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Title: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Author: Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911
Language: English
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end.



                        American Men of Letters


                       HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

                                   BY
                       THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON


                          BOSTON AND NEW YORK
                     HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
                     The Riverside Press, Cambridge
                                  1902



COPYRIGHT, 1902, BY THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

_Published October, 1902_

_Of this edition Three Hundred Copies have been printed and bound
entirely uncut with paper label_



PREFACE


A life of Longfellow has been from the beginning included in the plan of
the "American Men of Letters" series, but it has been delayed through a
variety of causes. Like all memoirs of this poet, it must rest partly on
brother sixteen years ago, yet it may be well to explain that the
present volume will be found marked by three especial characteristics of
its own. First, much additional material is here drawn from the
manuscript correspondence of the first Mrs. Longfellow, received from
her family and bearing upon the poet's early married years and first
visit to Europe, during what was undoubtedly the formative period of his
life. Secondly, there is a good deal of material obtained from the
manuscript volumes known as the "Harvard College Papers" and preserved
at the University Library, elucidating the academical side of
Longfellow's life. Thirdly, there is a series of extracts from his
earlier writings, dating from college days and not hitherto brought
together, but showing the origin and growth of his lifelong desire to
employ American material and to help the creation of a native
literature; the desire which had its final fulfilment in "Evangeline"
and "Hiawatha." These three sources will be found, if the author is not
mistaken, to have afforded distinct contributions to our previous
knowledge as to Longfellow's character and work.

                                                                T. W. H.



CONTENTS


  Chap.                                              Page

  I.      Longfellow as a Classic                       1
  II.     Birth, Childhood, and Youth                  11
  III.    First Flights in Authorship                  21
  IV.     Literature as a Pursuit                      37
  V.      First Visit to Europe                        45
  VI.     Marriage and Life at Brunswick               59
  VII.    The Corner Stone laid                        67
  VIII.   Appointment at Harvard and
            Second Visit to Europe                     81
  IX.     Illness and Death of Mrs. Longfellow        107
  X.      Craigie House                               116
  XI.     Hyperion and the Reaction from It           124
  XII.    Voices of the Night                         137
  XIII.   Third Visit to Europe                       149
  XIV.    Anti-Slavery Poems and Second Marriage      163
  XV.     Academic Life in Cambridge                  176
  XVI.    Literary Life in Cambridge                  188
  XVII.   Resignation of Professorship--
            to Death of Mrs. Longfellow               202
  XVIII.  Birds of Passage                            213
  XIX.    Last Trip to Europe                         219
  XX.     Dante                                       225
  XXI.    The Loftier Strain: Christus                236
  XXII.   Westminster Abbey                           248
  XXIII.  Longfellow as a Poet                        258
  XXIV.   Longfellow as a Man                         278
          Appendix                                    297



HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW



CHAPTER I

LONGFELLOW AS A CLASSIC


The death of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made the first breach in that
well-known group of poets which adorned Boston and its vicinity so long.
The first to go was also the most widely famous. Emerson reached greater
depths of thought; Whittier touched the problems of the nation's life
more deeply; Holmes came personally more before the public; Lowell was
more brilliant and varied; but, taking the English-speaking world at
large, it was Longfellow whose fame overshadowed all the others; he was
also better known and more translated upon the continent of Europe than
all the rest put together, and, indeed, than any other contemporary poet
of the English-speaking race, at least if bibliographies afford any
test. Add to this that his place of residence was so accessible and so
historic, his personal demeanor so kindly, his life so open and
transparent, that everything really conspired to give him the highest
accessible degree of contemporary fame. There was no literary laurel
that was not his, and he resolutely declined all other laurels; he had
wealth and ease, children and grandchildren, health and a stainless
conscience; he had also, in a peculiar degree, the blessings that belong
to Shakespeare's estimate of old age,--"honor, love, obedience, troops
of friends." Except for two great domestic bereavements, his life would
have been one of absolutely unbroken sunshine; in his whole career he
never encountered any serious rebuff, while such were his personal
modesty and kindliness that no one could long regard him with envy or
antagonism. Among all the sons of song there has rarely been such an
instance of unbroken and unstained success.

Yet the fact that his death took place twenty years ago may justly raise
the question how far this wave of success has followed his memory, or
how far the passage of time has impaired his traditional influence; and
here we must compare a variety of tests and standards to ascertain the
result. Some analysis of this kind may well precede any new attempt to
delineate his career.

The editor of one of the great London weeklies said to an American
traveller not many years ago, "A stranger can hardly have an idea of how
familiar many of our working people, especially women, are with
Longfellow. Thousands can repeat some of his poems who have never read
a line of Tennyson and probably never heard of Browning." This passage I
take from an admirable recent sketch by Professor Edwin A. Grosvenor of
Amherst College, one of the most cosmopolitan of Americans, who spent
seven years as professor of history at Robert College, Constantinople.
He goes on to tell how, in the largest private library in the Ottoman
Empire, the grand vizier showed him as his favorite book a large volume
of Longfellow, full of manuscript comments in Turkish on the margin,
adding that he knew some of the poems by heart. Professor Grosvenor was
at one time--in 1879--travelling by steamer from Constantinople to
Marseilles with a Russian lady who had been placed under his escort, and
whose nationality could have been detected only by her marvellous
knowledge of half a dozen languages beside her own. A party of
passengers had been talking in French of Victor Hugo, when the Russian
lady exclaimed in English to the last speaker, "How can you, an
American, give to him the place that is occupied by your own Longfellow?
Longfellow is the universal poet. He is better known, too, among
foreigners, than any one except their own poets!" She then repeated the
verses beginning, "I stood on the bridge at midnight," and added, "I
long to visit Boston, that I may stand on the bridge." Then an English
captain, returning from the Zulu war, said, "I can give you something
better than that," and recited in a voice like a trumpet,--

  "Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream."

Presently a gray-haired Scotchman began to recite the poem,--

  "There is no flock, however watched and tended,
  But one dead lamb is there!"

An American contributed "My Lost Youth," being followed by a young Greek
temporarily living in England, who sang "Stars of the Summer Night."
Finally the captain of the steamer, an officer of the French navy
detailed for that purpose, whom nobody had suspected of knowing a word
of English, recited, in an accent hardly recognizable, the first verse
of "Excelsior," and when the Russian lady, unable to understand him,
denied the fact of its being English at all, he replied, "Ah, oui,
madame, ça a vient de votre Longfellow" (Yes, madam, that is from your
Longfellow). Six nationalities had thus been represented, and the
Russian lady said, as they rose from the table, "Do you suppose there is
any other poet of any country, living or dead, from whom so many of us
could have quoted? Not one. Not even Shakespeare, or Victor Hugo, or
Homer."{1}

One has merely to glance at any detailed catalogue of the translations
from Longfellow's works--as for instance that given in the appendix to
this volume--to measure the vast extent of his fame. The list includes
thirty-five versions of whole books or detached poems in German, twelve
in Italian, nine each in French and Dutch, seven in Swedish, six in
Danish, five in Polish, three in Portuguese, two each in Spanish,
Russian, Hungarian, and Bohemian, with single translations in Latin,
Hebrew, Chinese, Sanskrit, Marathi, and Judea-German--yielding one
hundred versions altogether, extending into eighteen languages, apart
from the original English. There is no evidence that any other
English-speaking poet of the last century has been so widely
appreciated.

Especially is this relative superiority noticeable in that wonderful
literary cyclopædia, the vast and many-volumed catalogue of the British
Museum. There, under each author's name, is found not merely the record
of his works in every successive edition, but every secondary or
relative book, be it memoir, criticism, attack, parody, or translation;
and it is always curious to consider the relative standing of American
and English authors under this severe and inexorable test. The entries
or items appearing in the interleaved catalogue under the name of
Tennyson, for instance, up to September, 1901, were 487; under
Longfellow, 357; then follow, among English-writing poets, Browning
(179), Emerson (158), Arnold (140), Holmes (135), Morris (117), Lowell
(114), Whittier (104), Poe (103), Swinburne (99), Whitman (64). The
nearest approach to a similar test of appreciation in the poet's own
country is to be found in the balloting for the new Hall of Fame,
established by an unknown donor on the grounds of the New York
University with the avowed object of creating an American Westminster
Abbey. The names of those who were to appear in it were selected by a
board of one hundred judges carefully chosen from men of all occupations
and distributed over every State in the Union; and these balloted for
the first hundred occupants of the Hall of Fame. Only thirty-nine names
obtained a majority of votes, these being taken, of course, from men of
all pursuits; and among these Longfellow ranked tenth, having
eighty-five votes, and being preceded only by Washington, Lincoln,
Webster, Franklin, Grant, Marshall, Jefferson, Emerson, and Fulton.
Besides Emerson and Longfellow, only two literary men were included,
these being Irving with eighty-four votes and Hawthorne with
seventy-three.

It is a well-known fact that when the temporary leader in any particular
branch of literature or science passes away, there is often visible a
slight reaction, perhaps in the interest of supposed justice, when
people try to convince themselves that his fame has already diminished.
Such reactions have notably occurred, for instance, in the cases of
Scott, Byron, Wordsworth, and even of Burns, yet without visible or
permanent results, while the weaker fame of Southey or of Campbell has
yielded to them. It is safe to say that up to the present moment no
serious visible reaction has occurred in the case of Longfellow. So
absolutely simple and truthful was his nature and so clear the response
of the mass of readers, that time has so far left his hold upon them
singularly unaffected. During a recent visit to England, the author of
this volume took some pains, in every place he visited in city or
country, to inquire of the local bookseller as to the demand for
Longfellow's poems, and the answer was always in substance and sometimes
in express words, "He is a classic,"--in other words, his books had a
steady and trustworthy sale. I always found his poems on the shelves,
and this was true of no other American poet. Several editions of his
works, single or collective, had recently appeared in London. Poems
newly set to music had lately been published at the music stalls, and
familiar citations from his poems were constantly heard in public
speeches. Inquiries similar to mine were made a few years since in the
book-stores of Switzerland and Germany by my friend, Professor W. J.
Rolfe, who found without difficulty the German and English text of
single or collected poems by Longfellow at Nuremberg, Cologne,
Strasburg, Lucerne, Interlaken, and elsewhere.

Another form of obtaining statistics bearing on the relative position of
Longfellow among English-writing poets would be to inspect books of
selections made in Great Britain out of this class. I find two such
lying near at hand; the first is "Pen and Pencil Pictures from the
Poets," published by William P. Nimmo at Edinburgh, containing fifty-six
poems in all, each with a full-page illustration, generally by Scottish
artists. Of these selections, six are taken from Longfellow, five each
from Wordsworth and Thomson, and three each from Shakespeare, Burns, and
Moore. Of other American poets Bryant and Willis alone appear, each with
one contribution. Another such book is "Words from the Poets; selected
for the use of parochial schools and libraries." To this the leading
contributors are Wordsworth (twenty-one), Longfellow (eighteen), Cowper
(eleven), and Tennyson (nine), the whole number of contributors being
forty-three. Such statistics could be easily multiplied; indeed, it will
be readily admitted that no American poet can be compared to Longfellow
in the place occupied by his poems in the English market. Readily
admitting that this is not the sole or highest standard, it must at
least be recognized as one of the side tests by which that standard may
be determined.

Some occasional expressions of distrust as to Longfellow's permanent
fame have been based wholly upon his virtues. Many still cling to
Dryden's maxim, "Great wits are sure to madness near allied." Those who
grew up during the period when the Lake poets of England were still
under discussion can well recall that the typical poet was long supposed
to be necessarily something of a reprobate, or at any rate wild and
untamable; so that Byron and Shelley gained in fame by the supposition
that the domestic and law-abiding gifts were far from them. The
prominence of Wordsworth was developed in spite of this tradition, and
even when the report cheered some of his would-be admirers that he had
once been intoxicated at the university, it was damped by the opinion
expressed by Theodore Hook that "Wordsworth's conceptions of inebriation
were no doubt extremely limited." The popular impression in such matters
is too deep to be easily removed; and yet every test continues to prove
that the hold taken on the average human heart by Longfellow is far
greater than that held, for instance, by Poe or Whitman. This was
practically conceded by those poets themselves, and it is this fact
which in reality excited the wrath of their especial admirers. No man
ever sacrificed less for mere fame than Longfellow, no man ever bore
attack or jealousy with more of manly self-respect and sweetness; he
simply lived his own life, and worked out his own literary method; all
that he asked was to be taken for what he was worth, and the world's
praise was the answer to his request. The continuance of this hold on
men surely affords a sufficient reason for the renewed study of this
poet's life, training, and career.


{1 _N. Y. Independent_, October 22, 1896.}



CHAPTER II

BIRTH, CHILDHOOD, AND YOUTH


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, February 27,
1807, being the son of Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow, both
his parents having been descended from Yorkshire families which had
migrated in the seventeenth century. The name of Longfellow first
appears in English records as Langfellay, while the name of Wadsworth
sometimes appears as Wordsworth, suggesting a possible connection with
another poet. His father, Stephen Longfellow, was a graduate of Harvard
College in 1794, being a classmate of the Rev. Dr. W. E. Channing and
the Hon. Joseph Story. He became afterward a prominent lawyer in
Portland. He was also at different times a member of the Massachusetts
Legislature, Maine being then a part of that State; a member of the
celebrated "Hartford Convention" of Federalists; a presidential elector,
and a member of Congress. In earlier generations the poet's grandfather
was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas; his great-grandfather was a
graduate of Harvard College in 1742, and was afterward town
schoolmaster, parish clerk, and register of probate; his
great-great-grandfather was a "village blacksmith;" and his ancestor
once more removed, the American founder of the family, was William
Longfellow, who was born in Hampshire County, England, in 1651, and came
in early life to this country, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits.
Thus much for the paternal ancestry.

To turn to the "spindle side," Mr. Longfellow's mother was Zilpah
Wadsworth, eldest daughter of General Peleg Wadsworth, who was the son
of Deacon Peleg Wadsworth, of Duxbury, Mass., and was the fifth in
descent from Christopher Wadsworth, who came from England and settled in
that town before 1632. The Peleg Wadsworth of military fame was born at
Duxbury, and graduated from Harvard in 1769; he afterward taught school
at Plymouth, and married Elizabeth Bartlett of that town; he then took
part in the Revolution as captain of a company of minutemen, and rose to
a major-general's command, serving chiefly on the eastern frontier. He
was captured, was imprisoned, escaped, and had many stirring adventures.
When the war was over he purchased from the State no less than 7500
acres of wild land, and spent the rest of his life at Hiram, Maine,
representing his congressional district, however, for fourteen years in
the national Congress. Through the Wadsworths and Bartletts, the poet
could trace his descent to not less than four of the Mayflower pilgrims,
including Elder Brewster and Captain John Alden.

Judge Longfellow, the poet's grandfather, is described as having been "a
fine-looking gentleman with the bearing of the old school; an erect,
portly figure, rather tall; wearing, almost to the close of his life,
the old-style dress,--long skirted waistcoat, small-clothes, and
white-topped boots, his hair tied behind in a club, with black ribbon."
General Wadsworth was described by his daughter as "a man of middle
size, well proportioned, with a military air, and who carried himself so
truly that men thought him tall. His dress a bright scarlet coat, buff
small-clothes and vest, full ruffled bosom, ruffles over the hands,
white stockings, shoes with silver buckles, white cravat with bow in
front, hair well powdered and tied behind in a club, so called." The
poet was eminently well descended, both on the father's and mother's
side, according to the simple provincial standard of those days.

Stephen Longfellow and his young wife lived for a time in a brick house
built by General Wadsworth in Portland, and still known as "the
Longfellow house;" but it was during a temporary residence of the family
at the house of Samuel Stephenson, whose wife was a sister of Stephen
Longfellow, that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born. He was the second
son, and was named for an uncle, Henry Wadsworth, a young naval
lieutenant, who was killed in 1804 by the explosion of a fire-ship,
before the walls of Tripoli. The Portland of 1807 was, according to Dr.
Dwight,--who served as a sort of travelling inspector of the New England
towns of that period,--"beautiful and brilliant;" but the blight of the
Embargo soon fell upon it. The town needed maritime defences in the war
of 1812, and a sea-fight took place off the coast, the British brig
Boxer being captured during the contest by the Enterprise, and brought
into Portland harbor in 1813. All this is beautifully chronicled in the
poem "My Lost Youth:"--

  "I remember the sea-fight far away,
    How it thundered o'er the tide!
  And the dead captains, as they lay
  In their graves, o'erlooking the tranquil bay
    Where they in battle died.
        And the sound of that mournful song
        Goes through me with a thrill;
        'A boy's will is the wind's will,
  And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'"

Here Henry Longfellow spent his childhood and youth. Much of that strong
aversion to war which pervades the poet's verses may undoubtedly be
charged to early association with his uncle's death.

The imaginative side of his temperament has commonly been attributed to
his mother, who was fond of poetry and music, and a lover of nature in
all its aspects; one who would sit by a window during a thunderstorm, as
her youngest son has testified, "enjoying the excitement of its
splendors." She loved the retirement of a country life, and found in it,
in her own language, "a wonderful effect in tranquillizing the spirit
and calming every unpleasant emotion." She played the spinet until her
daughter's piano replaced it, and apparently read Cowper, Hannah More,
and Ossian with her children. She sent them early to school, after the
fashion of those days; this experience evidently beginning for Henry
Longfellow at three years of age, when he went with a brother of five to
a private school where he learned his letters. After several
experiments, he was transferred, at the tolerably early age of six, to
the Portland Academy. At this age, his teacher, Mr. Carter, wrote of
him, "Master Henry Longfellow is one of the best boys we have in school.
He spells and reads very well. He also can add and multiply numbers. His
conduct last quarter was very correct and amiable." He began early to
rhyme, and the first poem of his composing which is known to be
preserved in manuscript is entitled, "Venice, an Italian Song," and was
dated Portland Academy, March 17, 1820, he being then barely thirteen.
There appeared a little later, in the poets' corner of the Portland
"Gazette," the following verses, which show curiously, at the very
outset, that vibration between foreign themes and home themes which
always marks his verse:--

          THE BATTLE OF LOVELL'S POND

  Cold, cold is the north wind and rude is the blast
  That sweeps like a hurricane loudly and fast,
  As it moans through the tall waving pines lone and drear,
  Sighs a requiem sad o'er the warrior's bier.

  The war-whoop is still, and the savage's yell
  Has sunk into silence along the wild dell;
  The din of the battle, the tumult, is o'er,
  And the war-clarion's voice is now heard no more.

  The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
  Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;
  No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
  Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.

  They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,
  And Victory's loud trump their death did proclaim;
  They are dead; but they live in each Patriot's breast,
  And their names are engraven on honor's bright crest.

These verses cannot be assigned to the domain of high art, most
certainly, but they mark in this case the beginning of a career, and
milestones are always interesting. It was Longfellow's first poem, and
he chose an American subject. We know from him the circumstances of the
reception of this youthful effort. When the morning paper arrived it was
unfolded and read by his father, and no notice was taken of the
effusion; but when, in the evening, the boy went with his father to the
house of Judge Mellen, his father's friend, whose son Frederic was his
own playmate, the talk turned upon poetry. The host took up the
morning's "Gazette." "Did you see the piece in to-day's paper? Very
stiff. Remarkably stiff; moreover, it is all borrowed, every word of
it." No defence was offered. It is recorded that there were tears on the
young boy's pillow that night.

The young Henry Longfellow went to various schools, as those of Mrs.
Fellows and Mr. Carter, and the Portland Academy, then kept by Mr.
Bezaleel Cushman, a Dartmouth College graduate. In 1821, he passed the
entrance examinations of Bowdoin College, of which his father was a
trustee. The college itself was but twenty years old, and Maine had only
just become an independent State of the Union, so that there was a
strong feeling of local pride in this young institution. Henry
Longfellow's brother, Stephen, two years older than himself, passed the
examinations with him, but perhaps it was on account of the younger
brother's youth--he being only fourteen--that the boys remained a year
longer at home, and did not go to Brunswick until the beginning of the
Sophomore year. Henry's college life was studious and modest. He and
Nathaniel Hawthorne were classmates, having been friends rather than
intimates, and Hawthorne gives in his "Fanshawe" a tolerably graphic
picture of the little rural college. Neither of the two youths cared
much for field sports, but both of them were greatly given to
miscellaneous reading; and both of them also spent a good deal of time
in the woods of Brunswick, which were, and still are, beautiful.
Longfellow pursued the appointed studies, read poetry, was fond of
Irving, and also of books about the Indians, an experience which in
later life yielded him advantage.

It is just possible that these books may have revived in him a regret
expressed in one of his early college letters that he had not gone to
West Point instead of Bowdoin,--some opportunity of appointment to the
military school, perhaps through his uncle, General Wadsworth, having
possibly been declined in his behalf.{2} It is curious indeed to reflect
that had he made this different selection, he might have been known to
fame simply as Major-General Longfellow.

Hon. J. W. Bradbury, another classmate, describes Henry Longfellow as
having "a slight, erect figure, delicate complexion, and intelligent
expression of countenance," and further adds: "He was always a gentleman
in his deportment, and a model in his character and habits." Still
another classmate, Rev. David Shepley, D. D., has since written of
Longfellow's college course: "He gave urgent heed to all departments of
study in the prescribed course, and excelled in them all; while his
enthusiasm moved in the direction it has taken in subsequent life. His
themes, felicitous translations of Horace, and occasional contributions
to the press, drew marked attention to him, and led to the expectation
that his would be an honorable literary career." He spent his vacations
in Portland, where the society was always agreeable, and where the
women, as one of his companions wrote, seemed to him "something
enshrined and holy,--to be gazed at and talked with, and nothing
further." In one winter vacation he spent a week in Boston and attended
a ball given by Miss Emily Marshall, the most distinguished of Boston's
historic belles, and further famous as having been the object of two
printed sonnets, the one by Willis and the other by Percival. He wrote
to his father that on this occasion he saw and danced with Miss
Eustaphiève, daughter of the Russian consul, of whom he says, "She is an
exceedingly graceful and elegant dancer, and plays beautifully upon the
pianoforte." He became so well acquainted in later days with foreign
belles and beauties that it is interesting to imagine the impression
made upon him at the age of twenty-one by this first social experience,
especially in view of the fact that after his returning from Europe, he
records of himself that he never danced, except with older ladies, to
whom the attention might give pleasure.


{2 From a manuscript letter not dated as to year, but written,
apparently, while he was a freshman.}



CHAPTER III

FIRST FLIGHTS IN AUTHORSHIP


It is interesting to know that twice, during his college days,
Longfellow had occasion to show his essentially American feeling; first,
in his plea for the Indians on an Exhibition Day, and again, more fully
and deliberately, in his Commencement Oration on "Our Native Writers."
On Exhibition Day,--a sort of minor Commencement,--he represented, in
debate, an American Indian, while his opponent, James W. Bradbury, took
the part of an English emigrant. The conclusion of the exercise summed
up the whole, being as follows:--

"_Emigrant._--Is it thus you should spurn all our offers of kindness,
and glut your appetite with the blood of our countrymen, with no excuse
but the mere pretence of retaliation? Shall the viper sting us and we
not bruise his head? Shall we not only let your robberies and murders
pass unpunished, but give you the possession of our very fireside, while
the only arguments you offer are insolence and slaughter? Know ye, the
land is ours until you will improve it. Go, tell your ungrateful
comrades the world declares the spread of the white people at the
expense of the red is the triumph of peace over violence. Tell them to
cease their outrages upon the civilized world or but a few days and they
shall be swept from the earth.

"_Savage._--Alas! the sky is overcast with dark and blustering clouds.
The rivers run with blood, but never, never will we suffer the grass to
grow upon our war-path. And now I do remember that the Initiate prophet,
in my earlier years, told from his dreams that all our race should fall
like withered leaves when autumn strips the forest! Lo! I hear sighing
and sobbing: 'tis the death-song of a mighty nation, the last requiem
over the grave of the fallen."{3}

It is fair to conjecture that we may have in this boyish performance the
very germ of "Hiawatha," and also to recall the still more youthful
verses which appeared in the Portland "Gazette." He wrote in college not
merely such verses, but some prose articles for the "American Monthly
Magazine," edited in Philadelphia, by Dr. James McHenry, who in his
letters praised the taste and talent shown in the article upon "Youth
and Age." More important to the young poet, however, was his connection
with a new semi-monthly periodical called the "United States Literary
Gazette." This was published in Boston and New York simultaneously,
having been founded by the late Theophilus Parsons, but edited at that
time by James G. Carter, of Boston, well known in connection with the
history of public schools. Apparently Longfellow must have offered poems
to the "Gazette" anonymously, for one of his classmates records that
when he met Mr. Carter in Boston the editor asked with curiosity what
young man sent him such fine poetry from Bowdoin College. A modest
volume of "Miscellaneous Poems, selected from the 'United States
Literary Gazette,'" appeared in 1826,--the year after Longfellow left
college,--and it furnished by far the best exhibit of the national
poetry up to that time. The authors represented were Bryant, Longfellow,
Percival, Dawes, Mellen, and Jones; and it certainly offered a curious
contrast to that equally characteristic volume of 1794, the "Columbian
Muse," whose poets were Barlow, Trumbull, Freneau, Dwight, Humphreys,
and a few others, not a single poem or poet being held in common by the
two collections.

This was, however, only a volume of extracts, but it is the bound
volumes of the "Gazette" itself--beginning with April 1, 1824--which
most impress the student of early American literature. There will always
be a charm in turning over the pages where one sees, again and again,
the youthful poems of Bryant and of Longfellow placed side by side and
often put together on the same page, the young undergraduate's effusions
being always designated by his initials and Bryant's with a perhaps more
dignified "B.," denoting one whose reputation was to a certain extent
already established, so that a hint was sufficient. Bryant's poems, it
must be owned, are in this case very much better or at least maturer
than those of his youthful rival, and are preserved in his published
works, while Longfellow's are mainly those which he himself dropped,
though they are reprinted in the appendix to Mr. Scudder's "Cambridge"
edition of his poems. We find thus in the "Literary Gazette," linked
together on the same page, Longfellow's "Autumnal Nightfall" and
Bryant's "Song of the Grecian Amazon;" Longfellow's "Italian Scenery"
and Bryant's "To a Cloud;" Longfellow's "Lunatic Girl" and Bryant's "The
Murdered Traveller."{4} How the older poet was impressed by the work of
the younger we cannot tell, but it is noticeable that in editing a
volume of selected American poetry not long after, he assigns to
Longfellow, as will presently be seen, a very small space. It is to be
remembered that Bryant had previously published in book form, in 1821,
his earliest poems, and the "Literary Gazette" itself, in its very first
number, had pronounced him the first "original poet formed on this side
of the Atlantic." "Our pleasure was equalled by our surprise," it says,
"when we took up Bryant's poems, listened to the uncommon melody of the
versification, wondered at the writer's perfect command of language, and
found that they were American poems." "Though the English critics say of
him," it continues, "that their poets must look to their laurels now
that such a competitor has entered the ring, yet, let him remember that
a few jousts in the ring never established the reputation of a
knight."{5} It is a curious fact that the difference in actual quantity
of poetic production between the older and younger poets should thus
have been unconsciously suggested by the editor when Longfellow was but
seventeen.

With Bryant and Longfellow, it would therefore seem, the permanent
poetic literature of the nation began. "The Rivulet" and "The Hymn of
the Moravian Nuns" appeared in the "Gazette" collection, and have never
disappeared from the poetic cyclopædias. The volume included fourteen of
Longfellow's youthful effusions, only six of which he saw fit to
preserve; dropping behind him, perhaps wisely, the "Dirge Over a
Nameless Grave," "Thanksgiving," "The Angler's Song," "Autumnal
Nightfall," "A Song of Savoy," "Italian Scenery," "The Venetian
Gondolier," and "The Sea Diver." He himself says of those which he
preserved that they were all written before the age of nineteen, and
this is obvious from the very date of the volume. Even in the rejected
poems the reader recognizes an easy command of the simpler forms of
melody, and a quick though not profound feeling for external nature.
Where he subsequently revises these poems, however, the changes are apt
to be verbal only, and all evidently matters of the ear. Thus in
reprinting "The Woods in Winter," he omits a single verse, the
following:--

  "On the gray maple's crusted bark
    Its tender shoots the hoarfrost nips;
  Whilst in the frozen fountain--hark!
    His piercing beak the bittern dips."

It shows the gradual development of the young poet's ear that he should
have dropped this somewhat unmelodious verse. As a rule he wisely
forbore the retouching of his early poems. He also contributed to the
"Gazette" three articles in prose, quite in Irving's manner, including a
few verses. All these attracted some attention at the time. Mr. Parsons,
the proprietor of the magazine, was thoroughly convinced of the vigor
and originality of the young man's mind, and informed him that one of
his poems, "Autumnal Nightfall," had been attributed to Bryant, while
his name was mentioned in the "Galaxy" on a level with that of Bryant
and Percival. The leadership of Bryant was of course unquestioned at
that period, and Longfellow many years after acknowledged to that poet
his indebtedness, saying, "When I look back upon my early years, I
cannot but smile to see how much in them is really yours. It was an
involuntary imitation, which I most readily confess."

Still more interesting as a study in the "Literary Gazette" itself are
three prose studies, distinctly after the manner of Irving, and headed
by a very un-American title, "The Lay Monastery." There is a singular
parallelism between this fanciful title and the similar transformation
in verse, at about the same time, in the "Hymn of the Moravian Nuns" at
the consecration of Pulaski's banner. As in that poem a plain Moravian
sisterhood, who supported their house by needlework, gave us an
imaginary scene amid a chancel with cowled heads, glimmering tapers, and
mysterious aisles, so the solitary in this prose article leads us into
the society of an old uncle whose countenance resembles that of Cosmo on
the medallions of the Medici, who has been crossed in love, and who
wears a brocade vest of faded damask, with large sprigs and roses. The
author thus proceeds in his description of the imaginary uncle and the
marvellous surroundings:--

"When my uncle beheld my childish admiration for his venerable
black-letter tome, he fondly thought that he beheld the germ of an
antique genius already shooting out within my mind, and from that day I
became with him as a favored wine. Time has been long on the wing, and
his affection for me grew in strength as I in years; until at length he
has bequeathed to me the peculiar care of his library, which consists of
a multitude of huge old volumes and some ancient and modern manuscripts.
The apartment which contains this treasure is the cloister of my
frequent and studious musings. It is a curious little chamber, in a
remote corner of the house, finished all round with painted panellings,
and boasting but one tall, narrow Venetian window, that lets in upon my
studies a 'dim, religious light,' which is quite appropriate to them.

"Everything about that apartment is old and decaying. The table, of oak
inlaid with maple, is worm-eaten and somewhat loose in the joints; the
chairs are massive and curiously carved, but the sharper edges of the
figures are breaking away; and the solemn line of portraits that cover
the walls hang faded from black, melancholy frames, and declare their
intention of soon leaving them forever. In a deep niche stands a heavy
iron clock that rings the hours with hoarse and sullen voice; and
opposite, in a similar niche, is deposited a gloomy figure in antique
bronze. A recess, curtained with tapestry of faded green, has become the
cemetery of departed genius, and, gathered in the embrace of this little
sepulchre, the works of good and great men of ancient days are gradually
mouldering away to dust again."{6}

In view of this essentially artificial and even boyish style, it is not
strange that one of his compositions should have been thus declined by
the eminently just and impartial editor of the "North American Review,"
Jared Sparks.


    DEAR SIR,--I return the article you were so good as to send me. In
    many respects it has a good deal of merit, but on the whole I do not
    think it suited to the "Review." Many of the thoughts and
    reflections are good, but they want maturity and betray a young
    writer. The style, too, is a little ambitious, although not without
    occasional elegance. With more practice the author cannot fail to
    become a good writer; and perhaps my judgment in regard to this
    article would not agree with that of others whose opinion is to be
    respected; but, after all, you know, we editors have no other
    criterion than our own judgment.{7}


Nevertheless the young aspirant felt more and more strongly drawn to a
literary life, and this found expression in his Commencement oration on
"Our Native Writers." His brother and biographer, writing of this
address in later years, says of it, "How interesting that [theme] could
be made in seven minutes the reader may imagine," and he does not even
reprint it; but it seems to me to be one of the most interesting
landmarks in the author's early career, and to point directly towards
all that followed.


OUR NATIVE WRITERS

To an American there is something endearing in the very sound,--Our
Native Writers. Like the music of our native tongue, when heard in a
foreign land, they have power to kindle up within him the tender memory
of his home and fireside; and more than this, they foretell that
whatever is noble and attractive in our national character will one day
be associated with the sweet magic of Poetry. Is, then, our land to be
indeed the land of song? Will it one day be rich in romantic
associations? Will poetry, that hallows every scene,--that renders every
spot classical,--and pours out on all things the soul of its enthusiasm,
breathe over it that enchantment, which lives in the isles of Greece,
and is more than life amid the "woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep"?
Yes!--and palms are to be won by our native writers!--by those that have
been nursed and brought up with us in the civil and religious freedom of
our country. Already has a voice been lifted up in this land,--already a
spirit and a love of literature are springing up in the shadow of our
free political institutions.

But as yet we can boast of nothing farther than a first beginning of a
national literature: a literature associated and linked in with the
grand and beautiful scenery of our country,--with our institutions, our
manners, our customs,--in a word, with all that has helped to form
whatever there is peculiar to us, and to the land in which we live. We
cannot yet throw off our literary allegiance to Old England, we cannot
yet remove from our shelves every book which is not strictly and truly
American. English literature is a great and glorious monument, built up
by the master-spirits of old time, that had no peers, and rising bright
and beautiful until its summit is hid in the mists of antiquity.

Of the many causes which have hitherto retarded the growth of polite
literature in our country, I have not time to say much. The greatest,
which now exists, is doubtless the want of that exclusive attention,
which eminence in any profession so imperiously demands. Ours is an age
and a country of great minds, though perhaps not of great endeavors.
Poetry with us has never yet been anything but a pastime. The fault,
however, is not so much that of our writers as of the prevalent modes of
thinking which characterize our country and our times. We are a plain
people, that have had nothing to do with the mere pleasures and luxuries
of life: and hence there has sprung up within us a quick-sightedness to
the failings of literary men, and an aversion to everything that is not
practical, operative, and thoroughgoing. But if we would ever have a
national literature, our native writers must be patronized. Whatever
there may be in letters, over which time shall have no power, must be
"born of great endeavors," and those endeavors are the offspring of
liberal patronage. Putting off, then, what Shakespeare calls "the visage
of the times,"--we must become hearty well-wishers to our native
authors:--and with them there must be a deep and thorough conviction of
the glory of their calling,--an utter abandonment of everything
else,--and a noble self-devotion to the cause of literature. We have
indeed much to hope from these things;--for our hearts are already
growing warm towards literary adventurers, and a generous spirit has
gone abroad in our land, which shall liberalize and enlighten.

In the vanity of scholarship, England has reproached us that we have no
finished scholars. But there is reason for believing that men of mere
learning--men of sober research and studied correctness--do not give to
a nation its great name. Our very poverty in this respect will have a
tendency to give a national character to our literature. Our writers
will not be constantly toiling and panting after classical allusions to
the Vale of Tempe and the Etrurian river, nor to the Roman fountains
shall--

  "The emulous nations of the West repair
  To kindle their quenched urns, and drink fresh spirit there."

We are thus thrown upon ourselves: and thus shall our native hills
become renowned in song, like those of Greece and Italy. Every rock
shall become a chronicle of storied allusions; and the tomb of the
Indian prophet be as hallowed as the sepulchres of ancient kings, or the
damp vault and perpetual lamp of the Saracen monarch.

Having briefly mentioned one circumstance which is retarding us in the
way of our literary prosperity, I shall now mention one from which we
may hope a happy and glorious issue: It is the influence of natural
scenery in forming the poetical character. Genius, to be sure, must be
born with a man; and it is its high prerogative to be free, limitless,
irrepressible. Yet how is it moulded by the plastic hand of Nature! how
are its attributes shaped and modulated, when a genius like Canova's
failed in the bust of the Corsican, and amid the splendor of the French
metropolis languished for the sunny skies and vine-clad hills of Italy?
Men may talk of sitting down in the calm and quiet of their libraries,
and of forgetting, in the eloquent companionship of books, all the vain
cares that beset them in the crowded thoroughfares of life; but, after
all, there is nothing which so frees us from the turbulent ambition and
bustle of the world, nothing which so fills the mind with great and
glowing conceptions, and at the same time so warms the heart with love
and tenderness, as a frequent and close communion with natural scenery.
The scenery of our own country, too, so rich as it is in everything
beautiful and magnificent, and so full of quiet loveliness or of sublime
and solitary awe, has for our eyes enchantment, for our ears an
impressive and unutterable eloquence. Its language is in high mountains,
and in the pleasant valleys scooped out between them, in the garniture
which the fields put on, and in the blue lake asleep in the hollow of
the hills. There is an inspiration, too, in the rich sky that "brightens
and purples" o'er our earth, when lighted up with the splendor of
morning, or when the garment of the clouds comes over the setting sun.

Our poetry is not in books alone. It is in the hearts of those men,
whose love for the world's gain,--for its business and its holiday,--has
grown cold within them, and who have gone into the retirements of
Nature, and have found there that sweet sentiment and pure devotion of
feeling can spring up and live in the shadow of a low and quiet life,
and amid those that have no splendor in their joys, and no parade in
their griefs.

Thus shall the mind take color from things around us,--from them shall
there be a genuine birth of enthusiasm,--a rich development of poetic
feeling, that shall break forth in song. Though the works of art must
grow old and perish away from earth, the forms of nature shall keep
forever their power over the human mind, and have their influence upon
the literature of a people.

We may rejoice, then, in the hope of beauty and sublimity in our
national literature, for no people are richer than we are in the
treasures of nature. And well may each of us feel a glorious and
high-minded pride in saying, as he looks on the hills and vales,--on the
woods and waters of New England,--

  "This is my own, my native land."{8}


{3 _Every Other Saturday_, i. 21.}

{4 _United States Literary Gazette_, i. 237, 267, 286.}

{5 _Literary Gazette_, i. 8.}

{6 _United States Literary Gazette_, i. 348.}

{7 _Life_, i. 60.}

{8 First printed from the original MS. in _Every Other Saturday_, i.
116.}



CHAPTER IV

LITERATURE AS A PURSUIT


Longfellow graduated at Bowdoin College in June, 1825. There was in his
mind, apparently, from the first, that definiteness of purpose which is
so often wanting when a student takes his first college degree. There
was for him no doubt or hesitation: it must be literature or nothing;
and this not merely from a preference for the pursuit, but from an
ambition, willingly acknowledged, to make a name in that direction. He
writes to his friend, George W. Wells, "Somehow, and yet I hardly know
why, I am unwilling to study any profession. I cannot make a lawyer of
any eminence, because I have not a talent for argument; I am not good
enough for a minister,--and as to physic, I utterly and absolutely
detest it." Even a year before this, he had written to his father a
letter of some moment, dated March 13, 1824, containing the following
ominous passage: "I am curious to know what you do intend to make of
me,--whether I am to study a profession or not; and if so, what
profession. I hope your ideas upon this subject will agree with mine,
for I have a particular and strong prejudice for one course of life, to
which you, I fear, will not agree. It will not be worth while for me to
mention what this is until I become more acquainted with your own
wishes."{9}

This letter remaining for some months unanswered, there followed another
which at last stated his own personal desire. It was written to his
father and dated December 5, 1824.

"I take this early opportunity to write to you, because I wish to know
fully your inclination with regard to the profession I am to pursue when
I leave college.

"For my part I have already hinted to you what would best please me. I
want to spend one year at Cambridge for the purpose of reading history
and of becoming familiar with the best authors in polite literature;
whilst at the same time I can be acquiring a knowledge of the Italian
language, without an acquaintance with which I shall be shut out from
one of the most beautiful departments of letters. The French I mean to
understand pretty thoroughly before I leave college. After leaving
Cambridge I would attach myself to some literary periodical publication,
by which I could maintain myself and still enjoy the advantages of
reading. Now, I do not think that there is anything visionary or
chimerical in my plan thus far. The fact is--and I will not disguise it
in the least, for I think I ought not--the fact is, I most eagerly
aspire after future eminence in literature; my whole soul burns most
ardently for it, and every earthly thought centres in it. There may be
something visionary in _this_, but I flatter myself that I have prudence
enough to keep my enthusiasm from defeating its own object by too great
haste. Surely there never was a better opportunity offered for the
exertion of literary talent in our own country than is now offered. To
be sure, most of our literary men thus far have not been professedly so
until they have studied and entered the practice of Theology, Law, or
Medicine. But this is evidently lost time. I do believe that we ought to
pay more attention to the opinion of philosophers, that 'nothing but
Nature can qualify a man for knowledge.'

