Concerts and Theatres--Mr. and Mrs. Jared Sparks--The Longfellows-- J. R. Lowell--Dr. Palfrey--Rev. Dr. Andrews Norton--The Plymouth Rock Myth--Theodore Parker--ProfessorConvers Francis --ProfessorG. R. Noyes--The Unitarian Clergy--Emerson at Divinity Hall--His Influence on Students.
THE three hundred dollars I carried to Cambridge, which would have been affluence in my Methodist circuit, swiftly diminished in value. Some half-starved tastes were awakened in me. I heard for the first time symphonies of Beethoven; in Boston Museum Theatre I witnessed the inimitable comic acting of Warren;* here were new kingdoms, but with ticket offices at their frontiers.
The most momentous experience was the first opera. It was at the Howard Athenæum, then the grand place, and I was invited by the Longfellows to a seat in their box. This first opera was "Somnambula"; the second was the "Barber of Seville"; but the third--oh, the third! It was dear Mrs. Sparks, wife of the historian, who invited me to "Don Giovanni." She had never seen that opera, and I fear could not enjoy it because she had taken me (a sort of protégé) to what she described to her husband on our return as a travesty of Byron "Don Juan" and quite as immoral. A startling thing to me was the discovery in Mozart's melodies of several hymn-tunes. The charm of Sontag's singing--the music, especially the minuet-- held me under a spell. I never got free from it, and to this day regard "Don Giovanni" as worth all other operas together.
My love of concerts and theatres requiring economy, I joined four other impecunious divinity students in forming a vegetarian table. Our only married student, Fowler, and his wife were____________________