[Boston—Saturday, 23 April 1864]

April 23. 1864. Shakspeare’s Tercentenary. list of people at the great dinner.

I went to hear an address from Mr Clarke at the State House. At the dinner Emerson spoke but not with his usual success. Curtis very gracefully—spoke of Thackeray as showing the finest characterization since Shakspeare. Lowell recalled to J.T.F. a dinner at his house years ago when Thackeray came; as he (Lowell) sat near Thackeray he was continually convulsed with his asides—he remembered one of the company spoke of the wild country surrounding many of the western settlements and said 26 school children had been devoured by bears in one year at a certain place. Ah! said T. that touches the heart of an Englishman—twenty six eaten children.

Something brought to the memory of J.T.F. today a visit he received from a young girl who talked about her mammoth thoughts.

Miss Channing told us Mr James made Mr Emerson a visit and they disagreed upon many subjects. E. was shocked apparently at some of the doctrines Henry James put forward and the conversation was dying when Mr Emerson’s sister who was present took a chair placed it directly in front of H.J.—saying “let me confront the monster” then the topic was reassumed and they parted great friends.

Mr Alcott says there are many things in the Life of Pythagoras perhaps better omitted at present—“they are too fine for the most of us and might be considered coarse by the multitude; therefore the book should be edited.”


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