"Whether Nature has given me any capacity for knowledge or not, she has
at any rate given me a very strong predilection for literary pursuits,
and I am almost confident in believing that, if I can ever rise in the
world, it must be by the exercise of my talent in the wide field of
literature. With such a belief, I must say that I am unwilling to engage
in the study of law."

Again on December 31 he writes to his father, by way of New Year's gift,
"Let me reside one year at Cambridge; let me study belles-lettres, and
after that time it will not require a spirit of prophecy to predict with
some degree of certainty what kind of a figure I could make in the
literary world. If I fail here, there is still time enough left for the
study of a profession; and while residing at Cambridge, I shall have
acquired the knowledge of some foreign languages which will be, through
life, of the greatest utility."

The answer of the father is too characteristic to be omitted, whether
for its views as to personal standards or as to poetic structure. Most
youthful poets of that day had to face a critical method based strictly
upon the versification of Pope, and their parents regarded all more
flowing measures as having a slight flavor of the French Revolution.

"The subject of your first letter is one of deep interest and demands
great consideration. A literary life, to one who has the means of
support, must be very pleasant. But there is not wealth enough in this
country to afford encouragement and patronage to merely literary men.
And as you have not had the fortune (I will not say whether good or ill)
to be born rich, you must adopt a profession which will afford you
subsistence as well as reputation. I am happy to observe that my
ambition has never been to accumulate wealth for my children, but to
cultivate their minds in the best possible manner, and to imbue them
with correct moral, political, and religious principles,--believing that
a person thus educated will with proper diligence be certain of
attaining all the wealth which is necessary to happiness. With regard to
your spending a year at Cambridge, I have always thought it might be
beneficial; and if my health should not be impaired and my finances
should allow, I should be very happy to gratify you.... In the
'Advertiser' of the 18th, I observe some poetry from the 'U. S. Literary
Gazette,' which from the signature, I presume to be from your pen. It is
a very pretty production, and I read it with pleasure. But you will
observe that the second line of the sixth verse has too many feet.
'Beneath the dark and motionless beech.' I think it would be improved by
substituting _lonely_ for _motionless_. I suggest this for your
consideration. I have the pleasure of hearing frequently from home. They
complain that they have not heard a word from you since you left. This
is unpardonable."

On January 24, 1825, the son wrote to his father again:--

"From the general tenor of your last letter it seems to be your fixed
desire that I should choose the profession of the law for the business
of my life. I am very much rejoiced that you accede so readily to my
proposition of studying general literature for one year at Cambridge. My
grand object in doing this will be to gain as perfect a knowledge of the
French and Italian languages as can be gained without travelling in
France and Italy,--though, to tell the truth, I intend to visit both
before I die.... I am afraid you begin to think me rather chimerical in
many of my ideas, and that I am ambitious of becoming a '_rara avis in
terris_.' But you must acknowledge the usefulness of aiming high,--at
something which it is impossible to overshoot--perhaps to reach. The
fact is, I have a most voracious appetite for knowledge. To its
acquisition I will sacrifice everything.... Nothing delights me more
than reading and writing. And nothing could induce me to relinquish the
pleasures of literature, little as I have yet tasted them. Of the three
professions I should prefer the law. I am far from being a fluent
speaker, but practice must serve as a talisman where talent is wanting.
I can be a lawyer. This will support my real existence, literature an
_ideal_ one.

"I purchased last evening a beautiful pocket edition of Sir William
Jones's Letters, and have just finished reading them. Eight languages he
was critically versed in; eight more he read with a dictionary; and
there were twelve more not wholly unknown to him. I have somewhere seen
or heard the observation that as many languages as a person acquires, so
many times is he a man."{10}

It was undoubtedly an important fact to the young poet to be brought
thus early in contact with Sir William Jones and his twenty-eight
languages. It is the experience of all that the gift of learning a
variety of tongues is something which peculiarly belongs to youth. In
Southern Europe, in Russia, in the East, it is a common thing to
encounter mere children who with next to no schooling will prattle
readily in three or four languages with equal inaccuracy but with equal
ease; while a much older person may acquire them by laborious study and
yet never feel at home. One can hardly doubt Longfellow's natural
readiness in that direction; he was always being complimented, at any
rate--though this may not count for much--upon his aptness in
pronouncing foreign tongues, and the ease with which his own
compositions lent themselves to translation may very possibly have some
obscure connection with his own gifts in this respect. His college
training can have had little bearing upon it, since there is no evidence
that his classmate Hawthorne, doubtless a man of higher genius, showed
any such capacity.


{9 _Life_, i. 50.}

{10 _Life_, i. 57, 58.}



CHAPTER V

FIRST VISIT TO EUROPE


Longfellow's college class (1825) numbered thirty-seven, and his rank in
it at graduation was nominally fourth--though actually third, through
the sudden death of a classmate just before Commencement. Soon after his
graduation, an opportunity occurred to establish a professorship of
modern languages in the college upon a fund given by Mrs. Bowdoin; and
he, being then scarcely nineteen, and nominally a law student in his
father's office, was sent to Europe to prepare himself for this chair,
apparently on an allowance of six hundred dollars a year. The college
tradition is that this appointment--which undoubtedly determined the
literary tendencies of his whole life--was given to him in consequence
of the impression made upon an examining committee by the manner in
which he had translated one of Horace's odes. He accordingly sailed from
New York for Europe on May 15, 1826, having stopped at Boston on the
way, where he dined with Professor George Ticknor, then holding the
professorship at Harvard College to which Longfellow was destined to
succeed at a later day. Professor Ticknor had himself recently returned
from a German university, and urged the young man to begin his studies
there, giving him letters of introduction to Professor Eichhorn, to
Robert Southey, and to Washington Irving, then in Europe.

He sailed on the ship Cadmus, Captain Allen, and wrote to his mother
from Havre that his passage of thirty days had been a dreary blank, and
that the voyage was very tiresome because of the continual talking of
French and broken English, adding, "For Frenchmen, you know, talk
incessantly, and we had at least a dozen of them with us." In spite of
this rather fatiguing opportunity, he was not at once at home in French,
but wrote ere long, "I am coming on famously, I assure you." He wrote
from Auteuil, where he soon went, "Attached to the house is an extensive
garden, full of fruit-trees, and bowers, and alcoves, where the boarders
ramble and talk from morning till night. This makes the situation an
excellent one for me; I can at any time hear French conversation,--for
the French are always talking. Besides, the conversation is the purest
of French, inasmuch as persons from the highest circles in Paris are
residing here,--amongst others, an old gentleman who was of the
household of Louis the Sixteenth, and a Madame de Sailly, daughter of a
celebrated advocate named Berryer, who was the defender of Marshal Ney
in his impeachment for treason. There is also a young student of law
here, who is my almost constant companion, and who corrects all my
mistakes in speaking or writing the French. As he is not much older than
I am, I do not feel so much embarrassed in speaking to him as I do in
speaking to others. These are some of the advantages which I enjoy here,
and you can easily imagine others which a country residence offers over
that of a city, during the vacation of the literary institutions at
Paris and the cessation of their lectures."

It is to be noticed from the outset that the French villages
disappointed him as they disappoint many others. In his letters he
recalls "how fresh and cheerful and breezy a New England village is; how
marked its features--so different from the town, so peculiar, so
delightful." He finds a French village, on the other hand, to be like a
deserted town, having "the same paved streets, the same dark, narrow
alleys without sidewalks, the same dingy stone houses, each peeping into
its neighbor's windows, the same eternal stone walls, shutting in from
the eye of the stranger all the beauty of the place and opposing an
inhospitable barrier to the lover of natural scenery." But when he finds
himself among rural scenes, he has the delight felt by many an American
boy since his days, as in the picture following:--

"From Orléans I started on foot for Tours on the fifth of October.
October is my favorite month of the twelve. When I reflected that if I
remained in Paris I should lose the only opportunity I might ever enjoy
of seeing the centre of France in all the glory of the vintage and the
autumn, I 'shut the book-lid' and took wing, with a little knapsack on
my back, and a blue cap,--not exactly like Quentin Durward, but perhaps
a little more. More anon of him. I had gone as far as Orléans in the
_diligence_ because the route is through an uninteresting country.

"I began the pedestrian part of my journey on one of those dull,
melancholy days which you will find uttering a mournful voice in
Sewall's Almanack: 'Expect--much--rain--about--this--time!' 'Very
miscellaneous weather, good for sundry purposes,'--but not for a journey
on foot, thought I. But I had a merry heart, and it went merrily along
all day. At sundown I found myself about seven leagues on my way and one
beyond Beaugency. I found the route one continued vineyard. On each side
of the road, as far as the eye could reach, there was nothing but vines,
save here and there a glimpse of the Loire, the turrets of an old
château, or spire of a village church. The clouds had passed away with
the morning, and I had made a fine day's journey, cutting across the
country, traversing vineyards, and living in all the luxury of thought
which the occasion inspired. I recollect that at sunset I had entered a
path which wound through a wide vineyard where the villagers were still
at their labors, and I was loitering along, talking with the peasantry
and searching for an _auberge_ to pass the night in. I was presently
overtaken by a band of villagers; I wished them a good evening, and
finding that the girls of the party were going to a village at a short
distance, I joined myself to the band. I wanted to get into one of the
cottages, if possible, in order to study character. I had a flute in my
knapsack, and I thought it would be very pretty to touch up at a cottage
door, Goldsmith-like,--though I would not have done it for the world
without an invitation. Well, before long, I determined to get an
invitation, if possible. So I addressed the girl who was walking beside
me, told her I had a flute in my sack, and asked her if she would like
to dance. Now laugh long and loud! What do you suppose her answer was?
She said she liked to dance, but she did not know what a flute was! What
havoc that made among my romantic ideas! My _quietus_ was made; I said
no more about a flute, the whole journey through; and I thought nothing
but starvation would drive me to strike up at the entrance of a village,
as Goldsmith did."{11}

Thus, wherever he goes, his natural good spirits prevail over
everything. Washington Irving, in his diary, speaks of Longfellow at
Madrid as having "arrived safely and cheerily, having met with no
robbers." Mrs. Alexander Everett, wife of the American minister at
Madrid, writes back to America, "His countenance is itself a letter of
recommendation." He went into good Spanish society and also danced in
the streets on village holidays. At the Alhambra, he saw the refinement
of beauty within the halls, and the clusters of gypsy caves in the
hillside opposite. After eight months of Spain he went on to Italy,
where he remained until December, and passed to Germany with the new
year. He sums up his knowledge of the languages at this point by saying,
"With the French and Spanish languages I am familiarly conversant so as
to speak them correctly and write them with as much ease and fluency as
I do the English. The Portuguese I read without difficulty. And with
regard to my proficiency in the Italian, I have only to say that all at
the hotel where I lodge took me for an Italian, until I told them I was
an American." He settled down to his studies in Germany, his father
having written, with foresight then unusual, "I consider the German
language and literature much more important than the Italian." He did
not, however, have any sense of actual transplantation, as is the case
with some young students, for although he writes to his sister (March
28, 1829), "My poetic career is finished. Since I left America I have
hardly put two lines together," yet he sends to Carey & Lea, the
Philadelphia publishers, to propose a series of sketches and tales of
New England life. These sketches, as given in his note-book, are as
follows:--

"1. New England Scenery: description of Sebago Pond; rafting logs;
tavern scene; a tale connected with the 'Images.'

"2. A New England Village: country squire; the parson; the little
deacon; the farm-house kitchen.

"3. Husking Frolic: song and tales; fellow who plays the fife for the
dance; tale of the Quoddy Indians; description of Sacobezon, their
chief.

"5. Thanksgiving Day: its merry-making, and tales (also of the Indians).

"7. Description of the White Mountains: tale of the Bloody Hand.

"10. Reception of Lafayette in a country village.

"13. Down East: the missionary of Acadie."{12}

A few days after, he wrote from Göttingen to his father, "I shall never
again be in Europe." We thus see his mind at work on American themes in
Germany, as later on German themes in America, unconsciously predicting
that mingling of the two influences which gave him his fame. His earlier
books gave to studious Americans, as I can well recall, their first
imaginative glimpses of Europe, while the poet's homeward-looking
thoughts from Europe had shown the instinct which was to identify his
later fame with purely American themes. It is to be noticed that
whatever was artificial and foreign in Longfellow's work appeared before
he went to Europe; and was the same sort of thing which appeared in all
boyish American work at that period. It was then that in describing the
Indian hunter he made the dance go round by the greenwood tree. He did
not lay this aside at once after his return from Europe, and Margaret
Fuller said of him, "He borrows incessantly and mixes what he borrows."
Criticising the very prelude to "Voices of the Night," she pointed out
the phrases "pentecost" and "bishop's-caps" as indications that he was
not merely "musing upon many things," but on many books which described
them. But the habit steadily diminished. His very gift at translation,
in which he probably exceeded on the whole any other modern poet, led
him, nevertheless, always to reproduce old forms rather than create new
ones, thus aiding immensely his popularity with the mass of simple
readers, while coming short of the full demands of the more critical. To
construct his most difficult poems was thus mainly a serene pleasure,
and something as far as possible from that conflict which kept Hawthorne
all winter, by his wife's testimony, with "a knot in his forehead" while
he was writing "The Scarlet Letter."

It is always to be borne in mind that, as Mr. Scudder has pointed out in
his admirable paper on "Longfellow and his Art," the young poet was
really preparing himself in Europe for his literary work as well as for
his professional work, and half consciously. This is singularly
confirmed by his lifelong friend, Professor George W. Greene, who, in
dedicating his "The Life of Nathanael Greene" to his friend, thus
recalls an evening spent together at Naples in 1828:--

"We wanted," he says, "to be alone, and yet to feel that there was life
all around us. We went up to the flat roof of the house where, as we
walked, we could look down into the crowded street, and out upon the
wonderful bay, and across the bay to Ischia and Capri and Sorrento, and
over the house-tops and villas and vineyards to Vesuvius. The ominous
pillar of smoke hung suspended above the fatal mountain, reminding us of
Pliny, its first and noblest victim. A golden vapor crowned the bold
promontory of Sorrento, and we thought of Tasso. Capri was calmly
sleeping, like a sea-bird upon the waters; and we seemed to hear the
voice of Tacitus from across the gulf of eighteen centuries, telling us
that the historian's pen is still powerful to absolve or to condemn long
after the imperial sceptre has fallen from the withered hand. There,
too, lay the native island of him whose daring mind conceived the
fearful vengeance of the Sicilian Vespers. We did not yet know
Niccolini; but his grand verses had already begun their work of
regeneration in the Italian heart. Virgil's tomb was not far off. The
spot consecrated by Sannazaro's ashes was near us. And over all, with a
thrill like that of solemn music, fell the splendor of the Italian
sunset."{13}

As an illustration of this obvious fact that Longfellow, during this
first European visit, while nominally training himself for purely
educational work, was fitting himself also for a literary career, we
find from his letter to his father, May 15, 1829, that while hearing
lectures in German and studying faithfully that language, he was, as he
says, "writing a book, a kind of Sketch-Book of scenes in France, Spain,
and Italy." We shall presently encounter this book under the name of
"Outre-Mer." He connects his two aims by saying in the same letter, "One
must write and write correctly, in order to teach." Again he adds, "The
further I advance, the more I see to be done. The more, too, I am
persuaded of the charlatanism of literary men. For the rest, my fervent
wish is to return home." His brother tells us that among his note-books
of that period, we find a favorite passage from Locke which reappears
many years after in one of his letters and in his impromptu address to
the children of Cambridge, in 1880: "Thus the ideas as well as the
children of our youth often die before us, and our minds represent to us
those tombs to which we are approaching; where, though the brass and
marble remain, yet the inscriptions are effaced by time, and the imagery
moulders away."{14} He also included a quotation from John Lyly's
"Endymion," which ten years later furnished the opening of his own
"Hyperion." "Dost thou know what a poet is? Why, fool, a poet is as much
as one should say--a poet." When we consider what he had just before
written to his sister, it only furnishes another illustration of the
fact, which needs no demonstration, that young authors do not always
know themselves.

He reached home from Europe, after three years of absence, on August 11,
1829, looking toward Bowdoin College as his abode, and a professorship
of modern languages as his future position. Up to this time, to be sure,
the economical college had offered him only an instructorship. But he
had shown at this point that quiet decision and firmness which marked
him in all practical affairs, and which was not always quite approved by
his more anxious father. In this case he carried his point, and he
received on the 6th of September this simple record of proceedings from
the college:--

"In the Board of Trustees of Bowdoin College, Sept. 1st, 1829: Mr. Henry
W. Longfellow having declined to accept the office of instructor in
modern languages.

"Voted, that we now proceed to the choice of a professor of modern
languages.

"And Mr. H. W. Longfellow was chosen."

Thus briefly was the matter settled, and he was launched upon his life's
career at the age of twenty-two. Of those who made up his circle of
friends in later years, Holmes had just graduated from Harvard, Sumner
was a Senior there, and Lowell was a schoolboy in Cambridge. Few
American colleges had at that time special professors of modern
languages, though George Ticknor had set a standard for them all.
Longfellow had to prepare his own text-books--to translate "L'Homond's
Grammar," to edit an excellent little volume of French "Proverbes
Dramatiques," and a small Spanish Reader, "Novelas Españolas." He was
also enlisted in a few matters outside, and drew up the outline of a
prospectus for a girls' high school in Portland, such high schools being
then almost as rare as professorships of modern languages. He was also
librarian. He gave a course of lectures on French, Spanish, and Italian
literature, but there seems to have been no reference to German, which
had not then come forward into the place in American education which it
now occupies. As to literature, he wrote to his friend, George W.
Greene, "Since my return I have written one piece of poetry, but have
not published a line. You need not be alarmed on that score. I am all
prudence now, since I can form a more accurate judgment of the merit of
poetry. If I ever publish a volume, it will be many years first." It was
actually nine years. For the "North American Review" he wrote in April,
1831, an essay on "The Origin and Progress of the French Language." He
afterwards sent similar papers to the same periodical upon the Italian
and Spanish languages and literatures, each of these containing also
original translations. Thus he entered on his career as a teacher, but
another change in life also awaited him.


{11 _Life_, i. 90, 91.}

{12 _Life_, i. 165.}

{13 Scudder's _Men and Letters_, 28, 29.}

{14 Locke, _Essay on the Human Understanding_, bk. ii. ch. 10, "Of
Retention."}



CHAPTER VI

MARRIAGE AND LIFE AT BRUNSWICK


It has been a source of regret to many that the memoirs of Longfellow,
even when prepared by his brother, have given, perhaps necessarily, so
little space to his early love and first marriage, facts which are apt
to be, for a poet, the turning-points in his career. We know that this
period in Lowell's life, for instance, brought what seemed almost a
transformation of his nature, making an earnest reformer and patriot of
a youth who had hitherto been little more than a brilliant and somewhat
reckless boy. In Longfellow's serener nature there was no room for a
change so marked, yet it is important to recognize that it brought with
it a revival of that poetic tendency which had singularly subsided for a
time after its early manifestation. He had written to his friend, George
W. Greene, on June 27, 1830, that he had long ceased to attach any value
to his early poems or even to think of them at all. Yet after about a
year of married life, he began (December 1, 1832) the introduction to
his Phi Beta Kappa poem, and during the following year published a
volume of poetical translations from the Spanish; thus imitating Bryant,
then in some ways his model, who had derived so much of his inspiration
from the Spanish muse. It is not unreasonable to recognize something of
his young wife's influence in this rekindling of poetic impulse, and it
is pleasant, in examining the manuscript lectures delivered by him at
Bowdoin College and still preserved there, to find them accompanied by
pages of extracts, here and there, in her handwriting. It will therefore
be interesting to make her acquaintance a little farther.

Mary Storer Potter was the second daughter of the Hon. Barrett Potter
and Anne (Storer) Potter of Portland, neighbors and friends of the
Longfellow family. She had been for a time a schoolmate of Henry
Longfellow at the private school of Bezaleel Cushman in Portland; and it
is the family tradition that on the young professor's returning to his
native city after his three years' absence in Europe he saw her at
church and was so struck with her appearance as to follow her home
afterwards without venturing to accost her. On reaching his own house,
however, he begged his sister to call with him at once at the Potter
residence, and all the rest followed as in a novel. They were married
September 14, 1831, she being then nineteen years of age, having been
born on May 12, 1812, and he being twenty-four.

It was a period when Portland was somewhat celebrated for the beauty of
its women; and indeed feminine beauty, at least in regard to coloring,
seems somewhat developed, like the tints of garden flowers, by the
neighborhood of the sea. An oil painting of Mrs. Longfellow is in my
possession, taken in a costume said to have been selected by the young
poet from one of the highly illustrated annuals so much in vogue at that
day. She had dark hair and deep blue eyes, the latter still represented
in some of her nieces, although she left no children. Something of her
love of study and of her qualities of mind and heart are also thus
represented in this younger generation. She had never learned Latin or
Greek, her father disapproving of those studies for girls, but he had
encouraged her in the love of mathematics, and there is among her papers
a calculation of an eclipse.

She had been mainly educated at the school, then celebrated, of Miss
Gushing in Hingham. "My first impression of her," wrote in later years
the venerable professor, Alpheus Packard,--who was professor of Latin
and Greek at Bowdoin at the time of her marriage,--"is of an attractive
person, blooming in health and beauty, the graceful bride of a very
attractive and elegant young man." Some books from her girlish library
now lie before me, dingy and time-worn, with her name in varying
handwriting from the early "Mary S. Potter" to the later "Mary S. P.
Longfellow." They show many marked passages and here and there a
quotation. The collection begins with Miss Edgeworth's "Harry and Lucy;"
then follow somewhat abruptly "Sabbath Recreations," by Miss Emily
Taylor, and "The Wreath, a selection of elegant poems from the best
authors,"--these poems including the classics of that day, Beattie's
"Minstrel," Blair's "Grave," Gray's "Elegy," Goldsmith's "Traveller,"
and some lighter measures from Campbell, Moore, and Burns. The sombre
muse undoubtedly predominated, but on the whole the book was not so bad
an elementary preparation for the training of a poet's wife. It is a
touching accidental coincidence that one of the poems most emphatically
marked is one of the few American poems in these volumes, Bryant's
"Death of the Flowers," especially the last verse, which describes a
woman who died in her youthful beauty. To these are added books of
maturer counsel, as Miss Bowdler's "Poems and Essays," then reprinted
from the sixteenth English edition, but now forgotten, and Mrs.
Barbauld's "Legacy for Young Ladies," discussing beauty, fashion,
botany, the uses of history, and especially including a somewhat
elaborate essay on "female studies," on which, perhaps, Judge Potter
founded his prohibition of the classics. Mrs. Barbauld lays down the
rule that "the learned languages, the Greek especially, require a great
deal more time than a young woman can conveniently spare. To the Latin,"
she adds, "there is not an equal objection ... and it will not," she
thinks, "in the present state of things, excite either a smile or a
stare in fashionable company." But she afterwards says, "French you are
not only permitted to learn, but you are laid under the same necessity
of acquiring it as your brother is of acquiring the Latin." Mrs.
Barbauld's demands, however, are not extravagant, as she thinks that "a
young person who reads French with ease, who is so well grounded as to
write it grammatically, and has what I should call a good English
pronunciation will by a short residence in France gain fluency and the
accent." This "good English pronunciation" of French is still not
unfamiliar to those acquainted with Anglicized or Americanized regions
of Paris.

Among the maturer books of Mary Potter was Worcester's "Elements of
History," then and now a clear and useful manual of its kind, and a
little book called "The Literary Gem" (1827), which was an excellent
companion or antidote for Worcester's History, as it included
translations from the German imaginative writers just beginning to be
known, Goethe, Richter, and Körner, together with examples of that
American literary school which grew up partly in imitation of the
German, and of which the "Legend of Peter Rugg," by William Austin, is
the only specimen now remembered. With this as a concluding volume, it
will be seen that Mary Potter's mind had some fitting preparation for
her husband's companionship, and that the influence of Bryant in poetry,
and of Austin, the precursor of Hawthorne, in prose, may well have
lodged in her mind the ambition, which was always making itself visible
in her husband, towards the new work of creating an American literature.
It is in this point of view that the young wife's mental training
assumed a real importance in studying the atmosphere of Longfellow's
early days. For the rest, she was described by her next-door neighbor in
Brunswick, Miss Emeline Weld, as "a lovely woman in character and
appearance, gentle, refined, and graceful, with an attractive manner
that won all hearts."{15}

Longfellow's salary at Bowdoin College was eight hundred dollars, as
professor of modern languages, with an additional hundred as librarian.
From the beginning he took the lead among American teachers in this
department, the difficulty among these being that they consisted of two
classes,--Americans imperfectly acquainted with Europe and foreigners as
imperfectly known in America. Even in the selection of mere tutors the
same trouble always existed, though partially diminished, as time went
on, by those refugees from revolutionary excitements in Europe,
especially from Germany and Italy, who were a real addition to our
university circles. Even these were from their very conditions of
arrival a somewhat impetuous and unmanageable class, and in American
colleges--as later during the Civil War in the American army--the very
circumstances of their training made them sometimes hard to control as
subordinates. It was very fortunate, when they found, as in Longfellow,
a well-trained American who could be placed over their heads.

There were also text-books and readers to be prepared and edited by the
young professor, one of which, as I well remember, was of immense value
to students, the "Proverbes Dramatiques," already mentioned, a
collection of simple and readable plays, written in colloquial French,
and a most valuable substitute for the previous Racine and Corneille,
the use of which was like teaching classes to read out of Shakespeare.
Thus full of simple and congenial work, Longfellow went to housekeeping
with his young wife in a house still attractive under its rural elms,
and thus described by him:--

"June 23 [1831]. I can almost fancy myself in Spain, the morning is so
soft and beautiful. The tessellated shadow of the honeysuckle lies
motionless upon my study floor, as if it were a figure in the carpet;
and through the open window comes the fragrance of the wild brier and
the mock orange. The birds are carolling in the trees, and their shadows
flit across the window as they dart to and fro in the sunshine; while
the murmur of the bee, the cooing of doves from the eaves, and the
whirring of a little humming-bird that has its nest in the honeysuckle,
send up a sound of joy to meet the rising sun."


{15 _Every Other Saturday_, i. 20.}



CHAPTER VII

THE CORNER STONE LAID


That the young professor rose very early for literary work, even in
November, we know by his own letters, and we also know that he then as
always took this work very seriously and earnestly. What his favorite
employment was, we learn by a letter to his friend George W. Greene
(March 9, 1833) about a book which he proposes to publish in parts, and
concerning which he adds, "I find that it requires little courage to
publish grammars and school-books; but in the department of fine
writing--or attempts at fine writing--it requires vastly more." As a
matter of fact, he had already published preliminary sketches of
"Outre-Mer" in the "New England Magazine," a Boston periodical just
undertaken, putting them under the rather inappropriate title of "The
Schoolmaster," the first appearing in the number for July 18, 1831,{16}
and the sixth and last in the number for February, 1833.{17} He writes
to his sister (July 17, 1831), "I hereby send you a magazine for your
amusement. I wrote 'The Schoolmaster' and the translation from Luis de
Gongora."{18} It is worth mentioning that he adds, "Read 'The Late
Joseph Natterstrom.' It is good." This was a story by William Austin,
whose "Peter Rugg, the Missing Man," has just been mentioned as an early
landmark of the period.{19} It is fair to say, however, that the critic
of to-day can hardly see in these youthful pages any promise of the
Longfellow of the future. The opening chapter, describing the author as
a country schoolmaster, who plays with his boys in the afternoon, is
only a bit of Irving diluted,--the later papers, "A Walk in Normandy,"
"The Village of Auteuil," etc., carrying the thing somewhat farther, but
always in the same rather thin vein. Their quality of crudeness was
altogether characteristic of the period, and although Holmes and
Whittier tried their 'prentice hands with the best intentions in the
same number of the "New England Magazine," they could not raise its
level. We see in these compositions, as in the "Annuals" of that day,
that although Hawthorne had begun with his style already formed, yet
that of Longfellow was still immature. This remark does not, indeed,
apply to a version of a French drinking song,{20} which exhibits
something of his later knack at such renderings. There was at any rate
some distinct maturity in the first number of "Outre-Mer," which
appeared in 1835. A notice of this book in the London "Spectator" closed
with this expression of judgment: "Either the author of the 'Sketch
Book' has received a warning, or there are two Richmonds in the field."

Literary history hardly affords a better instance of the direct
following of a model by a younger author than one can inspect by laying
side by side a page of the first number of "Outre-Mer" and a page of the
"Sketch Book," taking in each case the first American editions. Irving's
books were printed by C. S. Van Winkle, New York, and Longfellow's by J.
Griffin, Brunswick, Maine; the latter bearing the imprint of Hilliard,
Gray & Co., Boston, and the former of the printer only. Yet the physical
appearance of the two sets of books is almost identical; the typography,
distribution into chapters, the interleaved titles of these chapters,
and the prefix to each chapter of a little motto, often in a foreign
language. It must be remembered that the "Sketch Book," like
"Outre-Mer," was originally published in numbers; and besides all this
the literary style of Longfellow's work was at this time so much like
that of Irving that it is very hard at first to convince the eye that
Irving is not responsible for all. Yet for some reason or other the
early copies of the "Sketch Book" command no high price at auction,
while at the recent sale of Mr. Arnold's collection in New York the two
parts of "Outre-Mer" brought $310. The work is now so rare that the
library of Harvard University has no copy of the second part, and only
an imperfect copy of the first with several pages mutilated, but
originally presented to Professor Felton by the author and bearing his
autograph. As to style, it is unquestionable that in "Outre-Mer" we find
Washington Irving frankly reproduced, while in "Hyperion" we are soon to
see the development of a new literary ambition and of a more imaginative
touch.

The early notices of "Outre-Mer" are written in real or assumed
ignorance of the author's name and almost always with some reference to
Irving. Thus there is a paper in the "North American Review" for
October, 1834, by the Rev. O. W. B. Peabody, who says of the book that
it is "obviously the production of a writer of talent and of cultivated
taste, who has chosen to give to the public the results of his
observation in foreign countries in the form of a series of tales and
sketches." He continues, "It is a form which, as every reader knows, had
been recommended by the high example and success of Mr. Irving.... It is
not to be supposed that in adopting the form of Mr. Irving, the author
has been guilty of any other imitation."{21} This may in some sense be
true, and yet it is impossible to compare the two books without seeing
that kind of assimilation which is only made more thorough by being
unconscious. Longfellow, even thus early, brought out more picturesquely
and vividly than Irving the charm exerted by the continent of Europe
over the few Americans who were exploring it. What Irving did in this
respect for England, Longfellow did for the continental nations. None of
the first German students from America, Ticknor, Cogswell, Everett, or
Bancroft, had been of imaginative temperament, and although their
letters, as since printed,{22} revealed Germany to America as the land
of learning, it yet remained for Longfellow to portray all Europe from
the point of view of the pilgrim. When he went to England in 1835, as we
shall see, he carried with him for English publication the two volumes
of one of the earliest literary tributes paid by the New World to the
Old, "Outre-Mer."

It is a curious fact that Mr. Samuel Longfellow, in his admirable memoir
of his brother, omits all attempt to identify the stories by the latter
which are mentioned as appearing in the annual called "The Token,"
published in Boston and edited by S. G. Goodrich. This annual was the
first of a series undertaken in America, on the plan of similar volumes
published under many names in England. It has a permanent value for
literary historians in this country as containing many of Hawthorne's
"Twice-Told Tales" in their original form, but often left anonymous, and
sometimes signed only by his initial (H.). In the list of his own early
publications given by Longfellow to George W. Greene under date of March
9, 1833, he includes, "7. In 'The Token' for 1832, a story.... 8. In the
same, for 1833, a story." To identify the contributions thus affords a
curious literary puzzle. The first named volume--"The Token" for
1832--contains the tale of a domestic bereavement under the name of "The
Indian Summer;" this has for a motto a passage from "The Maid's
Tragedy," and the whole story is signed with the initial "L." This would
seem naturally to suggest Longfellow, and is indeed almost conclusive.
Yet curiously enough there is in the same volume a short poem called "La
Doncella," translated from the Spanish and signed "L....," which is
quite in the line of the Spanish versions he was then writing, although
not included in Mr. Scudder's list of his juvenile or unacknowledged
poems. To complicate the matter still farther, there is also a story
called "David Whicher," dated Bowdoin College, June 1, 1831, this being
a period when Longfellow was at work there, and yet this story is wholly
remote in style from "The Indian Summer," being a rather rough and
vernacular woodman's tale. Of the two, "The Indian Summer" seems
altogether the more likely to be his work, and indeed bears a distinct
likeness to the equally tragic tale of "Jacqueline" in "Outre-Mer,"--the
one describing the funeral of a young girl in America, the other in
Europe, both of them having been suggested, possibly, by the recent
death of his own sister.

In the second volume of "The Token" (1833) the puzzle is yet greater,
for though there are half a dozen stories without initials, or other
clue to authorship, yet not one of them suggests Longfellow at all, or
affords the slightest clue by which it can be connected with him, while
on the other hand there is a poem occupying three pages and signed H. W.
L., called "An Evening in Autumn." This was never included by him among
his works, nor does it appear in the list of his juvenile poems and
translations in the Appendix to Mr. Scudder's edition of his "Complete
Poetical Works," yet the initials leave hardly a doubt that it was
written by him. Why, then, was it not mentioned in this list sent to Mr.
George W. Greene, or did he by a slip of the pen record it as a story
and not as a poem? Perhaps no solution of this conundrum will ever be
given, but it would form a valuable contribution to the record of his
literary dawning. Judging from the evidence now given, the most probable
hypothesis would seem to be that the two contributions which Longfellow
meant to enumerate were the story called "An Indian Summer" in "The
Token" for 1832, and a poem, not a story, in "The Token" for 1833. Even
against this theory there is the objection to be made that the editor of
"The Token," Samuel G. Goodrich, in his "Recollections of a Lifetime"
(New York, 1856), after mentioning Longfellow casually, at the very end
of his list of writers, says of him, "It is a curious fact that the
latter, Longfellow, wrote prose, and at that period had shown neither a
strong bias nor a particular talent for poetry." It is farther
noticeable that in his index to this book, Mr. Goodrich does not find
room for Longfellow's name at all.{23}

It is to be borne in mind that at the very time when Longfellow was
writing these somewhat trivial contributions for "The Token," he was
also engaged on an extended article for "The North American Review,"
which was a great advance upon all that he had before published. His
previous papers had all been scholarly, but essentially academic. They
had all lain in the same general direction with Ticknor's "History of
Spanish Literature," and had shared its dryness. But when he wrote, at
twenty-four, an article for "The North American Review" of January,
1832,{24} called "The Defence of Poetry," taking for his theme Sir
Philip Sidney's "Defence of Poesy," just then republished in the
"Library of the Old English Prose Writers," at Cambridge, Mass., it was
in a manner a prediction of Emerson's oration, "The American Scholar,"
five years later. So truly stated were his premises that they are still
valid and most important for consideration to-day, after seventy years
have passed. It is thus that his appeal begins:--

... "With us, the spirit of the age is clamorous for utility,--for
visible, tangible utility,--for bare, brawny, muscular utility. We would
be roused to action by the voice of the populace, and the sounds of the
crowded mart, and not 'lulled to sleep in shady idleness with poet's
pastimes.' We are swallowed up in schemes for gain, and engrossed with
contrivances for bodily enjoyments, as if this particle of dust were
immortal,--as if the soul needed no aliment, and the mind no raiment. We
glory in the extent of our territory, in our rapidly increasing
population, in our agricultural privileges, and our commercial
advantages.... We boast of the increase and extent of our physical
strength, the sound of populous cities, breaking the silence and
solitude of our Western territories,--plantations conquered from the
forest, and gardens springing up in the wilderness. Yet the true glory
of a nation consists not in the extent of its territory, the pomp of its
forests, the majesty of its rivers, the height of its mountains and the
beauty of its sky; but in the extent of its mental power,--the majesty
of its intellect,--the height and depth and purity of its moral
nature.... True greatness is the greatness of the mind;--the true glory
of a nation is moral and intellectual preëminence."{25}

"Not he alone," the poet boldly goes on, "does service to the State,
whose wisdom guides her councils at home, nor he whose voice asserts her
dignity abroad. A thousand little rills, springing up in the retired
walks of life, go to swell the rushing tide of national glory and
prosperity; and whoever in the solitude of his chamber, and by even a
single effort of his mind, has added to the intellectual preëminence of
his country, has not lived in vain, nor to himself alone."{26}

He goes on to argue, perhaps needlessly, in vindication of poetry for
its own sake and for the way in which it combines itself with the
history of the nation, and expresses the spirit of that nation. He then
proceeds to a direct appeal in behalf of that very spirit. Addressing
the poets of America he says, "To those of them who may honor us by
reading our article, we would whisper this request,--that they should be
more original, and withal more national. It seems every way important,
that now, whilst we are forming our literature, we should make it as
original, characteristic, and national as possible. To effect this, it
is not necessary that the war-whoop should ring in every line, and every
page be rife with scalps, tomahawks, and wampum. Shade of Tecumseh
forbid!--The whole secret lies in Sidney's maxim,--'Look in thy heart
and write.'"{27}

He then points out that while a national literature strictly includes
"every mental effort made by the inhabitants of a country through the
medium of the press," yet no literature can be national in the highest
sense unless it "bears upon it the stamp of national character." This he
illustrates by calling attention to certain local peculiarities of
English poetry as compared with that of the southern nations of Europe.
He gives examples to show that the English poets excel their rivals in
their descriptions of morning and evening, this being due, he thinks, to
their longer twilights in both directions. On the other hand, the
greater dreaminess and more abundant figurative language of southern
nations are qualities which he attributes to their soft, voluptuous
climate, where the body lies at ease and suffers the dream fancy "to
lose itself in idle reverie and give a form to the wind and a spirit to
the shadow and the leaf." He then sums up his argument.

"We repeat, then, that we wish our native poets would give a more
national character to their writings. In order to effect this, they have
only to write more naturally, to write from their own feelings and
impressions, from the influence of what they see around them, and not
from any preconceived notions of what poetry ought to be, caught by
reading many books and imitating many models. This is peculiarly true in
descriptions of natural scenery. In these, let us have no more sky-larks
and nightingales. For us they only warble in books. A painter might as
well introduce an elephant or a rhinoceros into a New England landscape.
[This comes, we must remember, from the young poet who had written in
his "Angler's Song" six years before,--

  "Upward speeds the morning lark
  To its silver cloud."]

We would not restrict our poets in the choice of their subjects, or the
scenes of their story; but when they sing under an American sky, and
describe a native landscape, let the description be graphic, as if it
had been seen and not imagined. We wish, too, to see the figures and
imagery of poetry a little more characteristic, as if drawn from nature
and not from books. Of this we have constantly recurring examples in the
language of our North American Indians. Our readers will all recollect
the last words of Pushmataha, the Choctaw chief, who died at Washington
in the year 1824: 'I shall die, but you will return to your brethren. As
you go along the paths, you will see the flowers and hear the birds; but
Pushmataha will see them and hear them no more. When you come to your
home, they will ask you, where is Pushmataha? and you will say to them,
He is no more. They will hear the tidings _like the sound of the fall of
a mighty oak in the stillness of the wood_.' More attention on the part
of our writers to these particulars would give a new and delightful
expression to the face of our poetry. But the difficulty is, that
instead of coming forward as bold, original thinkers, they have imbibed
the degenerate spirit of modern English poetry."{28} What is meant by
this last passage is seen when he goes on to point out that each little
village then had "its little Byron, its self-tormenting scoffer at
morality, its gloomy misanthropist in song," and that even Wordsworth,
in some respects an antidote to Byron, was as yet "a very unsafe model
for imitation;" and he farther points out "how invariably those who have
imitated him have fallen into tedious mannerisms." He ends with a moral,
perhaps rather tamely stated: "We hope, however, that ere long some one
of our most gifted bards will throw his fetters off, and relying on
himself alone, fathom the recesses of his own mind, and bring up rich
pearls from the secret depths of thought."{29}

"The true glory of a nation"--this is his final attitude--"is moral and
intellectual preëminence;" thus distinctly foreshadowing the title of
his friend Charles Sumner's later oration, "The True Grandeur of
Nations." American literature had undoubtedly begun to exist before this
claim was made, as in the prose of Irving and Cooper, the poetry of Dana
and Bryant. But it had awaited the arrival of some one to formulate its
claims, and this it found in Longfellow.


