Outdoor studies. Poems [book]

Thomas Wentworth Higginson
1900 unpublished
The prose essays in this volume were written, with hardly an exception, while the author was a resident of Worcester, Massachusetts, and were published originally in the " Atlantic Monthly" magazine. They were reprinted, in part, in a volume called " Outdoor Papers," and some of them in an illustrated volume entitled " In a Fair Country," with illustrations by Miss Irene E. Jerome, and again in a volume called "The Procession of the Flowers, and Other Essays," with a frontispiece by Mrs. Arthur
more » ... iece by Mrs. Arthur B. Marsh. The poems, on the other hand, were written during a long series of years and in many different places. Most of them have been previously published, either in a volume called " The Afternoon Landscape "or in one entitled " Such as They Are." Cambridge, Mass., April s, 1900. ruined their health early, and were invalids for the remainder of their days. Three only of the whole eight were able-bodied men, -Ambrose, Augustine, and Athanasius ; and the permanent influence of these three has been far greater, for good or for evil, than that of all the others put together. Robust military saints there have doubtless z OUTDOOR STUDIES been in the Roman Catholic Church : George, Michael, Sebastian, Eustace, Martin, Hubert the Hunter, and Christopher the Christian Hercules. But these have always held a verysecondary place in canonization. Maurice and his whole Theban legion also were sainted together, to the number of six thousand six hundred and sixty-six ; doubtless they were stalwart men, but there never yet has been a chapel erected to one of them. The mediaeval type of sanctity was a strong soul in a weak body ; and it could be intensified either by strengthening the one or by further debilitating the other. The glory lay in contrast, not in combination. Yet, to do them justice, they conceded a strong and stately beauty to their female saints, -Catherine, Agnes, Agatha, Barbara, Cecilia, and the rest. It was reserved for the modern Pre-Raphaelites to attempt the combination of a maximum of saintliness with a minimum of pulmonary and digestive capacity. But, indeed, from that earlier day to this, the saints by spiritual laws have usually been sinners against physical laws, and the artists have merely followed the examples they found. Vasari records, that Carotto's masterpiece of painting, " The Three Archangels," at Verona, was criticised because the limbs of the angels were too slender, and Carotto, true to his con-I also observe that he exhausts himself in the achievement. Kane, a delicate invalid, astounds the world by his two Arctic winters,and then dies in tropical Cuba." The solution is simple ; nervous energy is grand, and so is muscular power; combine the two, and you move the world. One may assume as admitted, therefore, the SAINTS, AND THEIR BODIES 13 deficiency of physical health in America, and the need of a great amendment. Into the general question of cause and cure it is not here needful to enter. In view of the vast variety of special theories, and the inadequacy of any one,or any dozen,it is wiser to forbear. Perhaps the best diagnosis of the common American disease is to be found in Andral's famous description of the cholera: "Anatomi-
doi:10.5962/bhl.title.54377 fatcat:ffxujvcvcvefrdsnvxqezc6jh4