Yesterdays with Authors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 572 pages of information about Yesterdays with Authors.
From top to toe every fibre of his body was unrestrained and alert.  What vigor, what keenness, what freshness of spirit, possessed him!  He laughed all over, and did not care who heard him!  He seemed like the Emperor of Cheerfulness on a cruise of pleasure, determined to conquer a realm or two of fun every hour of his overflowing existence.  That night impressed itself on my memory for all time, so far as I am concerned with things sublunary.  It was Dickens, the true “Boz,” in flesh and blood, who stood before us at last, and with my companions, three or four lads of my own age, I determined to sit up late that night.  None of us then, of course, had the honor of an acquaintance with the delightful stranger, and I little thought that I should afterwards come to know him in the beaten way of friendship, and live with him day after day in years far distant; that I should ever be so near to him that he would reveal to me his joys and his sorrows, and thus that I should learn the story of his life from his own lips.

About midnight on that eventful landing, “Boz,”—­everybody called him “Boz” in those days,—­having finished his supper, came down into the office of the hotel, and, joining the young Earl of M——­, his fellow-voyager, sallied out for a first look at Boston streets.  It was a stinging night, and the moon was at the full.  Every object stood out sharp and glittering, and “Boz,” muffled up in a shaggy fur coat, ran over the shining frozen snow, wisely keeping the middle of the street for the most part.  We boys followed cautiously behind, but near enough not to lose any of the fun.  Of course the two gentlemen soon lost their way on emerging into Washington from Tremont Street.  Dickens kept up one continual shout of uproarious laughter as he went rapidly forward, reading the signs on the shops, and observing the “architecture” of the new country into which he had dropped as if from the clouds.  When the two arrived opposite the “Old South Church” Dickens screamed.  To this day I could never tell why.  Was it because of its fancied resemblance to St. Paul’s or the Abbey?  I declare firmly, the mystery of that shout is still a mystery to me!

The great event of Boz’s first visit to Boston was the dinner of welcome tendered to him by the young men of the city.  It is idle to attempt much talk about the banquet given on that Monday night in February, twenty-nine years ago.  Papanti’s Hall (where many of us learned to dance, under the guidance of that master of legs, now happily still among us and pursuing the same highly useful calling which he practised in 1842) was the scene of that festivity.  It was a glorious episode in all our lives, and whoever was not there has suffered a loss not easy to estimate.  We younger members of that dinner-party sat in the seventh heaven of happiness, and were translated into other spheres.  Accidentally, of course, I had a seat just in front of the honored guest; saw him take a pinch of snuff out of Washington Allston’s

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Yesterdays with Authors from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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