{16 _New England Magazine_, i. 27.}

{17 _Ibid._ iv. 131.}

{18 MS. letter.}

{19 See _Writings of William Austin_, Boston, 1890.}

{20 _New England Magazine_, ii. 188.}

{21 _North American Review_, xxix. 459.}

{22 _Harvard Graduates' Magazine_, vi. 6.}

{23 Goodrich's _Recollections of a Lifetime_, ii. 263, 560.}

{24 _North American Review_, xxxiv. 56.}

{25 _North American Review_, xxxiv. 59.}

{26 _North American Review_, xxxiv. 61.}

{27 _Ib._ 69.}

{28 _North American Review_, xxxiv. 74, 75.}

{29 _Ib._ 78.}



CHAPTER VIII

APPOINTMENT AT HARVARD AND SECOND VISIT TO EUROPE


While he was thus occupied with thoughts and studies which proved to be
more far-seeing than he knew, the young professor was embarrassed by
financial difficulties in which the college found itself; and he began
after three years to consider the possibility of a transfer to other
scenes, perhaps to some professorship in New York or Virginia.

The following letter, hitherto unpublished, gives us the view taken in
the Longfellow house of another project, namely, that of his succeeding
to the charge of the then famous Round Hill School at Northampton, about
to be abandoned by its projector, Joseph G. Cogswell. The quiet judgment
of the young wife thus sums it up in writing to her sister-in-law:--


                                      Sunday afternoon [February, 1834].

    ... Henry left us Friday noon in the mail for Boston, as George will
    tell you. I do not like the idea of his going to Northampton at
    all--although it would be a most beautiful place to reside in. Still
    I feel sure he would not like the care of a school, and such an
    extensive establishment as that is too. He heard that Mr. Cogswell
    was to leave them for Raleigh and wrote him--in answer to which he
    received a long letter, wishing him much to take the place, &c.;
    which determined him to go immediately to Northampton. He requires
    $1600 to be advanced, and it would be incurring a certain expense
    upon a great uncertainty of gaining more than a living there. I do
    not think Henry calculated at all for such a situation. If he
    dislikes so much the care of such a little family as ours, how can
    he expect to like the multifarious cares of such a large one! He has
    promised not to decide upon anything till he returns, and I feel so
    confident that all uninterested persons will dissuade him from it,
    that I rest quite at ease. I wished him to go to satisfy himself, he
    was so very sanguine as to the result of it. We expect him home the
    last of next week. This Northampton business is a profound secret
    and is not mentioned out of the family!


Another extract from the same correspondent shows us how Longfellow was
temporarily influenced at Brunswick, like Lowell afterwards at
Cambridge, by the marked hygienic and even ascetic atmosphere of the
period; an influence apparently encouraged in both cases by their young
wives, yet leaving no permanent trace upon the habits of either
poet,--habits always moderate, in both cases, but never in the literal
sense abstemious.


                                           Friday evening [April, 1834].

    ... He has gone to a Temperance Lecture this evening. He intends
    becoming a member of the Temperance Society; indeed I do not know
    but he has signed the paper already. He is a good little dear, and I
    approve of everything (_almost_ smoking) he does. He is becoming an
    advocate of vegetable diet, Dr. Mussey's hobby; and Clara and I have
    nothing but lectures from him and Alexander, upon corsets.


The following extract gives us a glimpse of his literary work:--


                                                BRUNSWICK, Nov. 2, 1834.

    Henry comes on famously with Outre Mer. The No. on Spain is finished
    and that on Italy will be before Thanksgiving. It is by far more
    interesting than any of the other No's. Henry thinks himself it is
    much superior in point of interest and in style. I presume he will
    have the remaining No's published together in N. Y. this winter.


In the midst of such literary and household cares he received the
following letter:--


                                            CAMBRIDGE, December 1, 1834.

    DEAR SIR,--Professor Ticknor has given notice that it is his
    intention to resign his office of Smith Professor of Modern
    Languages in Harvard University, as soon as the Corporation shall
    have fixed upon a successor.

    The duty of nominating to that office devolves upon me; and after
    great deliberation and inquiry my determination is made to nominate
    you for that office under circumstances which render your
    appointment not doubtful,--provided I receive a previous assurance
    from you of your acceptance of it. To ascertain this is the object
    of the present letter.

    The salary will be fifteen hundred dollars a year. Residence in
    Cambridge will be required. The duties of the professorship will be
    of course those which are required from the occupant of a full
    professorship, and such as the Corporation and the Overseers may
    appoint. If a relation such as I suggest with this university be
    acceptable to you, I shall be obliged by an early answer.

    Should it be your wish, previously to entering upon the duties of
    the office, to reside in Europe, at your own expense, a year or
    eighteen months for the purpose of a more perfect attainment of the
    German, Mr. Ticknor will retain his office till your return.

                          Very respectfully, I am
                             Yours, etc., etc.,

                                                      JOSIAH QUINCY.{30}


"Good fortune comes at last and I certainly shall not reject it," the
young Longfellow wrote to his father. "The last paragraph of the
letter," he adds, "though put in the form of a permission, seems to
imply a request. I think I shall accept that also." Some additional
correspondence, however, proved necessary, such as follows:--


    HON. JOSIAH QUINCY:

    SIR,--Your letter of to-day inclosing the Vote of the President and
    Fellows of Har'd University in relation to the Professorship of
    Mod'n Lang's has been received, and in expressing anew my desire to
    meet your wishes fully in the matter before us, I beg leave to defer
    an official answer until my return from the South, in about three
    weeks hence.

    In the mean time may I take the liberty of calling your attention
    once more to the subject of our last conversation? I feel it
    important that I should be regularly appointed before sailing for
    Europe. Otherwise I present myself as any private individual
    whatever. But if I go as one of your professors, I carry with me in
    that very circumstance my best letter of recommendation. It gives me
    a character--and a greater claim to attention abroad, than I can
    otherwise take with me. Judge Story is ready to consent to this
    arrangement--so is Mr. Gray--so is Mr. Ticknor. If you could bring
    the subject once more before the corporation, I think the objections
    suggested by you when I saw you this morning will be found to give
    way before the good results, which I think may be reasonably
    anticipated from change in your vote where respectfully suggested.

                               Very respect'y
                             y'r. Ob'e. Ser't.

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{31}

    BOSTON, Jan'y 1, 1834. [Error for 1835.]


    HON. JOSIAH QUINCY:

    SIR,--Placing entire confidence in the assurances of the President
    and Fellows of Harvard University in reference to my election to the
    Smith Professorship of Modern Languages and Belles Lettres in that
    institution, which assurances were communicated to me in y'r favor
    of 1st January, together with their Vote upon the subject,--I have
    the honor to inform you, that I shall sail for Europe in the month
    of April next, and remain there till the summer of 1836.

                             Very respectfully

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{32}

    PORTLAND, February 3, 1835.


His first book, in a strict sense, published before his departure, was
his translation of the "Coplas of Jorge Manrique" (1833), in which were
added to the main poem a few translations of sonnets, the whole being
prefaced with an article from "The North American Review" on the "Moral
and Devotional Poetry of Spain." It was these works which had attracted
the attention of Professor Ticknor, and had led to results so important.
The young professor sailed at the time mentioned, accompanied by his
wife and two young ladies, her friends.

His first aim was Sweden, but he spent a few weeks in London, where he
met, among others, Carlyle. So little has hitherto been recorded of this
part of Longfellow's life or of his early married life in any way, that
I am glad to be able to describe it from the original letters of the
young wife, which are now in my possession, and are addressed mainly to
Mrs. Longfellow, her mother-in-law. She seems to have enjoyed her
travelling experiences very thoroughly, and writes in one case, "We are
generally taken for French ... and I am always believed to be Henry's
sister. They say to me, 'What a resemblance between your brother and
self!'"


                                         Sunday afternoon, May 31, 1835.

    MY DEAR MOTHER,--I wrote you a very few lines, in great haste, in
    Henry's letter to his Father, acknowledging the receipt of your kind
    letter. I hope that you will write us as often as your many cares
    will permit, & be assured that even a few lines will always be
    welcomed with delight by your absent children. We have passed our
    time very delightfully in London. The only difficulty is--there is
    so much to be seen & so little time to see it in. We have, however,
    seen many of the principal points. Last Monday we passed very
    delightfully at Shirley Park, near the little village of Croydon.
    The ride is through a very beautiful country. We passed several
    gipsy encampments, in the most picturesque situations. Shirley Park
    is a truly delightful place. The house, which is a very fine one, is
    placed on a beautiful spot, & there are fine views from all sides of
    it. Mrs. Skinner, the lady of the place, is a very agreeable amiable
    lady--She took us all over the grounds in her carriage, & was very
    kind & attentive to us. Her house is thronged with visitors, the
    great, the fashionable, & the _literati_ all pay their court to her.
    She is a great admirer of Willis's, & thinks his writings _superior
    to Irving's_!--On Wednesday we visited the National Gallery, the
    finest collection of old paintings in the city. We saw while we were
    there, the Queen pass into the city, attended by the horse-guards in
    their beautiful uniforms. Five or six carriages passed with a
    coachman & two footmen to each, lost almost in the quantity of gold
    lace which covered them. Last of all came her Majesty's carriage
    with two coachmen & four footmen in the same magnificent livery.
    Thursday was the king's birth day. The drawing room was the most
    splendid one that had ever been seen--so Willis says. In the eve'g
    there was a grand illumination. About ten Henry and Mr. Frazer went
    out to see it. The crowd was so immense, that it was with the
    greatest difficulty they made their way home. Four women from St.
    Giles's armed with large clubs pointed with iron, passed through the
    crowd striking in all directions. We took a carriage & drove to see
    the illuminations. It was after eleven & the crowd had nearly
    dispersed. There were brilliant crowns & a variety of pretty devices
    formed with coloured lamps & some very fine gas ones. I suspect
    however there was very little true rejoicing in all this show &
    splendour. The Queen is very unpopular among the people. Friday
    morn'g--Willis called. He had been to breakfast with the beautiful
    Mrs. Wadsworth, & was on his way, to breakfast at 3 in the aft. with
    the Duchess of St. Albans. Mrs. Wadsworth, from Genesseo, was a
    Philadelphia lady & has been greatly admired on the continent &
    here. She returns in a few days to America. Yesterday morning Mr.
    Barnard a young lawyer from Connecticut called upon me. He arrived
    but a month before us, & takes much the same route as we do, though
    a more extensive one. He will be in Stockholm in the course of the
    summer. Mr. Carlyle of Craigenputtock was soon after announced, &
    passed an half hour with us much to our delight. He has very
    unpolished manners, & broad Scottish accent, but such fine language
    & beautiful thoughts that it is truly delightful to listen to him.
    Perhaps you have read some of his articles in the Edinburgh Review.
    He invited us to take tea with him at Chelsea, where they now
    reside. We were as much charmed with Mrs. C[arlyle] as with her
    husband. She is a lovely woman with very simple & pleasing manners.
    She is also very talented & accomplished, & how delightful it is to
    see such modesty combined with such power to please. On Tuesday we
    visit Chantrey's study with them. This morning Mr. Bentham, a nephew
    of Jeremy's, called, & invited us to dine with them on Wednesday--We
    may see the great potentate appear. Henry is petitioning for room to
    write, & saying that I must retire, but I must tell you my dreams. A
    few nights since I heard Samuel [Longfellow] preach for Dr. Nichols.
    Last night I dreamt I was with my father & sisters, telling them of
    all I had seen. I only went to America to make a call & tell you all
    we had safely arrived, & was to return immediately. You will give
    very much love to all for me. They must all write me, & their
    letters shall be answered as speedily as possible. We leave here the
    last of this week. I shall leave letters to be sent by the first
    opportunity. George & Ann must not forget us.

                           Your ever affectionate

                                                                   MARY.


The Carlyles are again mentioned in a letter written while crossing the
German Ocean.


                                               STEAM SHIP, GERMAN OCEAN,
                                               Thursday, June 11 [1835].

    ... We have some very pleasant passengers. A German lady with her
    father and little girl. What a strange idea foreigners have of
    America! This lady who appears very intelligent asked us if
    _America_ was anything like _London_!! Then we have a German Prince
    with huge mustachios; Clara played whist with him last evening! Oh
    dear! I do not know as I shall be able to speak to you when I
    return, I see so many lords and ladies! but in reality these lords
    and ladies are not half as agreeable people as some of Henry's
    literary friends. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle have more genuine worth and
    talent than half of the nobility in London. Mr. Carlyle's literary
    fame is very high, and she is a very talented woman--but they are
    people after my own heart--not the least pretension about them. Mrs.
    Carlyle has a pin with Goethe's head upon it, which that great
    author sent her himself. She is very proud of it I assure you. They
    live very retired, not wishing to mix with fashionable society,
    which they regard in its true light; still they have some friends
    among the nobility who know how to value them.


                                              STOCKHOLM, August 5, 1835.

    MY DEAR MOTHER,--I hope you have received my letter to you from
    London ere this. We sent letters home from here July 21st by Capt.
    Symons directly to Boston--it was as soon as possible after our
    arrival; among them Henry sent a letter to his father, & I to Mary,
    Sam & Anne. I was quite delighted to receive a letter from Mary &
    Sam--hope they will write me often. Since our last letters we have
    removed our lodgings to "No. 5. Clara Södra Kyko Gatan." We have
    more rooms but not as good ones as in the Droteninggatan. We have
    made some very pleasant acquaintances here. July 15th we dined at
    Mr. Arfwedson's--the father of the gentleman who married an American
    lady. Mr. A---- resides at Liston Hill in the Park--he has a little
    English cottage, built by Sir Robert Liston, formerly English
    minister to this court. It is a sweet spot--the Mäler flows almost
    directly beneath the windows of the cottage--a little flower garden
    is upon its banks, & a fine grove of trees in the rear of the
    cottage. Mr. Arfwedson is a fine old man--his wife has been dead
    several years. The only ladies present were our countrywoman Mrs.
    A---- & the eldest daughter of Mr. Arfwedson--the wife of Baron
    S----. She is a very delicate and graceful lady, was dressed very
    tastefully & altogether unlike the Swedish ladies we had before
    seen. Mr. A's second daughter is just married to a brother of her
    sister's husband who is also a Baron. They went immediately to
    Copenhagen, we have not therefore seen her, but have heard much of
    her great beauty. There were a number of gentlemen present at
    dinner, several of which were English. The dinner table was by far
    the prettiest we have seen in Sweden.... The dessert plates were
    very beautiful, white china--upon each of which was a different
    flower elegantly painted. After coffee the gentleman proposed a
    drive to Rosendale, a little palace in the park. It is the favorite
    spot of king Bernadotte. We first went to the splendid porphyry
    vase, which stands in the centre of the flower garden back of the
    palace. The top of this celebrated & immense vase is cut from a
    single block of porphyry. Sweden is very celebrated for its fine
    porphyry. The lower rooms of the palace are handsomely furnished,
    but the upper ones are quite splendid. All the rooms were carpeted
    with beautiful carpets--the walls were hung with silk damask--each
    room a different color, with curtains, sofas & chairs to correspond.
    One room was hung with white damask, & the chairs & sofa were
    covered with beautiful embroidery--the ground of which was white,
    wrought by the Queen & her maids of honor. There was a great
    profusion of this beautiful embroidery--fire screens, ottomans,
    &c.--The chandeliers, mirrors & candelabras were very elegant. In
    one room was a portrait of the king, which was very like him. In
    another that of the Queen--much flattered. She was a daughter of a
    merchant of Marseilles. There are no bed-chambers in this palace.
    The king very rarely sleeps out of his palace in town. We returned
    to Mr. Arfwedson's & took tea. Mrs. A---- is very accomplished, she
    speaks nearly all the modern languages. She invited us to dine with
    them on the next Sabbath.

    July 16th. We dined at Mr. Stockoe's, a partner of Mr. Erskine's. We
    met quite a large & pleasant party there. The Stockoe's are
    excellent, kind-hearted people. They have paid us every attention.
    Mrs. S---- sends us presents of fruits & flowers, & all those little
    attentions which it is so agreeable to receive.--I was quite unwell
    on Sunday, on account of a very long walk the evening previous. I
    did not therefore go to young Arfwedson's. Clara & H---- went & had
    a very pleasant visit. They met there Baron Stackelberg, who was
    Swedish minister in America fourteen years. He returned but two
    years since. He has called upon us several times since, & is a
    jovial old man with perfectly _white_ hair & whiskers. July 22nd.
    The Stockoe's invited us to drive out to Haga with them. We went out
    at six in the evening. This palace is about two English miles from
    town. It was built by Gustavus the 3rd, & was his favorite
    residence. The furniture was very old, but there is one fine room
    _lined_ with mirrors. In the drawing room is a centre table with a
    deep top & pots of flowers placed in it. This top was covered
    entirely with moss, this had a very pretty effect, especially as
    there were a variety of flowers all in bloom. The table was on
    castors & could be placed in any position.... We were shown three
    very small chambers, where Gustavus the 4th was imprisoned after he
    was dethroned. His queen lived with him there. In another building,
    a pavilion, were some rooms furnished in more modern style. The
    Queen sleeps in these rooms when she comes to Haga, [but] the royal
    family rarely visit this palace. The grounds are very beautiful. We
    walked round the Park to the famous palace which Gustavus 3d
    commenced building after his return from Italy. Here he expended two
    millions, & the foundations were but laid & the stones in readiness
    for the walls when he was assassinated. The work was then
    immediately stopped as the people were much opposed to the
    undertaking. We saw the model of this building which was to have
    been a very extensive one. A row of columns all around it, to have
    been built in the Italian style. The model was more like a temple
    than a palace. We took tea at a little inn in Hagalund & returned
    home late in the evening--The king has a great number of palaces
    round Stockholm, there are seven or eight, & as many it is said in
    every province.

    We have a very pleasant little family of our own, & have fine times
    together. Mr. Hughes says "for one lady it would have been
    intolerable, for two very unpleasant; but for three quite
    agreeable." Henry has been much disappointed not to receive a letter
    from his father. We are now expecting letters every day from home, &
    when Wm. Goddard arrives next month we hope to have many--

    Please to give my love to Aunt Lucia & say to her I shall write her
    very soon. Be so kind as to give much love to all the family for me,
    & accept much love & respect for yourself & Mr Longfellow from

                           Your ever affectionate

                                                               MARY ----


    MY DEAREST MOTHER,--As a little blank space is left, I will fill it
    with a postscript.--We have just returned--that is to say, day
    before yesterday,--from a visit to the University of Upsala, and the
    Iron mines of Dannemora;--of which Mary will give you a description
    all in good time. We already begin to think of leaving
    Stockholm--and shall probably take the steamboat to Gothenburg in
    about three weeks.--For my own part, I should like to go sooner if
    we could. I am disappointed in Sweden. The climate is too cold and
    unpleasant. I want a little warm sunshine. Something that I can
    feel, as well as see. From Gothenburg we shall go to Copenhagen, and
    after passing a month there, take steamboat to Stettin, and so to
    Berlin. We shall not return to the _North_ again but pass the next
    summer in Germany and France.

    Much love to all. Very affectionately your Son

                                                        H. W. LONGFELLOW

        MRS. STEPHEN LONGFELLOW,
    Care of Hon. Stephen Longfellow,
            Portland, Maine,
           U. S. of America.


    [TO] HON. STEPHEN LONGFELLOW, PORTLAND, MAINE, U. S. OF AMERICA.

                                         COPENHAGEN, September 21, 1835.

    MY DEAR SIR,--Henry has consented that I should copy a few pages of
    his journal for you; but I could not prevail on him to grant this,
    till I promised again & again for you, that you would not on any
    condition, allow it to go out of your house. The _children_ can read
    it there; & I will ask of you the same favor for my father and my
    sisters, for I know they will take much interest in it.

    If it cheers a lonely winter's evening, or cheats you of a few
    melancholy hours, I shall feel most amply repaid for the trouble I
    have taken.

    We have regretted much to hear of your feeble health, but hope that
    your journey has quite renovated you. I [was] delighted to receive a
    second letter from Mrs. L[ongfellow], in a p[ackage] of letters
    which reached us a few days since. She is very kind to write me, & I
    shall not fail to write her, as often as possible, while absent.

    With this you will receive a letter for Aunt Lucia. I shall answer
    Mrs. L's letter very soon.

    Henry has become quite learned in the Swedish, & can already
    translate Danish. He is studying Icelandic also, as I presume he has
    told you. He is in fine health & spirits.

    With many wishes for your health & my Mother's, & with much respect
    & affection for you both--I am as ever

                             Your affectionate

                                                               MARY ----

    [On outside of letter.] September 28. I have written by the same
    ship that brings you this. H. W. L. Also a letter to George.

          [_Endorsement._]
       Mary P. Longfellow to
    S. Longfellow, containing a
      Copy of Henry's Journal
       _Sept. 21, 1835._{33}


                                         COPENHAGEN, September 22, 1835.

    MY DEAR AUNT LUCIA,--Pray do not be alarmed on receiving this letter
    for fear that you must answer it. I have not hoped such a favor, but
    am content, however much I should be delighted to hear from you, to
    write you occasionally without the hopes of an answer, thinking &
    knowing you would be as happy to receive a letter from me as any of
    my dear friends. I received a very entertaining letter from Anne a
    few days since. Henry says "Anne's letters have some _pith_ to
    them." Pray urge her to write us often, & I shall take just as much
    interest in hearing about her family affairs as if I was in
    Brunswick.

    And so you have made a visit in Boston, & have been upon railroads,
    to balloon ascensions, theatres & I know not what. After such a
    quiet life as you have passed for several years, it must be quite a
    pleasant little incident, & I know that you must have enjoyed your
    visit much. But, after all, do you not think that the pleasure of
    travelling is greatest when it has been all passed, & you are seated
    once more in your quiet home,--& retrace in imagination your
    wanderings? It must be so--I think--then you remember only what is
    agreeable, & the thousand little inconveniences, one must suffer in
    travelling, are forgotten.

    I cannot tell you how delighted we all are that we are out of
    Sweden. Henry scolds not a little that a summer _in Europe_ should
    have been passed there.

    You have heard before this, by our letters from Gothenburg, that we
    were detained there a week, much against our will. We passed the
    time, however, very pleasantly. H[enry] delivered a letter from my
    Uncle Robert [Storer] to Mr. Wijk of that place, & he was very
    attentive & kind to us. On Sunday the 6th of September we dined with
    him, & had the pleasure of being introduced to his celebrated lady.
    She appears as his daughter, being more than thirty years younger
    than her husband. We had heard of her great beauty in America. I
    cannot say that she is beautiful, but she is extremely pretty with
    very interesting manners. They have travelled much on the continent
    & in England. The dinner was much more American than any we had seen
    in Sweden. In the centre of the table was a high glass dish filled
    with a musk-melon & surrounded with flowers. The remainder of the
    dessert was not placed upon the table, but came on after meat, &c.,
    as in our country. After soup, fish & meat, we had a _nice_ baked
    apple pudding; & after this, the cloth was removed from the nicely
    polished round table, & the dessert of cake, apples, pears,
    preserves, nuts & raisins was placed upon it. Captain Condry from
    Newburyport dined there, a very pleasant and gentlemanly man. Mrs.
    Wijk urged us to remain to tea, but we left them soon after dinner.

    Monday. 7. In the aft' walked around Gothenburg, a pleasant town, &
    much preferable as an abiding place to Stockholm, in my opinion. On
    returning home found Mr. and Mrs. Wijk. She looked sweetly & was
    dressed elegantly. They called to invite us to pass the morrow with
    them, at their country seat.--Tuesday. 8. At eleven in the morning,
    took a carriage to Mr. Wijk's. A long & tedious ride, one & a
    quarter Swedish mile from town. We arrived there at one, found Mr.
    W[ijk] & his lady waiting to receive us. We took a walk round the
    grounds before dinner. The house built in a very pretty style & the
    grounds something like an English Park. An English gentleman, a
    brother-in-law of Mr. Wijk's dined with us. He has a country seat
    adjoining. After dinner, we walked to this gentleman's grounds. They
    are quite delighted with a fine lake near the house. We then visited
    the factories, which the owner, a man of great mechanical genius,
    has erected upon his grounds. We saw all the different stages the
    flax went through before weaving & lastly the weaving itself. We
    returned home & took tea with Mrs. Wijk & then bade adieu. Found on
    our return home Mr. Appleton had arrived from Stockholm. He goes to
    Copenhagen with us.

    Wednesday. 9. At two in the aft' we left Gothenburg, in a little
    boat for the steamer station, which is three miles from the town.
    Mr. Wijk accompanied us to the wharf. When we arrived at the steamer
    pier--found the boat had not arrived from Christiana, & there we
    waited three hours for it. We left about 6 in the evening. The
    steamer crowded. We were obliged to sleep in the gentleman's cabin,
    & the cabin was entirely filled with hammocks swung one above
    another.--Thursday. 10. Arrived in Copenhagen at 2 P.M. Found good
    accommodations at the Hotel Royal. Monday. 14. Mr. Appleton & Mary
    G---- left us, for London. Tuesday. 15. In the morning went over the
    new palace, not yet entirely completed. It is a fine building, the
    rooms very neat, most of them carpeted. The carpet English, & upon
    the king's apartments of the most ordinary & coarsest Kidderminster.
    The Queen's were Brussels, but nothing extraordinary. In one large
    room was the king's throne--A gilded chair covered with crimson
    velvet, & his initials worked in gold upon it. The platform, & the
    steps by which you ascend to it, were also covered with crimson
    velvet. The window-curtains were superb--of crimson velvet & a gold
    vine wrought upon the edge of them. The Queen's apartments were more
    splendid than the king's. She had also a room similar to the king's,
    with a throne like his & curtains the same. The dancing hall was
    very fine with seven immense chandeliers in it.--The king and Queen
    both had their dining halls. There was a most splendid hall for
    _dubbing knights_. An immense room, with gallery all around it,
    supported by pillars which appeared like white marble, but were of
    some composition. The ceiling was very beautiful, white with raised
    gilt figures. The chapel was very fine; also the hall of justice,
    where criminals for high treason, I think, are tried. There is a
    throne of crimson velvet at one end, & three silver lions, with
    golden manes, as large as life & in very fierce attitudes are
    guarding it.

    Thursday. 17. In the morning at the museum of "Northern
    Antiquities." The collection has been made since 20 years & is the
    largest in Europe. We were first shown the knives, chisels, arrows,
    &c., used before any metal was discovered & many--many years before
    Christianity. They were all of stone. We also saw the first rude
    urns which were used for the burial of dead bodies. Gold, silver &
    copper were discovered before iron; when iron was discovered it was
    for a long time so valuable, that we saw that instruments were made
    of copper & only pointed with iron. Thus we were shown these
    instruments from their first rude state till they arrived quite at
    perfection. We also saw the gold rings & bracelets which the
    ancients wore, & which they cut off, piece by piece, to give in
    exchange for clothing or food before the use of money. We saw a
    beautiful ebony altar piece with gold & silver figures raised upon
    it. It was intended for a chapel of one of the former kings; but he
    afterwards altered his plan & erected a large church,--so that it
    has never been used.

    I fear, my dear Aunt, you will find this all very stupid & tedious,
    & will not thank me much for the _copious_ extracts from my poor
    little journal. I flatter myself, however, you will take an interest
    in all that we do & see, so I give you the best descriptions in my
    power. Copenhagen appears like a different place to us, from what it
    did when here before. Henry would like to pass the winter here, he
    is now so charmed with it. We have a much pleasanter situation, than
    when here before, & coming from Sweden any place would be quite
    delightful. Indeed it seems now quite like London--the cries remind
    us of that city & it appears almost as noisy. How different from our
    first impression of Copenhagen! but then we were direct from London
    & after that immense and overpowering place everything seems dull
    and lifeless. We shall probably leave here this week Thursday, &
    shall take these letters to Hamburg with us, with the hopes of
    sending them directly to America from there. Henry sends books to
    the college from here, but it is so uncertain when they go I do not
    like to leave my letters. How lonely you will be without Sammy this
    winter; I feel very glad he has entered as Freshman, for we shall
    have him a year longer with us. Give much love to all from us--Clara
    is very well and seems very happy. She enjoys travelling very much,
    & is just as good & excellent a girl as ever--Henry desires very
    much love to Aunt Lucia--accept much from your ever affectionate

                                                                   MARY.

    To MISS LUCIA WADSWORTH, Portland, Me.


{30 _Life_, i. 205; also _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], vi. 290.}

{31 _Harvard College Papers_, 2d ser. vii. 1.}

{32 _Harvard College Papers_, 2d ser. vii. 10.}

{33 The journal is missing from the MS., having doubtless been retained
by the father. A long extract from it will be found in the _Life_, i.
216.}



CHAPTER IX

ILLNESS AND DEATH OF MRS. LONGFELLOW


This series of happy travelling narratives was suddenly interrupted by
the following letters, now first printed, to the father of the young
wife.


                                                ROTTERDAM, Dec. 1, 1835.

    MY DEAR SIR,--I trust that my last letter to my father has in some
    measure prepared your mind for the melancholy intelligence which
    this will bring to you. Our beloved Mary is no more. She expired on
    Sunday morning, Nov. 29, without pain or suffering, either of body
    or mind, and with entire resignation to the will of her heavenly
    Father. Though her sickness was long, yet I could not bring myself
    to think it dangerous until near its close. Indeed, I did not
    abandon all hope of her recovery till within a very few hours of her
    dissolution, and to me the blow was so sudden, that I have hardly
    yet recovered energy enough to write you the particulars of this
    solemn and mournful event. When I think, however, upon the goodness
    and purity of her life, and the holy and peaceful death she died, I
    feel great consolation in my bereavement, and can say, "Father, thy
    will be done."

    Knowing the delicate state of Mary's health, I came all the way from
    Stockholm with fear and trembling, and with the exception of one
    day's ride from Kiel to Hamburg we came the whole distance by water.
    Unfortunately our passage from Hamburg to Amsterdam in the Steamboat
    was rather rough, and Mary was quite unwell. On the night of our
    arrival the circumstance occurred to which I alluded in my last,
    [the premature birth of a child] and which has had this fatal
    termination.... In Amsterdam we remained three weeks; and Mary
    seemed to be quite restored and was anxious to be gone. To avoid a
    possibility of fatigue we took three days to come to this place--a
    distance of only forty miles; and on our arrival here Mary was in
    excellent spirits and to all appearances very well. But alas! the
    same night she had a relapse which caused extreme debility, with a
    low fever, and nervous headache. This was on the 23d October. In a
    day or two she was better, and on the 27th worse again. After this
    she seemed to recover slowly, and sat up for the first time on the
    11th, though only for a short while. This continued for a day or two
    longer, till she felt well enough to sit up for nearly an hour. And
    then she was seized with a violent rheumatism, and again took to her
    bed from which she never more arose.

    During all this she was very patient, and generally cheerful, tho'
    at times her courage fainted and she thought that she should not
    recover,--wishing only that she could see her friends at home once
    more before she died. At such moments she loved to repeat these
    lines [by Andrews Norton], which seemed to soothe her feelings:--

      "Father! I thank thee! may no thought
          E'er deem thy chastisements severe.
      But may this heart, by sorrow taught,
          Calm each wild wish, each idle fear."

    On Sunday, the 22nd, all her pain had left her, and she said she had
    not felt so well during her sickness. On this day, too, we received
    a letter from Margaret, which gave her great pleasure, and renovated
    her spirits very much. But still from day to day she gained no
    strength. In this situation she continued during the whole
    week--perfectly calm, cheerful and without any pain. On Friday
    another letter came from Margaret, and she listened to it with
    greatest delight. A few minutes afterwards a letter from you and
    Eliza was brought in, which I reserved for the next day. When I went
    to her on Saturday morning I found her countenance much changed, and
    my heart sank within me. Till this moment I had indulged the most
    sanguine hopes;--but now my fears overmastered them. She was
    evidently worse, though she felt as well as usual. The day passed
    without change; and towards evening, as she seemed a little restless
    and could not sleep, I sat down by her bedside, and read your letter
    and Eliza's to her. O, I shall never forget how her eyes and her
    whole countenance brightened, and with what a heavenly smile she
    looked up into my face as I read. My own hopes revived again to see
    that look; but alas! this was the last gleam of the dying lamp.
    Towards ten o'clock she felt a slight oppression in the chest, with
    a difficulty of breathing. I sat down by her side and tried to cheer
    her; and as her respiration became more difficult, she said to me,
    "Why should I be troubled; If I die God will take me to himself."
    And from this moment she was perfectly calm, excepting for a single
    instant, when she exclaimed, "O, my dear Father; how he will mourn
    for me." A short time afterwards she thanked Clara for her kindness,
    and clasping her arms affectionately round my neck, kissed me, and
    said, "Dear Henry, do not forget me!" and after this, "Tell my dear
    friends at home that I thought of them at the last hour." I then
    read to her from the Church Litany the prayers for the sick and
    dying; and as the nurse spoke of sending for Dr. Bosworth, the
    Episcopal clergyman, Mary said she should like to see him, and I
    accordingly sent. He came about one o'clock, but at this time Mary
    became apparently insensible to what was around her; and at
    half-past one she ceased to breathe.

    Thus all the hopes I had so fondly cherished of returning home with
    my dear Mary in happiness and renovated health have in the
    providence of God ended in disappointment and sorrow unspeakable.
    All that I have left to me in my affliction is the memory of her
    goodness, her gentleness, her affection for me--unchangeable in life
    and in death--and the hope of meeting her again hereafter, where
    there shall be no more sickness, nor sorrow, nor suffering, nor
    death. I feel, too, that she must be infinitely, oh, infinitely
    happier now than when with us on earth, and I say to myself,--

      "Peace! peace! she is not dead, she does not sleep!
      She has awakened from the dream of life."

    With my most affectionate remembrance to Eliza and Margaret, and my
    warmest sympathies with you all, very truly yours,

                                                    HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.


On the 2d of December the young husband left Rotterdam for Heidelberg.
There he spent the winter, like Paul Flemming of "Hyperion," and buried
himself in "old dusty books." He met many men who interested him,
Schlosser, Gervinus, and Mittermaier, and also Bryant, the poet, from
his own country, whom he saw for the first time. An added sorrow came to
him in the death of his brother-in-law and dearest friend, George W.
Pierce, "He the young and strong," as he afterwards wrote in his
"Footsteps of Angels;" but in accordance with the advice of his friend
Ticknor he absorbed himself in intellectual labor, taking the direction
of a careful study of German literature. This he traced from its
foundations down to Jean Paul Richter, who was for him, as for many
other Americans of the same period, its high-water mark, even to the
exclusion of Goethe. It will be remembered that Longfellow's friend,
Professor Felton, translated not long after, and very likely with
Longfellow's aid or counsel, Menzel's "History of German Literature," in
which Goethe is made quite a secondary figure.

It is also to be noticed that George Bancroft, one of the half dozen men
in America who had studied at a German University, wrote about the same
time a violent attack on Goethe in the Boston "Christian Examiner," in
which he pronounced him far inferior to Voltaire, "not in genius and
industry only, but still more in morality." He says of him farther, "He
imitates, he reproduces, he does not create and he does not build up....
His chances at popularity are diminishing. Twaddle will not pass long
for wisdom. The active spirit of movement and progress finds in his
works little that attracts sympathy."{34} It is to be remembered in the
same connection that Longfellow, in 1837, wrote to his friend, George W.
Greene, of "Jean Paul Richter, the most magnificent of the German prose
writers,"{35} and it was chiefly on Richter that his prose style was
formed.

In June he left Heidelberg for the Tyrol and Switzerland, where the
scene of "Hyperion" was laid. He called it "quite a sad and lonely
journey," but it afterwards led to results both in his personal and
literary career. He sailed for home in October and established himself
in Cambridge in December, 1836. The following letter to his wife's
sister was written after his return.


                                              CAMBRIDGE, Sunday evening.

    MY DEAR ELIZA,--By tomorrow's steamboat I shall send you two trunks,
    containing the clothes which once belonged to your sister. What I
    have suffered in getting them ready to send to you, I cannot
    describe. It is not necessary, that I should. Cheerful as I may have
    seemed to you at times, there are other times, when it seems to me
    that my heart would break. The world considers grief unmanly, and is
    suspicious of that sorrow, which is expressed by words and outward
    signs. Hence we strive to be gay and put a cheerful courage on, when
    our souls are very sad. But there are hours, when the world is shut
    out, and we can no longer hear the voices, that cheer and encourage
    us. To me such hours come daily. I was so happy with my dear Mary,
    that it is very hard to be alone. The sympathies of friendship are
    doubtless something--but after all how little, how unsatisfying they
    are to one who has been so loved as I have been! This is a selfish
    sorrow, I know: but neither reason nor reflection can still it.
    Affliction makes us childish. A grieved and wounded heart is hard to
    be persuaded. We do not wish to have our sorrow lessened. There are
    wounds, which are never entirely healed. A thousand associations
    call up the past, with all its gloom and shadow. Often a mere look
    or sound--a voice--the odor of a flower--the merest trifle is enough
    to awaken within me deep and unutterable emotions. Hardly a day
    passes, that some face, or familiar object, or some passage in the
    book I am reading does not call up the image of my beloved wife so
    vividly, that I pause and burst into tears,--and sometimes cannot
    rally again for hours.

    And yet, my dear Eliza, in a few days, and we shall all be gone, and
    others sorrowing and rejoicing as we now do, will have taken our
    places: and we shall say, how childish it was for us to mourn for
    things so transitory. There may be some consolation in this; but we
    are nevertheless children. Our feelings overcome us.

    Farewell. Give my kind regards to all, and believe me most truly and
    affectionately, your friend,

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{36}


{34 _Christian Examiner_, July, 1839, xxvi. 363-367.}

{35 _Life_, i. 259.}

{36 MS. letter.}



CHAPTER X

CRAIGIE HOUSE


In entering on the duties of his Harvard professorship (December, 1836)
Longfellow took rooms at the Craigie House in Cambridge. This house, so
long his residence, has been claimed as having more historic interest
than any house in New England, both from the fact of his ownership and
of its having been the headquarters of General Washington during the
siege of Boston. It has even been called from these two circumstances
the best known residence in the United States, with the exception of Mt.
Vernon, with which it has some analogy both in position and in aspect.
It overlooks the Charles River as the other overlooks the Potomac,
though the latter view is of course far more imposing, and the Craigie
House wants the picturesque semicircle of outbuildings so characteristic
of Mt. Vernon, while it is far finer in respect to rooms, especially in
the upper stories. It was built, in all probability, in 1759 by Colonel
John Vassall, whose family owned the still older house across the way
now called the Batchelder House; and there is a tradition of a
subterranean passage between the two houses, although this has hitherto
been sought in vain. Both these dwellings belonged to a series of large
houses on Brattle Street, called Tory Row, whose proprietors were almost
all kinsfolk, owned West India estates and slaves, entertained company
in great affluence, according to the descriptions of the Baroness
Riedesel, and were almost all forced to leave the country at the
approach of the Revolution. Tradition recalls a Twelfth Night party
given by Mrs. Washington in 1776, she having come to visit her husband
during his residence in Cambridge. "She arrived in great ceremony, with
a coach and four black horses, with postilions and servants in scarlet
livery. During her visit she and her husband celebrated their wedding
anniversary, though the General had to be much persuaded by his
aides."{37} The southeastern room, afterwards Longfellow's study, had
been Washington's office, and the chamber above it his private room,
this being Longfellow's original study. The house was bought about
1792, the dates being a little uncertain, by Andrew Craigie,
apothecary-general of the northern department of the Revolutionary army,
who made additions to the house, which was described as a princely
establishment.{38} Mr. Craigie sometimes entertained a hundred guests at
the Commencement festival, and had among his other guests the celebrated
Talleyrand and the Duke of Kent, Queen Victoria's father, then Prince
Edward. Mr. Craigie had large business transactions, speculated
extensively but at last unsuccessfully in real estate, and died in 1819.
His wife long outlived him, and being poor, let rooms to various
inmates. Edward Everett took his bride there in 1822, and so did
President Jared Sparks in 1832. Five years after, Longfellow took the
rooms, and thus describes his first visit to Mrs. Craigie:--

"The first time I was in Craigie House was on a beautiful afternoon in
the year 1837. I came to see Mr. McLane, a law-student, who occupied the
southeastern chamber. The window-blinds were closed, but through them
came a pleasant breeze, and I could see the waters of the Charles
gleaming in the meadows. McLane left Cambridge in August, and I took
possession of his room, making use of it as a library or study, and
having the adjoining chamber for my bedroom. At first Mrs. Craigie
declined to let me have rooms. I remember how she looked as she stood,
in her white turban, with her hands crossed behind her, snapping her
gray eyes. She had resolved, she said, to take no more students into the
house. But her manner changed when I told her who I was. She said that
she had read 'Outre-Mer,' of which one number was lying on her
side-board. She then took me all over the house and showed me every room
in it, saying, as we went into each, that I could not have that one. She
finally consented to my taking the rooms mentioned above, on condition
that the door leading into the back entry should be locked on the
outside. Young Habersham, of Savannah, a friend of Mrs. Craigie's,
occupied at that time the other front chamber. He was a skilful
performer on the flute. Like other piping birds, he took wing for the
rice-fields of the South when the cold weather came, and I remained
alone with the widow in her castle. The back part of the house was
occupied, however, by her farmer. His wife supplied my meals and took
care of my rooms. She was a giantess, and very pious in words; and when
she brought in my breakfast frequently stopped to exhort me. The
exorbitant rate at which she charged my board was rather at variance
with her preaching. Her name was Miriam; and Felton called her 'Miriam,
the profitess.' Her husband was a meek little man.

