Theodore Parker: A Biography

By Octavius Frothingham Brooks | Go to book overview
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MR. PARKER. went to Cambridge Divinity School in April, 1834 -- three months before the close of the junior or first year of his class, -- and remained there two years and a quarter. He had saved up a little money from his teaching, -- about one hundred and fifty dollars; having spent some two hundred dollars in books while at Watertown, and clothed himself besides. The expenses of the Hall were not heavy, -- sixty-six dollars annually for tuition, and care of room; one dollar and ninety cents a week for board in "commons." This last expense he tried to save by boarding himself at half a dollar a week on dry bread, -- a course that he was wise enough to abandon for a boarding-house so far off that he must needs get exercise in going to and from his meals. A successful application for assistance from the beneficiary fund gave him from a hundred and ten to a hundred and fifty dollars more. Teaching, first one boy, then two, then two young girls in addition, brought a moderate accession to his income. He was countenanced in his habits of economy by his fellow-students; for nearly all who came to study theology were poor. The wretched custom of boarding themselves, which meant eating crackers or other food that needed no cooking, was not uncommon. There was no refectory at the Hall: the college commons were half a mile off. Divinity students are apt to be touched by a flavor of asceticism from


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