Norris Galpin Osborn.

Men of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) online

. (page 25 of 30)
Online LibraryNorris Galpin OsbornMen of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


educated man is as good an authority as another and nobody is an
authority at all."

The professor has given his time to his pupils and to the friends
who revel in his companionship, lecturing abroad now and then,
contributing occasional essays to the periodicals and publishing a
few books, but books that will live. The first of these books was an
edition of Chaucer's "Parlement of Foules," followed by his "His-
tory of the English Language," a precious guide to students, published
in 1879, with a revised edition in 1894. In 1882, after long research,
he published, in the American Men of Letters series, "The Life of



424 THOMAS RAYNESFORD LOUNSBURY

James Fenimore Cooper," which is almost as fascinating as one of
the "Leather Stocking Tales." Then came his "Studies in Chaucer,"
in three volumes, most helpful in the class room and in the library.
In 1901 and 1903 respectively, he gave us "Shakespeare as a
Dramatist" and "Shakespeare and Voltaire," in a series entitled
"Shakespearean Wars," and there is now in the press the third volume
of this series, entitled "The Text of Shakespeare," "The Standard
of Pronunciation in English" appeared in 1904, to be variously
received by staid critics and to be applauded by the people more and
more as the days go by. His latest work is an appreciative sketch
of the life of his warm friend and earnest admirer, Charles Dudley
Warner, which introduces the new and complete edition of Mr.
Warner's works. There was much in common — some things in
particular — between these two stalwarts of Connecticut, and one
of the things in particular was their love of strong, vigorous English,
not hidebound, clear, graceful, refreshing, and illuminating. Rules
could confine neither; their goal was the intellect of the reader, and
they never failed to reach it, each in his own iiutrammeled way.
Another thing in particular was their love of archaeology, for archae-
ology's sake, without pedantry. The homes of both of them were
rich in the trophies of their researches, and many of Mr. Warner's hap-
piest days were those when Professor Lounsbury was with him at his
Hartford residence, looking over and talking over his collections.
Both, too, had deep veins of humor, so that their conversation would
keep a listener bubbling over with merriment. They appeared like
"boys together" and undoubtedly appearances did not belie them.
It was eminently fitting that the professor should be chosen Mr.
Warner's literary executor.

Official recognition of the professor's genius was given by Yale
in 1892, when his Alma Mater awarded him the degree of LL.D.
Harvard conferred like honor the following year, Lafayette College
gave the degree of L.H.D. in 1895, which example was followed by
Princeton in 1896.

When the professor went to Boston in 1905 for a course of lec-
tures on "The Transition Period in English Literature from the
Georgian Era to the Elizabethan," at Lowell Institute, the literary
editor of the Boston Transcript, in the course of a long, analytical
article said : "He is a big, broad-gauged man, marked by absence



THOMAS RAYNESFORD LOUNSBURY 425

of cant and petty pedantry." Burton J. Hendricks in the Critic saya
of him : "The intellectual world knows Professor Lounsbury as one
of the rarest scholars of this generation; as a man who has under-
stood the mother tongue and its history, and who has written upon
it with a clearness and a pungency in every way worthy of the subject.
The professor, also like his author (Chaucer), has a keen sense of
controversy. It is owing to this that his learning is a great delight
to him, for it enables him to shatter more than one far-fetched
theory and to prick no end of cheap pedantic bubbles."

As might be concluded from these comments, the professor is,
above all, a man. He commands the love as well as the reverence of
his pupils as no mere scholar could. He leads in the study of the
ancient, always remaining young himself. If anyone would question
whether his years lie lightly upon him, he has only to meet him on
the tennis court and learn there quickly that "cut serve," "Lawford
stroke," and the like stand high in his splendid vocabulary.



SAMUEL HART

HART, SAMUEL, D.D., D.C.L., vice-dean and professor of
doctrinal theology and prayer book at Berkeley Divinity School,
Middletown, Connecticut, secretary of the House of Bishops
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, historiographer of that Church,
registrar of the Diocese of Connecticut, president of the Connecticut
Historical Society, and one of the most able and prominent clergy-
men, authors, scholars, and teachers of the day, was born in Say-
brook, Middlesex Count}^, Connecticut, on June 4th, 1845. He is
descended from Stephen Hart who came from England to Cam-
bridge, Massachusetts, about 1635 and later settled in Hartford and
Farmington. Dr. Hart's ancestry also numbers such distinguished
names as Captain Thomas Hart, Lieutenant William Pratt,
John Clark, Anthony Hawkins, Giles Hamlin, Richard Seymour, all
of Connecticut, and Gen. Robert Sedgwick, Gov. John Leverett,
Francis Willoughby, and Simon Lynde, of Massachusetts. Dr. Hart's
father was Henry Hart, a farmer and bank cashier, who was justice
of peace and judge of probate, and his mother was Mary A. (Witter)
Hart, from whom he received the best kind of influence.

Spending his youth on a farm in a country village the boy,
Samuel Hart, had plenty of work to do, helping his father on the
farm, and plenty of satisfaction for the physical ambition of a strong
constitution. He read eagerly and extensively, at first preferring
books of travel, then showing an interest in mathematics, and still later
pursuing broad and general courses of reading. His college pre-
paratory work was done at the Episcopal Academy in Cheshire and
was followed by a course at Trinity College leading to the B.A. degree
which he received there in 1863. The ministry was his self-choscr
vocation and upon the completion of his academic course he entered
Berkeley Divinity School in Middletown, whore he was graduated in
1869, receiving the same year his Master's degree at Trinity. Durin



Online LibraryNorris Galpin OsbornMen of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 30)