Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman

By Paul Revere Frothingham | Go to book overview

IV
THE GREEK PROFESSOR

THE Harvard to which Everett returned as Greek Professor in 1819 did not differ greatly from the institution which he had left as Latin tutor six years previously. It was somewhat larger, that was all: but still in most respects a school, with the aims and ideals of schools at that particular period. It was distinctly difficult, no doubt, for the young professor to settle down after nearly five long 'wander years' abroad. The little college, with its scanty library, contrasted strongly with the famous institutions he had come to be familiar with in England, Italy, Germany, and France. After being presented to kings, and having freely conversed with monarchs in the world of art and letters, he suddenly found himself face to face with a group of boys in a recitation-room whom he was expected to instruct in the rudiments of an ancient language. But whatever may have been his sensations, he entered on his task with his usual industry and with no apparent lack of enthusiasm. He introduced his youthful pupils to Wolff's theory of the Homeric writings. He made a translation, for use in the classroom, of Buttmann's Greek grammar, which was considered of sufficient importance to be reprinted in England. Curiously enough, however, when the English edition appeared, 'Massachusetts' was omitted after 'Cambridge' at the end of the preface, lest a knowledge of its American origin might militate against its use in England.1

A young man still himself, Everett had a singular attraction at this time, and for long years afterwards, for the youthful mind. His grace of manner and skill of presentation, no doubt contributed to the effect; and 'the modest undergraduate,' we are told, 'found a new morning opening to him in

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1
Lowell: Works, VI, 156.

-61-

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Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - Background and Beginning 1
  • II - Pegasus in the Pulpit 19
  • III - Wander Years 36
  • IV - The Greek Professor 61
  • V - Apollo in Politics 93
  • VI - Governor of Massachusetts 127
  • VII - Port After Stormy Seas 157
  • VIII- At the Court of Saint James' 188
  • IX - A Diplomat in London 220
  • X - President of Harvard 265
  • XI - An Interlude 302
  • XII - Secretary of State and Senator 329
  • XIII - The Orator 373
  • XIV - With the God of Battles 414
  • Index 473
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