Little Masterpieces of Autobiography, Volume 4

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Doubleday, Page, 1908
 

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Page 50 - I loved her. Indeed, I did not know myself why I liked so much to loiter behind with her, when returning in the evening from our labours ; why the tones of her voice made my heart-strings thrill like an /Eolian harp ; and particularly why my pulse beat such a furious rattan when I looked and fingered over her little hand, to pick out the cruel nettlestings and thistles.
Page 5 - I most eagerly aspire after future eminence in literature; my whole soul burns most ardently for it, and every earthly thought centres in it.
Page 102 - The deep remembrance of the sense I had of being utterly neglected and hopeless; of the shame I felt in my position; of the misery it was to my young heart to believe that, day by day, what I had learned, and thought, and delighted in, and raised my fancy and my emulation up by, was passing away from me, never to be brought back any more; cannot be written.
Page 43 - Let a man but speak forth with genuine earnestness the thought, the emotion, the actual condition of his own heart; and other men, so strangely are we all knit together by the tie of sympathy, must and will give heed to him.
Page 46 - I am in such matters, yet it often takes an effort of philosophy to shake off these idle terrors. The earliest composition that I recollect taking pleasure in was the Vision of Mirza, and a hymn of Addison's, beginning, How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
Page 11 - ... gentle face the face of one long dead Looks at me from the wall, where round its head The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. Here in this room she died ; and soul more white Never through martyrdom of fire was led To its repose ; nor can in books be read The legend of a life more benedight. There is a mountain in the distant West That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines Displays a cross of snow upon its side. Such is the cross I wear upon my breast These eighteen years, through all...
Page 46 - Though it cost the schoolmaster some thrashings, I made an excellent English scholar; and by the time I was ten or eleven years of age, I was a critic in substantives, verbs, and particles.
Page 49 - In short, she, altogether unwittingly to herself, initiated me in that delicious passion, which, in spite of acid disappointment, gin-horse prudence, and book-worm philosophy, I hold to be the first of human joys, our dearest blessing here below...
Page 108 - I do not write resentfully or angrily: for I know how all these things have worked together to make me what I am : but I never afterwards forgot, I never shall forget, I never can forget, that my mother was warm for my being sent back.
Page 52 - The collection of songs was my vade mecum. I pored over them, driving my cart, or walking to labour, song by song, verse by verse ; carefully noting the true, tender, or sublime, from affectation and fustian. I am convinced I owe to this practice much of my critic-craft, such as it is.

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