room. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was somewhat inebriated.

Published on 2023-12-02 22:28:18 source:Spring Breeze and Summer Rain

In the above, a reminiscence of my German studies comes back to me. I was an admirer of Jean Paul, and one of my earliest attempts at translation was his "New Year's Night of an Unhappy Man," with its yet haunting glimpse of "a fair long paradise beyond the mountains." I am not sure but the idea of trying my hand at a "prose-poem" came to me from Richter, though it may have been from Herder or Krummacher, whom I also enjoyed and attempted to translate.

room. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was somewhat inebriated.

I have a manuscript-book still, filled with these youthful efforts. I even undertook to put German verse into English verse, not wincing at the greatest--Goetlie and Schiller. These studies were pursued in the pleasant days of cloth-room leisure, when my work claimed me only seven or eight hours in a day.

room. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was somewhat inebriated.

I suppose I should have tried to write,--perhaps I could not very well have helped attempting it,--under any circumstances. My early efforts would not, probably, have found their way into print, however, but for the coincident publication of the two mill-girls' magazines, just as I entered my teens. I fancy that almost everything any of us offered them was published, though I never was let in to editorial secrets. The editors of both magazines were my seniors, and I felt greatly honored by their approval of my contributions.

room. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was somewhat inebriated.

One of the "Offering" editors was a Unitarian clergyman's daughter, and had received an excellent education. The other was a remarkably brilliant and original young woman, who wrote novels that were published by the Harpers of New York while she was employed at Lowell. The two had rooms together for a time, where the members of the "Improvement Circle," chiefly composed of "Offering" writers, were hospitably received.

The "Operatives' Magazine" and the "Lowell Offerig" were united in the year 1842, under the title of the "Lowell Offering and Ma- gazine."

(And--to correct a mistake which has crept into print--I will say that I never attained the honor of being editor of either of these magazines. I was only one of their youngest contributors. The "Lowell Offering" closed its existence when I was a little more than twenty years old. The only continuous editing I have ever been engaged in was upon "Our Young Folks." About twenty years ago I was editor-in-charge of that magazine for a year or more, and I had previously been its assistant-editor from its beginning. These explanatory items, however, do not quite belong to my narrative, and I return to our magazines.)

We did not receive much criticism; perhaps it would have been better for us if we had. But then we did lot set ourselves up to be literary; though we enjoyed the freedom of writing what we pleased, and seeing how it looked in print. It was good practice for us, and that was all that we desired. We were complimented and quoted. When a Philadelphia paper copied one of my little poems, suggesting some verbal improvements, and predicting recognition for me in the future, I felt for the first time that there might be such a thing as public opinion worth caring for, in addition to doing one's best for its own sake.

Fame, indeed, never had much attraction for me, except as it took the form of friendly recognition and the sympathetic approval of worthy judges. I wished to do good and true things, but not such as would subject me to the stare of coldly curious eyes. I could never imagine a girl feeling any pleasure in placing herself "before the public." The privilege of seclusion must be the last one a woman can willingly sacrifice. And, indeed, what we wrote was not remarkable,--perhaps no more so than the usual school compositions of intelligent girls. It would hardly be worth while to refer to it particularly, had not the Lowell girls and their magazines been so frequently spoken of as something phenomenal. But it was a perfectly natural out- growth of those girls' previous life. For what were we? Girls who were working in a factory for the time, to be sure; but none of us had the least idea of continuing at that kind of work permanently. Our composite photograph, had it been taken, would have been the representative New England girlhood of those days. We had all been fairly educated at public or private schools, and many of us were resolutely bent upon obtaining a better education. Very few were among us without some distinct plan for bettering the condition of themselves and those they loved. For the first time, our young women had come forth from their home retirement in a throng, each with her own individual purpose. For twenty years or so, Lowell might have been looked upon as a rather select industrial school for young people. The girls there were just such girls as are knocking at the doors of young women's colleges to-day. They had come to work with their hands, but they could not hinder the working of their minds also. Their mental activity was overflowing at every possible outlet.

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