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memory of Charles Sumner. Carl Schurz, | Alexander in 1842; of Pope, the work of Longfellow, the late John Weiss, Free- Richardson, Sir Joshua's master. Up man Clarke, and other famous personages stairs there is a little bedroom, provided were present. Many eloquent and inci- with old furniture, antique engravings, sive things were said; but when Dr. Bartol and bric-à-brac, and adjoined by a cabinet asked the abolitionist poet to add some de travail crammed with more books. thing to the reminiscences of the dead In this chamber have reposed at differleader, Mr. Whittier replied with a quaint- ent times, as guests, Dickens, Thackeness that made one think of Lincoln. He ray, Hawthorne, Trollope, Kingsley, Miss said that he had no skill in speaking, and Cushman, Bayard Taylor, and other celebthat the idea of his saying anything re- rities; for the graceful hospitality of the minded him of the dying petition made by owner has been always warmly pressed the captain of the Dumfries rifles, “Don't upon the wandering bards and wise men let the awkward squad fire a salute over and women who have passed near the my grave.”
door. The interior of this house is redoMr. Fields's house, overlooking the wid-lent of the positive and work-a-day assoening of the Charles River known as the ciations of literature and literary genius as Back Bay, is crowded from entrance to perhaps few other Boston interiors may attic with artistic objects or literary and claim to be; and in its congenial atmoshistoric mementos. On the second floor phere a circle of ladies meets from time to the library, amazingly rich in autograph time, who read the latest thing they have copies and full of curious old books, clam- written ; Mrs. Fields, perhaps, contribubers over the walls like a vine, with its ting a poem, Miss Phelps some chapters ten thousand volumes ; and here and from a new story, Mrs. Celia Thaxter one there pictures of peculiar interest look of her sea-pieces, or Miss Preston a critdown from above the shelves. Among ical essay. these are portraits of Lady Sunderland, There have been, of course, other cenby Sir Peter Lely; of Dickens, painted by I tres; and when Mrs. Howe was a settled
resident of Boston she drew around her, by the spirit of the captain may be excused the force of that magical thing, an instinct if, in looking down and beholding the for social leadership, the most brilliant transcendent realization of his kindly people. Her entertainments were inform- forethought by other means, it indulges al, but always triumphant in the fine a thrill of vanity. There are the two tone of wit, grace, and intellect that per- chief clubs, the Union and the Somerset; vaded them. Count Gurowski, it is re- the former frequented by lawyers, judges, ported, said that Mrs. Howe was the one merchants, and sometimes by the histowoman complete both on the side of liter- rian Francis Parkman, by Dr. Holmes, ature and on that of easy and charming Thomas Gold Appleton (celebrated as a social ability whom he had met in Amer- wit and a man of fine ästhetic insight), ica. For fifteen years, too, the Ladies' Fields, and his successor Osgood. The Social Club, better known abroad by its satirical title of “Brain Club, flourished as the most remarkable instance, in Boston, at least, of a successful club for mental stimulation and refreshment. It was begun by Mrs. Josiah Quincy, and numbered thirty or forty persons, though the companies assembled were often twice that; and among its active members or readers were Emerson, Professor Rogers, Agassiz, and Whipple. The meetings were at private houses, but membership was gained by many wealthy people, who so increased the variety of entertainment by paid performers and what not, and so overstepped the modest programme of the club as to suppers, .that it died naturally two or three years since.
It should be said here that Cambridge, on the other hand, presents a mingling and a balance of elements which form one of the most enjoyable societies in the world.
The conventional requirements are simple; the members whose employment is
JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY. in art, with the university professors, and their families, themselves constitute | Somerset, being the fashionable club of the upper and fashionable circle, so far Boston, embraces some of the Union memas it is fashionable at all; and the recep-bership, but is especially a favorite with tions, dinners, suppers for gentlemen, and the old young men and young old men. little music parties, with which they en- There are the Temple, the Suffolk, the Centertain each other, are close upon perfec- tral, the Athenian, all carrying houses on tion in their tone and in the opportuni- their backs; and the Art Club and St. Boties given for pleasant intercourse. The tolph, in a similar predicament. The Art only fault is the unevenness of the sea- Club, in fact, is about to put up a new sons: some are very dull and others too building which will cost fifty thousand brilliant.