"The winter was a rather solitary one, and the house very still. I used
to hear Mrs. Craigie go down to breakfast at nine or ten in the morning
and go up to bed at eleven at night. During the day she seldom left
the parlor, where she sat reading the newspapers and the
magazines,--occasionally a volume of Voltaire. She read also the
English Annuals, of which she had a large collection. Occasionally, the
sound of voices announced a visitor; and she sometimes enlivened the
long evenings with a half-forgotten tune upon an old piano-forte.

"During the following summer the fine old elms in front of the house
were attacked by canker-worms, which, after having devoured the leaves,
came spinning down in myriads. Mrs. Craigie used to sit by the open
windows and let them crawl over her white turban unmolested. She would
have nothing done to protect the trees from these worms; she used to
say, 'Why, sir, they are our fellow-worms; they have as good a right to
live as we have.'"

It was certainly a strange chance which threw the young poet, on his
return from Europe, into the curiously cosmopolitan atmosphere of Mrs.
Craigie's mind. The sale catalogue of her books lies before me, a mass
of perhaps five hundred odd volumes of worthy or worthless literature:
Goethe's "Werther" beside the American "Frugal Housewife," and Heath's
"Book of Beauty" beside "Hannah More." Yet it was doubtless the only
house in Cambridge which then held complete sets of Voltaire and
Diderot, of Molière, Crébillon, and Florian, Madame de Sévigné and
Madame de Staël. Some of the books thus sold form a part to this day of
the Longfellow library at Craigie House; but there is no reference to
the poet in the original catalogue, except that it includes "Outre-Mer,"
No. 1, doubtless the same copy which he saw lying on the sideboard.

Mr. J. E. Worcester, the lexicographer, shared the house with
Longfellow, as did for a time Miss Sally Lowell, an aunt of the poet.
Mr. Worcester bought it for himself, and ultimately sold it to Mr.
Nathan Appleton, father of the second Mrs. Longfellow, to whom he
presented it. Part of the ten magnificent elms of which Longfellow wrote
in 1839 have disappeared. The ground has been improved by the low-fenced
terrace which he added, and the grounds opposite, given by the poet's
children to the Longfellow Memorial Association, have been graded into a
small public park descending nearly to the river. Within the house all
remains much the same, Longfellow's library never having been scattered,
although his manuscripts and proof-sheets, which he preserved and caused
to be bound in their successive stages in the most orderly manner, have
now been transferred to a fire-proof building for greater security. The
"old clock on the stairs," which he himself placed there, still ticks
and strikes the hour; and one can see cracks in the stairway through
which the mysterious letters dropped morning after morning, as told in
the story of "Esther Wynne's Love Letters," by the accomplished author
known as Saxe Holm. The actual letters were more commonplace, but they
were apparently written by a schoolgirl under Mr. Craigie's care; and
there was a tradition, not very well authenticated, that Longfellow
himself had planned to make them the subject of a poem before Saxe Holm
or Helen Hunt--as the case may be--had anticipated him in prose.

Such was the house where Longfellow resided for the rest of his life;
seven years of which passed before his second wedded life began. The
following letter, taken from the Harvard College papers, will show the
interest he took in the estate.


    MY DEAR SIR [President Quincy],--Will you have the goodness to lay
    before the Corporation, at their next meeting, my request concerning
    the trees, which I mentioned to you the last time I had the pleasure
    of seeing you; viz. that they would permit me to take from the
    College grounds 3 elm trees to be placed in front of the Craigie
    House.

    I am endeavoring to replace, as well as possible, the old elms, and
    find it difficult to obtain many of the size I desire. Some parts of
    the College ground are so thickly planted that a tree may be
    removed, here & there, without at all impairing the beauty of the
    grounds. I therefore request permission to remove any 3 trees that
    the College Steward shall say may be taken without detriment to the
    College property.

                              Yrs very truly,

                                                    HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.

    CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 29 [1843].{39}


{37 Miss Alice M. Longfellow in _The Cambridge Tribune_, April 21, 1900,
page 4.}

{38 A history of this house from original documents was prepared by
Samuel S. Green, of Worcester, and was read by him before the American
Antiquarian Society, April 25, 1900, and published in their documents.}

{39 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xii. 26.}



CHAPTER XI

HYPERION AND THE REACTION FROM IT


"Outre-Mer" had been published some time before, with moderate success,
but "Hyperion" was destined to attract far more attention. It is first
mentioned in his journal on September 13, 1838, though in a way which
shows that it had been for some time in preparation, and its gradual
development is traceable through the same channel. One entire book, for
instance, was written and suppressed, namely, "St. Clair's Day Book,"
the hero having first been christened Hyperion, then St. Clair, and then
Paul Flemming. Its author wrote of it, "I called it 'Hyperion,' because
it moves on high among clouds and stars, and expresses the various
aspirations of the soul of man. It is all modelled on this idea, style
and all. It contains my cherished thoughts for three years."{40}

The cordiality with which "Hyperion" was received was due partly to the
love story supposed to be implied in it, and largely to the new
atmosphere of German life and literature which it opened to Americans.
It must always be remembered that the kingdom in which Germany then
ruled was not then, as now, a kingdom of material force and business
enterprise, but as Germans themselves claimed, a kingdom of the air; and
into that realm Hyperion gave to Americans the first glimpse. The faults
and limitations which we now see in it were then passed by, or visible
only to such keen critics as Orestes A. Brownson, who wrote thus of it
in "The Boston Quarterly Review," then the ablest of American
periodicals except "The Dial:" "I do not like the book. It is such a
journal as a man who reads a great deal makes from the scraps in his
table-drawer. Yet it has not the sincerity or quiet touches which give
interest to the real journals of very common persons. It is overloaded
with prettinesses, many of which would tell well in conversation, but
being rather strown over than woven into his narrative, deform where
they should adorn. You cannot guess why the book was written, unless
because the author were tired of reading these morceaux to himself, for
there has been no fusion or fermentation to bring on the hour of
utterance. Then to me the direct personal relation in which we are
brought to the author is unpleasing. Had he but idealized his tale, or
put on the veil of poetry! But as it is, we are embarrassed by his
extreme communicativeness, and wonder that a man, who seems in other
respects to have a mind of delicate texture, could write a letter about
his private life to a public on which he had as yet established no
claim.... Indeed this book will not add to the reputation of its author,
which stood so fair before its publication."{41} This is the criticism
of which Longfellow placidly wrote, "I understand there is a spicy
article against me in the 'Boston Quarterly.' I shall get it as soon as
I can; for, strange as you may think it, these things give me no
pain."{42}

Mr. Howells, in one of the most ardent eulogies ever written upon the
works of Longfellow, bases his admiration largely upon the claim "that
his art never betrays the crudeness or imperfection of essay,"--that is,
of experiment.{43} It would be interesting to know whether this
accomplished author, looking back upon "Hyperion" more than thirty years
later, could reindorse this strong assertion. To others, I fancy,
however attractive and even fascinating the book may still remain, it
has about it a distinctly youthful quality which, while sometimes
characterizing even his poetry, unquestionably marked his early prose. A
later and younger critic says more truly of it, I think, "Plainly in the
style of Richter, with all the mingled grandeur and grotesqueness of the
German romanticists, it is scarcely now a favorite with the adult
reader; though the young, obedient to some vague embryonic law, still
find in it for a season the pleasure, the thrilling melancholy, which
their grandfathers found."{44} But Professor Carpenter, speaking from
the point of view of the younger generation, does not fail to recognize
that Paul Flemming's complaints cease when he reads the tombstone
inscription which becomes the motto of the book; and I recall with
pleasure that, being a youth nurtured on "Hyperion," I selected that
passage for the text of my boyish autobiography written in the Harvard
"Class Book" at the juvenile age of seventeen. Dozens of youths were
perhaps adopting the motto in the same way at the same time, and it is
useless to deny to a book which thus reached youthful hearts the credit
of having influenced the whole period of its popularity.

Apart from the personal romance which his readers attached to it, the
book had great value as the first real importation into our literature
of the wealth of German romance and song. So faithful and ample are its
local descriptions that a cheap edition of it is always on sale at
Heidelberg, and every English and American visitor to that picturesque
old city seems to know the book by heart. Bearing it in his hand, the
traveller still climbs the rent summit of the Gesprengte Thurm and looks
down upon the throng in the castle gardens; or inquires vainly for the
ruined linden-tree, or gives a sigh to the fate of Emma of Ilmenau, and
murmurs solemnly,--as a fat and red-faced Englishman once murmured to me
on that storied spot,--"That night there fell a star from heaven!" There
is no doubt that under the sway of the simpler style now prevailing,
much of the rhetoric of "Hyperion" seems turgid, some of its learning
obtrusive, and a good deal of its emotion forced; but it was
nevertheless an epoch-making book for a generation of youths and
maidens, and it still retains its charm. The curious fact, however,
remains--a fact not hitherto noticed, I think, by biographers or
critics--that at the very time when the author was at work on
"Hyperion," there was a constant reaction in his mind that was carrying
him in the direction of more strictly American subjects, handled under a
simpler treatment. He wrote on September 13, 1838, "Looked over my notes
and papers for 'Hyperion.' Long for leisure to begin once more." It is
impossible to say how long a preparation this implies; it may have been
months or years. Yet the following letter to a young girl, his wife's
youngest sister, shows how, within less than a year previous, his
observation had been again turned towards the American Indians as a
theme.


                                            CAMBRIDGE, October 29, 1837.

    MY DEAR MARGARET,--I was very much delighted with your present of
    the slippers. They are too pretty to be trodden under foot; yet such
    is their destiny, and shall be accomplished, as soon as may be. The
    colors look beautifully upon the drab ground; much more so than on
    the black. Don't you think so? I should have answered your note, and
    sent you my thanks, by Alexander on Wednesday last; but when I last
    saw him, I had not received the package. Therefore you must not
    imagine from my delay, that I do not sufficiently appreciate the
    gift....

    There is nothing very new in Boston, which after all is a gossiping
    kind of _Little Peddlington_, if you know what that is; if you
    don't, you must read the story. People take too much cognizance of
    their neighbors; interest themselves too much in what no way
    concerns them. However, it is no great matter.

    There are Indians here: savage fellows;--one Black-Hawk and his
    friends, with naked shoulders and red blankets wrapped about their
    bodies:--the rest all grease and Spanish brown and vermillion. One
    carries a great war-club, and wears horns on his head; another had
    his face painted like a grid-iron, all in bands:--another is all
    red, like a lobster; and another black and blue, in great daubs of
    paint laid on not sparingly. Queer fellows!--One great champion of
    the _Fox_ nation had a short pipe in his mouth, smoking with great
    self-complacency as he marched out of the City Hall: another was
    smoking a cigar! Withal, they looked very formidable. Hard
    customers....

                              Very truly yours

                                                            H. W. L.{45}


Note, again, how this tendency to home themes asserts itself explicitly
in Longfellow's notice of Hawthorne's "Twice-Told Tales" at about the
same time in "The North American Review," (July, 1837):--

"One of the most prominent characteristics of these tales is, that they
are national in their character. The author has wisely chosen his themes
among the traditions of New England; the dusty legends of 'the good Old
Colony times, when we lived under a king.' This is the right material
for story. It seems as natural to make tales out of old tumble-down
traditions, as canes and snuff-boxes out of old steeples, or trees
planted by great men. The puritanical times begin to look romantic in
the distance. Who would not like to have strolled through the city of
Agamenticus, where a market was held every week, on Wednesday, and there
were two annual fairs at St. James's and St. Paul's? Who would not like
to have been present at the court of the Worshipful Thomas Gorges, in
those palmy days of the law, when Tom Heard was fined five shillings for
being drunk, and John Payne the same, 'for swearing one oath'? Who would
not like to have seen the time, when Thomas Taylor was presented to the
grand jury 'for abusing Captain Raynes, being in authority, by
_thee-ing_ and _thou-ing_ him;' and John Wardell likewise, for denying
Cambridge College to be an ordinance of God; and when some were fined
for winking at comely damsels in church; and others for being
common-sleepers there on the Lord's day? Truly, many quaint and quiet
customs, many comic scenes and strange adventures, many wild and
wondrous things, fit for humorous tale, and soft, pathetic story, lie
all about us here in New England. There is no tradition of the Rhine nor
of the Black Forest, which can compare in beauty with that of the
Phantom Ship. The Flying Dutchman of the Cape, and the Klabotermann of
the Baltic, are nowise superior. The story of Peter Rugg, the man who
could not find Boston, is as good as that told by Gervase of Tilbury, of
a man who gave himself to the devils by an unfortunate imprecation, and
was used by them as a wheelbarrow; and the Great Carbuncle of the White
Mountains shines with no less splendor, than that which illuminated the
subterranean palace in Rome, as related by William of Malmesbury. Truly,
from such a Fortunatus's pocket and wishing-cap, a tale-bearer may
furnish forth a sufficiency of 'peryllous adventures right
espouventables, bryfefly compyled and pyteous for to here.'"

We must always remember that Longfellow came forward at a time when
cultivated Americans were wasting a great deal of superfluous sympathy
on themselves. It was the general impression that the soil was barren,
that the past offered no material and they must be European or die. Yet
Longfellow's few predecessors had already made themselves heard by
disregarding this tradition and taking what they found on the spot.
Charles Brockden Brown, although his style was exotic and Godwinish, yet
found his themes among American Indians and in the scenes of the yellow
fever in Philadelphia. It was not Irving who invested the Hudson with
romance, but the Hudson that inspired Irving. When in 1786, Mrs. Josiah
Quincy, then a young girl, sailed upon that river in a sloop, she wrote,
"Our captain had a legend for every scene, either supernatural or
traditional or of actual occurrence during the war, and not a mountain
reared its head unconnected with some marvellous story." Irving was then
but three years old, yet Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle or their
prototypes were already on the spot waiting for biographers; and it was
much the same with Cooper, who was not born until three years later.
What was needed was self-confidence and a strong literary desire to take
the materials at hand. Irving, Cooper, Dana, had already done this; but
Longfellow followed with more varied gifts, more thorough training; the
"Dial" writers followed in their turn, and a distinctive American
literature was born, this quality reaching a climax in Thoreau, who
frankly wrote, "I have travelled a great deal--in Concord."

And while thus Longfellow found his desire for a national literature
strengthened at every point by the example of his classmate Hawthorne,
so he may have learned much, though not immediately, through the warning
unconsciously given by Bryant, against the perils of undue moralizing.
Bryant's early poem, "To a Water-Fowl," was as profound in feeling and
as perfect in structure as anything of Longfellow's, up to the last
verse, which some profane critic compared to a tin kettle of moralizing,
tied to the legs of the flying bird. Whittier's poems had almost always
some such appendage, and he used to regret in later life that he had not
earlier been contented to leave his moral for the reader to draw, or in
other words, to lop off habitually the last verse of each poem. Apart
from this there was a marked superiority, even on the didactic side, in
Longfellow's moralizing as compared with Bryant's. There is no light or
joy in the "Thanatopsis;" but Longfellow, like Whittier, was always
hopeful. It was not alone that he preached, as an eminent British critic
once said to me, "a safe piety," but his religious impulse was serene
and even joyous, and this under the pressure of the deepest personal
sorrows.

It is also to be observed that Longfellow wrote in this same number of
"The North American Review" (July, 1837) another paper which was
prophetic with regard to prose style, as was the Hawthorne essay in
respect to thought. It was a review of Tegner's "Frithiof's Saga" which
showed a power of description, brought to bear on Swedish life and
scenery, which he really never quite attained in "Hyperion," because it
was there sometimes vitiated by a slightly false note. A portion of it
was used afterwards as a preface to his second volume of poems ("Ballads
and Other Poems"), a preface regarded by some good critics as
Longfellow's best piece of prose work. It was, at any rate, impossible
not to recognize a fresh and vigorous quality in a descriptive passage
opening thus; and I can myself testify that it stamped itself on the
memories of young readers almost as vividly as the ballads which
followed:--

"There is something patriarchal still lingering about rural life in
Sweden, which renders it a fit theme for song. Almost primeval
simplicity reigns over that northern land,--almost primeval solitude and
stillness. You pass out from the gate of the city, and, as if by magic,
the scene changes to a wild, woodland landscape. Around you are forests
of fir. Overhead hang the long, fan-like branches, trailing with moss,
and heavy with red and blue cones. Under foot is a carpet of yellow
leaves; and the air is warm and balmy. On a wooden bridge you cross a
little silver stream; and anon come forth into a pleasant and sunny land
of farms. Wooden fences divide the adjoining fields. Across the road are
gates, which are opened by troops of children. The peasants take off
their hats as you pass; you sneeze, and they cry, 'God bless you.' The
houses in the villages and smaller towns are all built of hewn timber,
and for the most part painted red. The floors of the taverns are strewn
with the fragrant tips of fir boughs. In many villages there are no
taverns, and the peasants take turns in receiving travellers. The
thrifty housewife shows you into the best chamber, the walls of which
are hung round with rude pictures from the Bible; and brings you her
heavy silver spoons,--an heirloom,--to dip the curdled milk from the
pan. You have oaten cakes baked some months before; or bread with
anise-seed and coriander in it, or perhaps a little pine bark."


{40 _Life_, i. 353.}

{41 _Boston Quarterly Review_, January, 1840, iii. 128.}

{42 _Life_, i. 354.}

{43 _North American Review_, civ. 537.}

{44 Carpenter's _Longfellow_, p. 55.}

{45 MS.}



CHAPTER XII

VOICES OF THE NIGHT


There was never any want of promptness or of industry about Longfellow,
though his time was apt to be at the mercy of friends or strangers.
"Hyperion" appeared in the summer of 1839, and on September 12, 1839, he
writes the title of his volume, "Voices of the Night;" five days later
he writes, still referring to it:--

"First, I shall publish a collection of poems.
Then,--History of English Poetry.

"Studies in the Manner of Claude Lorraine; a series of Sketches.

"Count Cagliostro; a novel.

"The Saga of Hakon Jarl; a poem."

It is to be noticed that neither of these four projects, except it be
the second, seems to imply that national character of which he dreamed
when the paper in "The North American Review" was written. It is also to
be noticed that, as often happens with early plans of authors, none of
these works ever appeared, and perhaps not even the beginning was made.
The title of "The Saga" shows that his mind was still engaged with Norse
subjects. Two months after he writes, "Meditating what I shall write
next. Shall it be two volumes more of 'Hyperion;' or a drama of Cotton
Mather?" Here we come again upon American ground, yet he soon quits it.
He adds after an interruption, "Cotton Mather? or a drama on the old
poetic legend of Der Armer Heinrich? The tale is exquisite. I have a
heroine as sweet as Imogen, could I but paint her so. I think I must try
this." Here we have indicated the theme of the "Golden Legend." Meantime
he was having constant impulses to write special poems, which he often
mentioned as Psalms. One of these was the "Midnight Mass for the Dying
Year," which he first called an "Autumnal Chant." Soon after he says,
"Wrote a new Psalm of Life. It is 'The Village Blacksmith.'" It is to be
noticed that the "Prelude," probably written but a short time before the
publication of "Voices of the Night," includes those allusions which
called forth the criticism of Margaret Fuller to the "Pentecost" and the
"bishop's caps." Yet after all, the American Jews still observe
Whitsunday under the name of Pentecost, and the flower mentioned may be
the _Mitella diphylla_, a strictly North American species, though
without any distinctly "golden ring." It has a faint pink suffusion,
while the presence of a more marked golden ring in a similar and
commoner plant, the _Tiarella Pennsylvanica_, leads one to a little
uncertainty as to which flower was meant, a kind of doubt which would
never accompany a floral description by Tennyson.

It is interesting to put beside this inspirational aspect of poetry the
fact that the poet at one time planned a newspaper with his friends
Felton and Cleveland, involving such a perfectly practical and
business-like communication as this, with his publisher, Samuel Colman,
which is as follows:{46}--


                                                CAMBRIDGE, July 6, 1839.

    MY DEAR SIR,--In compliance with your wishes I have ordered 2200
    copies of Hyperion to be printed. I do it with the understanding,
    that you will give your notes for $250 each, instead of the sums
    mentioned in the agreement: and that I shall be allowed 50 copies
    instead of 25 for distribution. This will leave you 150, which
    strikes me as a very large number.

    The first Vol. (212 pp.) will be done to-day: and the whole in a
    fortnight, I hope. It is _very_ handsome; and those who praise you
    for publishing _handsome_ books, will have some reason for saying
    so.

    Will you have the books, or any part of them done up here?--and in
    the English style, uncut?--Those for the Boston market I should
    think you would.

    With best regards to Mellen and Cutler,

                         Very truly yours in haste

                                                             LONGFELLOW.

    P. S. By the way; I was shocked yesterday to see in the New York
    Review that _Undine_ was coming out in your Library of Romance. This
    is one of the tales of the Wonderhorn. Have you forgotten? I intend
    to come to New York, as soon as I get through with printing
    Hyperion; and we will bring this design to an arrangement, and one
    more beside.

    Addressed to SAMUEL COLMAN, ESQ.
             8 Astor House,
               New York.


That was at a time when it was quite needful that American authors
should be business-like, since American publishers sometimes were not.
The very man to whom this letter was addressed became bankrupt six
months later; half the edition of "Hyperion" (1200 copies) was seized by
creditors and was locked up, so that the book was out of the market for
four months. "No matter," the young author writes in his diary, "I had
the glorious satisfaction of writing it." Meanwhile the "Knickerbocker"
had not paid its contributors for three years, and the success of
"Voices of the Night" was regarded as signal, because the publisher had
sold 850 copies in three weeks.

The popularity of the "Voices of the Night," though not universal, was
very great. Hawthorne wrote to him of these poems, "Nothing equal to
some of them was ever written in this world,--this western world, I
mean; and it would not hurt my conscience much to include the other
hemisphere."{47} Halleck also said of the "Skeleton in Armor" that there
was "nothing like it in the language," and Poe wrote to Longfellow, May
3, 1841, "I cannot refrain from availing myself of this, the only
opportunity I may ever have, to assure the author of the 'Hymn to the
Night,' of the 'Beleaguered City,' and of the 'Skeleton in Armor' of the
fervent admiration with which his genius has inspired me."

In most of the criticisms of Longfellow's earlier poetry, including in
this grouping even the "Psalm of Life," we lose sight of that fine
remark of Sara Coleridge, daughter of the poet, who said to Aubrey de
Vere, "However inferior the bulk of a young man's poetry may be to that
of the poet when mature, it generally possesses some passages with a
special freshness of their own and an inexplicable charm to be found in
them alone." Professor Wendell's criticisms on Longfellow, in many
respects admirable, do not seem to me quite to recognize this truth, nor
yet the companion fact that while Poe took captive the cultivated but
morbid taste of the French public, it was Longfellow who called forth
more translators in all nations than all other Americans put together.
If, as Professor Wendell thinks, the foundation of Longfellow's fame was
the fact that he introduced our innocent American public to "the
splendors of European civilization,"{48} how is it that his poems won
and held such a popularity among those who already had these splendors
at their door? It is also to be remembered that he was, if this were
all, in some degree preceded by Bryant, who had opened the doors of
Spanish romance to young Americans even before Longfellow led them to
Germany and Italy.

Yet a common ground of criticism on Longfellow's early poems lay in the
very simplicity which made them, then and ever since, so near to the
popular heart. Digby, in one of his agreeable books, compares them in
this respect to the paintings of Cuyp in these words: "The objects of
Cuyp, for instance, are few in number and commonplace in their
character--a bit of land and water, a few cattle and figures in no way
remarkable. His power, says a critic, reminds me of some of the short
poems of Longfellow, where things in themselves most prosaic are flooded
with a kind of poetic light from the inner soul."{49} It is quite
certain that one may go farther in looking back upon the development of
our literature and can claim that this simplicity was the precise
contribution needed at that early and formative period. Literature in a
new country naturally tends to the florid, and one needs only to turn to
the novels of Charles Brockden Brown, or even Bancroft's "History of the
United States," to see how eminently this was the case in America.
Whatever the genius of Poe, for instance, we can now see that he
represented, in this respect, a dangerous tendency, and Poe's followers
and admirers exemplified it in its most perilous form. Take, for
instance, such an example as that of Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers of
Georgia, author of "Eonchs of Ruby," a man of whom Bayard Taylor wrote
in 1871, speaking of that period thirty years earlier, "that something
wonderful would come out of Chivers."{50} It is certain that things
wonderful came out of him at the very beginning, for we owe to him the
statement that "as the irradiancy of a diamond depends upon its
diaphanous translucency, so does the beauty of a poem upon its
rhythmical crystallization of the Divine Idea." One cannot turn a page
of Chivers without recognizing that he at his best was very closely
allied to Poe at his worst. Such a verse as the following was not an
imitation, but a twin blossom:--

  "On the beryl-rimmed rebecs of Ruby
    Brought fresh from the hyaline streams,
  She played on the banks of the Yuba
    Such songs as she heard in her dreams,
  Like the heavens when the stars from their eyries
    Look down through the ebon night air,
  Where the groves by the Ouphantic Fairies
    Lit up for my Lily Adair,
    For my child-like Lily Adair,
    For my heaven-born Lily Adair,
    For my beautiful, dutiful Lily Adair."

It is easy to guess that Longfellow, in his "North American Review"
article, drew from Dr. Chivers and his kin his picture of those
"writers, turgid and extravagant," to be found in American literature.
He farther says of them: "Instead of ideas, they give us merely the
signs of ideas. They erect a great bridge of words, pompous and
imposing, where there is hardly a drop of thought to trickle beneath. Is
not he who thus apostrophizes the clouds, 'Ye posters of the wakeless
air!' quite as extravagant as the Spanish poet, who calls a star a
'burning doubloon of the celestial bank'?"{51} It is a curious fact that
this exuberant poet Chivers claimed a certain sympathy{52} with the
Boston "Dial" and with the transcendental movement, which had a full
supply of its own extravagances; and it is clear that between these two
rhetorical extremes there was needed a voice for simplicity. Undoubtedly
Bryant had an influence in the same direction of simplicity. But Bryant
seemed at first curiously indifferent to Longfellow. "Voices of the
Night" was published in 1839, and there appeared two years after, in
1841, a volume entitled "Selections from the American Poets," edited by
Bryant, in which he gave eleven pages each to Percival and Carlos
Wilcox, nine to Pierpont, eight to himself, and only four to Longfellow.
It is impossible to interpret this proportion as showing that admiration
which Bryant seems to have attributed to himself five years later when
he wrote to him of the illustrated edition of his poems, "They appear to
be more beautiful than on former readings, much as I then admired them.
The exquisite music of your verse dwells more than ever on my ear."{53}
Their personal relation remained always cordial, but never intimate,
Longfellow always recognizing his early obligations to the elder bard
and always keeping by him the first edition of Bryant's poems, published
in 1821. Both poets were descended from a common pilgrim ancestry in
John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, whose story Longfellow has told.{54}

Thus much for first experiences with the world of readers. The young
professor's academical standing and services must be reserved for
another chapter. But he at once found himself, apart from this, a member
of a most agreeable social circle, for which his naturally cheerful
temperament admirably fitted him. It is indeed doubtful if any Harvard
professor of to-day could record in his note-books an equally continuous
course of mild festivities. There are weeks when he never spends an
evening at home. He often describes himself as "gloomy," but the gloom
is never long visible. He constantly walks in and out of Boston, or
drives to Brookline or Jamaica Plain; and whist and little suppers are
never long omitted. Lowell was not as yet promoted to his friendship
because of youth, nor had he and Holmes then been especially brought
together, but Prescott, Sumner, Felton, and others constantly appear. He
draws the line at a fancy ball, declining to costume himself for that
purpose; and he writes that he never dances, but in other respects
spends his evenings after his own inclination. Two years later, however,
he mentions his purpose of going to a subscription ball "for the purpose
of dancing with elderly ladies," who are, he thinks, "much more grateful
for slight attentions than younger ones."

It is curious to find the fact made prominent by all contemporary
critics, in their references to the young professor, that he was at this
time not only neat in person, but with a standard of costume which made
him rather exceptional. To those accustomed to the average dress of
instructors in many colleges up to this day, this spirit of criticism
may afford no surprise. His brother tells us that "good Mrs. Craigie
thought he had somewhat too gay a look," and "had a fondness for colors
in coats, waistcoats, and neckties." It will be remembered that in
"Hyperion" he makes the Baron say to Paul Flemming, "The ladies already
begin to call you Wilhelm Meister, and they say that your gloves are a
shade too light for a strictly virtuous man." He wrote also to Sumner
when in Europe: "If you have any tendency to curl your hair and wear
gloves like Edgar in 'Lear,' do it before your return." It is a curious
fact that he wrote of himself about the same time to his friend, George
W. Greene, in Rome: "Most of the time am alone; smoke a good deal; wear
a broad-brimmed hat, black frock coat, a black cane."{55}

Of the warmth of heart which lay beneath this perhaps worldly exterior,
the following letter to his youthful sister-in-law gives evidence:--


                                                  Friday evening [1837].

    MY GOOD, DEAR MADGE,--You do not know how sorry I am, that I cannot
    see you. But for a week past I have hardly left my chamber. I have
    been so ill as to give up all College duties, Lectures, &c.; and am
    very happy to get through--(as I trust I shall) without a fever,
    which I have been expecting for several days past. To-night I am
    better and have crawled off the sofa, to write you half a dozen
    lines.

    My dear little child; I am truly delighted to know you are in
    Boston. It is an unexpected pleasure to me. Of course you mean to
    stay all summer; and I shall see you very often. Write me
    immediately; and tell me everything about everybody. I shall come
    and kiss you to death, as soon as my bodily strength will permit.

                            Till then very truly
                              my little dear,

                                                      Yr. BROTHER HENRY.


{46 From the _Chamberlain Collection of Autographs_, Boston Public
Library.}

{47 _Life_, i. 349.}

{48 _Literary History of America_, p. 384.}

{49 _The Lovers Seat_, London, i. 36.}

{50 Passages from the _Correspondence of Rufus W. Griswold_, p. 46.}

{51 _North American Review_, xxxiv. 75.}

{52 Passages from the _Correspondence of Rufus W. Griswold_, p. 46.}

{53 _Life_, ii. 31.}

{54 Bigelow's _Life of Bryant_, p. 3.}

{55 _Life_, i. 256, 304.}



CHAPTER XIII

THIRD VISIT TO EUROPE


The year 1841 was on the whole a rather dazzling period for the young
poet. His first volume had been received with enthusiasm. His second
volume was under way. He had a circle of friends always ready to
criticise any new poem or to propose themes for other works; chief among
the latter being his friend Samuel Ward, in New York, who suggested the
"Phantom Ship," on the basis of a legend in Mather's "Magnalia," and
urged the translation of Uhland's "Das Glück von Edenhall" and Pfizer's
"Junggesell." A scrap of newspaper, bearing the seal of the State of New
York with the motto "Excelsior," suggested the poem of that name. "The
Skeleton in Armor" was included within the book and was originally to
have given the title to it. Prescott, the historian, said that this poem
and the "Hesperus" were the best imaginative poems since Coleridge's
"Ancient Mariner." Reading the tenth chapter of Mark in Greek,
Longfellow thought of "Blind Bartimeus." He wrote to his father that he
liked the last two poems in the volume best, and thought them perhaps as
good as anything he had written,--these being "Maidenhood" and
"Excelsior." It was also in this year that he conceived the plan of the
"Spanish Student" and of "a long and elaborate poem by the holy name of
'Christ,' the theme of which would be the various aspects of Christendom
in the Apostolic, Middle, and Modern Ages." It shows the quiet
persistence of the poet's nature that this plan, thus conceived in 1841,
was brought to a final conclusion, more than thirty years after, in
1873, and under the very name originally conceived, that of "Christus."
Thus much for this year of poetic achievement. His journals, as
published by his brother, show the activity of social life which the
year also included; and, above all, his regular academic work was of
itself continuous and exhausting. In the schedule of university
lectures, announced in the college catalogue for 1841-2, one finds the
following entry: "On the _French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages
and literature_, by Professor Longfellow." In the list of officers there
appear only three instructors as doing the detailed work of instruction
under this professor, and the lecturing was done entirely by him,
occupying three hours a week, on the afternoons of Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday. He was designated in the catalogue as "Smith Professor of
the French and Spanish languages and literature and Professor of Belles
Lettres," whatever this last phrase may have been construed as
including. He had also the supervision of his subordinates, the
examination of written exercises, and the attendance upon faculty
meetings; and it certainly is no cause for wonder that the following
letters should have passed between him and the college authorities.


                                                                 [1839].

    GENTLEMEN,--I respectfully beg leave to call your attention once
    more to the subject of my duties as Smith Professor in the
    University. You will recollect that when I entered upon my labors in
    the Department of Modern Languages, the special duties, which
    devolved upon me as Head of that Department, and Professor of Belles
    Lettres, were agreed upon by a Committee of the Corporation and
    myself. Native teachers having always been employed to instruct in
    the elements and pronunciation of the Modern Languages, the general
    supervision of the Department, instruction in some of the higher
    works of modern foreign literature, and certain courses of Lectures
    were assigned to me. This arrangement, so far as I know, proved
    satisfactory to all the parties concerned.

    You will also recollect, that in the Summer of 1838, two gentlemen,
    namely the French and the German Instructors, for reasons which it
    is unnecessary to specify, resigned. Another German teacher was
    immediately appointed; but as no suitable person occurred at the
    moment to fill the place of French Instructor, the appointment of
    one was postponed for a season, and I consented to take charge of
    the Classes in that language. I would respectfully remind you of the
    distinct understanding at the time, that this arrangement was to be
    only a temporary one, and to be given up as soon as a suitable
    appointment could be made. It so happened, however, that I continued
    to instruct in the French language during the whole year.

    At the commencement of the present academical year, I proposed the
    name of a French gentleman, and this nomination was laid by the
    President before your honorable body. No appointment, however, was
    made; but on the contrary a vote was passed, requiring the Smith
    Professor to instruct all the French classes for the future.

    I do not, of course, Gentlemen, call in question your right to
    modify the duties of my Professorship; and I have proceeded to
    organize the classes, and commence the instruction in the Elements
    of the French language, agreeably to your vote. But I still
    entertain the [hope] that a different arrangement, and one more in
    harmony with the intent of a Professorship of Belles Lettres, and
    more advantageous to the University, may yet be made. The symmetry
    and completeness of the Department are at present destroyed. The
    organization introduced by Mr. Ticknor, and continued successfully
    to the great honor of the University is broken up. The French
    language has no native teacher. And I submit to you, Gentlemen,
    whether depriving the Department of the services of such a teacher
    will not justly be regarded by the public as lessening the
    advantages of a residence at the University.

    I have now under my charge 115 students in French, and 30 in German.
    Of course, with so many pupils my time is fully occupied. I can
    exercise but little superintendence over the Department; and have no
    leisure for the prosecution of those studies, which are absolutely
    requisite for the proper discharge of the duties originally
    prescribed to me. When the labor of mastering the Literature of even
    a single nation is considered,--the utter impossibility of my
    accomplishing anything, under the present arrangement,--in the
    various fields of Foreign Literature, over which my Professorship
    ranges, will be at once apparent. An object of greater importance is
    clearly sacrificed to one of less. I am required to withdraw from
    those literary studies and instructions, which had been originally
    marked out for me, and to devote my time to Elementary Instruction.
    Now if my labors are of any importance to the College it is to the
    former class of duties, that the importance belongs. The latter can
    be performed as well, perhaps better, by an instructor, employed and
    paid in the usual way. In point of fact, my office as Professor of
    Belles Lettres is almost annihilated, and I have become merely a
    teacher of French. To remedy this, Gentlemen, I make to you the
    following propositions:--

    I. That I should be wholly separated from the Department of Modern
    Languages, and be only Professor of Belles Lettres.

    II. That I should reside, as now, in Cambridge.

    III. That I should not be a member of the Faculty.

    IV. That my duties be confined to lecturing during the Autumn Term;
    and the rest of the year be at my own disposal, as in the case of
    the Professor of History.

    V. In consideration of which I relinquish one half of my present
    income from the College, and receive only one thousand dollars per
    annum. Respectfully submitted, &c., &c.

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{56}


The committee to which was referred the memorial of Professor Longfellow
reports:--


    That in conformity with his wishes, one of two modifications of his
    existing duties may be admitted consistently with the interest of
    the University, both being predicated upon the plan of substituting
    a native of France as a principal teacher of the French language.

    1. That Professor Longfellow's services should be limited to public
    lectures and oral instruction & relief from all other teaching, & to
    continue the general superintendence of the Department and to
    continue his lectures both terms and receive a salary of One
    Thousand dollars.

    2. That he perform the above and give instruction by hearing
    recitations of the advance Classes in French, in both terms, and
    also of all the surplus of the Students in French, when their
    numbers shall exceed One Hundred & to receive a salary of Fifteen
    hundred dollars.

    The committee submit it to the wisdom of the board, which of these
    modifications is preferable.

                             For the Committee,
                               26 Oct. 1839.

                                                      JOSIAH QUINCY.{57}


At a later period came the following:--


    GENTLEMEN,--I am reluctantly compelled by the state of my health to
    ask leave of absence from the College for six months from the first
    of May next. In this time I propose to visit Germany, to try the
    effect of certain baths, by means of which, as well as by the
    relaxation and the sea-voyage, I hope to reëstablish my health. My
    medical attendant advises this course as more efficacious than any
    treatment I can receive at home.

    I shall be able, before leaving, to deliver all the lectures of the
    Spring Term; and on my return in November, those of the Autumn Term
    before its close; and it is in reference to the necessary
    arrangements for this, that I make thus early my application for
    leave of absence. The general supervision of the Department will be
    undertaken by Professor Felton, without any charge to the
    College;--the classes will lose none of their lectures;--and I trust
    the interests of the College will not suffer.

    I would repeat in conclusion that the state of my health is the sole
    reason of my making this request.

                              I am, Gentlemen,
                             Your Ob't. Ser't.

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{58}

    HARVARD UNIVERSITY, January 24, 1842.
    To the President and Fellows of Harvard University.


He sailed on April 23, 1842, and although his health gained during the
summer, was yet obliged to ask for an extension of time, as follows:--


                                          MARIENBERG, September 3, 1842.

    MY DEAR SIR [Hon. Josiah Quincy],--When I left you in the Spring, I
    thought by this time I should have recovered my health and be
    setting my face homeward. In this I have been disappointed. My
    recovery has been slower than I expected; and though considerably
    better than when I arrived here, I am yet far from being well. The
    Doctor urges me very strongly to remain longer. He thinks it of the
    utmost importance to my future health, for years to come, that I
    should do so. He says, that if I look forward to a life of
    intellectual labor, in his opinion "it is _absolutely necessary_ I
    should give up all thought of returning home before next Summer,
    devoting the time to reëstablishing my health, and avoiding all
    severe study." I quote these words from a written opinion which he
    gave me this morning; and in consequence of which I have determined
    to ask leave of absence until that time, unless the state of my
    department in College should absolutely demand my return.

    I assure you, that I do this with the greatest reluctance. I have no
    desire to remain here; on the contrary a very strong desire to be at
    home and at work. Still I wish to return in good health and spirits,
    and not to lead a maimed life. I fear, and the physician positively
    asserts, that if I go back now I shall thwart the whole object of my
    journey, and that if I hope to be well I _must_ go on with the
    baths.

    I have therefore concluded to remain here until I receive an answer
    from you; promising myself that when I once escape from this
    hospital I will never enter another until that final one appointed
    for all the poets.

    Will you have the goodness to say to your daughter, Miss Quincy,
    that I left her package for Mr. Graham at its address in Havre; and
    presume it reached him safely. In coming through France it was not
    in my power to go into Brittany, and avail myself of your letter of
    introduction to him; the place of his residence lying too far out of
    my route. From Paris I came through Belgium to this ancient city of
    Boppard, where I have remained stationary since the first of June.

    With kind remembrances to Mrs. Quincy and your family,

                              Very truly yours

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{59}


It is interesting to note the manner in which this appeal was met by the
economical college.


    HENRY W. LONGFELLOW, ESQ.

    SIR,--I perceive with great regret, by your letter of the 3d Inst.
    that, although you have followed with due precision the
    prescriptions of the German Doctor who

                  corpus recenti
          sparget aqua,

    convalescence is not yet attained, but that the water spirit has
    announced that another year is required in order to obtain the full
    benefit of his draughts and ablutions. The fact is a source of great
    sorrow to your friends and of no less embarrassment to the
    Corporation of the College. The granting the leave of six months'
    absence was effected, not without difficulty. Doubts were expressed
    concerning the possibility of your realizing your expectations,
    within the period you specified; and the objections were surmounted
    only on your assurance that you would return in October, and that
    the benefit of your instructions should not be lost, by any [class]
    of the college, according to the arrangements you made. It was on
    this fact, and on this assurance alone, that assent of the
    Corporation was obtained. By the proposition you now make the
    present Senior class will be deprived of the advantages, on which
    they have a right to calculate and have been taught to expect.

