It is next in order to examine 답십리오피 some of the literary productions of Angeline Stickney while at college. Like the literary remains of Oliver Cromwell, they are of a strange and uncertain character. It would be easy to make fun of them; and yet sincerity is perhaps their chief characteristic. They are Puritanism brought down to the nineteenth century—solemn, absurd, almost maudlin in their religious sentimentality, and yet deeply earnest and at times noble. The manuscripts upon which these literary productions are recorded are worn, creased, stained, torn and covered with writing—bearing witness to the rigid economy practiced by the writer. The penmanship is careful, every letter clearly formed, for Angeline Stickney was not one of those vain persons who imagine that slovenly handwriting is a mark of genius.

First, I will quote a passage illustrating the intense loyalty of our young Puritan to her Alma Mater:

About a year since, I bade adieu to my fellow students here, and took the farewell look of the loved Alma Mater, Central College. It was a “longing, lingering look” for I thought it had never seemed so beautiful as on that morning. The rising sun cast a flood of golden light upon it making it glow as if it were itself a sun; and so I thought indeed it was, a sun of truth just risen, a sun that would 48send forth such floods of light that Error would flee before it and never dare to come again with its dark wing to brood over our land.—And every time I have thought of Central College during my absence, it has come up before me with that halo of golden light upon it, and then I have 답십리오피 had such longings to come and enjoy that light; and now I have come, and I am glad that I am here. Yes, I am glad, though I have left my home with all its clear scenes and loving hearts; I am glad though I know the world will frown upon me, because I am a student of this unpopular institution, and I expect to get the name that I have heard applied to all who come here, “fanatic.” I am glad that I am here because I love this institution. I love the spirit that welcomes all to its halls, those of every tongue, and of every hue, which admits of “no rights exclusive,” which holds out the cup of knowledge in it’s crystal brightness for all to quaff; and if this is fanaticism, I will glory in the name “fanatic.” Let me live, let me die a fanatic. I will not seal up in my heart the fountain of love that gushes forth for all the human race. And I am glad I am here because there are none here to say, “thus far thou mayst ascend the hill of Science and no farther,” when I have just learned how sweet are the fruits of knowledge, and when I can see them hanging in such rich clusters, far up the heights, looking so bright and golden, as if they were inviting me to partake. And all the while I can see my brother gathering those golden fruits, and I mark how his eye brightens, as he speeds up the shining track, laden with thousands of sparkling gems and crowned with bright garlands of laurel, gathered from beside his path. No, there are none here to whisper, “that is beyond thy sphere, thou couldst never scale those dizzy heights”; but, on the contrary, here are kind voices cheering me onward. I have long yearned for such words of cheer, and now to hear them makes my way bright and my heart strong.

C. A. Stickney.

Next, behold what a fire-eater this modest young woman could be:

Yes, let the union be dissolved rather than bow in submission to such a detestable, abominable, infamous law, a law in derogation of 49the genius of our free institutions, an exhibition of tyranny and injustice which might well put to the blush a nation of barbarians. Ours is called a glorious union. Then is a union of robbers, of pirates, a glorious union; for to rob a man of liberty is the worst of robberies, the foulest of piracies. Let us just glance at one of the terrible features of this law, at the provision which allows to the commissioner who is appointed to decide upon the future freedom or slavery of the fugitive the sum of ten dollars if he decides in favor of his slavery and but five if in favor of freedom. Legislative bribery striking of hands with the basest iniquity!... What are the evils that can accrue to the nation from a dissolution of the union? Would such a dissolution harm the North? No. It would be but a separation from a parasite that is sapping from us our very life. Would it harm the South? No. Let them stand alone and be abhorred of all nations, that they may the sooner learn the lesson of repentance! Would it harm the slave? No. Such a dissolution would strike the death blow to slavery. Let us look: Deut. 23, 15 & 16: “Thou shalt not deliver over unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose.”—The law of God against the fugitive slave law. Which shall we obey?

