Theodore Parker: Preacher and Reformer

By John White Chadwick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
STUDENT AND TEACHER

HISTORY may not repeat itself, but personal experience does so often that one suspects a law of similar causes producing similar effects. When I read of Theodore Parker's going off one day, not telling whither, and returning late at night and going to his father's room and finding him abed, but still awake, and saying, "Father, I entered Harvard College to-day," I cannot but recall a like experience of my own youth, and wonder if boys generally seek the cover of the dark for such startling revelations of their hopes and plans. Moreover, my father greeted my announcement of two years' more preparatory study and three at Cambridge in words almost identical with those of John Parker: "Why, Theodore, you know I cannot support you there." Then Theodore explained that he would stay at home and keep up with his class, or do as he had already done when teaching at Waltham and elsewhere -- pay a man to do his work upon the farm. He had been to Cambridge that day, and passed his examinations for the freshman class. It was a day he never could for. get. He often recurred to it in his journal and

-22-

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