    Under the circumstances of the case, the Corporation do not feel
    themselves willing absolutely to withhold their assent to your
    protracting your absence as you propose; at the same time they are
    compelled by their sense of duty & I am authorized to state, that
    they, regarding themselves, not as proprietors, but as trustees, of
    the funds under their control, cannot deem themselves justified in
    paying the salary of the Professorship to a Professor, not resident
    & not performing its duties. They value your services very highly,
    and are therefore willing, if you see fit to remain another year in
    Europe, to keep the Professorship open for your return; but I am
    directed to say that, in such case, your salary must cease, at the
    end of the current quarter--viz. on the 30 of November next.

    The obligation thus imposed on the Corporation, it is very painful
    to them to fulfil, but they cannot otherwise execute the trust they
    have undertaken, conformably to their sense of duty.

    And now, Sir, permit me to express my best wishes for your health;
    the high sense I entertain of your talents and attainments and the
    unaltered esteem & respect with which I am, most truly.

                              Your friend and
                                 hl'e S't.

                                                      JOSIAH QUINCY.{60}

    CAMBRIDGE.
    30. Sep. 1842.


Longfellow spent his summer at the water-cure in Marienberg, with some
diverging trips, as those to Paris, Antwerp, and Bruges. In Paris he
took a letter to Jules Janin, now pretty well forgotten, but then the
foremost critic in Paris, who disliked the society of literary men,
saying that he never saw them and never wished to see them; and who had
quarrelled personally with all the French authors, except Lamartine,
whom he pronounced "as good as an angel." In Bruges the young traveller
took delight in the belfry, and lived to transmit some of its charms to
others. At Antwerp he had the glories of the cathedral, the memory of
Quintin Matsys, and the paintings of Rubens. His home at Marienberg was
in an ancient cloister for noble nuns, converted into a water-cure, then
a novelty and much severer in its discipline than its later copies in
America, to one of which, however, Longfellow himself went later as a
patient,--that of Dr. Wesselhoeft at Brattleboro, Vermont. He met or
read German poets also,--Becker, Herwegh, Lenau, Auersberg, Zedlitz, and
Freiligrath, with the latter of whom he became intimate; indeed reading
aloud to admiring nuns his charming poem about "The Flowers' Revenge"
(_Der Blumen Rache_). He just missed seeing Uhland, the only German poet
then more popular than Freiligrath; he visited camps of 50,000 troops
and another camp of naturalists at Mayence. Meantime, he heard from
Prescott, Sumner, and Felton at home; the "Spanish Student" went through
the press, and his friend Hawthorne was married. He finally sailed for
home on October 22, 1842, and occupied himself on the voyage in writing
a small volume of poems on slavery.


{56 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. ix. 318.}

{57 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. ix. 336.}

{58 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. x. 363.}

{59 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xi. 153.}

{60 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xi. 187.}



CHAPTER XIV

ANTI-SLAVERY POEMS AND SECOND MARRIAGE


It is difficult now to realize what an event in Longfellow's life was
the fact of his writing a series of anti-slavery poems on board ship and
publishing them in a thin pamphlet on his return. Parties on the subject
were already strongly drawn; the anti-slavery party being itself divided
into subdivisions which criticised each other sharply. Longfellow's
temperament was thoroughly gentle and shunned extremes, so that the
little thin yellow-covered volume came upon the community with something
like a shock. As a matter of fact, various influences had led him up to
it. His father had been a subscriber to Benjamin Lundy's "Genius of
Universal Emancipation," the precursor of Garrison's "Liberator." In his
youth at Brunswick, Longfellow had thought of writing a drama on the
subject of "Toussaint l'Ouverture," his reason for it being thus given,
"that thus I may do something in my humble way for the great cause of
negro emancipation."

Margaret Fuller, who could by no means be called an abolitionist,
described the volume as "the thinnest of all Mr. Longfellow's thin
books; spirited and polished like its forerunners; but the subject would
warrant a deeper tone." On the other hand, the editors of "Graham's
Magazine" wrote to Mr. Longfellow that "the word slavery was never
allowed to appear in a Philadelphia periodical," and that "the publisher
objected to have even the name of the book appear in his pages." His
friend Samuel Ward, always an agreeable man of the world, wrote from New
York of the poems, "They excite a good deal of attention and sell
rapidly. I have sent one copy to the South and others shall follow," and
includes Longfellow among "you abolitionists." The effect of the poems
was unquestionably to throw him on the right side of the great moral
contest then rising to its climax, while he incurred, like his great
compeers, Channing, Emerson, and Sumner, some criticism from the
pioneers. Such differences are inevitable among reformers, whose
internal contests are apt to be more strenuous and formidable than those
incurred between opponents; and recall to mind that remark of Cosmo de
Medici which Lord Bacon called "a desperate saying;" namely, that "Holy
Writ bids us to forgive our enemies, but it is nowhere enjoined upon us
that we should forgive our friends."

To George Lunt, a poet whose rhymes Longfellow admired, but who bitterly
opposed the anti-slavery movement, he writes his programme as follows:--

"I am sorry you find so much to gainsay in my Poems on Slavery. I shall
not argue the point with you, however, but will simply state to you my
belief.

"1. I believe slavery to be an unrighteous institution, based on the
false maxim that Might makes Right.

"2. I have great faith in doing what is righteous, and fear no evil
consequences.

"3. I believe that every one has a perfect right to express his opinion
on the subject of Slavery, as on every other thing; that every one ought
so to do, until the public opinion of all Christendom shall penetrate
into and change the hearts of the Southerners on this subject.

"4. I would have no other _interference_ than what is sanctioned by law.

"5. I believe that where there is a _will_ there is a _way_. When the
whole country sincerely wishes to get rid of Slavery, it will readily
find the means.

"6. Let us, therefore, do all we can to bring about this _will_, in all
gentleness and Christian charity.

"And God speed the time!"{61}

Mr. Longfellow was, I think, not quite justly treated by the critics, or
even by his latest biographer, Professor Carpenter,{62} for consenting
to the omission of the anti-slavery poems from his works, published by
Carey and Hart in Philadelphia in November, 1845. This was an
illustrated edition which had been for some time in preparation and did
not apparently, like the nearly simultaneous edition of Harper, assume
to contain his complete works. The Harper edition was published in
February, 1846, in cheaper form and double columns, and was the really
collective edition, containing the anti-slavery poems and all. As we do
not know the circumstances of the case, it cannot positively be asserted
why this variation occurred, but inasmuch as the Harpers were at that
period, and for many years after, thoroughly conservative on the slavery
question and extremely opposed to referring to it in any way, it is
pretty certain that it must have been because of the positive demand of
Longfellow that these poems were included by them. The criticism of the
abolitionists on him was undoubtedly strengthened by the apostrophe to
the Union at the close of his poem, "The Building of the Ship," in 1850,
a passage which was described by William Lloyd Garrison in the
"Liberator" as "a eulogy dripping with the blood of imbruted
humanity,"{63} and was quite as severely viewed by one of the most
zealous of the Irish abolitionists, who thus wrote to their friends in
Boston:--


                                       DUBLIN [IRELAND], April 28, 1850.

    [After speaking about Miss Weston's displeasure with Whittier and
    her being unfair to him, etc., the letter adds--]

    Is it not a poor thing for Longfellow that he is no
    abolitionist--that his anti-slavery poetry is perfect dish water
    beside Whittier's--and that he has just penned a Pæan on the Union?
    I can no more comprehend what there is in the Union to make the
    Yankee nation adore it--than you can understand the attractions of
    Royalty & Aristocracy which thousands of very good people in England
    look on as the source & mainstay of all that is great and good in
    the nation....

                                                       RICH D. WEBB.{64}


Yet Mr. Whittier himself, though thus contrasted with Longfellow, had
written thanking him for his "Poems on Slavery," which in tract form, he
said, "had been of important service to the Liberty movement." Whittier
had also asked whether Longfellow would accept a nomination to Congress
from the Liberty Party, and had added, "Our friends think they could
throw for thee one thousand more votes than for any other man."{65} Nor
was Whittier himself ever a disunionist, even on anti-slavery grounds.

It is interesting to note that it was apparently the anti-slavery
question which laid the foundation for the intimacy between Longfellow
and Lowell. Lowell had been invited, on the publication of "A Year's
Life," to write for an annual which was to appear in Boston and to be
edited, in Lowell's own phrase, "by Longfellow, Felton, Hillard and that
set."{66} Lowell subsequently wrote in the "Pioneer" kindly notices of
Longfellow's "Poems on Slavery," but there is no immediate evidence of
any personal relations between them at that time. In a letter to Poe,
dated at Elmwood June 27, 1844, Lowell says of a recent article in the
"Foreign Quarterly Review" attributed to John Forster, "Forster is a
friend of some of the Longfellow clique here, which perhaps accounts for
his putting L. at the top of our Parnassus. These kinds of arrangements
do very well, however, for the present."{67}... It will be noticed that
what Lowell had originally called a "set" has now become a "clique." It
is also evident that lie did not regard Longfellow as the assured head
of the American Parnassus, and at any rate he suggests some possible
rearrangement for the future. Their real friendship seems to have begun
with a visit by Longfellow to Lowell's study on October 29, 1846, when
the conversation turned chiefly on the slavery question. Longfellow
called to see him again on the publication of his second volume of
poems, at the end of the following year, and Lowell spent an evening
with Longfellow during March, 1848, while engaged on "The Fable for
Critics," in which the younger poet praised the elder so warmly.

Longfellow's own state of mind at this period is well summed up in the
following letter to his wife's younger sister, Mrs. Peter Thacher, then
recently a mother.


                                               CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 15, 1843.

    MY DEAR MARGARET,--I was very much gratified by your brief epistle,
    which reached me night before last, and brought me the assurances of
    your kind remembrance. Believe me, I have often thought of you and
    your husband; and have felt that your new home, though remote from
    many of your earlier friends, was nevertheless to you the centre of
    a world of happiness. With your affection, and your "young
    Astyanax," the "yellow house" becomes a golden palace.

    For my part, Life seems to be to me "a battle and a march." I am
    sometimes well,--sometimes ill, and always restless. My late
    expedition to Germany did me a vast deal of good; and my health is
    better than it has been for years. So long as I keep out of doors
    and take exercise enough, I feel perfectly well. So soon as I shut
    myself up and begin to study, I feel perfectly ill. Thus the
    Sphinx's riddle--the secret of health--is discovered. In Germany I
    led an out-of-door life; bathing and walking from morning till
    night. I was at Boppard on the Rhine, in the old convent of
    Marienberg, now a Bathing establishment. I travelled a little in
    Germany; then passed through Belgium to England. In London I staid
    with Dickens; and had a very pleasant visit. His wife is a gentle,
    lovely character; and he has four children, all beautiful and good.
    I saw likewise _the_ raven, who is stuffed in the entry--and his
    successor, who stalks gravely in the garden.

    I am very sorry, my dear Margaret, that I cannot grant your request
    in regard to Mary's Journal. Just before I sailed for Europe, being
    in low spirits, and reflecting on the uncertainties of such an
    expedition as I was then beginning, I burned a great many letters
    and private papers, and among them this. I now regret it; but alas!
    too late.

    Ah! my dear Margaret! though somewhat wayward and restless, I most
    affectionately cherish the memory of my wife. You know how happily
    we lived together; and _I_ know that never again shall I be loved
    with such devotion, sincerity, and utter forgetfulness of self. Make
    her your model, and you will make your husband ever happy; and be to
    him as a household lamp irradiating his darkest hours.

    Give my best regards to him. I should like very much to visit you;
    but know not how I can bring it about. Kiss "young Astyanax" for me,
    and believe me ever affectionately your brother

                                                    HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.


Meanwhile a vast change in his life was approaching. He had met, seven
years before in Switzerland, a maiden of nineteen, Frances Elizabeth
Appleton, daughter of Nathan Appleton, a Boston merchant; and though his
early sketch of her in "Hyperion" may have implied little on either
side, it was fulfilled at any rate, after these years of acquaintance,
by her consenting; to become his wife, an event which took place on the
13th of July, 1843, and was thus announced by him in a letter to Miss
Eliza A. Potter of Portland, his first wife's elder sister.


                                                CAMBRIDGE, May 25, 1843.

    MY DEAR ELIZA,--I have been meaning for a week or more to write you
    in order to tell you of my engagement, and to ask your sympathies
    and good wishes. But I have been so much occupied, and have had so
    many letters to write, to go by the last steamers, that I have been
    rather neglectful of some of my nearer and dearer friends; trusting
    to their kindness for my excuse.

    Yes, my dear Eliza, I am to be married again. My life was too lonely
    and restless;--I needed the soothing influences of a home;--and I
    have chosen a person for my wife who possesses in a high degree
    those virtues and excellent traits of character, which so
    distinguished my dear Mary. Think not, that in this new engagement,
    I do any wrong to her memory. I still retain, and ever shall
    preserve with sacred care all my cherished recollections of her
    truth, affection and beautiful nature. And I feel, that could she
    speak to me, she would approve of what I am doing. I hope also for
    your approval and for your father's.... Think of me ever as

                           Very truly your friend

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{68}


The lady thus described was one who lives in the memory of all who knew
her, were it only by her distinguished appearance and bearing, her
"deep, unutterable eyes," in Longfellow's own phrase, and her quiet,
self-controlled face illumined by a radiant smile. She was never better
described, perhaps, than by the Hungarian, Madame Pulszky, who visited
America with Kossuth, and who wrote of her as "a lady of Junonian beauty
and of the kindest heart."{69} Promptly and almost insensibly she
identified herself with all her husband's work, a thing rendered
peculiarly valuable from the fact that his eyes had become overstrained,
so that he welcomed an amanuensis. Sometimes she suggested subjects for
poems, this being at least the case with "The Arsenal at Springfield,"
first proposed by her within the very walls of the building, a spot
whose moral was doubtless enhanced by the companionship of Charles
Sumner, just then the especial prophet of international peace. She also
aided him effectually in his next book, "The Poets and Poetry of
Europe," in which his friend Felton also coöperated, he preparing the
biographical notices while Longfellow made the selections and also some
of the translations.

I add this letter from his betrothed, which strikes the reader as
singularly winning and womanly. This also is addressed to the elder
sister of the first Mrs. Longfellow.


                                                   BOSTON, June 5, 1843.

    DEAR MISS POTTER,--Accept my warmest thanks for the very kind manner
    in which you have expressed an interest in our happiness. It is all
    the more welcome in coming from a stranger upon whom I have no past
    claim to kindle a kindly regard, and touches my heart deeply. Among
    the many blessings which the new world I have entered reveals to me,
    a new heritage of friends is a choice one. Those most dear to Henry,
    most closely linked with his early associations, I am, naturally,
    most anxious to know and love,--and I trust an opportunity will
    bring us together before long.

    But I should feel no little timidity in being known to you and his
    family; a dread that loving him as you do I might not fulfil all the
    exactions of your hearts; were not such fears relieved by the
    generous determination you have shown to approve his choice,--upon
    faith in _him_. To one who has known him so long and so well, I need
    not attempt to speak of my happiness in possessing such a
    heart,--nor of my infinite gratitude to the Giver of every good gift
    for bestowing upon me the power of rendering him once more happy in
    the hope of a home,--so sacred and dear to his loving nature by
    blessed memories to which I fervently pray to be found worthy to
    succeed.

    Receive again my thanks for your kind sympathy, with the assurance
    of my warm regards,--which I trust will not always be imprisoned in
    words, and with kindest remembrances to my other Portland friends,

    I remain sincerely and gratefully yrs

                                                      FANNY E. APPLETON.

    Henry sends his most affectionate regards and hopes, tho' faintly,
    to be soon able to visit his home, and talk over his future with you
    all.{70}


It is pleasant to record in connection with this sweet and high-minded
letter, that a copy of "Hyperion" itself lies before me which is
inscribed on the first page in pencil to "Miss Eliza A. Potter, from her
affectionate friend and brother, the Author." That he preserved through
life a warm friendliness toward all the kindred of his first wife is
quite certain.


{61 _Life_, ii. 8.}

{62 Beacon Biographies (_Longfellow_), p. 77.}

{63 Garrison's _Memoirs_, iii. 280.}

{64 Western MSS., Boston Public Library.}

{65 _Life_, ii. 20.}

{66 Scudder's _Lowell_, i. 93.}

{67 _Correspondence of R. W. Griswold_, p. 151.}

{68 MS.}

{69 _White, Red, and Black_, ii. 237.}

{70 MS.}



CHAPTER XV

ACADEMIC LIFE IN CAMBRIDGE


There exists abundant evidence, to which the present writer can add
personal testimony, in regard to Longfellow's success as an organizer of
his immediate department of Harvard University and in dealing with his
especial classes. He was assigned, for some reason, a room in University
Hall which was also employed for faculty meetings, and was therefore a
little less dreary than the ordinary class-room of those days. It seemed
most appropriate that an instructor of Longfellow's well-bred aspect and
ever-courteous manners should simply sit at the head of the table with
his scholars, as if they were guests, instead of putting between him and
them the restrictive demarcation of a teacher's desk. We read with him,
I remember, first the little book he edited, "Proverbes Dramatiques,"
and afterwards something of Racine and Molière, in which his faculty of
finding equivalent phrases was an admirable example for us. When
afterwards, during an abortive rebellion in the college yard, the
students who had refused to listen to others yielded to the demand of
their ringleader, "Let us hear Professor Longfellow; he always treats us
like gentlemen," the youthful rebel unconsciously recognized a step
forward in academical discipline. Longfellow did not cultivate us much
personally, or ask us to his house, but he remembered us and
acknowledged our salutations. He was, I think, the first Harvard
instructor who addressed the individual student with the prefix "Mr." I
recall the clearness of his questions, the simplicity of his
explanations, the well-bred and skilful propriety with which he led us
past certain indiscreet phrases in our French authors, as for instance
in Balzac's "Peau de Chagrin." Most of all comes back to memory the
sense of triumph with which we saw the proof-sheets of "Voices of the
Night" brought in by the printer's devil and laid at his elbow. We felt
that we also had lived in literary society, little dreaming, in our
youthful innocence, how large a part of such society would prove far
below the standard of courtesy that prevailed in Professor Longfellow's
recitation room.

Yet the work of this room was, in those days of dawning changes, but a
small part of the function of a professor. Longfellow was, both by
inclination and circumstances, committed to the reform initiated by his
predecessor, George Ticknor. He had inherited from this predecessor a
sort of pioneership in position relative to the elective system just on
trial as an experiment in college. There exists an impression in some
quarters that this system came in for the first time under President
Walker about 1853; but it had been, as a matter of fact, tried much
earlier,--twenty years, at least,--in the Modern Language Department
under Ticknor, and had been extended much more widely in 1839 under
President Quincy. The facts are well known to me, as I was in college at
that period and enjoyed the beneficent effects of the change, since it
placed the whole college, in some degree, for a time at least, on a
university basis. The change took the form, first, of a discontinuance
of mathematics as a required study after the first year, and then the
wider application of the elective system in history, natural history,
and the classics, this greater liberty being enjoyed, though with some
reaction, under President Everett, and practically abolished about 1849
under President Sparks, when what may be called the High School system
was temporarily restored. An illustration of this reactionary tendency
may be found in a letter addressed by Longfellow to the President and
Fellows, placing him distinctly on the side of freedom of choice. The
circumstances are these: Students had for some time been permitted to
take more than one modern language among the electives, and I myself,
before receiving my degree of A. B. in 1841, had studied two such
languages simultaneously for three years of college course. It appears,
however, from the following letter, that this privilege had already been
reduced to one such language, and that Longfellow was at once found
remonstrating against it, though at first ineffectually.


                                               CAMBRIDGE, June 24, 1845.

    GENTLEMEN,--In arranging the studies for the next year, the Faculty
    have voted, as will be seen from the enclosed Tabular view, that "no
    student will be allowed to take more than one Modern Language at a
    time, except for special reasons assigned, & by express vote of the
    Faculty."

    You will see that this is the only Department upon which any bar or
    prohibition is laid. And when the decision was made, the Latin &
    Greek Departments were allowed two votes each, & the Department of
    Modern Languages but one vote.

    As I foresaw at the time, this arrangement has proved very
    disadvantageous to the Department, & has reduced the number of
    pupils, at once, more than one half. During this year the whole
    number of students in the Department has been 224. The applications
    for the next term do not amount to 100; nor, when all have been
    received, can it reach 110. I therefore, Gentlemen, appeal to you,
    for your interference in this matter, requesting that the
    restriction may be removed, & this Department put upon the footing
    of the others in this particular. Otherwise, I fear that as at
    present organized, it cannot exist another year.

                          I have the honor to be,
                      Gentlemen, your ob'd't. servant

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{71}

    [Addressed externally to the President and Fellows of Harvard
    College.]


                         [REPORT OF COMMITTEE.]

CORPORATION OF HARVARD COLLEGE, July 26, 1845.

The Committee to whom was referred the Memorial of Professor Longfellow
on the subject of the arrangement of the studies of the undergraduates
by the faculty of the College, & desiring that the restriction as to the
number of modern languages that may be studied at once should be
removed, have attended to the subject, & ask leave to report, that they
have, in common with the other members of the Corporation already
considered the general subject of the arrangement of the studies of the
undergraduates, with especial reference to the recommendations of the
board of overseers; & that they were convinced by the examination of the
details they made at that time that the business of ordering the times &
the amount of study & recitation for the young men at Cambridge is not
only a very complicated & difficult affair, but one which is in the
hands of those best qualified, & considering all their relations, most
truly interested to lead the students to give as much labor as is safe
for them to the studies suitable to College years, & to distribute it in
such manner as shall be most just & effective. The committee would not
feel themselves authorized to change one part of a system, all the parts
of which are intricately dependent upon each other, without they felt a
confidence they do not possess that they could recommend one which
should work better as a whole. They therefore must decline, so far as
depends upon them, adopting a measure the ulterior effects of which they
may not foresee with accuracy, & they express the belief that it will be
well to allow the present arrangement to continue for a time, even at
the risk, apprehended by Prof'r. Longfellow, of its producing an
injurious effect upon his department. They cannot but hope, however,
that the evils he fears may be avoided, or if not, that they may be
compensated by equivalent advantages.

                    SAM'L. A. ELIOT  \
                                      }   _Committee_{72}
                    J. A. LOWELL     /

A year later than the above correspondence, the subject was evidently
revived on the part of the governing powers of the College, and we find
the following letter from Professor Longfellow:--


                                              CAMBRIDGE, Sept. 25, 1846.

    DEAR SIR,--In answer to your favor of the 18th inst. requesting my
    opinion on certain points connected with the Studies of the
    University, I beg leave to state;

    I. In regard to the "advantages and disadvantages of the Elective
    System." In my own department I have always been strongly in favor
    of this system. I have always thought that the modern languages
    should be among the voluntary or elective studies and form no part
    of the required Academic course. As to the Latin and Greek I have
    many doubts; but incline rather to the old system, particularly if
    the fifth class can be added to the present course; for we could
    then secure the advantages of both systems.

    II. The class examinations in my department are very slight and
    unsatisfactory. They serve however as a kind of Annual Report of
    what has been done in the department; and as there is nothing
    depending upon them, it does not seem to me a matter of very urgent
    necessity to have them rendered more thorough.

    III. "The Fifth class or New Department in the University" seems to
    me of the greatest importance, as it would enable us to carry
    forward the studies of each department much farther than at present,
    by means of Lectures, for which there is now hardly sufficient
    opportunity. Last year there were fifteen Resident Graduates. Why
    should not these have formed the Fifth Class?

    IV. In regard to the "practical working of any other of the changes
    made in our system during the last twenty years," I can hardly claim
    any distinct views. Many, perhaps most of them were made before I
    came to the University; so that I hardly know what is old and what
    is new.

    I have made but a brief statement in answer to your enquiries,
    partly because writing is a painful process with me, and partly
    because many things here touched upon can be more clearly explained
    _vive voce_ than with the pen.

                        I remain, with great regard
                              Faithfully Yours

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{73}


It is a curious fact that more than half a century later, at a meeting
of the American Modern Language Association, held at the very
institution where this correspondence took place, it was President
Charles William Eliot, son of the author of the letter just quoted, who
recognized the immense advance made in this particular department as one
of the most important steps in the progress of the University. His
remarks were thus reported in the Boston "Herald" of December 27,
1901:--

"When the meeting opened yesterday afternoon President Eliot was present
and graciously said a few words of welcome. He said that he knew of no
body of modern learned men whom he would be so glad to welcome as the
professors of language.

"'Here at Harvard,' he said, 'we have been pressing forward for many
years toward the same object you have in view. I congratulate you upon
the great progress made in the last thirty years. One of the most
striking features of American education has been the rapid development
of the study of languages. It has been more rapid at some of the other
colleges than at Harvard. They started at nothing a shorter time ago.
[Laughter.]

"'You are to be congratulated upon the cohesion which exists among
learned men in dealing with this important subject. The study of modern
languages is beginning to connect itself with the life of the nation. It
now bears a real connection to national life and interest. No great
subject in educational thought ever obtained a firm hold that had not
some modern connection with the day. I do not overlook the literary
element in the study of modern languages, but you will have a stronger
hold for the next twenty years than you have in the past, owing to this
use of modern languages in daily life, incident to the industrial and
commercial activity of the country.'"

It is always to be borne in mind that Longfellow's self-restrained and
well-ordered temperament habitually checked him in the career of
innovator. Both in public and private matters, it was his way to state
his point of view and then await results. It is clear that his mental
habit, his foreign experience, and the traditions of his immediate
department predisposed him to favor the elective system in university
training. This system, after temporary trial and abandonment, was now
being brought forward once more and was destined this time to prevail.
Towards this success, the prosperity of the Modern Language Department
formed a perpetual argument, because it was there that the reform was
first introduced. The records of the Faculty at that period give very
little information as to the attitude of individual professors, and
Longfellow may be viewed as having been for the most part a silent
reformer. One finds, however, constant evidence in his diaries of the
fact that his duties wore upon him. "I get very tired of the routine of
this life." "This college work is like a great hand laid on all the
strings of my lyre, stopping their vibrations." "How the days resemble
each other and how sad it is to me that I cannot give them all to my
poem." "I have fallen into a very unpoetic mood and cannot write." It
must be remembered that his eyes were at this time very weak, that he
suffered extremely from neuralgia, and that these entries were all made
during the great fugitive slave excitement which agitated New England,
and the political overturn in Massachusetts which culminated in the
election of the poet's most intimate friend, Sumner, to the United
States Senate. He records the occurrence of his forty-fourth birthday,
and soon after when he is stereotyping the "Golden Legend" he says: "I
still work a good deal upon it," but also writes, only two days after,
"Working hard with college classes to have them ready for their
examinations." A fortnight later he says: "Examination in my department;
always to me a day of anguish and exhaustion." His correspondence is
very large; visitors and dinner parties constantly increase. His mother
dies suddenly, and he sits all night alone by her dead body; a sense of
peace comes over him, as if there had been no shock or jar in nature,
but a "harmonious close to a long life." Later he gets tired of summer
rest at Nahant, which he calls "building up life with solid blocks of
idleness;" but when two days later he goes back to Cambridge to resume
his duties, he records: "I felt my neck bow and the pressure of the
yoke." Soon after he says: "I find no time to write. I find more and
more the little things of life shut out the great. Innumerable
interruptions--letters of application for this and for that; endless
importunities of foreigners for help here and help there--fret the day
and consume it." He often records having half a dozen men to dine with
him; he goes to the theatre, to lectures, concerts, and balls, has no
repose, and perhaps, as we have seen at Nahant, would not really enjoy
it. It was under these conditions, however, that the "Golden Legend"
came into the world in November, 1851; and it was not until September
12, 1854, that its author was finally separated from the University. He
was before that date happily at work on "Hiawatha."


{71 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xiii. 363.}

{72 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xiii. 13.}

{73 _Harvard College Papers_ [MSS.], 2d ser. xiv. 61.}



CHAPTER XVI

LITERARY LIFE IN CAMBRIDGE


Let us now return from the history of Longfellow's academic life to his
normal pursuit, literature. It seemed a curious transition from the real
and genuine sympathy for human wrong, as shown in the "Poems on
Slavery," to the purely literary and historic quality of the "Spanish
Student" (1843), a play never quite dramatic enough to be put on the
stage, at least in English, though a German version was performed at the
Ducal Court Theatre in Dessau, January 28, 1855. As literary work it was
certainly well done; though taken in part from the tale of Cervantes "La
Gitanilla," and handled before by Montalvan and by Solis in Spanish, and
by Middleton in English, it yet was essentially Longfellow's own in
treatment, though perhaps rather marred by taking inappropriately the
motto from Robert Burns. He wrote of it to Samuel Ward in New York,
December, 1840, calling it "something still longer which as yet no eye
but mine has seen and which I wish to read to you first." He then adds,
"At present, my dear friend, my soul is wrapped up in poetry. The scales
fell from my eyes suddenly, and I beheld before me a beautiful
landscape, with figures, which I have transferred to paper almost
without an effort, and with a celerity of which I did not think myself
capable. Since my return from Portland I am almost afraid to look at it,
for fear its colors should have faded out. And this is the reason why I
do not describe the work to you more particularly. I am not sure it is
worth it. You shall yourself see and judge before long." He thus
afterwards describes it to his father: "I have also written a much
longer and more difficult poem, called 'The Spanish Student,'--a drama
in five acts; on the success of which I rely with some self-complacency.
But this is a great secret, and must not go beyond the immediate family
circle; as I do not intend to publish it until the glow of composition
has passed away, and I can look upon it coolly and critically. I will
tell you more of this by and by."

Longfellow's work on "The Poets and Poetry of Europe" appeared in 1845,
and was afterwards reprinted with a supplement in 1871. The original
work included 776 pages,{74} the supplement adding 340 more. The
supplement is in some respects better edited than the original, because
it gives the names of the translators, and because he had some better
translators to draw upon, especially Rossetti. It can be said fairly of
the whole book that it is intrinsically one of the most attractive of a
very unattractive class, a book of which the compiler justly says that,
in order to render the literary history of the various countries
complete, "an author of no great note has sometimes been admitted, or a
poem which a severer taste would have excluded." "The work is to be
regarded," he adds, "as a collection, rather than as a selection, and in
judging any author it must be borne in mind the translations do not
always preserve the rhythm and melody of the original, but often
resemble soldiers moving forward when the music has ceased and the time
is marked only by the tap of the drum." It includes, in all, only ten
languages, the Celtic and Slavonic being excluded, as well as the
Turkish and Romaic, a thing which would now seem strange. But the
editor's frank explanation of the fact, where he says "with these I am
not acquainted," disarms criticism. This explanation implies that he was
personally acquainted with the six Gothic languages of Northern
Europe--Anglo-Saxon, Icelandish, Danish, Swedish, German, and Dutch--and
the four Latin languages of the South of Europe--French, Italian,
Spanish, and Portuguese. The mere work of compiling so large a volume in
double columns of these ten languages was something formidable, and he
had reason to be grateful to his friend Professor Felton, who, being a
German student, as well as a Greek scholar, compiled for him all the
biographical notes in the book. It is needless to say that the selection
is as good as the case permitted or as the plan of the book allowed, and
the volume has always maintained its place of importance in libraries.
Many of the translations were made expressly for it, especially in the
supplement; among these being Platen's "Remorse," Reboul's "The Angel
and Child," and Malherbe's "Consolation." It is to be remembered that
Longfellow's standard of translation was very high and that he always
maintained, according to Mrs. Fields, that Americans, French, and
Germans had a greater natural gift for it than the English on account of
the greater insularity of the latter's natures.{75} It is also to be
noted that he sometimes failed to find material for translation where
others found it, as, for instance, amid the endless beauty of the Greek
Anthology, which he called "the most melancholy of books with an odor of
dead garlands about it. Voices from the grave, cymbals of Bacchantes,
songs of love, sighs, groans, prayers,--all mingled together. I never
read a book that made me sadder."{76}

His fame at this time was widely established, yet a curious indication
of the fact that he did not at once take even Cambridge by storm, as a
poet, is in a letter from Professor Andrews Norton, father of the
present Professor Charles E. Norton, to the Rev. W. H. Furness of
Philadelphia. The latter had apparently applied to Mr. Norton for advice
as to a desirable list of American authors from whom to make some
literary selections, perhaps in connection with an annual then edited by
him and called "The Diadem." Professor Norton, as one of the most
cultivated Americans, might naturally be asked for some such counsel. In
replying he sent Mr. Furness, under date of January 7, 1845, a list of
fifty-four eligible authors, among whom Emerson stood last but one,
while Longfellow was not included at all. He then appended a
supplementary list of twenty-four minor authors, headed by
Longfellow.{77} We have already seen Lowell, from a younger point of
view, describing Longfellow, at about this time, as the head of a
"clique," and we now find Andrews Norton, from an older point of view,
assigning him only the first place among authors of the second grade. It
is curious to notice, in addition, that Hawthorne stood next to
Longfellow in this subordinate roll.

Longfellow published two volumes of poetic selections, "The Waif" (1845)
and "The Estray" (1846), the latter title being originally planned as
"Estrays in the Forest," and he records a visit to the college library,
in apparent search for the origin of the phrase. His next volume of
original poems, however, was "The Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems,"
published December 23, 1845, the contents having already been partly
printed in "Graham's Magazine," and most of them in the illustrated
edition of his poems published in Philadelphia. The theme of the volume
appears to have been partly suggested by some words in a letter to
Freiligrath which seem to make the leading poem, together with that
called "Nuremberg," a portion of that projected series of
travel-sketches which had haunted Longfellow ever since "Outre-Mer."
"The Norman Baron" was the result of a passage from Thierry, sent him by
an unknown correspondent. One poem was suggested by a passage in
Andersen's "Story of my Life," and one was written at Boppard on the
Rhine. All the rest were distinctly American in character or origin.
Another poem, "To the Driving Cloud," the chief of the Omaha Indians,
was his first effort at hexameters and prepared the way for
"Evangeline." His translation of the "Children of the Lord's Supper" had
also served by way of preparation; and he had happened upon a specimen
in "Blackwood's Magazine" of the hexameter translation of the "Iliad"
which had impressed him very much. He even tried a passage of
"Evangeline" rendered into English pentameter verse, and thus satisfied
himself that it was far less effective for his purpose than the measure
finally adopted.

There is no doubt that the reading public at large has confirmed the
opinion of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes when he says, "Of the longer poems
of our chief singer, I should not hesitate to select 'Evangeline' as the
masterpiece, and I think the general verdict of opinion would confirm my
choice.... From the first line of the poem, from its first words, we
read as we would float down a broad and placid river, murmuring softly
against its banks, heaven over it, and the glory of the unspoiled
wilderness all around." The words "This is the forest primeval" have
become as familiar, he thinks, as the "Arma virumque cano" which opened
Virgil's "Æneid," and he elsewhere calls the poem "the tranquil current
of these brimming, slow-moving, soul-satisfying lines." The subject was
first suggested to Longfellow by Hawthorne, who had heard it from his
friend, the Rev. H. L. Conolly, and the outline of it will be found in
"The American Note-Books" of Hawthorne, who disappointed Father Conolly
by not using it himself. It was finished on Longfellow's fortieth
birthday.

It was a striking illustration of the wide popularity of "Evangeline,"
that even the proper names introduced under guidance of his rhythmical
ear spread to other countries and were taken up and preserved as
treasures in themselves. Sumner writes from England to Longfellow that
the Hon. Mrs. Norton, herself well known in literature, had read
"Evangeline," not once only, but twenty times, and the scene on Lake
Atchafalaya, where the two lovers pass each other unknowingly, so
impressed her that she had a seal cut with the name upon it. Not long
after this, Leopold, King of the Belgiums, repeated the same word to her
and said that it was so suggestive of scenes in human life that he was
about to have it cut on a seal, when she astonished him by showing him
hers.

The best review of "Evangeline" ever written was probably the analysis
made of it by that accomplished French traveller of half a century ago,
Professor Philarète Chasles of the Collège de France, in his "Etudes sur
la Littérature et les Mœurs des Anglo-Américains du XIX. Siécle,"
published in 1851. It is interesting to read it, and to recognize anew
what has often been made manifest--the greater acuteness of the French
mind than of the English, when discussing American themes. Writing at
that early period, M. Chasles at once recognized, for instance, the
peculiar quality of Emerson's genius. He describes Longfellow, in
comparison, as what he calls a moonlight poet, having little passion,
but a calmness of attitude which approaches majesty, and moreover a deep
sensibility, making itself felt under a subdued rhythm. In short, his is
a slow melody and a reflective emotion, both these being well suited to
the sounds and shadows of our endless plains and our forests, which have
no history. He is especially struck with the resemblance of the American
poet to the Scandinavians, such as Tegnèr and Oehlenschlaeger. He
notices even in Longfellow the Norse tendency to alliteration, and he
quotes one of the Northern poems and then one of Longfellow's to show
this analogy. It is worth while to put these side by side. This is from
Oehlenschlaeger:--

  "_T_i_l_giv _t_vu_n_gne
  _T_rae_l_ af E_l_skov!
  _At_ han dig _a_tter
  _A_s_t_saeld findet." ... etc.

The following is by Longfellow:--

  "_F_uller of _f_ragrance, _th_an _th_ey
  And as heavy with sha_d_ows and night-_d_ews,
    _H_ung the _h_eart of the _m_aiden.
    The cal_m_ and _m_agical _m_oonlight
  See_m_ed to inundate her soul."

It is curious to notice that Chasles makes the same criticism on
"Evangeline" that Holmes made on Lowell's "Vision of Sir Launfal;"
namely, that there is in it a mixture of the artificial and the natural.
The result is, we may infer, that on the whole one still thinks of it as
a work of art and does not--as, for instance, with Tolstoi's
"Cossacks"--think of all the characters as if they lived in the very
next street. Yet it is in its way so charming, he finds that although as
he says, "There is no passion in it," still there is a perpetual air of
youth and innocence and tenderness. M. Chasles is also impressed as a
Catholic with the poet's wide and liberal comprehension of the Christian
ideas. It is not, he thinks, a masterpiece (_Il y a loin d'Evangéline à
un chef-d'œuvre_), but he points out, what time has so far vindicated,
that it has qualities which guarantee to it something like immortality.
When we consider that Chasles wrote at a time when all our more
substantial literature seemed to him to consist of uninteresting state
histories and extensive collections of the correspondence of American
presidents--a time when he could write sadly: "All America does not yet
possess a humorist" (_Toute l'Amérique ne possède pas un humoriste_),
one can place it to the credit of Longfellow that he had already won for
himself some sort of literary standing in the presence of one Frenchman.
At the time of this complaint, it may be noticed that Mr. S. L. Clemens
was a boy of fifteen. The usual European criticism at the present day is
not that America produces so few humorists, but that she brings forth so
many.