The passages quoted are more fraught with feeling than any of the rest of the prose selections before me; and I will pass over most of them, barely mentioning the subjects. There is a silly and sentimental piece entitled “Mrs. Emily Judson,” in which the demise of the third wife of the famous missionary is noticed. There is a short piece of argumentation in behalf of a regulation requiring attendance on public worship. There is a sophomoric bit of prose entitled “The Spirit Of Song,” wherein we have a glimpse of the Garden of Eden and its happy lovers. There is a piece, without title, in honor of earth’s angels, the noble souls who give their lives to perishing and oppressed humanity. The following, 50in regard to modern poetry, is both true and well expressed:

The superficial unchristian doctrine of our day is that poetry flourishes most in an uncultivated soil, that the imagination shapes her choicest images from the mists of a superstitious age. The materials of poetry must ever remain the same and inexhaustible. Poetry has its origin in the nature of man, in the deep and mysterious recesses of the human soul. It is not the external only, but the inner life, the mysterious workmanship 답십리오피 of man’s heart and the slumbering elements of passion which furnish the materials of poetry.

Finally, because of the subject, I quote the following:

The study of Astronomy gives us the most exalted views of the Creator, and it exalts ourselves also, and binds our souls more closely to the soul of the Infinite. What wonders does it reveal! It teaches that the earth, though it seem so immovable, not only turns on its axis, but goes sweeping round a great circle whose miles are counted by millions; and though it seem so huge, with its wide continents and vast oceans, it is but a speck when compared with the manifold works of God. It teaches the form, weight, and motion of the earth, and then it bids us go up and weigh and measure the sun and planets and solve the mighty problems of their motion. But it stops not here. It bids us press upward beyond the boundary of our little system of worlds up to where the star-gems lie glowing in the great deep of heaven. And then we find that these glittering specks are vast suns, pressing on in their shining courses, sun around sun, and system around system, in harmony, in beauty, in grandeur; and as we view them spread out in their splendour and infinity, we pause to think of Him who has formed them, and we feel his greatness and excellence and majesty, and in contemplating Him, the most sublime object in the universe, our own souls are expanded, and filled with awe and reverence and love. And they long to break through their earthly prison-house that they may go forth on their great mission of knowledge, and rising higher and higher into the heavens they may at last bow in adoration and worship before the throne of the Eternal.

51To complete this study of Angeline Stickney’s college writings, it is necessary, though somewhat painful, to quote specimens of her poetry. For example:

There was worship in Heaven. An angel choir,
On many and many a golden lyre
Was hymning its praise. To the strain sublime
With the beat of their wings that choir kept time.
etc., etc., etc.
One is tempted to ask maliciously, “Moulting time?”

Here is another specimen, of which no manuscript copy is in existence, its preservation being due to the loving admiration of Ruth Stickney, who memorized it:

Clouds, ye are beautiful! I love to gaze
Upon your gorgeous hues and varying forms,
When lighted with the sun of noon-day’s blaze,
Or when ye are darkened with the blackest storms.
etc., etc., etc.
Next, consider this rather morbidly religious effusion in blank verse:

I see thee reaching forth thy hand to take
The laurel wreath that Fame has twined and now
Offers to thee, if thou wilt but bow down
And worship at her feet and bring to her
The goodly offerings of thy soul. I see
Thee grasp the iron pen to write thy name
In everlasting characters upon
The gate of Fame’s fair dome. But stay thy hand!
Ah, take not yet the wreath of Fame, lest thou
Be satisfied with its false glittering
And fail to win a brighter, fairer crown,—
Such crown as Fame’s skilled fingers ne’er have learned
To fashion, e’en a crown of Life. And bring
Thy offerings, the first, the best, and place
52Them on God’s altar, and for incense sweet
Give Him the freshness of thy youth. And thus
Thou mayest gain a never fading crown.
And wait not now to trace thy name upon
The catalogue of Fame’s immortal ones, but haste thee first
To have it writ in Heaven in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Pardon this seeming betrayal of a rustic poetess. For it seems like betrayal to quote such lines, when she produced much better ones. For example, the following verses are, to my mind, true and rather good poetry:

I have not known thee long friend,
Yet I remember thee;
Aye deep within my heart of hearts
Shall live thy memory.
And I would ask of thee friend
That thou wouldst think of me.