dollars. Then there are swarms of small What Boston, pure and simple, lacks dining clubs, weekly, fortnightly, monthsocially, it makes up in clubs. Long ago ly, for which male Bostonians have a a public-spirited gentleman, one Captain passion. They are limited to some half a Keayne, who died in 1656, left money to dozen or twenty persons each. So powerthe town to support “a room for divines, ful is their attraction that members will scholars, merchants, shipmen, strangers, come miles from the suburbs, through inand townsmen” to meet in. What has clement weather, or when no other form of become of the legacy I do not know; but relaxation would draw them, to eat togeth
er in a hotel or restaurant. The Papyrus | tastes in the journalistic direction--an Club is in structure merely one of these evening paper founded on the communidining companies, gradually enlarged so ty's desire for literary, artistic, and social as to take in about a hundred gentle-gossip, and edited for eight years by a lady,
Journalists, authors, and painters the wife of a Boston banker. The Atheoriginated it, and are conceded a control- nian Club is the chief resort of journalists ling force in its government. A small and theatrical people. But the younger admission fee is paid, and each member intellectual elements are even less united may purchase a ticket on the first Satur- than were the older ones in their prime. day of each month, which entitles him to Recently the St. Botolph Club has been partake of a dinner, and bring friends with formed, with the hope of bringing togethhim, for whom he likewise pays. At these er in closer relations artists of all kinds dinners speeches are made and poems read and those who should be the friends and after dessert; and some of the most distin- supporters of the arts. But the atmosphere guished authors in New England, as well as of tradition in Boston is so gelid that a
from without, have been the club's guests. thin crust of ice forms upon the wine of The Papyrus, too, holds annually a Ladies' sympathy as soon as it is poured, and it is Night, and it distinguished this occasion to be feared that a benumbing frost will not long since by inviting to it some of creep into even the St. Botolph's house. the notable literary women from different The multiplying of clubs, however, is parts of the country. Among its own the sign of an uneasiness which may remembers Edwin P. Whipple and the two sult in good. They are fissiparous. No Irish-American poets Dr. Joyce and Johnsooner is one formed than it begins to Boyle O'Reilly are numbered. The one make another, by subdivision. Men fly last mentioned, by his gifts of imagina- from the clubs they have to others that tion and the captivating grace of his so they know not of, hoping always to find cial presence, has won a place in local re one which will yield that generous, progard, and is certainly the most romantic ductive fellowship essential to a healthier figure in literary Boston. Mr. William and more joyous life. Perhaps by the A. Hovey, another member of the Papy- time that Boston's suburbs have extended rus, has become widely known under the so far as to include a White Mountain name of “Causeur," and is the editor of the school of authors, society itself may have Transcript, that unique result of Boston I learned to supply the need.
up to the height with some difficulty, for “It was Peboan, the winter!
the ice-crust was broken, and she was From his eyes the tears were flowing obliged to wade knee-deep through some As from melting lakes the streamlets, of the drifts, and go around others that And his body shrun and dwindled
were over her head, leaving a trail behind As the shouting sun ascended;
her as crooked as a child's through a cloAnd the young man saw before him, On the hearth-stone of the wigwam,
ver field. Reaching the plateau on the Where the fire had smoked and smouldered, summit at last, and avoiding the hidden Saw the earliest flower of spring-time,
pits of the old earth-work, she climbed Saw the miskodeed in blossom.
the icy ladder, and stood on the white Thus it was that in that Northland Came the spring with all its splendor,
floor again with delight, brushing from All its birds and all its blossoms,
her woollen skirt and leggings the dry All its flowers and leaves and grasses."
snow which still clung to them.
The sun -LONGFELLOW. The Song of Hiawatha.
was so bright and the air so exhilarating N this Northern order Spring came that she pushed back her little fur cap,
sent forward no couriers, no hints in the Everything below was still white-covered forest, no premonitions on the winds. —the island and village, the Straits and All at once she was there herself.
Not a the mainland; but coming around the shy maid, timid, pallid, hesitating, and eastern point four propellers could be turning back, but a full-blooming goddess seen floundering in the loosened ice, heavand woman. One might almost say that ing the porous cakes aside, butting with she was not Spring at all, but Summer. their sharp high bows, and then backing The weeks called spring farther south- briskly to get headway to start forward ward showed here but the shrinking and again, thus breaking slowly a passageway fading of winter. First the snow crum- for themselves, and churning the black bled to fine dry grayish powder ; then water behind until it boiled white as soapthe ice grew porous and became honey- suds as the floating ice closed over it. Now combed, and it was no longer safe to cross one boat, finding by chance a weakened the Straits; then the first birds came; then spot, floundered through it without pause, the far-off smoke of a steamer could be and came out triumphantly some distance seen above the point, and the village in advance of the rest; then another, wakened. In the same day the winter wakened to new exertions by this sight, went and the summer came.
put on all steam, and went pounding On the highest point of the island were along with a crashing sound until her the remains of an old earth-work, crown- bows were on a line with the first. The ed by a little surveyor's station, like an two boats left behind now started togetharbor on stilts, which was reached by the er with much splashing and sputtering, aid of a ladder. Anne liked to go up and veering toward the shore, with the there on the first spring day, climb the hope of finding a new weak place in the ice-coated rounds, and, standing on the floe, ran against hard ice with a thud, and dry old snow that covered the floor, gaze stopped short; then there was much backoff toward the south and east, where peo- ing out and floundering around, the enple and cities were, and the spring; then gines panting and the little bells ringing toward the north, where there was still wildly, until the old channel was reached, only fast-bound ice and snow stretching where they rested awhile, and then made away over thousands of miles of almost another beginning. These maneuvres unknown country, the great wild north- were repeated over and over again, the land called British America, traversed by passengers and crew of each boat laughthe hunters and trappers of the Hudson ing and chaffing each other as they passBay Company-vast empire ruled by pri-ed and repassed in the slow pounding vate hands, a government within a gov- race. It had happened more than once ernment, its line of forts and posts extend that these first steamers had been frozen ing from James Bay to the Little Slave, in after reaching the Straits, and had been from the Saskatchewan northward to the obliged to spend several days in company Pola Sea. In the early afternoon she fast bound in the ice.
Then the passenstood there now, having made her way gers and crews visited each other, climb
ing down the sides of the steamers and and kept the fleets at bay on the east and walking across. At that early season the on the west. White-winged vessels, piopassengers were seldom pleasure-travel- neers of the summer squadron, waited lers, and therefore they endured the de- without while the propellers turned their
lay philosophically. It is only the real knife-bladed bows into the ice, and cut pleasure-traveller who has not one hour a pathway through. Then word went to spare.
down that the Straits were open, all the These steamers Anne now watched fresh-water fleet set sail, the lights were were the first from below. The lower lit again in the light-houses, and the fishlakes were clear; it was only this north- ing stations and lonely little wood docks ern Strait that still held the ice together, came to life.