The work which came next from Longfellow's pen has that peculiar value
to a biographer which comes from a distinct, unequivocal, low-water mark
in the intellectual product with which he has to deal. This book,
"Kavanagh," had the curious fate of bringing great disappointment to
most of his friends and admirers, and yet of being praised by the two
among his contemporaries personally most successful in fiction,
Hawthorne and Howells. Now that the New England village life has proved
such rich material in the hands of Mary Wilkins, Sarah Jewett, and
Rowland Robinson, it is difficult to revert to "Kavanagh" (1849) without
feeling that it is from beginning to end a piece of purely academic
literature without a type of character, or an incident--one might almost
say without a single phrase--that gives quite the flavor of real life.
Neither the joys nor the griefs really reach the reader's heart for one
moment. All the characters use essentially the same dialect, and every
sentence is duly supplied with its anecdote or illustration, each one of
which is essentially bookish at last. It has been well said of it that
it is an attempt to look at rural society as Jean Paul would have looked
at it. Indeed, we find Longfellow reading aloud from the "Campaner Thal"
while actually at work on "Kavanagh," and he calls the latter in his
diary "a romance."{78} When we consider how remote Jean Paul seems from
the present daily life of Germany, one feels the utter inappropriateness
of his transplantation to New England. Yet Emerson read the book "with
great contentment," and pronounced it "the best sketch we have seen in
the direction of the American novel," and discloses at the end the real
charm he found or fancied by attributing to it "elegance." Hawthorne,
warm with early friendship, pronounces it "a most precious and rare
book, as fragrant as a bunch of flowers and as simple as one flower....
Nobody but yourself would dare to write so quiet a book, nor could any
other succeed in it. It is entirely original, a book by itself, a true
work of genius, if ever there was one." Nothing, I think, so well shows
us the true limitations of American literature at that period as these
curious phrases. It is fair also to recognize that Mr. W. D. Howells,
writing nearly twenty years later, says with almost equal exuberance,
speaking of "Kavanagh," "It seems to us as yet quite unapproached by the
multitude of New England romances that have followed it in a certain
delicate truthfulness, as it is likely to remain unsurpassed in its
light humor and pensive grace."{79}

The period following the publication of "Evangeline" seemed a more
indeterminate and unsettled time than was usual with Longfellow. He
began a dramatic romance of the age of Louis XIV., but did not persist
in it, and apart from the story of "Kavanagh" did no extended work. He
continued to publish scattered poems, and in two years (1850) there
appeared another volume called "The Seaside and the Fireside" in which
the longest contribution and the most finished--perhaps the most
complete and artistic which he ever wrote--was called "The Building of
the Ship." To those who remember the unequalled voice and dramatic power
of Mrs. Kemble, it is easy to imagine the enthusiasm with which her
reading of this poem was received by an audience of three thousand, and
none the less because at that troubled time the concluding appeal to the
Union had a distinct bearing on the conflicts of the time. For the rest
of the volume, it included the strong and lyric verses called "Seaweed,"
which were at the time criticised by many, though unreasonably, as
rugged and boisterous; another poem of dramatic power, "Sir Humphrey
Gilbert;" and one of the most delicately imaginative and musical among
all he ever wrote, "The Fire of Drift-Wood," the scene of which was the
Devereux Farm at Marblehead. There were touching poems of the fireside,
especially that entitled "Resignation," written in 1848 after the death
of his little daughter Fanny, and one called "The Open Window." Looking
back from this, his fourth volume of short poems, it must be owned that
he had singularly succeeded in providing against any diminution of power
or real monotony. Nevertheless his next effort was destined to be on a
wider scale.


{74 Mistakenly described by the Rev. Samuel Longfellow as "nearly four
hundred pages." _Life_, ii. 3.}

{75 _Life_, iii. 370.}

{76 _Life_, iii. 94.}

{77 _Correspondence of R. W. Griswold_, p. 162.}

{78 _Life_, ii. 81.}

{79 _North American Review_, civ. 534.}



CHAPTER XVII

RESIGNATION OF PROFESSORSHIP--TO DEATH OF MRS. LONGFELLOW


On the last day of 1853, Longfellow wrote in his diary, "How barren of
all poetic production and even prose production this last year has been!
For 1853 I have absolutely nothing to show. Really there has been
nothing but the college work. The family absorbs half the time, and
letters and visits take out a huge cantle." Yet four days later he
wrote, January 4, 1854, "Another day absorbed in the college. But why
complain? These golden days are driven like nails into the fabric. Who
knows but they help it to hold fast and firm?" On February 22, he
writes, "You are not misinformed about my leaving the professorship. I
am 'pawing to get free.'" On his birthday, February 27, he writes, in
the joy of approaching freedom, "I am curious to know what poetic
victories, if any, will be won this year." On April 19 he writes, "At
eleven o'clock in No. 6 University Hall, I delivered my last
lecture--the last I shall ever deliver, here or anywhere."{80} The
following are the letters explaining this, and hitherto unpublished, but
preserved in the Harvard College archives.


                                           CAMBRIDGE, February 16, 1854.

    GENTLEMEN,--In pursuance of conversations held with Dr. Walker, the
    subject of which he has already communicated to you,--I now beg
    leave to tender you my resignation of the "Smith Professorship of
    the French and Spanish Languages and Literatures," which I have held
    in Harvard College since the year 1835.

    Should it be in your power to appoint my successor before the
    beginning of the next Term, I should be glad to retire at once. But
    if this should be inconvenient, I will discharge the duties of the
    office until the end of the present Academic Year.

    I venture on this occasion, Gentlemen, to call your attention to the
    subject of the salaries paid to the several Instructors in this
    Department, and to urge, as far as may be proper, such increase as
    may correspond to the increased expenses of living in this part of
    the country at the present time.

    With sentiments of the highest regard, and sincere acknowledgments
    of your constant courtesy and kindness, during the eighteen years of
    my connection with the College,

                     I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
                              Your Obt. Servt.

                                                HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.{81}

    To the President and Corporation of Harvard University.


                           [TO PRESIDENT WALKER.]

                                               CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 16, 1854.

    MY DEAR SIR,--I inclose you my note to the Corporation. Will you be
    kind enough to look at it, before handing it to them; for if it is
    not in proper form and phrase, I will write it over again.

    I also inclose the letters of Schele de Vere, and remain,

                           Very faithfully Yours

                                                 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW{82}

    P. S. I have not assigned any reasons for my resignation, thinking
    it better to avoid a repetition of details, which I have already
    explained to you.


             [TO THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE.]

    GENTLEMEN,--Having last Winter signified to you my intention of
    resigning my Professorship at the close of the present College year,
    I now beg leave to tender you my resignation more formally and
    officially.

    It is eighteen years since I entered upon the duties of this
    Professorship. They have been to me pleasant and congenial; and I
    hope I have discharged them to your satisfaction, and to the
    advantage of the College in whose prosperity I shall always take the
    deepest interest.

    In dissolving a connection, which has lasted so long, and which has
    been to me a source of so much pleasure and advantage, permit me to
    express to you my grateful thanks for the confidence you have
    reposed in me, and the many marks of kindness and consideration
    which I have received at your hands.

    With best wishes for the College and for yourselves, I have the
    honor to be, Gentlemen,

                           Your Obedient Servant

                                                     HENRY W. LONGFELLOW

    _Smith Professor of French and Spanish, and
    Professor of Belles Lettres._{83}

    CAMBRIDGE, August 23, 1854.


                           [TO PRESIDENT WALKER.]

                                                  NAHANT, Aug. 23, 1854.

    MY DEAR SIR,--I inclose you the Letter of resignation we were
    speaking of yesterday. I have made it short, as better suited to
    College Records; and have said nothing of the regret, which I
    naturally feel on leaving you, for it hardly seems to me that I am
    leaving you; and little of my grateful acknowledgments; for these I
    hope always to show, by remaining the faithful friend and ally of
    the College.

    I beg you to make my official farewells to the members of the
    Faculty at their next meeting, and to assure them all and each of my
    regard and friendship, and of my best wishes for them in all things.

    With sentiments of highest esteem, I remain

                                 Dear Sir,
                              Yours faithfully

                                                 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW{84}


His retirement was not a matter of ill health, for he was perfectly
well, except that he could not use his eyes by candle-light. But friends
and guests and children and college lectures had more and more filled up
his time, so that he had no strength for poetry, and the last two years
had been very unproductive. There was, moreover, all the excitement of
his friend Sumner's career, and of the fugitive slave cases in Boston,
and it is no wonder that he writes in his diary, with his usual guarded
moderation, "I am not, however, very sure as to the result." Meanwhile
he sat for his portrait by Lawrence, and the subject of the fugitive
slave cases brought to the poet's face, as the artist testified, a look
of animation and indignation which he was glad to catch and retain. On
Commencement Day, July 19, 1854, he wore his academical robes for the
last time, and writes of that event, "The whole crowded church looked
ghostly and unreal as a thing in which I had no part." He had already
been engaged upon his version of Dante, having taken it up on February
1, 1853,{85} after ten years' interval; and moreover another new
literary project had occurred to him "purely in the realm of fancy," as
he describes it, and his freedom became a source of joy.

He had been anxious for some years to carry out his early plan of works
upon American themes. He had, as will be remembered, made himself
spokesman for the Indians on the college platform. His list of proposed
subjects had included as far back as 1829, "Tales of the Quoddy
Indians," with a description of Sacobezon, their chief. After
twenty-five years he wrote in his diary (June 22, 1854), "I have at
length hit upon a plan for a poem on the American Indians which seems to
be the right one and the only. It is to weave together their beautiful
traditions into a whole. I have hit upon a measure, too, which I think
the right one and the only one for the purpose." He had to draw for this
delineation not merely upon the Indians seen in books, but on those he
had himself observed in Maine, the Sacs and Foxes he had watched on
Boston Common, and an Ojibway chief whom he had entertained at his
house. As for the poetic measure, a suitable one had just been suggested
to him by the Finnish epic of "Kalevala," which he had been reading; and
he had been delighted by its appropriateness to the stage character to
be dealt with and the type of legend to be treated. "Hiawatha" was begun
on June 25, 1854, and published on November 10 of that year. He enjoyed
the work thoroughly, but it evidently seemed to him somewhat tame before
he got through, and this tendency to tameness was sometimes a subject of
criticism with readers; but its very simplicity made the style
attractive to children and gave a charm which it is likely always to
retain. With his usual frankness, he stated at the outset that the metre
was not original with him, and it was of course a merit in the legends
that they were not original. The book received every form of attention;
it was admired, laughed at, parodied, set to music, and publicly read,
and his fame unquestionably rests far more securely on this and other
strictly American poems than on the prolonged labor of the "Golden
Legend." He himself writes that some of the newspapers are "fierce and
furious" about "Hiawatha," and again "there is the greatest pother over
'Hiawatha.'" Freiligrath, who translated the poem into German, writes
him from London, "Are you not chuckling over the war which is waging in
the 'Athenæum' about the measure from 'Hiawatha'?" He had letters of
hearty approval from Emerson, Hawthorne, Parsons, and Bayard Taylor; the
latter, perhaps, making the best single encomium on the book in writing
to its author, "The whole poem floats in an atmosphere of the American
'Indian summer.'" The best tribute ever paid to it, however, was the
actual representation of it as a drama by the Ojibway Indians on an
island in Lake Huron, in August, 1901, in honor of a visit to the tribe
by some of the children and grandchildren of the poet. This posthumous
tribute to a work of genius is in itself so picturesque and interesting
and has been so well described by Miss Alice Longfellow, who was
present, that I have obtained her consent to reprint it in the Appendix
to this volume.

Longfellow's next poem reverted to hexameters once more, inasmuch as
"Evangeline" had thoroughly outlived the early criticisms inspired by
this meter. The theme had crossed his mind in 1856, and he had begun to
treat it in dramatic form and verse, under the name it now bears; but
after a year's delay he tried it again under the name of Priscilla,
taking the name, possibly, from an attractive English Quakeress,
Priscilla Green, whose sweet voice had charmed him in a public meeting,
"breaking now and then," as he says, "into a kind of rhythmic charm in
which the voice seemed floating up and down on wings." It has been
thought that he transferred in some degree the personality of this
worthy woman to the heroine of his story, their Christian names being
the same; but he afterwards resumed the original title, "The Courtship
of Miles Standish." He wrote it with great ease between December, 1857,
and March, 1858, and perhaps never composed anything with a lighter
touch or more unmingled pleasure. Twenty-five thousand copies were sold
or ordered of the publishers during the first week, and ten thousand in
London on the first day. In both theme and treatment the story was
thoroughly to his liking, and vindicated yet further that early instinct
which guided him to American subjects. Longfellow was himself descended,
it will be remembered, from the very marriage he described, thus
guaranteeing a sympathetic treatment, while the measure is a shade
crisper and more elastic than that of "Evangeline," owing largely to the
greater use of trochees. It is almost needless to say that no such
effort can ever be held strictly to the classic rules, owing to the
difference in the character of the language. With German hexameters the
analogy is closer.

On July 10, 1861, Mrs. Longfellow died the tragic death which has been
so often described, from injuries received by fire the day before. Never
was there a greater tragedy within a household; never one more simply
and nobly borne. It was true to Lowell's temperament to write frankly
his sorrow in exquisite verse; but it became Longfellow's habit, more
and more, to withhold his profoundest feelings from spoken or written
utterance; and it was only after his death that his portfolio, being
opened, revealed this sonnet, suggested by a picture of the western
mountain whose breast bears the crossed furrows.

            THE CROSS OF SNOW

  In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
    A gentle face--the face of one long dead--
    Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
    The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
  Here in this room she died; and soul more white
    Never through martyrdom of fire was led
    To its repose; nor can in books be read
    The legend of a life more benedight.
  There is a mountain in the distant West
    That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
    Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
  Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
    These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
    And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

July 10, 1879.


{80 _Life_, ii. 262, 263, 265, 266, 268.}

{81 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xx. 345.}

{82 _Ib._ 347.}

{83 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xxi. 249.}

{84 _Harvard College Papers_ [MS.], 2d ser. xxi. 249.}

{85 _Life_, ii. 248.}



CHAPTER XVIII

BIRDS OF PASSAGE


Longfellow had always a ready faculty for grouping his shorter poems in
volumes, and had a series continuing indefinitely under the name of
"Birds of Passage," which in successive "flights" were combined with
longer works. The first was contained in the volume called "The
Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858); the second in "Tales of a Wayside
Inn" (1863); flight the third appeared in connection with "Aftermath"
(1873); flight the fourth in "Masque of Pandora and Other Poems" (1875),
and flight the fifth in "Keramos and Other Poems" (1878). These short
poems stand representative of his middle life, as "Voices of the Night"
and "Ballads" did for the earlier; and while the maturer works have not,
as a whole, the fervor and freshness of the first, they have more
average skill of execution.

The "Tales of a Wayside Inn" was the final grouping of several stories
which had accumulated upon him, large and small, and finally demanded a
title-page in common. Some of them had been published before and were
grouped into a volume in 1863, which, making itself popular, was
followed by two more volumes, finally united into one. We have what is
not usually the case, the poet's own account of them, he having written
thus to a correspondent in England: "'The Wayside Inn' has more
foundation in fact than you may suppose. The town of Sudbury is about
twenty miles from Cambridge. Some two hundred years ago, an English
family by the name of Howe built there a country house, which has
remained in the family down to the present time, the last of the race
dying but two years ago. Losing their fortune, they became innkeepers;
and for a century the Red-Horse Inn has flourished, going down from
father to son. The place is just as I have described it, though no
longer an inn. All this will account for the landlord's coat-of-arms,
and his being a justice of the peace, and his being known as 'the
Squire,'--things that must sound strange in English ears. All the
characters are real. The musician is Ole Bull; the Spanish Jew, Israel
Edrehi, whom I have seen as I have painted him," etc., etc.

Other participants in the imaginary festivities are the late Thomas W.
Parsons, the translator of Dante, who appears as the poet; the
theologian being Professor Daniel Treadwell of Harvard University, an
eminent physicist, reputed in his day to be not merely a free thinker,
but something beyond it; the student being Henry Ware Wales, a promising
scholar and lover of books, who left his beautiful library to the
Harvard College collection; and the Sicilian being Luigi Monti, who had
been an instructor in Italian at Harvard under Longfellow. Several of
this group had habitually spent their summers in the actual inn which
Longfellow described and which is still visible at Sudbury. But none of
the participants in the supposed group are now living except Signor
Monti, who still resides in Rome, as for many years back, with his
American wife, a sister of the poet Parsons. All the members of the
group were well known in Cambridge and Boston, especially Ole Bull, who
was at seventy as picturesque in presence and bearing as any youthful
troubadour, and whose American wife, an active and courageous
philanthropist, still vibrates between America and India, and is more or
less allied to the Longfellow family by the marriage of her younger
brother, Mr. J. G. Thorp, to the poet's youngest daughter. The volume
has always been popular, even its most ample form; yet most of the
individual poems are rarely quoted, and with the exception of "Paul
Revere's Ride" and "Lady Wentworth" they are not very widely read. These
two are, it is to be observed, the most essentially American among them.
The book was originally to have been called "The Sudbury Tales," and was
sent to the printer in April, 1863, under that title, which was however
changed to "Tales of a Wayside Inn," through the urgency of Charles
Sumner.

It is the common fate of those poets who live to old age, that their
critics, or at least their contemporary critics, are apt to find their
later work less valuable than their earlier. Browning, Tennyson, and
Swinburne, to mention no others, have had to meet this fate, and
Longfellow did not escape it. Whether it is that the fame of the earlier
work goes on accumulating while the later has not yet been tested by
time, or that contemporary admirers have grown older and more critical
when they are introduced to the later verses, this is hard to decide.
Even when the greatest of modern poets completed in old age the dream of
his youth, it was the fashion for a long time to regard the completion
as a failure, and it took years to secure any real appreciation to the
second part of "Faust." This possibility must always be allowed for, but
the fact remains that the title which Longfellow himself chose for so
many of his poems, "Birds of Passage," was almost painfully suggestive
of a series of minor works of which we can only say that had his fame
rested on those alone, it would have been of quite uncertain tenure. A
very few of them, like "Keramos," "Morituri Salutamus," and "The Herons
of Elmwood," stand out as exceptions, and above all of these was the
exquisite sonnet already printed in this volume, "The Cross of Snow,"
recording at last the poet's high water-mark, as was the case with
Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar." Apart from these, it may be truly said
that the little volume called "Flower de Luce" was the last collection
published by him which recalled his earlier strains. His volume "Ultima
Thule" appeared in 1880, and "In the Harbor," classed as a second part
to it, but issued by others after his death. With these might be placed,
though not with any precision, the brief tragedy of "Judas Maccabæus,"
which had been published in the "Three Books of Song," in 1872; and the
unfinished fragment, "Michael Angelo," which was found in his desk after
death. None of his dramatic poems showed him to be on firm ground in
respect to this department of poesy, nor can they, except the "Golden
Legend," be regarded as altogether successful literary undertakings. It
is obvious that historic periods differ wholly in this respect; and all
we can say is that while quite mediocre poets were good dramatists in
the Elizabethan period, yet good poets have usually failed as dramatists
in later days. Longfellow's efforts on this very ground were not less
successful, on the whole, than those of Tennyson and Swinburne; nor does
even Browning, tried by the test of the actual stage, furnish a complete
exception.



CHAPTER XIX

LAST TRIP TO EUROPE


On May 27, 1868, Longfellow sailed from New York for Liverpool in the
steamer Russia, with a large family party, including his son and his
son's bride, his three young daughters, his brother and two sisters,
with also a brother-in-law, the brilliant Thomas G. Appleton. On arrival
they went at once to the English lakes, visiting Furness Abbey, Corby
Castle, and Eden Hall, where he saw still unimpaired the traditional
goblet which Uhland's ballad had vainly attempted to shatter. At Morton,
near Carlisle, while staying with a friend he received a public address,
to which he thus replied, in one of the few speeches of his life:--

"MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN,--Being more accustomed to speak with the
pen than with the tongue, it is somewhat difficult for me to find
appropriate words now to thank you for the honor you have done me, and
the very kind expressions you have used. Coming here as a stranger, this
welcome makes me feel that I am not a stranger; for how can a man be a
stranger in a country where he finds all doors and all hearts open to
him? Besides, I myself am a Cumberland man,--I was born in the County of
Cumberland, in the State of Maine, three thousand miles from here,--and
you all know that the familiar name of a town or country has a homelike
sound to our ears.... You can think then how very grateful it is to
me--how very pleasant--to find my name has a place in your memories and
your affections. For this kindness I most heartily thank you, and I
reciprocate all the good wishes which you have expressed for perpetual
peace and amity between our two nations."{86}

He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Cambridge, and the
scene was thus described by a London reporter:--

"Amid a score or so of Heads of Houses and other Academic dignitaries
conspicuous by their scarlet robes, the one on whom all eyes were turned
was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The face was one which would have caught
the spectator's glance, even if not called to it by the cheers which
greeted his appearance in the red robes of an LL. D. Long, white, silken
hair and a beard of patriarchal whiteness enclosed a fresh-colored
countenance, with fine-cut features and deep-sunken eyes, overshadowed
by massive eyebrows. In a few well-rounded Latin sentences, Mr. Clark,
the Public Orator, recited the claims of the distinguished visitor to
the privilege of an honorary degree. The names of Hiawatha and
Evangeline sounded strangely amid the sonorous periods."{87}

Another journalist wrote that the orator "drew a picture of the function
of poetry to solace the ills of life and draw men from its low cares _ad
excelsiora_. This point was caught at once by the undergraduates and
drew forth hearty cheering. The degree was then conferred."{88}

Arriving in London he received a deluge of cards and invitations;
visited Windsor by invitation of the Queen, and was received in one of
the galleries of the castle; called by request upon the Prince of Wales;
and was entertained at dinner by Mr. Bierstadt, the landscape painter,
who had several hundred people to meet him. Mr. Longfellow had
stipulated that there should be no speeches, but after dinner there were
loud calls for Mr. Gladstone, who said in reply, according to the
reporters, that "they must be permitted to break through the
restrictions which the authority of their respected host had imposed
upon them, and to give expression to the feelings which one and all
entertained on this occasion. After all, it was simply impossible to sit
at the social board with a man of Mr. Longfellow's world-wide fame,
without offering him some tribute of their admiration. There was perhaps
no class of persons less fitted to do justice to an occasion of this
character than those who were destined to tread the toilsome and dusty
road of politics. Nevertheless, he was glad to render his tribute of
hearty admiration to one whom they were glad to welcome not only as a
poet but as a citizen of America."{89}

Mr. Longfellow replied that "they had taken him by surprise, a traveller
just landed and with Bradshaw still undigested upon his brain, and they
would not expect him to make a speech. There were times, indeed, when it
was easier to speak than to act; but it was not so with him, now. He
would, however, be strangely constituted if he did not in his heart
respond to their kind and generous welcome. In the longest speech he
could make, he could but say in many phrases what he now said in a few
sincere words,--that he was deeply grateful for the kindness which had
been shown him."{90}

After visiting the House of Lords with Mr. R. C. Winthrop, on one
occasion, he was accosted by a laboring man in the street, who asked
permission to speak with him, and recited a verse of "Excelsior," before
which the poet promptly retreated. Passing to the continent, the party
visited Switzerland, crossed by the St. Gothard Pass to Italy, and
reached Cadenabbia, on the Lake of Como. They returned to Paris in the
autumn; then went to Italy again, staying at Florence and Rome, where
they saw the Abbé Liszt and obtained that charming sketch of him by
Healy, in which the great musician is seen opening the inner door and
bearing a candle in his hand. In the spring they visited Naples, Venice,
and Innsbruck, returning then to England, where Longfellow received the
degree of D. C. L. at Oxford; and they then visited Devonshire,
Edinburgh, and the Scottish lakes. He again received numberless
invitations in London, and wrote to Lowell, "It is only by dint of great
resolution that I escaped a dozen public and semi-public dinners." At
the very last moment before sailing, he received a note from Mr. E. J.
Reed, the chief constructor to the British Navy, who pronounced his poem
"The Building of the Ship" to be the finest poem on shipbuilding that
ever was or ever would be written. He reached home September 1, 1869. In
his letters during this period, one sees the serene head of a family,
the absolutely unspoiled recipient of praise, but not now the eager and
enthusiastic young pilgrim of romance. Yet he writes to his friend
Ferguson that if he "said his say" about York Cathedral, his friends
would think him sixteen instead of sixty; and again tells his publisher
Fields that he enjoys Lugano--never before visited--to the utmost, but
that "the old familiar place saddened" him.{91} Many a traveller has had
in later life the same experience.


{86 _Life_, iii. 111.}

{87 _Life_, iii. 111, 112.}

{88 _Ib._ 112.}

{89 _Life_, iii. 114.}

{90 _Ib._ 114, 115.}

{91 _Life_, iii. 122.}



CHAPTER XX

DANTE


We come now to that great task which Longfellow, after an early
experiment, had dropped for years, and which he resumed after his wife's
death, largely for the sake of an absorbing occupation. Eighteen years
before, November 24, 1843, he had written to Ferdinand Freiligrath that
he had translated sixteen cantos of Dante, and there seems no reason to
suppose that he had done aught farther in that direction until this new
crisis. After resuming the work, he translated for a time a canto as
each day's task, and refers to this habit in his sonnet on the subject,
where he says:--

  "I enter here from day to day,
  And leave my burden at this minster gate."

The work was not fully completed until 1866, and was published in part
during the following year.

The whole picture of the manner in which the work was done has long been
familiar to the literary world, including the pleasing glimpse of the
little circle of cultivated friends, assembled evening after evening, to
compare notes and suggest improvements. For many years this was regarded
by students and critics as having been almost an ideal method for the
production of a great work, and especially of a translation,--a task
where there is always the original text at hand for reference. As time
has gone on, however, the admiration for the completed work has
gradually been mingled with a growing doubt whether this species of
joint production was on the whole an ideal one, and whether, in fact, a
less perfect work coming from a single mind might not surpass in
freshness of quality, and therefore in successful effort, any joint
product. Longfellow had written long before to Freiligrath that making a
translation was "like running a ploughshare through the soil of one's
mind,"{92} and it would be plainly impossible to run ploughshares
simultaneously through half a dozen different minds at precisely the
same angle. The mind to decide on a phrase or an epithet, even in a
translation, must, it would seem, be the mind from which the phrase or
statement originally proceeded; a suggestion from a neighbor might
sometimes be most felicitous, but quite as often more tame and guarded;
and the influence of several neighbors collectively might lie, as often
happens in the outcome of an ordinary committee meeting, rather in the
direction of caution than of vigor. Longfellow's own temperament was of
the gracious and conciliatory type, by no means of the domineering
quality; and it is certainly a noticeable outcome of all this joint
effort at constructing a version of this great world-poem, that one of
the two original delegates, Professor Norton, should ultimately have
published a prose translation of his own. It is also to be observed that
Professor Norton, in the original preface to his version, while praising
several other translators, does not so much as mention the name of
Longfellow; and in his list of "Aids to the Study of the 'Divine
Comedy'" speaks only of Longfellow's notes and illustrations, which he
praises as "admirable." Even Lowell, the other original member of the
conference, while in his "Dante" essay he ranks Longfellow's as "the
best" of the complete translations, applies the word "admirable" only to
those fragmentary early versions, made for Longfellow's college classes
twenty years before,--versions which the completed work was apparently
intended to supersede.

Far be it from me to imply that any disloyalty was shown on the part of
these gentlemen either towards their eminent associate or towards the
work on which they had shared his labors; it is only that they surprise
us a little by what they do not say. It may be that they do not praise
the Longfellow version because they confessedly had a share in it, yet
this reason does not quite satisfy. Nothing has been more noticeable in
the popular reception of the completed work than the general preference
of unsophisticated readers for those earlier translations thus heartily
praised by Lowell. There has been a general complaint that the later
work does not possess for the English-speaking reader the charm exerted
by the original over all who can read Italian, while those earlier and
fragmentary specimens had certainly possessed something of that charm.

Those favorite versions, it must be remembered, were not the result of
any coöperated labor, having been written by Professor Longfellow in an
interleaved copy of Dante which he used in the class room. They were
three in number, all from the "Purgatorio" and entitled by him
respectively, "The Celestial Pilot," "The Terrestrial Paradise," and
"Beatrice." They were first published in "Voices of the Night" (1839),
and twenty-eight years had passed before the later versions appeared.
Those twenty-eight years had undoubtedly enhanced in width and depth Mr.
Longfellow's knowledge of the Italian language; their labors and sorrows
had matured the strength of his mind; but it is not so clear that they
had not in some degree diminished its freshness and vivacity, nor is it
clear that the council of friendly critics would be an influence tending
to replace just those gifts.

If a comparison is to be made between the earlier and later renderings,
the best way would doubtless be to place them side by side in parallel
columns; and while it would be inappropriate to present such a
comparison here on any large scale, it may be worth while to take a
passage at random to see the effect of the two methods. Let us take, for
instance, a passage from "Purgatorio," canto xxx. lines 22 and 23. They
are thus in the original:--

  "Io vidi già nel cominciar del giorno
  La parte oriental tutta rosata,
  E l'altro ciel di bel sereno adorno."

The following is Longfellow's translation of 1839, made by the man of
thirty-two:--

  "Oft have I seen, at the approach of day,
  The orient sky all stained with roseate hues,
  And the other heaven with light serene adorned."

The following is the later version, made by the man of sixty, after
ample conference with friendly critics:--

  "Ere now have I beheld, as day began,
  The eastern hemisphere all tinged with rose,
  And the other heaven with fair serene adorned;"

I do not see how any English-speaking reader could hesitate for a moment
in finding a charm far greater in the first version than in the second,
or fail to recognize in it more of that quality which has made the name
of Dante immortal. If this be true, the only question that can be raised
is whether this advantage has been won by a sacrifice of that degree of
literalness which may fairly be demanded of a translation in poetic
form. Perfect and absolute literalness, it must be remembered, can only
be expected of a prose version, and even after the most perfect metrical
translation a prose version may be as needful as ever. Let us consider
for a moment the two examples as given above. It may be conceded at the
outset that the adverb _già_ is more strictly and carefully rendered by
"ere" than by "oft," but the difference is not important, as any one old
enough to describe a daybreak has undoubtedly seen more than one. The
difference between "the approach of day" and "as day began" is
important, since the last moment of the approach coincides with the
first moment of the beginning. In the second line, "la parte oriental"
is both more literally and more tersely rendered by "the orient sky,"
than by the more awkward expression "the eastern hemisphere," unless it
be claimed that "sky" does not sufficiently recognize the earth as seen
in the view; to which it may justly be replied that the word
"hemisphere," if applied only to the earth, equally omits the sky, and
the two defects balance each other. "Tinged with rose" is undoubtedly a
briefer expression for the untranslatable "rosata" than "stained with
roseate hues" would be. The last line of the three finds an identical
rendering in the two versions, and while "bel sereno" is more literally
rendered by "fair serene" than by "light serene," yet the earlier phrase
has the advantage of being better English, serene being there used as an
adjective only, whereas in the later translation it is used as a noun, a
practice generally regarded as obsolete in the dictionaries. Even where
the word is thus employed, they tell us, it does not describe the
morning light, but indicates, like the French word "serein," an evening
dampness; as where Daniel says, "The fogs and the serene offend us."
Summing up the comparison, so far as this one example goes, it would
seem that the revised version of Longfellow has but very slight
advantage over its predecessor, while the loss of vividness and charm is
unquestionable.

To carry the test yet farther, let us compare the three lines, in their
two successive versions, with the prose version of Professor Norton,
which reads as follows: "I have seen ere now at the beginning of the day
the eastern region all rosy, while the rest of heaven was beautiful with
fair, clear sky." Here the prose translator rightly discards the "oft"
of the earlier Longfellow version, but his "at the beginning" is surely
nearer to the "at the approach" of the first version than to the less
literal "as day began" of the second. The prose "the eastern region"
conforms to the second version "the eastern hemisphere," but surely the
Italian "la parte oriental" is more nearly met by "the orient sky" than
by either of these heavier and more geographical substitutes, which have
a flavor of the text-book. Both the Longfellow versions have "the other
heaven," which is a literal rendering of "l'altro ciel," whereas "the
rest of heaven" is a shade looser in expression, and "fair, clear sky"
also forfeits the condensation of "light serene" or "fair serene," of
which two phrases the first seems the better, for reasons already given.
On the whole, if we take Professor Norton's prose translation as the
standard, Longfellow's later version seems to me to gain scarcely
anything upon the earlier in literalness, while it loses greatly in
freshness and triumphant joyousness.

Nor is this in any respect an unreasonable criticism. For what does a
translation exist, after all, if not to draw us toward that quality in
the original which the translator, even at his best, can rarely reach?
Goethe says that "the translator is a person who introduces you to a
veiled beauty; he makes you long for the loveliness behind the veil,"
and we have in the notes to his "West-Östliche Divan" the celebrated
analysis of the three forms of translation. He there says, "Translation
is of three kinds: First, the prosaic prose translation, which is useful
in enriching the language of the translator with new ideas, but gives up
all poetic art, and reduces even the poetic enthusiasm to one level
watery plain. Secondly, the re-creation of the poem as a new poem,
rejecting or altering all that seems foreign to the translator's
nationality, producing a paraphrase which might, in the primal sense of
the word, be called a parody. And, thirdly, ... the highest and last,
where one strives to make the translation identical with the original;
so that one is not instead of the other, but in the place of the other.
This sort of translation ... 'approaches the interlinear version, and
makes the understanding of the original a much easier task; thus we are
led into the original,--yes, even driven in; and herein the great merit
of this kind of translation lies.'"{93}

It may be doubted, however, whether Longfellow, in his remarkable paper
"On the Translation of Faust" even if left to himself in making his
version, could ever have reached the highest point attained by Goethe,
from the mere difference between the two languages with which he and his
original had to deal. The charm of Longfellow's earlier versions is,
after all, an English charm, and perhaps the quality of Dante can no
more be truthfully transmuted into this than we can transmute the charms
of a spring morning into those of a summer afternoon, or violets into
roses. Goethe, it is well known, took for his model as to the language
of "Faust" the poetry of Hans Sachs, Longfellow's "cobbler bard;" and
Dante's terse monosyllables were based upon the language of the people,
which he first embodied in art. To mellow its refreshing brevities would
perhaps be to destroy it, and that which Mr. Andrews finely says of the
"Faust" may be still more true of the "Divina Commedia," that it "must
remain, after all, the enchanted palace; and the bodies and the bones of
those who in other days strove to pierce its encircling hedge lie
scattered thickly about it." So Mr. W. C. Lawton, himself an experienced
translator from the Greek, says of Longfellow's work, "His great version
is but a partial success, for it essays the unattainable."{94} But if it
be possible to win this success, it is probably destined to be done by
one translator working singly and not in direct coöperation with others,
however gifted or accomplished. Every great literary work needs
criticism from other eyes during its progress. Nevertheless it will
always remain doubtful whether any such work, even though it be a
translation only, can be satisfactorily done by joint labor.

After all, when others have done their best, it is often necessary to
fall back upon the French Joubert for the final touch of criticism; and
in his unequalled formula for translating Homer, we find something not
absolutely applicable to Dantean translation, yet furnishing much food
for thought. The following is the passage: "There will never be an
endurable translation of Homer, unless its words are chosen with skill
and are full of variety, of freshness, and of charm. It is also
essential that the diction should be as antique, as simple, as are the
manners, the events, and the personages portrayed. With our modern style
everything attitudinizes in Homer, and his heroes seem fantastic figures
which personate the grave and proud."{95}


{92 _Life_, ii. 15.}

{93 I here follow the condensed version of Mr. W. P. Andrews, (_Atlantic
Monthly_, lxvi., 733).}

{94 _The New England Poets_, p. 138.}

{95 Il n'y aura jamais de traduction d'Homère supportable, si tous les
mots n'en sont choisis avec art et pleins de variété, de nouveauté et
d'agrément. Il faut, d'ailleurs, que l'expression soit aussi antique,
aussi nue que les mœurs, les événements et les personnages mis en scène.
Avec notre style moderne, tout grimace dans Homère, et ses héros
semblent des grotesques qui font les graves et les fiers.--_Pensées de
J. Joubert_, p. 342.}



CHAPTER XXI

THE LOFTIER STRAIN: CHRISTUS


After all, no translation, even taken at its best, can wholly satisfy an
essentially original mind. Longfellow wrote in his diary, November 19,
1849, as follows: "And now I long to try a loftier strain, the sublimer
Song whose broken melodies have for so many years breathed through my
soul in the better hours of life, and which I trust and believe will ere
long unite themselves into a symphony not all unworthy the sublime
theme, but furnishing 'some equivalent expression for the trouble and
wrath of life, for its sorrow and its mystery.'"

This of course refers to the great poetic design of his life, "Christus,
a Mystery," of which he wrote again on December 10, 1849, "A bleak and
dismal day. Wrote in the morning 'The Challenge of Thor' as prologue or
'_Introïtus_' to the second part of 'Christus.'" This he laid aside;
just a month from that time he records in his diary, "In the evening,
pondered and meditated the sundry scenes of 'Christus.'" Later, he wrote
some half dozen scenes or more of "The Golden Legend" which is Part
Second of "Christus," representing the mediæval period. He afterwards
wished, on reading Kingsley's "Saint's Tragedy," that he had chosen the
theme of Elizabeth of Hungary in place of the minor one employed (Der
Arme Heinrich), although if we are to judge by the comparative interest
inspired by the two books, there is no reason for regret. At any rate
his poem was published--the precursor by more than twenty years of any
other portion of the trilogy of "Christus." The public, and even his
friends, knew but little of his larger project, but "The Golden Legend"
on its publication in 1851 showed more of the dramatic quality than
anything else he had printed, and Ruskin gave to it the strong praise of
saying, "Longfellow in his 'Golden Legend' has entered more closely into
the temper of the monk, for good or for evil, than ever yet theological
writer or historian, though they may have given their life's labor to
the analysis."{96} It is to be noted that the passage in the book most
criticised as unjust is taken from a sermon of an actual Italian
preacher of the fifteenth century. But its accuracy or depth in this
respect was probably less to the general public than its quality of
readableness or that which G. P. R. James, the novelist, described as
"its resemblance to an old ruin with the ivy and the rich blue mould
upon it." If the rest of the long planned book could have been as
successful as for the time being was the "Golden Legend," the dream of
Longfellow's poetic life would have been fulfilled.

In view of such praise as Ruskin's, the question of anachronism more or
less is of course quite secondary. Errors of a few centuries doubtless
occur in it. Longfellow himself states the period at which he aims as
1230. But the spire of Strassburg Cathedral of which he speaks was not
built until the fifteenth century, though the church was begun in the
twelfth, when Walter the Minnesinger flourished. "The Lily of Medicine,"
which Prince Henry is reading when Lucifer drops in, was not written
until after 1300, nor was St. John Nepomuck canonized until after that
date. The Algerine piracies did not begin until the sixteenth century.
There were other such errors; yet these do not impair the merit of the
book. Some curious modifications also appear in later editions. In the
passage where the monk Felix is described in the first edition as
pondering over a volume of St. Augustine, this saint disappears in later
editions, while the Scriptures are substituted and the passage reads:--

  "Wherein amazed he read
  A thousand years in thy sight
  Are but as yesterday when it is past
  And as a watch in the night;"

and in the next line "downcast" is substituted for "cast down," in order
to preserve the rhyme. A very curious modification of a whole scene is
to be found where the author ventured in the original edition (1851) to
introduce a young girl at the midnight _gaudiolum_ or carnival of the
monks, she being apparently disguised as a monk, like Lucifer himself.
This whole passage or series of passages was left out in the later
editions, whether because it was considered too daring by his critics or
perhaps not quite daring enough to give full spirit to the scene.

Turning now to "The New England Tragedies," we find that as far back as
1839, before he had conceived of "Christus," he had thought of a drama
on Cotton Mather. Then a suggestion came to him in 1856 from his German
friend, Emanuel Vitalis Scherb, of whom he writes on March 16, 1856:
"Scherb wants me to write a poem on the Puritans and the Quakers. A good
subject for a tragedy." On March 25 and 26 we find him looking over
books on the subject, especially Besse's "Sufferings of the Quakers;" on
April 2 he writes a scene of the play; on May 1 and 2 he is pondering
and writing notes, and says: "It is delightful to revolve in one's mind
a new conception." He also works upon it in a fragmentary way in July
and in November, and remarks, in the midst of it, that he has lying on
his table more than sixty requests for autographs. As a background to
all of this lie the peculiar excitements of that stormy summer of 1856,
when his friend Sumner was struck down in the United States Senate and
he himself, meeting with an accident, was lamed for weeks and was unable
to go to Europe with his children as he had intended. The first rough
draft of "Wenlock Christison," whose title was afterwards changed to
"John Endicott," and which was the first of "The New England Tragedies,"
was not finished till August 27, 1857, and the work alternated for a
time with that done on "Miles Standish;" but it was more than ten years
(October 10, 1868) before it was published, having first been written in
prose, and only ten copies printed and afterwards rewritten in verse.
With it was associated the second New England Tragedy, "Giles Corey" of
the Salem farms, written rapidly in February of that same year. The
volume never made a marked impression; even the sympathetic Mr. Fields,
the publisher, receiving it rather coldly. It never satisfied even its
author, and the new poetic idea which occurred to him on April 11, 1871,
and which was to harmonize the discord of "The New England Tragedies"
was destined never to be fulfilled. In the mean time, however, he
carried them to Europe with him, and seems to have found their only
admirer in John Forster, who wrote to him in London: "Your tragedies are
very beautiful--beauty everywhere subduing and chastening the sadness;
the pictures of nature in delightful contrast to the sorrowful and
tragic violence of the laws; truth and unaffectedness everywhere. I
hardly know which I like best; but there are things in 'Giles Corey'
that have a strange attractiveness for me." Longfellow writes to Fields
from Vevey, September 5, 1868: "I do not like your idea of calling the
'Tragedies' sketches. They are not sketches, and only seem so at first
because I have studiously left out all that could impede the action. I
have purposely made them simple and direct." He later adds: "As to
anybody's 'adapting' these 'Tragedies' for the stage, I do not like the
idea of it at all. Prevent this if possible. I should, however, like to
have the opinion of some good actor--not a sensational actor--on that
point. I should like to have Booth look at them." Six weeks later,
having gone over to London to secure the copyright on these poems, he
writes: "I saw also Bandmann, the tragedian, who expressed the liveliest
interest in what I told him of the 'Tragedies.'" Finally he says, two
days later, "Bandmann writes me a nice letter about the 'Tragedies,' but
says they are not adapted to the stage. So we will say no more about
that, for the present."{97}

"Christus: A Mystery" appeared as a whole in 1872, for the first time
bringing together the three parts (I. "The Divine Tragedy;" II. "The
Golden Legend," and III. "The New England Tragedies"). "The Divine
Tragedy," which now formed the first part, was not only in some degree
criticised as forming an anti-climax in being placed before the lighter
portions of the great drama, but proved unacceptable among his friends,
and was often subjected to the charge of being unimpressive and even
uninteresting. On the other hand, we have the fact that it absorbed him
more utterly than any other portion of the book. He writes in his diary
on January 6, 1871, "The subject of 'The Divine Tragedy' has taken
entire possession of me, so that I can think of nothing else. All day
pondering upon and arranging it." And he adds next day, "I find all
hospitalities and social gatherings just now great interruptions." Yet
he has to spend one morning that week in Boston at a meeting of
stockholders; on another day Agassiz comes, broken down even to tears by
the loss of health and strength; on another day there is "a continued
series of interruptions from breakfast till dinner. I could not get half
an hour to myself all day long. Oh, for a good snow-storm to block the
door!" Still another day it is so cold he can scarcely write in his
study, and he has "so many letters to answer." Yet he writes during that
month a scene or two every day. We know from the experience of all poets
that the most brilliant short poems may be achieved with wonderful
quickness, but for a continuous and sustained effort an author surely
needs some control over his own time.

