University of Vermont - Ariel Yearbook (Burlington, VT)

 - Class of 1896

Page 11 of 263

 

University of Vermont - Ariel Yearbook (Burlington, VT) online yearbook collection, 1896 Edition, Page 11
Page 11



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tude which renders him easily a peer with the highest. To us he has the peculiar charm that, while almost all scholars of our day owe large obligation to foreign birth or study inuniversities abroad, Dr. Shedd was purely an American product. ln this respect he deserves to be named alongside Jonathan Edwards. Dr. Shedd visited Europe in 1867 for a tour of five months. lt was his only experience of the old world. He had then been reading and reflecting so long that the things he was to see were distinctly dehned in his imagination. Beholding cities, castles, cathedrals, paintings, statues and antiquities, was but verifying his preconceptions. What with his indisposition to public throngs or displays, the severity of his tastes, his fondness for domestic quiet and home, and his passion for books, Europe seen at the age of forty-seven could not modify him or divert the current of his thoughts. He was thoroughly American. He drew his blood from that pure stream of Elizabethan Puritans who founded New Eng- land in the 17th century. He delineated his ideal in the essay on " The Puritan Character." He was bred in the simple habits of the forest-girt country 5 his intellectual training was acquired in a college far from the glare of the city 5 and he went to the end of his career Qto use another of his expressionsb " without changing or deranging the ground-work." Formed by the plain and austere discipline of the olden time, he was developed and expanded to his measure, we think, by that opportune professorship of English in his alma mater. Writing of English Studies in 1856, he lets fall sentences in which we may discern a prediction of which his own achievements were a fulfilment 5-" They induce a calm, grave, sincere, profound, exhaustive and commanding manner of mind " g "That must be an extremely intense and determined individuality that can keep itself out of the great main current and tendency of the age in which it lives, and, in strong contrast, exhibit a style of thinking purely suigenericf' We sat at the funeral, a dull autumnal afternoon, in the stately Church on the Avenue, where, thirty years before, we had first looked upon his thoughtful face and heard his mellow voice. We followed the becoming services, conducted by distinguished men of other colleges and attended by the well-known theological scholars of the metropolis. Notwith- standing the eminent Htness and spiritual comfort of the service, our heart could not but brood over the reflection that the great scholar de- ID

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