go up the river, one [crossed out: in the air] a few feet beneath the other - on second glance the under line proves to be the shadow of the upper. As the ducks cross a large field of ice, the lower line is suddenly blotted out, as if it had dived beneath the ice. A train of carsacross the river - the train sunk beneath the solid stratum of fog, its plume of smoke and vapor unrolling above it, and slanting away in the distance. A liquid morning, the turf buzzes as you walk over it. Skunk-Cabbage on Saturday, the 22nd, probably in bloom several days this plant always gets ahead of me; it seems to come up like a mushroom in a single night. Water newts just out, and probably piping before the frogs, though not certain about this.March 25 One of the rare days that go before a storm - the flower of a series of days increasingly fair. Tomorrow probably the flower falls - and days of rain and cold prepare the way for another fair day or days. The barometer is probably high today - the birds fly high. I feed my bees on a rock and sit long and watch them covering the combs, and rejoice in their multitudinous humming. The river a great mirror, dotted here and there by small cakes of ice. The first sloop comes up on the tide, like the first butterfly of spring; the little steamer makes her first trip and awakes the echoes with her salutatory whistle, her flag dancingin the sun. Now along the marshes and bushy water courses the red shouldered black birds - starlings sit upon the tree and alder tops, uttering their liquid reedy notes, and awaiting the females. They are first upon the ground, but know their mates will follow and that the pic-nic cannot begin till they arrive. These birds are surely close akin to the bobolinks and cow-buntings. In uttering their notes they make the same movements, a sort of spasm, and their voices are of the same quality. Show less
January 11, 1920  Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I am going to see if I cannot type a letter without any mistakes even though I am going fast. I am getting entirely too careless. That is pretty good--only two mistakes. I am going over to Main to eat with Carolym Baily tonight. I mispelled her name, but that does not count. I suppose I will come back feeling dumb and dull, because she is so wonderful and I will naturally start "Woe is me"ing. I started my history topic... Show moreJanuary 11, 1920  Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I am going to see if I cannot type a letter without any mistakes even though I am going fast. I am getting entirely too careless. That is pretty good--only two mistakes. I am going over to Main to eat with Carolym Baily tonight. I mispelled her name, but that does not count. I suppose I will come back feeling dumb and dull, because she is so wonderful and I will naturally start "Woe is me"ing. I started my history topic yesterday. It is on the Philadelphia convention. It is not pregressing any too rapidly. I have a Spanish conference tomorrow morning. Otherwise there is nothing new, except that I got no mail today. Love, Fannie Show less
Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I wired you this morning as soon as I got back to college. I hope you received them promptly. Well, that was some rickety train. It was very dusty and warm until about ten at night and it rolled worse than any steamer I have ever been on. It the station in Buffalo, where we sojourned for about two hours, we were transferred from car to car about ten times--I mean our car was connected up with other cars--until I thought we would have our insides jolted out. I... Show moreDear Mother, Father, and Pete: I wired you this morning as soon as I got back to college. I hope you received them promptly. Well, that was some rickety train. It was very dusty and warm until about ten at night and it rolled worse than any steamer I have ever been on. It the station in Buffalo, where we sojourned for about two hours, we were transferred from car to car about ten times--I mean our car was connected up with other cars--until I thought we would have our insides jolted out. I did not sleep at all until toward morning, and then woke up suddenly at five minutes to six to discover that the porter had not called us. We were over a half hour late--we had exactly two minutes to make connections in Albany. The sandwiches came in handy. We had breakfast in the station. I had counted on sleeping all afternoon, for I surely need it, but just discovered that there is a debate practice tonight. They Lafyayette team has been picked. The speakers are Clara Cheney, Helen Gratz, and Marian Cahill. Clae Williams is first alternate, Mary Magennis and I are the other two. I am quite satisfied with myself, to say the least. Frances Kellogg and Margaret Ray of the former speaking teams, were apparently dropped completely. Clara Cheney will probably not be able to debate. You remember she was called home the night she came back from Wellesly because of her mother's illness. I just heard that she died last Monday. I hope you realize that I am one of the six out of the twelve. It is an honor, etc. but I guess it means no rest or make-up work for another little while. Love, Fannie April 6, 1921 Show less
