And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

26 January

Richard Henry Dana Jr.,

‘Letter from T. Colley Grattan (“High-ways and By-ways”) saying that Dickens wishes to see me, and is surprised that I have not called before, and fixing two P. M. for a call. At two P. M. call at Tremont House and am told that he is engaged. Send up name and am shown up. Kept disengaged on purpose to see Longfellow and myself. Talk a few minutes when Longfellow comes in with Sumner. Disappointed in D.’s appearance. We have heard him called “the handsomest man in London,” etc. He is of the middle height (under if anything), with a large, expressive eye, regular nose, matted, curling, wet-looking black hair, a dissipated looking mouth with a vulgar draw to it, a muddy olive complexion, stubby fingers, and a hand by no means patrician, a hearty, off-hand manner far from well-bred, and a rapid, dashing way of talking. He looks “wide awake,” “ up to everything,” full of cleverness, with quick feelings and great ardor. You admire him, and there is a fascination about him which keeps your eyes on him, yet you cannot get over the impression that he is a low-bred man. Tom Appleton says, “Take the genius out of his face, and there are a thousand young London shop-keepers about the theatres and eating-houses who look exactly like him. He has what I suppose to be true Cockney cut.

He inquires for father, and wonders he has not been to see him. Offers to call on him if he is unwell.’

The slurs of vessel owners


Sanford Fleming,

‘I have been thinking for some time that, the charcoal light of the magnetic battery might be brought to some practical use. I only require one experiment, but it would be an expensive one for me unless I could meet with a powerful battery, but I dont think there is one in Canada. It is to try if more than one light can be formed with one set of wires by masking the connection and interposing charcoal points. If this is the case, we have a good and cheap substitute for Gas, would give a much better light, and at least could be easily adapted to lighting streets or churches just by having a wire like the Telegraph ones, with a charcoal apparatus here & there. Worth trying.’

Adieu to my youth


Amy Lowell,

‘Nobody could ever love me I know. I am but a contemptible being, but I want love, love, love. I know I am making a fool of myself but shurely there are others who have such thoughts. . . If I were a man I’d ask [Patty Storrow, a friend] to be my wife. But I am a woman. I can only ask her to love me and and I cannot do that. . . Men I could not love. My ideal is too high. But I want, need, yearn, for the love of a strong, tender woman. Oh God! Bless her and help me! Amen!’

I would like to be a man


Breckinridge Long,

‘The League of Nations. I think I see so clearly the President’s purpose in trying to establish it. The allied and associated governments have been held together by the danger of the common enemy. Now that has ceased to be a binding force. The centripedal forces are exchanged for centrifugal ones. Each nation, except us, has special and in many cases conflicting claims. They are impossible of settlement in detail by the present Conference because it will take too long. It must soon (in 2 or 3 months) adjourn. People are tired of war. They all want peace proclaimed. That means public opinion will soon force it to sign a peace and adjourn. That peace can in the nature of things be only a settlement of 1) The guilt of Germany, including the official persons; 2) The indemnities Germany & Austria must pay and the reparation they shall make; 3) General principles each nation can and will subscribe to as fundamental doctrines, the specific applications of which to certain cases will be determined by sub-committees which will report their findings and recommendations to the next succeeding body, the World Congress, which will receive them and determine the rights, and which will be the League of Nations in Congress assembled. It will be the authoritative body which will work out the details of the matters now before the Peace Conference. He sees the necessity of committing each nation to the general principles but first of having their agreement to the League and their concurrent acceptance of the condition that they shall submit all their differences to the court of last resort. Once the League is subscribed to, they are bound. Without that obligation they might not be able to agree to terms of Peace; one would be trading its desires and claims for the support of another; combinations, of which special interests of each of the combining parties would be the cement, would jeopardize the successful conclusion of all rights on a just basis. The League, once created, is the solution - & is the prime consideration. He sees it. His critics, who demand ‘peace first & then let’s consider the League’ do not see there can be no peace without it - at least no reasonable prospect of an immediate and proper peace without it.’

The League is the solution


Bill Haley,

‘Got my new 1956 Fleetwood Cadillac today. It’s pink and the most gorgeous car I’ve ever seen. Everyone loves the car. The sad part is I leave tomorrow morning for a 10-day tour of one-nighters. I hate to leave home again. But maybe soon we can slack off work.’

The rock and roll life


Antonia Fraser,

‘Thought of Harold. I suppose I’m in love with him, but there are many other things in my life. . .’

In love with Pinter


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And so made significant . . .
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