Though many details about his early life are in dispute, scholars agree that Arnold was born in New York City and that his father may have been the Reverend George B. Arnold.
"At the outbreak of the Southern rebellion Walt Whitman and George Arnold came to an unpleasantness while enjoying their usual after-dinner punch. They were sitting opposite each other at the table. George was for rebellion and Walt was opposed. George was full of 'treasonism' and Walt was full of 'patriotism'" (166).
"He had the greatest sort of contempt for any writer who would use a word of two or more syllables when the same meaning could be conveyed in one syllable. This man's name was Henry Clapp, Jr. He believed it to be his destiny to establish a new sort of literature in New York, something that would become national, and that would cut off from all newspaper and magazine articles the long Norman words, and keep all utterances confined to the short, expressive Saxon. With this object in view he drew around him many of the promising literary men of the day. Pfaff's restaurant on Broadway, a few doors east of where it now is, near the Grand Central Hotel, was selected as the headquarters where the genial company met and very soon the 'Pfaff's' had a national reputation[...]" (162).
On Emerson as a Lecturer: "[...] Emerson's voice is up to his reputation. It has a curious contradiction, which we tried in vain to analyze satisfactorily,-an outwardly repellent and inwardly reverential mingling of qualities which a musical composer would despair of blending into one. It bespeaks a life that is half contempt, half adoring recognition, and very little between" (86-87).
Miss Bremer about her Visits to Emerson: "[...] He is a very peculiar character, but too cold and hypercritical to please me entirely; a strong clear eye, always looking out for an ideal which he never finds realized on earth; discovering wants, shortcomings, imperfections; and too strong and healthy himself to understand other people's weaknesses and sufferings, for he even despises suffering as a weakness unworthy of higher natures" (90).
Also from Miss Bremer: "Pantheistic as Emerson is in his philosophy, in the moral view with which he regards the world and life he is in a high degree pure, noble, and severe, demanding as much from himself as he demands from others. His words are severe, his judgment often keen and merciless, but his demeanor is alike noble and pleasing, and his voice beautiful. One may quarrel with Emerson's thoughts, with his judgment, but not with himself" (92),
Hawthorne's Description of Emerson: "Uncertain, troubled, earnest wanderers through the midnight of the moral world beheld his intellectual fire as a beacon burning on a hill-top, and climbing the difficult ascent, looked forth into the surrounding obscurity more hopefully than hitherto" (95).
Also from Hawthorne: "I felt that there were no questions to be put, and therefore admired Emerson as a poet of deep beauty and austere tenderness, but sought nothing from him as a philosopher" (96).
"When Fitz-Greene Halleck came up from the state of Connecticut once or twice in the year, it was his wont to call in and see the 'young fellows,' as he called us" (165).
"He said to us, 'When I die I shall have no literary reputation to leave behind me. What I have written has been for pastime, not for fame or money'" (165).
"I then discovered for the first time the enormous retentive power of Mr. Taylor's memory. He could quote by the hour English, German, Italian, and even Swedish poetry, and apparently have inexhaustible treasures still in reserve" (180).
"His fund of comic and serio-comic verse from obscure poets was a constant source of amusement to all who came in contact with him. The poet Chivers, for instance-what wonderful things he has produced! and how soon, but for Taylor, his ungrateful country would have forgotten him" (181).
"People who knew Bayard Taylor but superficially were apt to accuse him of what they were pleased to call literary vanity" (185).
"Of Whitman in his early days, before he became famous, and when he was only known as a 'good fellow' among the wild set of Bohemians who, a generation ago, constituted the literary society of New York,-of the Whitman of those days an interesting glimpse is afforded in the follwing article contributed by 'Jay Charlton' to the Danbury News upon BOHEMIANS IN AMERICA[...]" (161).
"[...] Walt Whitman said, 'The reason I like to drive a stage-coach on Broadway, I feel that the strength of the horses passes into my veins, my muscles, and after that I can give strength to my poetry.' Walt had great admiration for everything big, whether animate or inanimate" (163).
"[Whitman] occasionally suggests something a little more than human. Wonderfully like the Orientals, too, considering that when I asked him if he had read them, he said, 'No: tell me about them.' He is apparently the greatest democrat the world has ever seen" (177).
Winter was the literary critic for Clapp's weekly [Saturday] Press.
"Winter is considered not only one of the best dramatic writers in the country, but one of the sweetest poets-one of the few poets who know what poetry is and can write it" (168).
The Vault at Pfaff's
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015