Jan. 10 Dear Mother + Father, I am writing this while waiting at the station for the train. I worked my fool head off yesterday aft. after my head was washed, I went to the [libe] to study. Lucy came to study next to me. Talking in the [libe] should be prohibited. She had a letter from Howard Spellman. You know what I told you, Mother. I bet she'll have him up for Junior prom. Last night I went to the [audulip] lecture, purely as a matter of education. I want you to know that I am trying... Show moreJan. 10 Dear Mother + Father, I am writing this while waiting at the station for the train. I worked my fool head off yesterday aft. after my head was washed, I went to the [libe] to study. Lucy came to study next to me. Talking in the [libe] should be prohibited. She had a letter from Howard Spellman. You know what I told you, Mother. I bet she'll have him up for Junior prom. Last night I went to the [audulip] lecture, purely as a matter of education. I want you to know that I am trying to educate myself, but I must confess I did not digest all of it - particularly the figures. I worked when I came back till ten. The floor quieted down at eleven. It is really getting to be worse than a nuisance. I then went to sleep, and slept [until] almost dining-room closing time. I then packed my little brown bag, in case I should have to stay over night - and here I am. Miss Smith did not say whether these were to count as week-ends, but I shall not [ask] until next week. This is the 3rd. for this semester after exams can count on [either]. Your card + Phyllis' note came this morning. She must have forgotten to mail it; it was mostmarked the 6th. Don't send any food. I still have [zurichack] and can easily get more. I don't remember any other questions.<She> Lucy told me that any weekend after exams that she goes down she will be very glad to do everything with + for me that she can. There must be ice today. It is colder and the snow is white. [The] fir trees (is that what they are?) are weighted down with snow + ice + they are beautiful. Love, Fannie Have we Josiah Roce' essay on "[Provincialism] by any chance? It is short, so it is not worth ordering from N.Y. we [would]be there with it by then. Show less
February 9, 1920. Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: The one nice thing about the washout north of you, Mother, is that I got four letters from you this morning. I gave the maid her Christmas present after I came back, Mother, and the janitor has never been around that I have noticed--besides which, there is no occasion for that. I do not need a check yet. I have over a hundred dollars left, but don't you have to pay the second semester bill? I did not send the books, Pete, because I did... Show moreFebruary 9, 1920. Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: The one nice thing about the washout north of you, Mother, is that I got four letters from you this morning. I gave the maid her Christmas present after I came back, Mother, and the janitor has never been around that I have noticed--besides which, there is no occasion for that. I do not need a check yet. I have over a hundred dollars left, but don't you have to pay the second semester bill? I did not send the books, Pete, because I did not think it safe to send them in a smashed case. I'll send them Wednesday. It will be time enough for the bulfinch to send it with the laundry. I was fully intending to go to town to buy a telescope Saturday when I met Lucy and she volunteered to have her Mother have their store send me one like hers--she has used hers for several years and it has not broken. It will be sent to the house. The ones Luckey's have are not a bit solid. It ought to be there in time for the next laundry. I finally found Miss Bourne at home last night, and she certainly was nice to me. She said that she had not realized that I wanted to change so thatI would not be so rushed up here the end of the week, that certainly it was a shame to have to miss all the college activities up here, etc., that it was not so very important whether or not I take prose, inasmuch as I have a solid foundation anyhow, and I should come in the morning class. She will give me the prose sentences when the other class have them, and if I have time and feel like doing them she will correct them, but I must not let myself do too much work. She said that she could tell from the little she knew of me that "I was inclined to take life rather seriously" anyway. So she was rubbed the right way. I am glad I changed both for the hour and for the fact that I think any additional prose is