A. Bronson Alcott, His Life and Philosophy - Vol. 2

By William T. Harris; F. B. Sanborn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII.

THE CLOSING YEARS.

IF we except the wearisome period of illness, extending from Oct. 24, 1882, to March 4, 1888, the later years of Bronson Alcott's life were singularly complete and felicitous. What he had anticipated and aimed at in youth and middle life had come to pass in his old age, — not exactly as he had projected it, but in certain results far beyond his temporal expectation. For who could have foreseen in 1835, when Garrison was so near death in Boston, or in 1859, when John Brown was executed in Virginia, that the great sin of slavery would have been removed and expiated in the lifetime of Alcott? Upon reading his last completed work, the "Sonnets," 1 at the

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In the Diary for Sept. 5, 1881, before he had quite finished these poems, Mr. Alcott writes thus of them: "Choice sonnets, and tender too. I wish I may not intrude, in my thought even, upon the delicacy of a sentiment so absorbing and so delightful as these offerings would sing. Numbering now the mystic XIV., it were perhaps superfluous to add thereto. I am indebted to my friend Sanborn for suggestions and corrections, sometimes of lines even, and for the

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