It is a curious fact, never yet quite explained, that an author's
favorite work is rarely that whose popular success best vindicates his
confidence. This was perhaps never more manifest than in the case of
Longfellow's "Christus" as a whole, and more especially that portion of
it on which the author lavished his highest and most consecrated
efforts, "The Divine Tragedy." Mr. Scudder has well said that "there is
no one of Mr. Longfellow's writings which may be said to have so
dominated his literary life" as the "Christus," and it shows his
sensitive reticence that the portion of it which was first published,
"The Golden Legend" (1851), gave to the reader no suggestion of its
being, as we now know that it was, but a portion of a larger design.
Various things came in the way, and before "The Divine Tragedy" appeared
(1871) he had written of it, "I never had so many doubts and hesitations
about any book as about this." On September 11 in that year he wrote in
Nahant, "Begin to pack. I wish it were over and I in Cambridge. I am
impatient to send 'The Divine Tragedy' to the printers." On the 18th of
October he wrote: "The delays of printers are a great worry to authors;"
on the 25th, "Get the last proof sheet of 'The Divine Tragedy;'" on the
30th, "Read over proofs of the 'Interludes' and 'Finale,' and am
doubtful and perplexed;" on November 15, "All the last week, perplexed
and busy with final correction of 'The Tragedy.'" It was published on
December 12, and he writes to G. W. Greene, December 17, 1871, "'The
Divine Tragedy' is very successful, from the booksellers' point of
view--ten thousand copies were published on Tuesday last and the
printers are already at work on three thousand more. That is pleasant,
but that is not the main thing. The only question about a book ought to
be whether it is successful in itself."

It is altogether probable that in the strict views then prevailing about
the very letter of the Christian Scriptures, a certain antagonism may
have prevailed, even toward the skill with which he transferred the
sacred narratives into a dramatic form, just as it is found that among
certain pious souls who for the first time yield their scruples so far
as to enter a theatre, the mere lifting of the curtain seems to convey
suggestions of sin. Be this as it may, we find in Longfellow's journal
this brief entry (December 30): "Received from Routledge in London,
three notices of 'The Tragedy,' all hostile." He, however, was cheered
by the following letter from Horace Bushnell, then perhaps the most
prominent among the American clergy for originality and spiritual
freedom:--


                                            HARTFORD, December 28, 1871.

    DEAR SIR,--Since it will be a satisfaction to me to express my
    delight in the success of your poem, you cannot well deny me the
    privilege. When I heard the first announcement of it as forthcoming,
    I said, "Well, it is the grandest of all subjects; why has it never
    been attempted?" And yet I said inwardly in the next breath: "What
    mortal power is equal to the handling of it?" The greater and the
    more delightful is my surprise at the result. You have managed the
    theme with really wonderful address. The episodes, and the hard
    characters, and the partly imaginary characters, you had your
    liberty in; and you have used them well to suffuse and flavor and
    poetize the story. And yet, I know not how it is, but the part which
    _finds_ me most perfectly, and is, in fact, the most poetic poetry
    of all, is the prose-poem,--the nearly rhythmic transcription of the
    simple narrative matter of the gospels. Perhaps the true account of
    it may be that the handling is so delicately reverent, intruding so
    little of the poet's fine thinking and things, that the reverence
    incorporate promotes the words and lifts the ranges of the
    sentiment; so that when the reader comes out at the close, he finds
    himself in a curiously new kind of inspiration, born of modesty and
    silence.

    I can easily imagine that certain chaffy people may put their
    disrespect on you for what I consider your praise. Had you
    undertaken to build the Christ yourself, as they would require of
    you, I verily believe it would have killed you,--that is, made you a
    preacher.

                       With many thanks, I am yours,

                                                    HORACE BUSHNELL.{98}


It would not now be easy to ascertain what these hostile notices of "The
Divine Tragedy" were, but it would seem that for some reason the poem
did not, like its predecessors, find its way to the popular heart. When
one considers the enthusiasm which greeted Willis' scriptural poems in
earlier days, or that which has in later days been attracted by
semi-scriptural prose fictions, such as "The Prince of the House of
David" and "Ben Hur," the latter appearing, moreover, in a dramatic
form, there certainly seems no reason why Longfellow's attempt to
grapple with the great theme should be so little successful. The book is
not, like "The New England Tragedies," which completed the circle of
"Christus," dull in itself. It is, on the contrary, varied and readable;
not merely poetic and tender, which was a matter of course in
Longfellow's hands, but strikingly varied, its composition skilful, the
scripture types well handled, and the additional figures, Helen of Tyre,
Simon Magus, and Menahem the Essenian, skilfully introduced and
effectively managed. Yet one rarely sees the book quoted; it has not
been widely read, and in all the vast list of Longfellow translations
into foreign languages, there appears no version of any part of it
except the comparatively modern and mediæval "Golden Legend." It has
simply afforded one of the most remarkable instances in literary history
of the utter ignoring of the supposed high water-mark of a favorite
author.


{96 _Modern Painters_, vol. v. chap. xx.}

{97 _Life_, iii. 123, 125.}

{98 _Life_, iii. 192, 193.}



CHAPTER XXII

WESTMINSTER ABBEY


Longfellow was the first American to be commemorated, on the mere ground
of public service and distant kinship of blood, in Westminster Abbey.
The impressions made by that circumstance in America were very various,
but might be classed under two leading attitudes. There were those to
whom the English-speaking race seemed one, and Westminster Abbey its
undoubted central shrine, an opinion of which Lowell was a high
representative, as his speech on the occasion showed. There were those,
on the other hand, to whom the American republic seemed a wholly new
fact in the universe, and one which should have its own shrines. To this
last class the "Hall of Fame," upon the banks of the Hudson, would
appeal more strongly than Westminster Abbey; and it is probable that the
interest inspired by that enterprise was partly due, at the outset, to
the acceptance of Longfellow in England's greatest shrine. It may be
fairly said, however, on reflection, that there is no absolute
inconsistency between these two opinions. No one, surely, but must
recognize the dignity of the proceeding when an American writer, born
and bred, is, as it were, invited after death to stand as a permanent
representative of his race in the storied abbey. On the other hand, it
may easily be conceded that the dignitaries of Westminster are not, of
themselves, necessarily so well versed in American claims as to make
their verdict infallible or even approximate. The true solution would
appear to be that in monuments, as in all other forms of recognition,
each nation should have its own right of selection, and that it should
be recognized as a gratifying circumstance when these independent
judgments happen to coincide. The following is the best London report of
the services on this occasion:--

"On Saturday, March 2, 1884, at midday, the ceremony of unveiling a bust
of Longfellow took place in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. It is the
work of Mr. Thomas Brock, A. R. A., and was executed by desire of some
five hundred admirers of the American poet. It stands on a bracket near
the tomb of Chaucer, and between the memorials to Cowley and Dryden.
Before the ceremony took place, a meeting of the subscribers was held in
the Jerusalem Chamber. In the absence of Dean Bradley, owing to a death
in his family, the Sub-Dean, Canon Prothero, was called to the chair.

"Mr. Bennoch having formally announced the order of proceeding, Dr.
Bennett made a brief statement, and called upon Earl Granville to ask
the Dean's acceptance of the bust.

"Earl Granville then said: 'Mr. Sub-Dean, Ladies and Gentlemen, ... I am
afraid I cannot fulfil the promise made for me of making a speech on
this occasion. Not that there are wanting materials for a speech; there
are materials of the richest description. There are, first of all, the
high character, the refinement, and the personal charm of the late
illustrious poet,--if I may say so in the presence of those so near and
so dear to him. There are also the characteristics of those works which
have secured for him not a greater popularity in the United States
themselves than in this island and in all the English-speaking
dependencies of the British Empire. There are, besides, very large views
with regard to the literature which is common to both the United States
and ourselves, and with regard to the separate branches of literature
which have sprung up in each country, and which act and react with so
much advantage one upon another; and there are, above all, those
relations of a moral and intellectual character which become bonds
stronger and greater every day between the intellectual and cultivated
classes of these two great countries. I am happy to say that with such
materials there are persons here infinitely more fitted to deal than I
could have been even if I had had time to bestow upon the thought and
the labor necessary to condense into the limits of a speech some of the
considerations I have mentioned. I am glad that among those present
there is one who is not only the official representative of the United
States, but who speaks with more authority than any one with regard to
the literature and intellectual condition of that country. I cannot but
say how glad I am that I have been present at two of the meetings held
to inaugurate this work, and I am delighted to be present here to take
part in the closing ceremony. With the greatest pleasure I make the
offer of this memorial to the Sub-Dean; and from the kindness we have
received already from the authorities of Westminster Abbey, I have no
doubt it will be received in the same spirit. I beg to offer you, Mr.
Sub-Dean, the bust which has been subscribed for.'

"The American Minister, Mr. Lowell, then said: 'Mr. Sub-Dean, my Lord,
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I may take upon myself the responsibility,
in the name of the daughters of my beloved friend, to express their
gratitude to Lord Granville for having found time, amid the continuous
and arduous calls of his duty, to be present here this morning. Having
occasion to speak in this place some two years ago, I remember that I
then expressed the hope that some day or other the Abbey of Westminster
would become the Valhalla of the whole English-speaking race. I little
expected then that a beginning would be made so soon,--a beginning at
once painful and gratifying in the highest degree to myself,--with the
bust of my friend. Though there be no Academy in England which
corresponds to that of France, yet admission to Westminster Abbey forms
a sort of posthumous test of literary eminence perhaps as effectual.
Every one of us has his own private Valhalla, and it is not apt to be
populous. But the conditions of admission to the Abbey are very
different. We ought no longer to ask why is so-and-so here, and we ought
always to be able to answer the question why such a one is not here. I
think that on this occasion I should express the united feeling of the
whole English-speaking race in confirming the choice which has been
made,--the choice of one whose name is dear to them all, who has
inspired their lives and consoled their hearts, and who has been
admitted to the fireside of all of them as a familiar friend. Nearly
forty years ago I had occasion, in speaking of Mr. Longfellow, to
suggest an analogy between him and the English poet Gray; and I have
never since seen any reason to modify or change that opinion. There are
certain very marked analogies between them, I think. In the first place,
there is the same love of a certain subdued splendor, not inconsistent
with transparency of diction; there is the same power of absorbing and
assimilating the beauties of other literature without loss of
originality; and, above all, there is that genius, that sympathy with
universal sentiments and the power of expressing them so that they come
home to everybody, both high and low, which characterize both poets.
There is something also in that simplicity,--simplicity in itself being
a distinction. But in style, simplicity and distinction must be combined
in order to their proper effect; and the only warrant perhaps of
permanence in literature is this distinction in style. It is something
quite indefinable; it is something like the distinction of
good-breeding, characterized perhaps more by the absence of certain
negative qualities than by the presence of certain positive ones. But it
seems to me that distinction of style is eminently found in the poet
whom we are met here in some sense to celebrate to-day. This is not the
place, of course, for criticism; still less is it the place for eulogy,
for eulogy is but too often disguised apology. But I have been struck
particularly--if I may bring forward one instance--with some of my late
friend's sonnets, which seem to me to be some of the most beautiful and
perfect we have in the language. His mind always moved straight towards
its object, and was always permeated with the emotion that gave it
frankness and sincerity, and at the same time the most ample expression.
It seems that I should add a few words--in fact, I cannot refrain from
adding a few words--with regard to the personal character of a man whom
I knew for more than forty years, and whose friend I was honored to call
myself for thirty years. Never was a private character more answerable
to public performance than that of Longfellow. Never have I known a more
beautiful character. I was familiar with it daily,--with the constant
charity of his hand and of his mind. His nature was consecrated ground,
into which no unclean spirit could ever enter. I feel entirely how
inadequate anything that I can say is to the measure and proportion of
an occasion like this. But I think I am authorized to accept, in the
name of the people of America, this tribute to not the least
distinguished of her sons, to a man who in every way, both in public and
private, did honor to the country that gave him birth. I cannot add
anything more to what was so well said in a few words by Lord Granville,
for I do not think that these occasions are precisely the times for set
discourses, but rather for a few words of feeling, of gratitude, and of
appreciation.'

"The Sub-Dean, in accepting the bust, remarked that it was impossible
not to feel, in doing so, that they were accepting a very great honor to
the country. He could conceive that if the great poet were allowed to
look down on the transactions of that day, he would not think it
unsatisfactory that his memorial had been placed in that great Abbey
among those of his brothers in poetry.

"The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved a vote of thanks to the honorary
secretary and the honorary treasurer, and said he thought he had been
selected for the duty because he had spent two or three years of his
life in the United States, and a still longer time in some of the
British colonies. It gave him the greater pleasure to do this, having
known Mr. Longfellow in America, and having from boyhood enjoyed his
poetry, which was quite as much appreciated in England and her
dependencies as in America. Wherever he had been in America, and
wherever he had met Americans, he had found there was one place at least
which they looked upon as being as much theirs as it was England's--that
place was the Abbey Church of Westminster. It seemed, therefore, to him
that the present occasion was an excellent beginning of the recognition
of the Abbey as what it had been called,--the Valhalla of the
English-speaking people. He trusted this beginning would not be the end
of its application in this respect.

"The company then proceeded to Poets' Corner, where, taking his stand in
front of the covered bust,

"The Sub-Dean then said: 'I feel to-day that a double solemnity attaches
to this occasion which calls us together. There is first the familiar
fact that to-day we are adding another name to the great roll of
illustrious men whom we commemorate within these walls, that we are
adding something to that rich heritage which we have received of
national glory from our ancestors, and which we feel bound to hand over
to our successors, not only unimpaired, but even increased. There is
then the novel and peculiar fact which attaches to the erection of a
monument here to the memory of Henry Longfellow. In some sense,
poets--great poets like him--may be said to be natives of all lands; but
never before have the great men of other countries, however brilliant
and widespread their fame, been admitted to a place in Westminster
Abbey. A century ago America was just commencing her perilous path of
independence and self-government. Who then could have ventured to
predict that within the short space of one hundred years we in England
should be found to honor an American as much as we could do so by giving
his monument a place within the sacred shrine which holds the memories
of our most illustrious sons? Is there not in this a very significant
fact; is it not an emphatic proof of the oneness which belongs to our
common race, and of the community of our national glories? May I not
add, is it not a pledge that we give to each other that nothing can long
and permanently sever nations which are bound together by the eternal
ties of language, race, religion, and common feeling?'

"The reverend gentleman then removed the covering from the bust, and the
ceremony ended."{99}


{99 _Life_, iii. 346-351.}



CHAPTER XXIII

LONGFELLOW AS A POET


The great literary lesson of Longfellow's life is to be found, after
all, in this, that while he was the first among American poets to create
for himself a world-wide fame, he was guided from youth to age by a
strong national feeling, or at any rate by the desire to stand for the
life and the associations by which he was actually surrounded. Such a
tendency has been traced in this volume from his first childish poetry
through his chosen theme for a college debate, his commencement oration,
his plans formed during a first foreign trip, and the appeal made in his
first really original paper in the "North American Review." All these
elements of aim and doctrine were directly and explicitly American, and
his most conspicuous poems, "Evangeline," "The Courtship of Miles
Standish," "Hiawatha," and "The Wayside Inn," were unequivocally
American also. In the group of poets to which he belonged, he was the
most travelled and the most cultivated, in the ordinary sense, while
Whittier was the least so; and yet they are, as we have seen, the two
who--in the English-speaking world, at least--hold their own best; the
line between them being drawn only where foreign languages are in
question, and there Longfellow has of course the advantage. In neither
case, it is to be observed, was this Americanism trivial, boastful, or
ignoble in its tone. It would be idle to say that this alone
constitutes, for an American, the basis of fame; for the high
imaginative powers of Poe, with his especial gift of melody, though
absolutely without national flavor, have achieved for him European fame,
at least in France, this being due, however, mainly to his prose rather
than to his poetry, and perhaps also the result, more largely than we
recognize, of the assiduous discipleship of a single Frenchman, just as
Carlyle's influence in America was due largely to Emerson. Be this as it
may, it is certain that the hold of both Longfellow and Whittier is a
thing absolutely due, first, to the elevated tone of their works, and
secondly, that they have made themselves the poets of the people. No one
can attend popular meetings in England without being struck with the
readiness with which quotations from these two poets are heard from the
lips of speakers, and this, while not affording the highest test of
poetic art, still yields the highest secondary test, and one on which
both these authors would doubtless have been willing to rest their final
appeal for remembrance.

In looking back over Longfellow's whole career, it is certain that the
early criticisms upon him, especially those of Margaret Fuller, had an
immediate and temporary justification, but found ultimate refutation.
The most commonplace man can be better comprehended at the end of his
career than he can be analyzed at its beginning; and of men possessed of
the poetic temperament, this is eminently true. We now know that at the
very time when "Hyperion" and the "Voices of the Night" seemed largely
European in their atmosphere, the author himself, in his diaries, was
expressing that longing for American subjects which afterwards
predominated in his career. Though the citizen among us best known in
Europe, most sought after by foreign visitors, he yet gravitated
naturally to American themes, American friends, home interests, plans,
and improvements. He always voted at elections, and generally with the
same party, took an interest in all local affairs and public
improvements, headed subscription papers, was known by sight among
children, and answered readily to their salutations. The same quality of
citizenship was visible in his literary work. Lowell, who was regarded
in England as an almost defiant American, yet had a distinct liking,
which was not especially shared by Longfellow, for English ways. If
people were ever misled on this point, which perhaps was not the case,
it grew out of his unvarying hospitality and courtesy, and out of the
fact vaguely recognized by all, but best stated by that keen critic, the
late Mr. Horace E. Scudder, when he says of Longfellow: "He gave of
himself freely to his intimate friends, but he dwelt, nevertheless, in a
charmed circle, beyond the lines of which men could not penetrate.... It
is rare that one in our time has been the centre of so much admiration,
and still rarer that one has preserved in the midst of it all that
integrity of nature which never abdicates."{100}

It is an obvious truth in regard to the literary works of Longfellow,
that while they would have been of value at any time and place, their
worth to a new and unformed literature was priceless. The first need of
such a literature was no doubt a great original thinker, such as was
afforded us in Emerson. But for him we should perhaps have been still
provincial in thought and imitative in theme and illustration; our poets
would have gone on writing about the skylark and the nightingale, which
they might never have seen or heard anywhere, rather than about the
bobolink and the humble-bee, which they knew. It was Emerson and the
so-called Transcendentalists who really set our literature free; yet
Longfellow rendered a service only secondary, in enriching and refining
it and giving it a cosmopolitan culture, and an unquestioned standing in
the literary courts of the civilized world. It was a great advantage,
too, that in his more moderate and level standard of execution there was
afforded no room for reaction. The same attributes that keep Longfellow
from being the greatest of poets will make him also one of the most
permanent. There will be no extreme ups and downs in his fame, as in
that of those great poets of whom Ruskin writes, "Cast Coleridge at once
aside, as sickly and useless; and Shelley as shallow and verbose." The
finished excellence of his average execution will sustain it against
that of profounder thinkers and more daring sons of song. His range of
measures is not great, but his workmanship is perfect; he has always
"the inimitable grace of not too much;" he has tested all literatures,
all poetic motives, and all the simpler forms of versification, and he
can never be taken unprepared. He will never be read for the profoundest
stirring, or for the unlocking of the deepest mysteries; he will always
be read for invigoration, for comfort, for content.

No man is always consistent, and it is not to be claimed that Longfellow
was always ready to reaffirm his early attitude in respect to a national
literature. It is not strange that after he had fairly begun to create
one, he should sometimes be repelled by the class which has always
existed who think that mere nationality should rank first and an
artistic standard afterwards. He writes on July 24, 1844, to an unknown
correspondent:--

"I dislike as much as any one can the tone of English criticism in
reference to our literature. But when you say, 'It is a lamentable fact
that as yet our country has taken no decided steps towards establishing
a national literature,' it seems to me that you are repeating one of the
most fallacious assertions of the English critics. Upon this point I
differ entirely from you in opinion. A national literature is the
expression of national character and thought; and as our character and
modes of thought do not differ essentially from those of England, our
literature cannot. Vast forests, lakes, and prairies cannot make great
poets. They are but the scenery of the play, and have much less to do
with the poetic character than has been imagined. Neither Mexico nor
Switzerland has produced any remarkable poet.

"I do not think a 'Poets' Convention' would help the matter. In fact,
the matter needs no helping."{101}

In the same way he speaks with regret, three years later, November 5,
1847, of "The prospectus of a new magazine in Philadelphia to build up
'a national literature worthy of the country of Niagara--of the land of
forests and eagles.'"

One feels an inexhaustible curiosity as to the precise manner in which
each favorite poem by a favorite author comes into existence. In the
case of Longfellow we find this illustrated only here and there. We know
that "The Arrow and the Song," for instance, came into his mind
instantaneously; that "My Lost Youth" occurred to him in the night,
after a day of pain, and was written the next morning; that on December
17, 1839, he read of shipwrecks reported in the papers and of bodies
washed ashore near Gloucester, one lashed to a piece of the wreck, and
that he wrote, "There is a reef called Norman's Woe where many of these
took place; among others the schooner Hesperus. Also the Sea-Flower on
Black Rock. I must write a ballad upon this; also two others,--'The
Skeleton in Armor' and 'Sir Humphrey Gilbert.'" A fortnight later he sat
at twelve o'clock by his fire, smoking, when suddenly it came into his
mind to write the Ballad of the Schooner Hesperus, which he says, "I
accordingly did. Then I went to bed, but could not sleep. New thoughts
were running in my mind, and I got up to add them to the ballad. It was
three by the clock. I then went to bed and fell asleep. I feel pleased
with the ballad. It hardly cost me an effort. It did not come into my
mind by lines, but by stanzas." A few weeks before, taking up a volume
of Scott's "Border Minstrelsy," he had received in a similar way the
suggestion of "The Beleaguered City" and of "The Luck of Edenhall."

We know by Longfellow's own statement to Mr. W. C. Lawton,{102} that it
was his rule to do his best in polishing a poem before printing it, but
afterwards to leave it untouched, on the principle that "the readers of
a poem acquired a right to the poet's work in the form they had learned
to love." He thought also that Bryant and Whittier hardly seemed happy
in these belated revisions, and mentioned especially Bryant's
"Water-Fowl,"

  "As darkly limned upon the ethereal sky,"

where Longfellow preferred the original reading "painted on." It is,
however, rare to find a poet who can carry out this principle of
abstinence, at least in his own verse, and we know too surely that
Longfellow was no exception; thus we learn that he had made important
alterations in the "Golden Legend" within a few weeks of publication.
These things show that his remark to Mr. Lawton does not tell quite the
whole story. As with most poets, his alterations were not always
improvements. Thus, in "The Wreck of the Hesperus," he made the fourth
verse much more vigorous to the ear as it was originally written,--

  "Then up and spoke an old sailór
  Had sailed the Spanish Main,"

than when he made the latter line read

  "Sailed to the Spanish Main,"

as in all recent editions. The explanation doubtless was that he at
first supposed the "Spanish Main" to mean the Caribbean Sea; whereas it
actually referred only to the southern shore of it. Still more curious
is the history of a line in one of his favorite poems, "To a Child."
Speaking of this, he says in his diary,{103} "Some years ago, writing an
'Ode to a Child,' I spoke of

  'The buried treasures of the miser, Time.'

What was my astonishment to-day, in reading for the first time in my
life Wordsworth's ode 'On the Power of Sound,' to read

  'All treasures hoarded by the miser, Time.'"

As a matter of fact, this was not the original form of the Longfellow
passage, which was,--

  "The buried treasures of dead centuries,"

followed by

  "The burning tropic skies."

More than this, the very word "miser" was not invariably used in this
passage by the poet, as during an intermediate period it had been
changed to "pirate," a phrase in some sense more appropriate and better
satisfying the ear. The curious analogy to Wordsworth's line did not
therefore lie in the original form of his own poem, but was an
afterthought. It is fortunate that this curious combination of facts,
all utterly unconscious on his part, did not attract the attention of
Poe during his vindictive period.

It is to be noticed, however, that Longfellow apparently made all these
changes to satisfy his own judgment, and did not make them, as Whittier
and even Browning often did, in deference to the judgment of dull or
incompetent critics. It is to be remembered that even the academic
commentators on Longfellow still leave children to suppose that the
Berserk's tale in "The Skeleton in Armor" refers to a supposed story
that the Berserk was telling: although the word "tale" is unquestionably
used in the sense of "tally" or "reckoning," to indicate how much ale
the Norse hero could drink. Readers of Milton often misinterpret his
line,

  "And every shepherd tells his tale,"

in a similar manner, and the shepherd is supposed by many young readers
to be pouring out a story of love or of adventure, whereas he is merely
counting up the number of his sheep.

It will always remain uncertain how far Poe influenced the New England
poets, whether by example or avoidance. That he sometimes touched
Lowell, and not for good, is unquestionable, in respect to rhythm; but
it will always remain a question whether his influence did not work in
the other direction with Longfellow in making him limit himself more
strictly to a narrow range of metrical structure. It was an admirable
remark of Tennyson's that "every short poem should have a definite shape
like the curve, sometimes a single, sometimes a double one, assumed by a
severed tress, or the rind of an apple when flung to the floor."{104}
This type of verse was rarely attempted by Longfellow, but he chose it
most appropriately for "Seaweed" and in some degree succeeded. Poe
himself in his waywardness could not adhere to it when he reached it,
and after giving us in the original form of "Lenore," as published in
"The Pioneer," perhaps the finest piece of lyric measure in our
literature, made it over into a form of mere jingling and hackneyed
rhythm, adding even the final commonplaceness of his tiresome
"repetend." Lowell did something of the same in cutting down the
original fine strain of the verses beginning "Pine in the distance," but
Longfellow showed absolutely no trace of Poe, unless as a warning
against multiplying such rhythmic experiments as he once tried
successfully in "Seaweed." On the other hand, with all his love for
Lowell, his native good taste kept him from the confused metaphors and
occasional over-familiarities into which Lowell was sometimes tempted.

Perhaps the most penetrating remark made about Longfellow's art is that
of Horace Scudder: "He was first of all a composer, and he saw his
subjects in their relations, rather than in their essence." As a
translator, he was generally admitted to have no superior in the English
tongue, his skill was unvarying and absolutely reliable. Even here it
might be doubted whether he ever attained the wonderful success
sometimes achieved in single instances, as, for instance, in Mrs. Sarah
Austen's "Many a Year is in its Grave," which, under the guise of a
perfect translation, yet gives a higher and finer touch than that of the
original poem of Rückert. But taking Longfellow's great gift in this
direction as it was, we can see that it was somewhat akin to this
quality of "composition," rather than of inspiration, which marked his
poems.

He could find it delightful

                    "To lie
  And gaze into a summer sky
  And watch the trailing clouds go by
  Like ships upon the sea."

But it is a vast step from this to Browning's mountain picture

  "Toward it tilting cloudlets prest
  Like Persian ships to Salamis."

In Browning everything is vigorous and individualized. We see the ships,
we know the nationality, we recall the very battle, and over these we
see in imagination the very shape and movements of the clouds; but there
is no conceivable reason why Longfellow's lines should not have been
written by a blind man who knew clouds merely by the descriptions of
others. The limitation of Longfellow's poems reveals his temperament. He
was in his perceptions essentially of poetic mind, but always in touch
with the common mind; as individual lives grow deeper, students are apt
to leave Longfellow for Tennyson, just as they forsake Tennyson for
Browning. As to action, the tonic of life, so far as he had it, was
supplied to him through friends,--Sumner in America; Freiligrath in
Europe,--and yet it must be remembered that he would not, but for a
corresponding quality in his own nature, have had just such friends as
these. He was not led by his own convictions to leave his study like
Emerson and take direct part as a contestant in the struggles of the
time. It is a curious fact that Lowell should have censured Thoreau for
not doing in this respect just the thing which Thoreau ultimately did
and Longfellow did not. It was, however, essentially a difference of
temperament, and it must be remembered that Longfellow wrote in his
diary under date of December 2, 1859, "This will be a great day in our
history; the date of a new Revolution,--quite as much needed as the old
one. Even now as I write, they are leading old John Brown to execution
in Virginia, for attempting to rescue slaves! This is sowing the wind to
reap the whirlwind, which will come soon."

His relations with Whittier remained always kindly and unbroken. They
dined together at the Atlantic Club and Saturday Club, and Longfellow
wrote of him in 1857, "He grows milder and mellower, as does his
poetry." He went to Concord sometimes to dine with Emerson, "and meet
his philosophers, Alcott, Thoreau, and Channing." Or Emerson came to
Cambridge, "to take tea," giving a lecture at the Lyceum, of which
Longfellow says, "The lecture good, but not of his richest and rarest.
His subject 'Eloquence.' By turns he was grave and jocose, and had some
striking views and passages. He lets in a thousand new lights,
side-lights, and cross-lights, into every subject." When Emerson's
collected poems are sent him, Longfellow has the book read to him all
the evening and until late at night, and writes of it in his diary:
"Throughout the volume, through the golden mist and sublimation of
fancy, gleam bright veins of purest poetry, like rivers running through
meadows. Truly, a rare volume; with many exquisite poems in it, among
which I should single out 'Monadnoc,' 'Threnody,' 'The Humble-Bee,' as
containing much of the quintessence of poetry." Emerson's was one of the
five portraits drawn in crayon by Eastman Johnson, and always kept
hanging in the library at Craigie House; the others being those of
Hawthorne, Sumner, Felton, and Longfellow himself. No one can deny to
our poet the merits of absolute freedom from all jealousy and of an
invariable readiness to appreciate those classified by many critics as
greater than himself. He was one of the first students of Browning in
America, when the latter was known chiefly by his "Bells and
Pomegranates," and instinctively selected the "Blot in the 'Scutcheon"
as "a play of great power and beauty," as the critics would say, and as
every one must say who reads it. He is an extraordinary genius,
Browning, with dramatic power of the first order. "Paracelsus" he
describes, with some justice, as "very lofty, but very diffuse." Of
Browning's "Christmas Eve" he later writes, "A wonderful man is
Browning, but too obscure," and later makes a similar remark on "The
Ring and the Book." Of Tennyson he writes, as to "The Princess," calling
it "a gentle satire, in the easiest and most flowing blank verse, with
two delicious unrhymed songs, and many exquisite passages. I went to bed
after it, with delightful music ringing in my ears; yet half
disappointed in the poem, though not knowing why. There is a discordant
note somewhere."

One very uncertain test of a man of genius is his "table-talk."
Surrounded by a group of men who were such masters of this gift as
Lowell, Holmes, and T. G. Appleton, Longfellow might well be excused
from developing it to the highest extent, and he also "being rather a
silent man," as he says of himself, escaped thereby the tendency to
monologue, which was sometimes a subject of complaint in regard to the
other three. Longfellow's reticence and self-control saved him from all
such perils; but it must be admitted, on the other hand, that when his
brother collects a dozen pages of his "table-talk" at the end of his
memoirs, or when one reads his own list of them in "Kavanagh," the
reader feels a slight inadequacy, as of things good enough to be said,
but not quite worth the printing. Yet at their best, they are sometimes
pungent and telling, as where he says, "When looking for anything lost,
begin by looking where you think it is not;" or, "Silence is a great
peace-maker;" or, "In youth all doors open outward; in old age they all
open inward," or, more thoughtfully, "Amusements are like specie
payments. We do not much care for them, if we know we can have them; but
we like to know they may be had," or more profoundly still, "How often
it happens that after we know a man personally, we cease to read his
writings. Is it that we exhaust him by a look? Is it that his
personality gives us all of him we desire?" There are also included
among these passages some thoroughly poetic touches, as where he says,
"The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts
into a room, with a laugh and a shout, and hands full of flowers." Or
this, "How sudden and sweet are the visitations of our happiest
thoughts; what delightful surprises! In the midst of life's most trivial
occupations,--as when we are reading a newspaper, or lighting a
bed-candle, or waiting for our horses to drive round,--the lovely face
appears, and thoughts more precious than gold are whispered in our ear."

The test of popularity in a poet is nowhere more visible than in the
demand for autographs. Longfellow writes in his own diary that on
November 25, 1856, he has more than sixty such requests lying on his
table; and again on January 9, "Yesterday I wrote, sealed, and directed
seventy autographs. To-day I added five or six more and mailed them." It
does not appear whether the later seventy applications included the
earlier sixty, but it is, in view of the weakness of human nature, very
probable. This number must have gone on increasing. I remember that in
1875 I saw in his study a pile which must have numbered more than
seventy, and which had come in a single day from a single high school in
a Western city, to congratulate him on his birthday, and each hinting at
an autograph, which I think he was about to supply.

At the time of his seventy-fourth birthday, 1881, a lady in Ohio sent
him a hundred blank cards, with the request that he would write his name
on each, that she might distribute them among her guests at a party she
was to give on that day. The same day was celebrated by some forty
different schools in the Western States, all writing him letters and
requesting answers. He sent to each school, his brother tells us, some
stanza with signature and good wishes. He was patient even with the
gentleman who wrote to him to request that he would send his autograph
in his "own handwriting." As a matter of fact, he had to leave many
letters unanswered, even by a secretary, in his latest years.

It is a most tantalizing thing to know, through the revelations of Mr.
William Winter, that Longfellow left certain poems unpublished. Mr.
Winter says: "He said also that he sometimes wrote poems that were for
himself alone, that he should not care ever to publish, because they
were too delicate for publication."{105} Quite akin to this was another
remark made by him to the same friend, that "the desire of the young
poet is not for applause, but for recognition." The two remarks limit
one another; the desire for recognition only begins when the longing for
mere expression is satisfied. Thoroughly practical and methodical and
industrious, Longfellow yet needed some self-expression first of all. It
is impossible to imagine him as writing puffs of himself, like Poe, or
volunteering reports of receptions given to him, like Whitman. He said
to Mr. Winter, again and again, "What you desire will come, if you will
but wait for it." The question is not whether this is the only form of
the poetic temperament, but it was clearly his form of it. Thoreau well
says that there is no definition of poetry which the poet will not
instantly set aside by defying all its limitations, and it is the same
with the poetic temperament itself.


{100 Scudder's _Men and Letters_, p. 68.}

{101 _Life_, ii. 19, 20.}

{102 _The New England Poets_, p. 141.}

{103 _Life_, ii. 189.}

{104 Tennyson's _Life_, by his son, i. 507.}

{105 _Life_, iii. 356.}



CHAPTER XXIV

LONGFELLOW AS A MAN


Longfellow always amused himself, as do most public men, with the
confused and contradictory descriptions of his personal appearance: with
the Newport bookseller who exclaimed, "Why, you look more like a sea
captain than a poet!" and a printer who described him as "a hale,
portly, fine-looking man, nearly six feet in height, well proportioned,
with a tendency to fatness; brown hair and blue eyes, and bearing the
general appearance of a comfortable hotel-keeper." More graphic still,
and on the whole nearer to the facts, is this description by an English
military visitor who met him at a reception in Boston in 1850. I
happened upon the volume containing it amid a pile of literary lumber in
one of the great antiquarian bookstores of London:--

"He was rather under the middle size, but gracefully formed, and
extremely prepossessing in his general appearance. His hair was
light-colored, and tastefully disposed. Below a fine forehead gleamed
two of the most beautiful eyes I had ever beheld in any human head. One
seemed to gaze far into their azure depths. A very sweet smile, not at
all of the pensively-poetical character, lurked about the well-shaped
mouth, and altogether the expression of Henry Wordsworth [_sic_]
Longfellow's face was most winning. He was dressed very
fashionably--almost too much so; a blue frock coat of Parisian cut, a
handsome waistcoat, faultless pantaloons, and primrose-colored 'kids'
set off his compact figure, which was not a moment still; for like a
butterfly glancing from flower to flower, he was tripping from one lady
to another, admired and courted by all. He shook me cordially by the
hand, introduced me to his lady, invited me to his house, and then he
was off again like a humming bird."{106}

A later picture by another English observer is contained in Lord Ronald
Gower's "My Reminiscences." After a description of a visit to Craigie
House, in 1878, he says: "If asked to describe Longfellow's appearance,
I should compare him to the ideal representations of early Christian
saints and prophets. There is a kind of halo of goodness about him, a
benignity in his expression which one associates with St. John at Patmos
saying to his followers and brethren, 'Little children, love one
another!'... Longfellow has had the rare fortune of being thoroughly
appreciated in his own country and in other countries during his
lifetime; how different, probably, would have been the career of Byron,
of Keats, or of Shelley, had it been thus with them! It would be
presumptuous for me, and out of place, to do more here than allude to
the universal popularity of Longfellow's works wherever English is
spoken; I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that his works are
more popular than those of any other living poet. What child is there
who has not heard of 'Excelsior,' or of 'Evangeline,' of 'Miles
Standish,' or of 'Hiawatha'? What songs more popular than 'The Bridge,'
and 'I know a maiden fair to see'? Or who, after reading the 'Psalm of
Life,' or the 'Footsteps of Angels,' does not feel a little less
worldly, a little less of the earth, earthy? The world, indeed, owes a
deep debt of gratitude to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.... Bidding me note
the beauty of the autumnal tints that make America in the 'fall' look as
if rainbows were streaming out of the earth, Longfellow presented me
with a goodly sample of the red and golden leaves of the previous
autumn, which, although dry and faded, still glowed like gems; these
leaves I brought away with me, and they now form a garland round the
poet's portrait; a precious _souvenir_ of that morning passed at Craigie
House."{107}

Lord Ronald Gower then quotes the words used long since in regard to
Longfellow by Cardinal Wiseman,--words which find an appropriate place
here.

"'Our hemisphere,' said the Cardinal, 'cannot claim the honor of having
brought him forth, but he still belongs to us, for his works have become
as household words wherever the English language is spoken. And whether
we are charmed by his imagery, or soothed by his melodious
versification, or elevated by the moral teachings of his pure muse, or
follow with sympathetic hearts the wanderings of Evangeline, I am sure
that all who hear my voice will join with me in the tribute I desire to
pay to the genius of Longfellow.'"{108}

"We have but one life here on earth," wrote Longfellow in his diary; "we
must make that beautiful. And to do this, health and elasticity of mind
are needful, and whatever endangers or impedes these must be avoided."
It is not often that a man's scheme of life is so well fulfilled, or
when fulfilled is so well reflected in his face and bearing, tinged
always by the actual mark of the terrible ordeal through which he had
passed. When Sydney Dobell was asked to describe Tennyson, he replied,
"If he were pointed out to you as the man who had written the Iliad, you
would answer, 'I can well believe it.'" This never seemed to be quite
true of Tennyson, whose dark oriental look would rather have suggested
the authorship of the Arab legend of "Antar" or of the quatrains of Omar
Khayyám. But it was eminently true of the picturesqueness of Longfellow
in his later years, with that look of immovable serenity and of a
benignity which had learned to condone all human sins. In this respect
Turgenieff alone approached him, in real life, among the literary men I
have known, and there is a photograph of the Russian which is often
mistaken for that of the American.