useless. She said she had hoped that I would continue Latin next year, that I gave a promise of doing very clear-headed and logical work, in advanced prose, for instance. I am not heading for a job as a high school Latin teacher, but I politely told her that I did not see my way clear to it, that there was so much to take, and that I did want to get Greek in. She was nice as it lies in her power to be. I recited with the morning section this morning. They are quite stupid. Miss Kitchel did not appear this morning and after thee minutes from the time of the bell had passes, the class left. Have you and such regulation that you have to wait for five minutes for a prof, four for an assistant prof, and three for an instructor, and then if he she or it does not appear, you get a cut. I am still quite messed up in this system of having no textbooks in solid geometry.Champy discussed marks with us this morning. She informed us that my B was a very, very, high B, in fact almost an A. Bless her fool heart, what good does she thinks it did the class to hear that. She stopped me on my way out of class to tell me how long she had hesitated before giving me a B instead of an A. She said she was about to give me an A when she was told that an A had to mean almost perfect, and then she decided that inasmuch as this was her first year here she had better not give an A, but if she had been giving A's, I certainly would have received one, and she did hope I would get one this semester. Poor fool! I believe in the closed mark system. What did you say, Mother? I spent about an hour and a half last night practicing the tryout parts for "the fellow who blacks the bootlack's boots". That is about how important I will be if I make the part. Helen Reid is trying for the Duke. I do hope she makes it. She had the main part in three plays at Packer last year. I worked for over an hour on Ruth Franklin's stuff last night. I have to finish it up today. I called on Bess yesterday. A Pittsburgh girl, and advisee of hers from last year, Janet Trimball, brought her mother, and we had to suffer over her tea-cups again. This old lady started hopping off on the question of teachers' salaries. She did think that some of the millionaires in Pittsburgh ought to pitch in and help those poor people out. She was very amusing. And then when she started off on what a shame it is that some women are so fat I began to think of your yarns about kidding Mrs. Cowley and I was glad that I had a tea-cup to keep my facial expression busy with. It is much warmer now, but the crust of the snow is still so solid that it holds even my weight without caving in. The paths on the walk are very narrow, and we have to trail to classes single file. Love, [Fannie] Did Harold ever make those pictures for me? There are three girls left in Phyllis' off-campus house. She is not so crazy about it anymore. Show less
Vassar College. Poughkeepsle Oct 7/65 Dear Carrie & Abbie. I write according to my promise to tell where you must direct my letters and do write me soon I have not had any letter from home yet and I look forward to one eagerly although I know it will make me cry and I have not done that yet. It is raining hard tonight; the wind has that moaning wail peculiar to fall and I feel a little blue but I have got real well acquainted with eight or nine very pleasant young ladies that I like ever... Show moreVassar College. Poughkeepsle Oct 7/65 Dear Carrie & Abbie. I write according to my promise to tell where you must direct my letters and do write me soon I have not had any letter from home yet and I look forward to one eagerly although I know it will make me cry and I have not done that yet. It is raining hard tonight; the wind has that moaning wail peculiar to fall and I feel a little blue but I have got real well acquainted with eight or nine very pleasant young ladies that I like ever so much. Three of them are cousins to each other and all are neices of the founder Matthew Vassar. There are over three hundred In the school* they are from all parts of the country* some even from California & Bermuda. I think I shall like most of them very much indeed. The buildings and grounds are beautiful and in the most perfect order. Water is carried through the building we have gas in our rooms, our fare is very good and very plenty. We sit at table one half hour at breakfast and tea and an hour at dinner and as there are only twelve at each table and we have a servant to every table and are permitted to help ourselves to any thing within our reach we are far from suffering. We stuff our pockets too. We have real nice bread and I never ate nicer butter in my life and besides we have Just as much fresh sweet milk as we want to dring. There are a dozen cows belonging to the College but besides that they have 300 quarts of milk brought In every day. For breakfast today we Oct. 7» 1865 -2 had a beefsteak roasted and fried