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Cambridge Sketches   By: (1846-1917)

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First Page:

CAMBRIDGE SKETCHES

[Illustration: CHARLES SUMNER]

CAMBRIDGE SKETCHES

BY

FRANK PRESTON STEARNS

AUTHOR OF "TRUE REPUBLICANISM," "LIFE OF PRINCE OTTO VON BISMARCK," "SKETCHES FROM CONCORD AND APPLEDORE," ETC.

1905

PREFACE

It has never been my practice to introduce myself to distinguished persons, or to attempt in any way to attract their attention, and I now regret that I did not embrace some opportunities which occurred to me in early life for doing so; but at the time I knew the men whom I have described in the present volume I had no expectation that I should ever write about them. My acquaintance with them, however, has served to give me a more elevated idea of human nature than I otherwise might have acquired in the ordinary course of mundane affairs, and it is with the hope of transmitting this impression to my readers that I publish the present account. Some of them have a world wide celebrity, and others who were distinguished in their own time seem likely now to be forgotten; but they all deserve well of the republic of humanity and of the age in which they lived.

THE EVERGREENS, JANUARY 4, 1905.

CONTENTS

THE CLOSE OF THE WAR

FRANCIS J. CHILD

LONGFELLOW

LOWELL

C. P. CRANCH

T. G. APPLETON

DOCTOR HOLMES

FRANK BIRD AND THE BIRD CLUB

SUMNER

CHEVALIER HOWE

THE WAR GOVERNOR

THE COLORED REGIMENTS

EMERSON'S TRIBUTE TO GEORGE L. STEARNS

ELIZUR WRIGHT

DR. W. T. G. MORTON

LEAVES FROM A ROMAN DIARY

CENTENNIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

THE CLOSE OF THE WAR

Never before hast thou shone So beautifully upon the Thebans; O, eye of golden day:

Antigone of Sophocles .

One bright morning in April, 1865, Hawthorne's son and the writer were coming forth together from the further door way of Stoughton Hall at Harvard College, when, as the last reverberations of the prayer bell were sounding, a classmate called to us across the yard: "General Lee has surrendered!" There was a busy hum of voices where the three converging lines of students met in front of Appleton Chapel, and when we entered the building there was President Hill seated in the recess between the two pulpits, and old Doctor Peabody at his desk, with his face beaming like that of a saint in an old religious painting. His prayer was exceptionally fervid and serious. He asked a blessing on the American people; on all those who had suffered from the war; on the government of the United States; and on our defeated enemies. When the short service had ended, Doctor Hill came forward and said: "It is not fitting that any college tasks or exercises should take place until another sun has arisen after this glorious morning. Let us all celebrate this fortunate event."

On leaving the chapel we found that Flavius Josephus Cook, afterwards Rev. Joseph Cook of the Monday Lectureship, had collected the members of the Christian Brethren about him, and they were all singing a hymn of thanksgiving in a very vigorous manner.

There were some, however, who recollected on their way to breakfast the sad procession that had passed through the college yard six months before, the military funeral of James Russell Lowell's nephews, killed in General Sheridan's victory at Cedar Run. There were no recent graduates of Harvard more universally beloved than Charles and James Lowell; and none of whom better things were expected. To Lowell himself, who had no other children, except a daughter, they were almost like his own sons, and the ode he wrote on this occasion touches a depth of pathos not to be met with elsewhere in his poetry. There was not at that time another family in Cambridge or Boston which contained two such bright intellects, two such fine characters. It did not seem right that they should both have left their mother, who was bereaved already by a faithless husband, to fight the battles of their country, however much they were needed for this... Continue reading book >>




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