A happy half-century and other essays

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.


The author died in 1950, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 


A

HAPPY HALF-CENTURY


AND OTHER ESSAYS


BY

AGNES REPPLIER, Litt. D.


Riverside Press logo 1904.jpg


BOSTON AND NEW YORK

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

The Riverside Press Cambridge

1908


COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY AGNES REPPLIER

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Published September 1908


TO

J. WILLIAM WHITE


PREFACE


The half-century, whose more familiar aspects this little book is designed to illustrate, has spread its boundary lines. Nothing is so hard to deal with as a period. Nothing is so unmanageable as a date. People will be born a few years too early; they will live a few years too long. Events will happen out of time. The closely linked decades refuse to be separated, and my half-century, that I thought so compact, widened imperceptibly while I wrote.

I have filled my canvas with trivial things, with intimate details, with what now seem the insignificant aspects of life. But the insignificant aspects of life concern us mightily while we live; and it is by their help that we understand the insignificant people who are sometimes reckoned of importance. A hundred years ago many men and women were reckoned of importance, at whose claims their successors to-day smile scornfully. Yet they and their work were woven into the tissue of things, into the warp and woof of social conditions, into the literary history of England. An hour is not too precious to waste upon them, however feeble their pretensions. Perhaps some idle reader in the future will do as much by us.

A. R.

CONTENTS


A Happy Half-Century 1
The Perils of Immortality 16
When Lalla Rookh was Young 32
The Correspondent 51
The Novelist 73
On the Slopes of Parnassus 94
The Literary Lady 116
The Child 138
The Educator 155
The Pietist 177
The Accursed Annual 196
Our Accomplished Great-Grandmother 217
The Album Amicorum 234


"A Happy Half-Century," "The Perils of Immortality," and "The Correspondent" appeared first in Harper's Magazine, "Our Accomplished Great-Grandmother" in Harper's Bazar, and "On the Slopes of Parnassus" in the Atlantic Monthly; they are here reprinted by permission of the publishers of those magazines.