potatoes, corncake k coffee. For dinner we had veal pie, roast beef potatoes tomatoes pickles for dessert custard pie and those who desire have tea. For supper brown bread white bread crackers prunes and halibut and tea. I have a delightful room which I share with an old pokey called Helen Honors Tones who I cordially detest* I don't want to give up the room for it is so very pleasant so I'll just exert myself to make the atmosphere of It too hot for her If she don't behave herself better. I for one don't see any use in people's making themselves disagreeable so eagerly especially when they would be so when doing the best they can. The classes are not fully organised yet for all the scholars have not arrived and we have the gayest times playing croquet, walking k robbing orchards. Oh I do so wish you would decide to come back with me Christmas if only to stay till June. I know you would like It very much. Art There is a splendld^Gallery containing over three hundred beautiful pic- tures, one of the finest Mineral Cabinets in the United States and a splendid library with more books of engravings than you could look through In the six months. And finally It Is all perfectly splendid k I like ever so much. And oh If you could only stand a moment at my window and see the view you would exclaim with me "It Is perfect. I can see the Catskill mounts* the houses and spires of Poughkeespie the college is about a mile and a half out of the city and with the woods which are now just beginning to be variegated with scarlet and gold It Is perfection itself. But I'll tell you more next time X Oct, 7, 1865 - 3 write. Do please answer soon* you can't imagine how nice a letter would seem and how gladly received by your distant but loving friend Laura Do write soon iLaura Earl Arnzen* spec, »65-66,P#S, Please address Laura E. Arnzen, Vassar Female College Poughkeepsie N.Y. To Caroline E. and Abigail L. Slade, both spec. '65-66. Show less
[15 May 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: Got an invitation for Louise's wedding today. If I wanted to be there, I could, but I certainly don't care about it. The worst has happened. The Tolerance exam is in the form of a prepared topic! I shall be in seclusion from now on. "Antigone" was splendid last night, although I think both Edith Wynne Matthison and Charles Rann Kennedy star at over-acting. The chorus was splendid. I never answered about Marse's golf. I... Show more[15 May 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: Got an invitation for Louise's wedding today. If I wanted to be there, I could, but I certainly don't care about it. The worst has happened. The Tolerance exam is in the form of a prepared topic! I shall be in seclusion from now on. "Antigone" was splendid last night, although I think both Edith Wynne Matthison and Charles Rann Kennedy star at over-acting. The chorus was splendid. I never answered about Marse's golf. I should certainly think he could play by paying green-fees, and if he can't, he will be here only from Saturday to Tuesday, and I should think he could live through it. Bish and I walked out to the cider mill yesterday afternoon and home over stone fences and through the farm. It is so beautiful that it makes me furious to have to work. I shall certainly do my darndest to finish that sem topic before exams, so that I can play for a week before Commencement. Commencement is from Saturday to Tuesday, June 12th. Pete. I mention only one date in order not to make a mistake! Show less
The Landauer Longfellow Collection consists of approximately 300 pieces of sheet music and some bound volumes (totaling more than 6500 pages) featuring the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The items were published in the United States and Europe primarily throughout the nineteenth and early twetieth centuries. The collection is notable for its multiple iterations of the same poem, allowing comparisons between composers, arrangers, etc., as well as its large collections of covers, providi... Show moreThe Landauer Longfellow Collection consists of approximately 300 pieces of sheet music and some bound volumes (totaling more than 6500 pages) featuring the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The items were published in the United States and Europe primarily throughout the nineteenth and early twetieth centuries. The collection is notable for its multiple iterations of the same poem, allowing comparisons between composers, arrangers, etc., as well as its large collections of covers, providing additional analyses of illustrators and publishers.
Brown and Flewelling Photographers (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
Three-quarter length picture of Matthew Vassar as an elderly man wearing glasses, black tie, white shirt and black suit. He is seated in an arm chair with long fringe, resting his right hand on his thigh and his left arm on the chair.
Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I just came back from the song contest--I suppose I'll be sorry tomorrow that I went, but it is such a glorious day and the holiday spirit is in the air, and I went--that is my only excuse. It certainly was great. Each class grouped on the steps of Studentss and sang their songs. Every class sang the Alma Mater, their favorite college songs, and for the third song an original song. The senior song was very serious, ours and the junior one were funny. The... Show moreDear Mother, Father, and Pete: I just came back from the song contest--I suppose I'll be sorry tomorrow that I went, but it is such a glorious day and the holiday spirit is in the air, and I went--that is my only excuse. It certainly was great. Each class grouped on the steps of Studentss and sang their songs. Every class sang the Alma Mater, their favorite college songs, and for the third song an original song. The senior song was very serious, ours and the junior one were funny. The seniors were awarded the banner, and the juniors the cup. Then there was much cheering, and some more singing. Then the whole college went to the Juniors' tree, and cheered some more. It is remarkable the fun you get out of exercising your lungs. The ball-game is at two this afternoon. I'll go early so as to get a sear. I did not know till yesterday that the men of the faculty play. It must be a circus. Mr. Jackson was here last night, and Helen asked me to come to their party at the Inn, as I believe I wrote yesterday. But the weather was bad, and I felt accordingly, so I was afraid to risk it. I hope Helen was not sore. I am sure I have written at least twice that the date of Third Hall is Saturday, May eighth. The Phil prize plays are tomorrow night. Mother, was the big fiftieth anniversary celebration on Founder's Day? I was wishing you were here today. I do hope you come next week. I have been looking forward to it, anyhow. And still I live at Metcalf. I wish this fool thing would get better soon. I suppose I won't be able to enjoy your Commencemtn[sic] either. Love [F] May 1. Show less
[Addressed to Hotel Traymore 12 Apr 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I was glad to talk to you last night, Father, but you certainly did have on your polite, smooth, and agreeable tone. What was up? As the plans now stand, i leave on the 5:08 tomorrow, and meet the others to take the eight oclock to Philadelphia, stay with Florence Clothier, one of the debaters. Had a special from M. W. today. She will call for me Sunday morning. I suppose I can come back with some of the others, Mother,... Show more[Addressed to Hotel Traymore 12 Apr 1923] Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: I was glad to talk to you last night, Father, but you certainly did have on your polite, smooth, and agreeable tone. What was up? As the plans now stand, i leave on the 5:08 tomorrow, and meet the others to take the eight oclock to Philadelphia, stay with Florence Clothier, one of the debaters. Had a special from M. W. today. She will call for me Sunday morning. I suppose I can come back with some of the others, Mother, but I would just as soon not, as I am taking along some plays to read on the train. It would be foolish to stay here over the week-end, as I have worked like a dog all week. and would have to let up here, even if I staid. I shall read these plays on the train, so very little time will be lost. We had a fire-drill last night, late. In consequence I'm sore at the world today. Spent the entire morning, four hours, reading debate. The more I read the more strongly I become convinced that prohibition is a good thing. Most of the material repeats everything else, so I think I have done most of the necessary reading now. Love, Fannie Please return enclosed letter, Pete. Show less
October 16, 1922 Dear Mother, Father, and Pete: There aint nothin new today neither, except that I have a headache. I always get one when we have a written, as I did in Ec just now. It certainly was dumb. I was indignant at being thus bored for fifty minutes. Lucy has not yet wired what time she will arrive, in spite of the fact that she said on the phone yesterday morning that she would look up the trains and wire me immediately. I get in a pretty good day's work yesterday. Love, Fannie
Dear Mother + Father: "Nothing new" meant no change. I feel quite a bit better today - let's see if it lasts. This afternoon there is a lecture on "Child labor" by Miss Julia [Salthrof] - VC's most distinguished alumna Mr. Kenneth Lindsay, of the Oxford debate team, will also speak th hr. Not much time for topics. I finished taking notes on my Ren. topic today. but I have still to arrange my notes + write the conclusion. Love, Fannie