Indeed, the beauty of his home life remained always visible. Living
constantly in the same old house with its storied associations,
surrounded by children and their friends, mingling with what remained of
his earlier friends,--with his younger brother, a most accomplished and
lovable person, forming one of his own family, and his younger sister
living near him in a house of her own,--he was also easily the first
citizen of the little University City. Giving readily his time and means
to all public interests, even those called political, his position was
curiously unlike that of the more wayward or detached poets. Later his
two married daughters built houses close by and bore children, and the
fields were full of their playmates, representing the exuberant life of
a new generation. He still kept his health, and as he walked to and fro
his very presence was a benediction. Some of his old friends had been
unfortunate in life and were only too willing to seek his door; and even
his literary enterprises, as for instance the "Poems of Places," were
mainly undertaken for their sakes, that they might have employment and
support.

It is a curious but indisputable fact that no house in Cambridge, even
in the tenfold larger university circle of to-day, presents such a
constant course of hospitable and refined social intercourse as existed
at Craigie House in the days of Longfellow. Whether it is that
professors are harder worked and more poorly paid, or only that there
happens to be no one so sought after by strangers and so able, through
favoring fortune, to receive them, is not clear. But the result is the
same. He had troops of friends; they loved to come to him and he to have
them come, and the comforts of creature refreshment were never wanting,
though perhaps in simpler guise than now. It needs but to turn the pages
of his memoirs as written by his brother to see that with the agreeable
moderation of French or Italian gentlemen, he joined their daintiness of
palate and their appreciation of choice vintages, and this at a time
when the physiological standard was less advanced than now, and a
judicious attention to the subject was for that reason better
appreciated. His friends from Boston and Brookline came so constantly
and so easily as to suggest a far greater facility of conveyance than
that of to-day, although the real facts were quite otherwise. One can
hardly wonder that the bard's muse became a little festive under
circumstances so very favorable. His earlier circle of friends known as
"the five of clubs" included Professor Felton, whom Dickens called "the
heartiest of Greek professors;" Charles Sumner; George S. Hillard,
Sumner's law partner; and Henry R. Cleveland, a retired teacher and
educational writer. Of these, Felton was a man of varied learning, as
was Sumner, an influence which made Felton jocose but sometimes dogged,
and Sumner eloquent, but occasionally tumid in style. Hillard was one of
those thoroughly accomplished men who fail of fame only for want of
concentration, and Cleveland was the first to advance ideas of school
training, now so well established that men forget their ever needing an
advocate. He died young, and Dr. Samuel G. Howe, a man of worldwide fame
as a philanthropist and trainer of the blind, was put in to fill the
vacancy. All these five men, being of literary pursuits, could scarcely
fail of occasionally praising one another, and were popularly known as
"the mutual admiration society;" indeed, there was a tradition that some
one had written above a review of Longfellow's "Evangeline" by Felton,
to be found at the Athenæum Library, the condensed indorsement, "Insured
at the Mutual." At a later period this club gave place, as clubs will,
to other organizations, such as the short-lived Atlantic Club and the
Saturday Club; and at their entertainments Longfellow was usually
present, as were also, in the course of time, Emerson, Holmes, Lowell,
Agassiz, Whittier, and many visitors from near and far. Hawthorne was
rarely seen on such occasions, and Thoreau never. On the other hand, the
club never included the more radical reformers, as Garrison, Phillips,
Bronson Alcott, Edmund Quincy, or Theodore Parker, and so did not call
out what Emerson christened "the soul of the soldiery of dissent."

It would be a mistake to assume that on these occasions Longfellow was a
recipient only. Of course Holmes and Lowell, the most naturally
talkative of the party, would usually have the lion's share of the
conversation; but Longfellow, with all his gentle modesty, had a quiet
wit of his own and was never wholly a silent partner. His saying of
Ruskin, for instance, that he had "grand passages of rhetoric, Iliads in
nutshells;" of some one else, that "Criticism is double edged. It
criticises him who receives and him who gives;" his description of the
contented Dutch tradesman "whose golden face, like the round and ruddy
physiognomy of the sun on the sign of a village tavern, seems to say
'Good entertainment here;'" of Venice, that "it is so visionary and
fairylike that one is almost afraid to set foot on the ground, lest he
should sink the city;" of authorship, that "it is a mystery to many
people that an author should reveal to the public secrets that he
shrinks from telling to his most intimate friends;" that "nothing is
more dangerous to an author than sudden success, because the patience of
genius is one of its most precious attributes;" that "he who carries his
bricks to the building of every one's house will never build one for
himself;"--these were all fresh, racy, and truthful, and would bear
recalling when many a brilliant stroke of wit had sparkled on the
surface and gone under. As a mere critic he grew more amiable and
tolerant as he grew older, as is the wont of literary men; and John
Dwight, then the recognized head of the musical brotherhood of Boston,
always maintained that Longfellow was its worst enemy by giving his warm
indorsement to the latest comer, whatever his disqualifications as to
style or skill.

Holmes said of him in a letter to Motley in 1873:--

"I find a singular charm in the society of Longfellow,--a soft voice, a
sweet and cheerful temper, a receptive rather than aggressive
intelligence, the agreeable flavor of scholarship without any pedantic
ways, and a perceptible soupçon of the humor, not enough to startle or
surprise or keep you under the strain of over-stimulation, which I am
apt to feel with very witty people."

And ten years later, writing to a friend and referring to his verses on
the death of Longfellow, printed in the "Atlantic Monthly," he said:
"But it is all too little, for his life was so exceptionally sweet and
musical that any voice of praise sounds almost like a discord after it."

Professor Rolfe has suggested that he unconsciously describes himself in
"The Golden Legend," where Walter the Minnesinger says of Prince
Henry:--

  "His gracious presence upon earth
  Was as a fire upon a hearth;
  As pleasant songs, at morning sung,
  The words that dropped from his sweet tongue
  Strengthened our hearts; or, heard at night,
  Made all our slumbers soft and light."

He also points out that this is the keynote of the dedication of "The
Seaside and the Fireside," the volume published in 1849.

  "As one who, walking in the twilight gloom,
    Hears round about him voices as it darkens,
  And seeing not the forms from which they come,
    Pauses from time to time, and turns and hearkens;

  "So walking here in twilight, O my friends!
    I hear your voices, softened by the distance,
  And pause, and turn to listen, as each sends
    His words of friendship, comfort, and assistance.

  "Thanks for the sympathies that ye have shown!
    Thanks for each kindly word, each silent token,
  That teaches me, when seeming most alone,
    Friends are around us, though no word be spoken."

In another age or country Longfellow would have been laurelled,
medalled, or ennobled; but he has had what his essentially republican
spirit doubtless preferred, the simple homage of a nation's heart. He
had his share of foreign honors; and these did not come from Oxford and
Cambridge only, since in 1873 he was chosen a member of the Russian
Academy of Sciences, and in 1877 of the Spanish Academy. At home he was
the honored member of every literary club or association to which he
cared to belong. In the half-rural city where he spent his maturer
life--that which he himself described in "Hyperion" as "this leafy
blossoming, and beautiful Cambridge"--he held a position of as
unquestioned honor and reverence as that of Goethe at Weimar or Jean
Paul at Baireuth. This was the more remarkable, as he rarely attended
public meetings, seldom volunteered counsel or action, and was not seen
very much in public. But his weight was always thrown on the right side;
he took an unfeigned interest in public matters, always faithful to the
traditions of his friend Sumner; and his purse was always easily opened
for all good works. On one occasion there was something like a collision
of opinion between him and the city government, when it was thought
necessary for the widening of Brattle Street to remove the "spreading
chestnut-tree" that once stood before the smithy of the village
blacksmith, Dexter Pratt. The poet earnestly expostulated; the tree
fell, nevertheless; but by one of those happy thoughts which sometimes
break the monotony of municipal annals, it was proposed to the city
fathers that the children of the public schools should be invited to
build out of its wood, by their small subscriptions, a great armchair
for the poet's study. The unexpected gift, from such a source, salved
the offence, but it brought with it a penalty to Mr. Longfellow's
household, for the kindly bard gave orders that no child who wished to
see the chair should be excluded; and the tramp of dirty little feet
through the hall was for many months the despair of housemaids.
Thenceforward his name was to these children a household word; and the
most charming feature of the festival held on the two hundred and
fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Cambridge (December 28, 1880)
was the reception given by a thousand grammar-school children to the
gray and courteous old poet, who made then and there, almost for the
only time in his life, and contrary to all previous expectations, a
brief speech in reply.

On that occasion he thus spoke briefly, at the call of the mayor, who
presided, and who afterwards caused to be read by Mr. George Riddle, the
verses "From My Arm-Chair," which the poet had written for the children.
He spoke as follows:--


    MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,--I do not rise to make an address to you, but
    to excuse myself from making one. I know the proverb says that he
    who excuses himself accuses himself,--and I am willing on this
    occasion to accuse myself, for I feel very much as I suppose some of
    you do when you are suddenly called upon in your class room, and are
    obliged to say that you are not prepared. I am glad to see your
    faces and to hear your voices. I am glad to have this opportunity of
    thanking you in prose, as I have already done in verse, for the
    beautiful present you made me some two years ago. Perhaps some of
    you have forgotten it, but I have not; and I am afraid,--yes, I am
    afraid that fifty years hence, when you celebrate the three
    hundredth anniversary of this occasion, this day and all that
    belongs to it will have passed from your memory; for an English
    philosopher has said that the ideas as well as children of our youth
    often die before us, and our minds represent to us those tombs to
    which we are approaching, where, though the brass and marble remain,
    yet the inscriptions are effaced by time, and the imagery moulders
    away.


Again, upon his seventy-fifth birthday, there were great rejoicings in
the Cambridge schools, as indeed in those of many other cities far and
wide.

Craigie House, his residence, has already been described. In this
stately old edifice dwelt the venerable poet, who was usually to be
found in his ample study, rich with the accumulations of literary
luxury. One might find him seated with Coleridge's inkstand before him,
perhaps answering one of the vast accumulations of letters from the
school children of Western cities--an enormous mass of correspondence,
which was a little while a delight, and then became a burden. Before him
was a carved bookcase containing a priceless literary treasure,--the
various editions of his works, and, which was far more valuable, the
successive manuscripts of each, carefully preserved and bound under his
direction, and often extending to three separate copies: the original
manuscript, the manuscript as revised for the printer, and the corrected
proofs. More than once his friends urged him to build a fireproof
building for these unique memorials, as Washington did for his own
papers elsewhere; but the calm and equable author used to reply, "If the
house burns, let its contents go also."

The wonder of Mr. Longfellow's later years was not so much that he kept
up his incessant literary activity as that he did it in the midst of the
constant interruptions involved in great personal popularity and fame.
He had received beneath his roof every notable person who had visited
Boston for half a century; he had met them all with the same affability,
and had consented, with equal graciousness, to be instructed by Emerson
and Sumner, or to be kindly patronized--as the story goes--by Oscar
Wilde. From that room had gone forth innumerable kind acts and good
deeds, and never a word of harshness. He retained to the last his
sympathy with young people, and with all liberal and progressive
measures. Indeed, almost his latest act of public duty was to sign a
petition to the Massachusetts legislature for the relief of the
disabilities still placed in that State upon the testimony of atheists.

Mr. Longfellow's general health remained tolerably good, in spite of
advancing years, until within about three months of his death. After
retiring to bed in apparent health one night, he found himself in the
morning so dizzy as to be unable to rise, and with a pain in the top of
his head. For a week he was unable to walk across the room on account of
dizziness, and although it gradually diminished, yet neither this nor
the pain in the head ever entirely disappeared, and there was great loss
of strength and appetite. He accepted the situation at once, retreated
to the security of his own room, refused all visitors outside of the
family, and had a printed form provided for the acknowledgment of
letters, leaving his daughters to answer them. During the last three
months of his life he probably did not write three dozen letters, and
though he saw some visitors, he refused many more. He might sometimes be
seen walking on his piazza, or even in the street before the house, but
he accepted no invitations, and confined himself mainly within doors.
His seventy-fifth birthday, February 27, was passed very quietly at
home, in spite of the many celebrations held elsewhere. On Sunday, March
19, he had a sudden attack of illness, not visibly connected with his
previous symptoms. It was evident that the end was near, and he finally
died of peritonitis on Friday afternoon, March 24, 1882.

It will perhaps be found, as time goes on, that the greatest service
rendered by Longfellow--beyond all personal awakening or stimulus
exerted on his readers--was that of being the first conspicuous
representative, in an eminently practical and hard-working community, of
the literary life. One of a circle of superior men, he was the only one
who stood for that life purely and supremely, and thus vindicated its
national importance. Among his predecessors, Irving had lived chiefly in
Europe, and Bryant in a newspaper office. Among his immediate friends,
Holmes stood for exact science, Lowell and Whittier for reform, Sumner
for statesmanship, Emerson for spiritual and mystic values; even the shy
Hawthorne for public functions at home and abroad. Here was a man whose
single word, sent forth from his quiet study, reached more hearts in
distant nations than any of these, and was speedily reproduced in the
far-off languages of the world. Considered merely as an antidote to
materialism, such a life was of incalculable value. Looking at him, the
reign of the purely materialistic, however much aided by organizing
genius, was plainly self-limited; the modest career of Longfellow
outshone it in the world's arena. Should that reign henceforth grow
never so potent, the best offset to its most arrogant claims will be
found, for years to come, in the memory of his name.


{106 _The Home Circle_, London, October, 1850, iii. 249.}

{107 _My Reminiscences_, by Lord Ronald Gower, American edition, ii.
227, 228.}

{108 _Ib._, American edition, ii. 228.}



APPENDIX


I

GENEALOGY

          [From _Life_, etc., by Samuel Longfellow, iii. 421.]

The name of Longfellow is found in the records of Yorkshire, England, as
far back as 1486, and appears under the various spellings of Langfellay,
Langfellowe, Langfellow, and Longfellow. The first of the name is James
Langfellay, of Otley. In 1510 Sir Peter Langfellowe is vicar of
Calverley. In the neighboring towns of Ilkley, Guiseley, and Horsforth
lived many Longfellows, mostly yeomen: some of them well-to-do, others a
charge on the parish; some getting into the courts and fined for such
offences as "cutting green wode," or "greenhow," or "carrying away the
Lord's wood,"--wood from the yew-trees of the lord of the manor, to
which they thought they had a right for their bows. One of the name was
overseer of highways, and one was churchwarden in Ilkley.

It is well established, by tradition and by documents, that the poet's
ancestors were in Horsforth. In 1625 we find Edward Longfellow (perhaps
from Ilkley) purchasing "Upper House," in Horsforth; and in 1647 he
makes over his house and lands to his son William. This William was a
well-to-do clothier who lived in Upper House, and, besides, possessed
three other houses or cottages (being taxed for "4 hearths"), with
gardens, closes, crofts, etc. He had two sons, Nathan and William, and
four or five daughters. William was baptized at Guiseley (the parish
church of Horsforth), October 20, 1650.

The first of the name in America was this William, son of William of
Horsforth. He came over, a young man, to Newbury, Massachusetts, about
1676. Soon after, he married Anne Sewall, daughter of Henry Sewall, of
Newbury, and sister of Samuel Sewall, afterward the first chief justice
of Massachusetts. He received from his father-in-law a farm in the
parish of Byfield, on the Parker River.{109} He is spoken of as "well
educated, but a little wild," or, as another puts it, "not so much of a
Puritan as some." In 1690, as ensign of the Newbury company in the Essex
regiment, he joined the ill-fated expedition of Sir William Phipps
against Quebec, which on its return encountered a severe storm in the
Gulf of St. Lawrence. One of the ships was wrecked on the island of
Anticosti, and William Longfellow, with nine of his comrades, was
drowned. He left five children. The fourth of these, Stephen (1), left
to shift for himself, became a blacksmith. He married Abigail, daughter
of Rev. Edward Tompson, of Newbury, afterward of Marshfield. Their fifth
child, Stephen (2), born in 1723, being a bright boy, was sent to
Harvard College, where he took his first degree in 1742, and his second
in 1745. In this latter year (after having meanwhile taught a school in
York) he went to Portland in Maine (then Falmouth), to be the
schoolmaster of the town.{110}

He gained the respect of the community to such a degree that he was
called to fill important offices; being successively parish clerk, town
clerk, register of probate, and clerk of the courts. When Portland was
burned by Mowatt in 1775, his house having been destroyed, he removed to
Gorham, where he resided till his death, in 1790. It was said of him
that he was a man of piety, integrity, and honor, and that his favorite
reading was history and poetry. He had married Tabitha, daughter of
Samuel Bragdon, of York. Their eldest son, Stephen (3), was born in
1750, inheriting the name and the farm; and in 1773 he married Patience
Young, of York. He represented his town in the Massachusetts legislature
for eight years, and his county for several years after as senator. For
fourteen years (1797-1811) he was judge of the Court of Common Pleas,
and is remembered as a man of sterling qualities, great integrity, and
sound common-sense. His second child, Stephen (4), born in Gorham in
1776, graduated at Harvard College in 1798, studied law in Portland, and
in 1801 was admitted to the Cumberland Bar, at which he soon attained
and kept a distinguished position. In 1814, as a member of the
Federalist party, to whose principles he was strongly attached, he was
sent as a representative to the Massachusetts legislature. In 1822 he
was elected representative to Congress, which office he held for one
term. In 1828 he received the degree of LL. D. from Bowdoin College, of
which he was a Trustee for nineteen years. In 1834 he was elected
President of the Maine Historical Society. He died in 1849, highly
respected for his integrity, public spirit, hospitality, and generosity.
In 1804 he had married Zilpah, daughter of General Peleg Wadsworth, of
Portland. Of their eight children, Henry Wadsworth was the second. He
was named for his mother's brother, a gallant young lieutenant in the
Navy, who on the night of September 4, 1804, gave his life before
Tripoli in the war with Algiers. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on
the 27th February, 1807; graduated at Bowdoin College in 1825; in 1829
was appointed Professor of Modern Languages in the same college; was
married in 1831 to Mary Storer Potter (daughter of Barrett Potter of
Portland), who died in 1835; in 1836 was appointed Professor of Modern
Languages and Belles-Lettres in Harvard College, which office he held
till 1854. He was again married in July, 1843, to Frances Elizabeth
Appleton, daughter of Nathan Appleton, of Boston. She died in 1861.
Their children were Charles Appleton, Ernest Wadsworth, Frances (who
died in infancy), Alice Mary, Edith, and Anne Allegra. He died on the
24th March, 1882.


{109 In 1680 Samuel Sewall wrote to his brother in England: "Brother
Longfellow's father W'm. lives at Horsforth, near Leeds. Tell him bro.
has a son William, a fine likely child, and a very good piece of land,
and greatly wants a little stock to manage it. And that father has paid
for him upwards of an hundred pounds to get him out of debt." In 1688
William Longfellow is entered upon the town records of Newbury as having
"two houses, six plough-lands, meadows," etc. The year before, he had
made a visit to his old home in Horsforth.}

{110 This was the letter from the minister of the town inviting him:--

                                            FALMOUTH, November 15, 1744.

    SIR,--We need a school-master. Mr. Plaisted advises of your being at
    liberty. If you will undertake the service in this place, you may
    depend upon our being generous and your being satisfied. I wish
    you'd come as soon as possible, and doubt not but you'll find things
    much to your content.

                             Your humble ser't,

                                                            THOS. SMITH.

    P. S. I write in the name and with the power of the selectmen of the
    town. If you can't serve us, pray advise us per first opportunity.

The salary for the first year was £200, in a depreciated currency.}


                    EDWARD LONGFELLOW, of Horsforth.

                                  |

                               William,
                               b. 1620;
                               d. 1704.

                                  |
     --------------------------------------------------------
     |                            |             |           |

  Nathan,                      William,        Mary.       Lucy.
  d. 1687.                    b. 1650; em.
                              to America;      Isabella.   Martha.
                           m. 10 Nov., 1676
                           to Anne Sewall;
                           d. 31 Oct., 1690.

                                  |
     ------------------------------------------------------------
     |         |       |          |                  |          |

  William.  Stephen,  Anne.    Stephen (1),       Elizabeth,  Nathan.
             d. in          b. 22 Sept., 1685;     m. Benj.
            infancy.        m. 13 Mar., 1713 to    Woodman.
                             Abigail Tompson;
                             d. 17 Nov., 1764.

                                  |
    --------------------------------------------------------
    |                             |                        |

  William.                    Stephen (2),              Samuel.
                          b. 7 Feb., 1723;
  Ann.                        (H. C., 1742)             Abigail.
                          (Portland, 1745);
  Edward.                    m. 19 Oct., 1749           Elizabeth.
                         to Tabitha Bragdon;
  Sarah.                 d. Gorham, 1 May, 1790.        Nathan.

                                  |
                                  --------------------------
                                  |                        |

                              Stephen (3),              Samuel,
                            b. 3 Aug., 1750;
                            m. 13 Dec., 1773            Tabitha.
                           to Patience Young;
                            d. Gorham, 1824.            Abigail.

                                  |
         -------------------------------------------------------
         |                        |                |           |

      Tabitha,                Stephen (4),      Abigail,      Ann.
  m. Lothrop Lewis.        b. 23 Mar., 1776;    m. Saml.
                             (H. C., 1798)      Stephenson.   Catherine.
                            m. 1 Jan., 1804
                         to Zilpah Wadsworth;                 Samuel.
                          d. ----, Aug., 1849.

                                 |
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      |                          |             |         |         |

  Stephen (5),               Henry W.       Elizabeth.  Alex. W.  Ellen.
    d. 1850.             b. 27 Feb., 1807;  Anne.       Mary.     Saml.
                      m. (1) 14 Sept., 1831
                        to Mary S. Potter;
                        (2) 13 July, 1843
                      to Frances E. Appleton;
                         d. 24 Mar., 1882.


II

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[This does not include detached poems or his youthful prose
contributions, but begins with his first published volume.]


1830.

Elements of French Grammar. Translated from the French of C. F.
L'Homond. Portland.

[Editor.] Manuel de Proverbes Dramatiques. Portland. With a long preface
in French by the Editor.

[Editor.] Novelas Españolas. Portland. With an original preface in
Spanish.


1831.

Origin and Progress of the French Language. Article in North Am. Rev.,
32. 277. April.


1832.

Defence of Poetry. North Am. Rev., 34. 56. January.

History of the Italian Language and Dialects. North Am. Rev., 35. 283.
October.

Syllabus de la Grammaire Italienne. Written in French. Boston.

[Editor.] Cours de Langue Française. Boston.

[Editor.] Saggi de' Novellieri Italiani d'Ogni Secolo: Tratti da' più
celebri Scrittori, con brevi Notizie intorno alla Vita di ciascheduno.
Boston. With preface in Italian by the Editor.

Spanish Devotional and Moral Poetry. North Am. Rev., 34. 277. April.


1833.

Coplas de Don Jorge Manrique. A translation from the Spanish. Boston.

Spanish Language and Literature. North Am. Rev., 36. 316. April.

Old English Romances. North Am. Rev., 37. 374. October.


1835.

Outre-Mer; a Pilgrimage beyond the Sea. 2 vols. New York.


1837.

The Great Metropolis. North Am. Rev., 44. 461. April.

Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales. North Am. Rev., 45. 59. July.

Tegnér's Frithiofs Saga. North Am. Rev., 45. 149. July.


1838.

Anglo-Saxon Literature. North Am. Rev., 47. 90. July.


1839.

Hyperion; a Romance. 2 vols. New York.

Voices of the Night. Cambridge.


1840.

The French Language in England. North Am. Rev., 51. 285. October.


1841.

Ballads and other Poems. Cambridge.


1842.

Poems on Slavery. Cambridge.


1843.

The Spanish Student. A Play in Three Acts. Cambridge.


1845.

[Editor.] The Waif: a Collection of Poems. Cambridge. With Proem by the
Editor.

[Editor.] The Poets and Poetry of Europe. Philadelphia.

Poems. Illustrated. Philadelphia.


1846.

Poems. Popular Edition. New York.

The Belfry of Bruges, and other Poems. Boston.

[Editor.] The Estray: a Collection of Poems. Boston. With Proem by the
Editor.


1847.

Evangeline: a Tale of Acadie. Boston.


1849.

Kavanagh: a Tale. Boston.


1850.

The Seaside and the Fireside. Boston.


1851.

The Golden Legend. Boston.


1855.

The Song of Hiawatha. Boston.


1858.

The Courtship of Miles Standish. Boston.


1863.

Tales of a Wayside Inn. Boston.


1867.

Flower-de-Luce. Boston.


1868.

The New England Tragedies. Boston.


1867-70.

Dante's Divine Comedy. A Translation. Boston.


1871.

The Divine Tragedy. Boston.


1872.

Christus: a Mystery. Boston.

Three Books of Song. Boston.


1874.

Aftermath. Boston.


1875.

The Masque of Pandora, and other Poems. Boston.


1876-79.

[Editor.] Poems of Places. 31 vols. Boston.


1878.

Kéramos, and other Poems. Boston.


1880.

Ultima Thule. Boston.


1882.

In the Harbor. Boston.


1883.

Michael Angelo. Boston.


1886.

A Complete Edition of Mr. Longfellow's Poetical and Prose Works, in 11
volumes, with introductions and notes, was published by Houghton,
Mifflin & Co., Boston.


III

TRANSLATIONS OF MR. LONGFELLOW'S WORKS

The following catalogue of translations of Mr. Longfellow's works is
based, of course, upon that prepared by Mr. Samuel Longfellow for the
memoir of his brother. This is here, however, revised, corrected, and
much enlarged, partly by the addition of later versions and partly by
others gathered from European bibliographies and publishers' lists; this
work being aided by the learned guidance of Professor Wiener of Harvard
University. Even with this enlargement the list is doubtless quite
incomplete; so widely scattered are these translations among the
periodicals and even the schoolbooks of different nations, and so much
time and labor would be required to furnish an absolutely complete
exhibit.

GERMAN

_Longfellow's Gedichte._ Übersetzt von Carl Böttger. Dessau: 1856.

_Balladen und Lieder von H. W. Longfellow._ Deutsch von A. R. Nielo.
Münster: 1857.

_Longfellow's Gedichte._ Von Friedrich Marx. Hamburg und Leipzig: 1868.

_Longfellow's ältere und neuere Gedichte in Auswald._ Deutsch von Adolf
Laun. Oldenburg: 1879.

_Der Spanische Student._ Übersetzt Karl Böttger. Dessau: 1854.

_The Same._ Von Marie Hélène Le Maistre. Dresden: n. d.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von Häfeli. Leipzig: n. d.

_Evangeline._ Aus dem Englischen. Hamburg: 1857.

_The Same._ Aus dem Englischen. Von P. J. Belke. Leipzig: 1854.

_The Same._ Mit Anmerkungen von Dr. O. Dickmann. Hamburg: n. d.

_The Same._ Eine Erzählung aus Acadien. Von Eduard Nickles. Karlsruhe:
1862.

_The Same._ In deutscher Nachdichtung von P. Herlth. Bremen: 1870.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von Frank Siller. Milwaukee: 1879.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von Karl Knortz. Leipzig: n. d.

_Longfellow's Evangeline._ Deutsch von Heinrich Viehoff. Trier: 1869.

_Die Goldene Legende._ Deutsch von Karl Keck. Wien: 1859. Also Leipzig,
1860.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von Elise Freifrau von Hohenhausen. Leipzig: 1880.

_Das Lied von Hiawatha._ Deutsch von Adolph Böttger. Leipzig: 1856.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von A. und K. Leitz. Hannover: 1859.

_Der Sang von Hiawatha._ Übersetzt von Ferdinand Freiligrath. Stuttgart
und Augsburg: 1857.

_Hiawatha._ Übertragen von Hermann Simon. Leipzig: n. d.

_Der Sang von Hiawatha._ Übersetzt, eingeleitet und erklärt von Karl
Knortz. Jena: 1872.

_Miles Standish's Brautwerbung._ Aus dem Englischen von F. E.
Baumgarten. St. Louis: 1859.

_Die Brautwerbung des Miles Standish._ Übersetzt von Karl Knortz.
Leipzig: 18--.

_Miles Standish's Brautwerbung._ Übersetzt von F. Manefeld. 1867.

_Die Sage von König Olaf._ Übersetzt von Ernst Rauscher.

_The Same._ Übersetzt von W. Hertzberg.

_Gedichte von H. W. L._ Deutsch von Alexander Neidhardt. Darmstadt:
1856.

_Hyperion._ Deutsch von Adolph Böttger. Leipzig: 1856.

_Pandora._ Übersetzt von Isabella Schuchardt. Hamburg: 1878.

_Morituri Salutamus._ Übersetzt von Dr. Ernst Schmidt. Chicago: 1878.

_The Hanging of the Crane._ Das Kesselhängen. Übersetzt von G. A. Zündt:
n. d.

_The Same._ Einhängen des Kesselhakens, frei bearbeitet von Joh. Henry
Becker: n. d.

_Sämmtliche Poetische Werke von H. W. L._ Übersetzt von Hermann Simon.
Leipzig: n. d.

_Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn_ und ihre Quellen, etc. Varnhagen:
1884.


DUTCH

_Evangeline._ Een verhaal van Arcadie, d. S. J. van den Bergh en B. Ph.
de Kanter. Haarlem: 1856.

_Outre Mer en Kavanagh._ Haar het Engelisch, B. T. L. Weddik. Amsterdam:
1858.

_Het Lied van Hiawatha._ In het Nederduitsch overgebragt door L. S. P.
Meijboom. Amsterdam: 1862.

_Miles Standish._ Nagezongen door S. J. Van den Bergh. Haarlem: 1861.

_The Same._ Perpetua. Oorspronkelijk dichtstuck, en Miles Standish
naverteld; door C. S. A. van Scheltema. Amsterdam: 1859.

_Longfellow's Gedighten._ Nagezongen door S. J. Van den Bergh. Haarlem:
1861.

_An Anthology._ A. J. ten Brink, H. W. Longfellow. Bloemlezing en
waardeering. Beverw. 1872.

_J. J. L. ten Kate en A. Bechger's Longfellow._ Met een tal van
Longfellow's gedichten. Culemb. 1883.

_De Smid van het dorp._ Door Fiore della Neve. Amsterdam: 1884.

[Mr. Longfellow speaks in a letter, dated September 26, 1881, of having
"received from Holland translations in Dutch of Outre-Mer, Kavanagh and
Hyperion;" but I have found no other trace of such a translation of
Hyperion. T. W. H.]


SWEDISH

_Hyperion._ På Svenska, af J. W. Grönlund. 1853.

_Evangeline_: en saga om kärlek i Acadien. På Svenska, af Alb. Lysander.
1854.

_The Same._ Öfversatt af Hjalmar Edgren. Göteborg: 1875.

_The Same._ Öfversatt af Philip Svenson. Chicago: 1875.

_Hiawatha._ På Svenska af A. G. Vestberg. 1856.

_The Poets and Poetry of Europe._ Öfversättning [af A. G. Vestberg].
1859.

_Valda Dikter_ [selected poems]. Tolkade af Hjalmar Edgren. Göteb. 1892.


DANISH

_Evangeline._ Paa Norsk, ved H. C. Knutsen. Christiania: 1874.

_The Same._ (et Digt.) bearb. af B. S.

_Sangen om Hiawatha._ Oversat af G. Bern. Kjöbenhavn: 1860.

_Den Gyldne Legende_, ved Thor Lange. Kjöbenhavn: 1880; also 1891.

_Fire Digte._ [four poems]. Overs. fra Engelsk. 1891.

_Prosavaerker._ Paa Dansk ved E. M. Thorson.


FRENCH

_Evangeline_; suivie des Voix de la Nuit. Par le Chevalier de Chatelain.
Jersey, London, Paris, New York: 1856.

_The Same._ Conte d'Acadie. Traduit par Charles Brunel. Prose. Paris:
1864.

_The Same._ Par Léon Pamphile Le May. Québec: 1865. Also Quebec, 1870.

_The Same._ Adaptation [in prose] par A. Dubois, avec une notice sur
Longfellow. Limoges: 1889.

_La Légende Dorée_, et Poëmes sur l'Esclavage. Traduits par Paul Blier
et Edward Mac-Donnel. Prose. Paris et Valenciennes: 1854.

_Hiawatha._ Traduction avec notes par M. H. Gomont. Nancy, Paris: 1860.

_Drames et Poésies._ Traduits par X. Marmier. (The New England
Tragedies.) Paris: 1872.

_Hyperion et Kavanagh._ Traduit de l'Anglais, et précédé d'une Notice
sur l'Auteur. 2 vols. Paris et Bruxelles: 1860.

_The Psalm of Life, and other Poems._ Tr. by Lucien de la Rive in
_Essais de Traduction Poétique_. Paris: 1870.


ITALIAN

_Alcune Poesie di Enrico W. Longfellow._ Traduzione dall'Inglese di
Angelo Messedaglia. Padova: 1866. Also Torino, 1878.

_Lo Studente Spagnuolo._ Prima Versione Metrica di Alessandro Bazzini.
Milano: 1871.

_The Same._ Traduzione di Nazzareno Trovanelli. Firenze: 1876.

_Poesie sulla Schiavitù._ Tr. in Versi Italiani da Louisa Grace
Bartolini. Firenze: 1860. [Other poems by Longfellow translated by the
same lady were included in her volume entitled Baron Macaulay. Canti di
Roma Antica, 1869.]

_Evangelina._ Tradotta da Pietro Rotondi. Firenze: 1856.

_The Same._ Traduzione di Carlo Faccioli. Verona: 1873.

_La Leggenda d'Oro._ Tradotta da Ada Corbellini Martini. Parma: 1867.

_Il Canto d'Hiawatha._ Tr. da L. G. Bartolini. Frammenti. Firenze: 1867.

_Miles Standish._ Traduzione dall'Inglese di Caterino Frattini. Padova:
1868.

_Liriche e Novelle._ Tradotte da C. Faccioli. Firenze: 1890.

_Uccelletti di Passo._ [Birds of Passage.] Dall'Inglese di H. W.
Longfellow. Rovigo: 1875.

_Excelsior._ Traduzione dall'Inglese. A. Tebaldi.


PORTUGUESE

_El Rei Roberto de Sicilia._ Tr. by Dom Pedro II., Emperor of Brazil.
Autograph MS.

_Evangelina._ Traduzida por Franklin Doria. Rio de Janeiro: 1874.

_The Same. Poema de Henrique Longfellow._ Traduzido por Miguel Street de
Arriaga. Lisbon: n. d.


SPANISH

_Evangelina. Romance de la Acadia._ Traducido del Ingles por Carlos
Mórla Vicuña. Nueva York: 1871.

_The Same._ Traducción de D. Alvaro L. Núñez. Barcelona. Tipolitografía
del Comercio. 1895.


POLISH

_Ewangelina._ Przełożona na język Polski przez. A. Ch. [A. Chodźko?]
Poznań. 1851.

_Zlota Legenda._ The Golden Legend. Tr. into Polish by F. Jezierski.
Warszawa: 1857.

_Ewangelina._ Tr. into Polish by Felix Jezierski. Warszawa: 1857.

_Duma o Hiawacie_ [The Song of Hiawatha.] Tr. into Polish by Felix
Jezierski. Warszawa: 1860.

_Excelsior_, z Longfellowa przełozył. El ... y (in Pamietnik str.
87-88).


BOHEMIAN

_Píseň o Hiavatě._ Přeložil J. V. Sládek. 1882.

_Evangelína._ Povidka Akadská. Přeložil P. Sobotka. 1877.


HUNGARIAN

_Hiavata._ Forditotta Tamásfi Gy. 1885.

_Az Arany Legenda._ Forditotta Jánosi Gusztáv. 1886.


RUSSIAN

_Poem of Hiawatha._ Moscow, 1878.

_Excelsior_, and Other Poems. St. Petersburg: n. d.


OTHER LANGUAGES

_Hiawatha_, rendered into Latin, with abridgment. By Francis William
Newman. London: 1862.

_Excelsior._ Tr. into Hebrew by Henry Gersoni. n. d.

_A Psalm of Life._ In Marathi. By Mrs. H. I. Bruce. Satara: 1878.

_The Same._ In Chinese. By Jung Tagen. Written on a fan.

_The Same._ In Sanscrit. By Elihu Burritt and his pupils. MS.

_Judas Maccabæus_, a prose translation in Judea-German. Odessa, 1882.

[The above list does not include reprints of Longfellow in the English
language published in foreign countries; as, for instance, Evangeline
published in Sweden in the Little English Library; Poems and fragments
selected by Urda, published at Amsterdam, Holland, and various editions
of Hyperion and other works in German editions, as mentioned in the
introduction to this book.]


IV

A VISIT TO HIAWATHA'S PEOPLE

The following narrative of the reception given to the Longfellow family
by the Ojibway Indians was prepared by Miss Alice M. Longfellow for the
Riverside Literature Series, and is used by permission.

When the idea of writing an Indian poem began first to take form in Mr.
Longfellow's mind, he followed the adventures of Manabozho (a mythical
character, whose exploits figure largely in all Ojibway legends) and
gave his name to the poem; but feeling the need of some expression of
the finer and nobler side of the Indian nature, he blended the
supernatural deeds of the crafty sprite with the wise, noble spirit of
the Iroquois national hero, and formed the character of Hiawatha.

Early in the last century the scattered bands of the Ojibways who had
their home near Lake Superior and Lake Huron, with their principal
village at Garden River in Algoma, not far from Sault Ste. Marie, were
ruled over by Chief Shingwauk, a ruler of force and character. He held
the remnants of the tribe together, cherished their national pride, and
laid great stress on the importance of preserving the national legendary
history. He imbued his son Bukwujjinini with the same feeling, and
carefully instructed him in all the legendary lore of his people.
Bukwujjinini became thus well versed in these legends, and it was from
him that Mr. Schoolcraft, who had married an Indian woman, received
them, turning them into English and printing them in his great work on
the Indians.

The old chief was a fine specimen of the aboriginal red man, dignified,
wise, and thoughtful, and deeply beloved by his people. He selected his
nephew, George Kabaoosa--or Daguagonay--as his successor in continuing
the legendary history of his people, constantly repeating to him all he
had heard from his father, and this Kabaoosa is now engaged in writing
out all these legends to preserve them for posterity. In addition to his
knowledge of these tales from his uncle's lips, Kabaoosa had heard the
poem of "Hiawatha" read by his Sunday-school teacher in his youth.

In the winter of 1900 a band of Ojibway Indians was formed to illustrate
Indian life at the Sportsmen's Show in Boston. Among them was the old
chief Bukwujjinini, and one of the inducements he had to take the
journey was the hope of visiting the home of the writer who had cared
enough for the legends of his people to turn them into poetry. But this
could not be, for the old man, who was over ninety, fell ill, and died
on the very day the Indians were to set forth, and they took their
journey without their father, and with genuine sorrow in their hearts.

For some time the Canadian gentleman who arranged the expedition had
been cherishing the idea of training the Indians to perform scenes from
"Hiawatha" in the forest on the shores of the "big sea water." Kabaoosa
readily fell in with this scheme, and after the visit of the Indians to
Mr. Longfellow's home in Cambridge the plan rapidly matured, and a
formal invitation was sent to Mr. Longfellow's family to be present at
the representation as guests of the Indians. The invitation was written
on birch bark, in Ojibway, and was as follows:--


    LADIES: We loved your father. The memory of our people will never
    die as long as your father's song lives, and that will live forever.

    Will you and your husbands and Miss Longfellow come and see us and
    stay in our royal wigwams on an island in Hiawatha's playground, in
    the land of the Ojibways? We want you to see us live over again the
    life of Hiawatha in his own country.

                                                               KABAOOSA.
                                                               WABUNOSA.

    BOSTON, _Onahbaunegises, The month of crusts on the snow._


The invitation was cordially accepted, and in August the party of
guests, twelve in all, left the train at Desbarats on the north shore of
Lake Huron; there they were met by the Indians in full costume, and in
sailboat and canoes they set forth for the little rocky island, which
had been prepared for them. There was a square stone lodge on the
highest part of the island, most picturesquely finished inside and out,
with the flag of England floating above it. Surrounding this were
several tepees of tanned hide and stained canvas, and nearer the shore
two little groups of tents, where two Indian families lived, who cooked
and served, sailed the boats, entertained their guests with songs,
dancing, and story-telling, doing all with a quiet dignity, ease of
manner, and genuine kindliness that removed every difficulty.

The play of "Hiawatha" was performed on a rocky, thickly wooded point
about two miles away. Near the shore a platform was built around a tall
pine-tree, and grouped around this were tepees and wigwams forming the
Indian village. Behind this the ground sloped gradually upward, forming
a natural amphitheatre.

As a prelude to the play a large pile of brushwood was lighted.

  "And the smoke rose slowly, slowly,
  As a signal to the Nations."

Down the hillsides rushed the braves in war-paint and feathers,--

  "Wildly glaring at each other,
  In their hearts the feuds of ages.
  Then upon the ground the warriors
  Threw their weapons and their war-gear,
  Leaped into the rushing river,
  Washed the war-paint from their faces,
  And in silence all the warriors
  Broke the red stone of the quarry,
  Smoothed and formed it into Peace-Pipes."

Then appeared old Nokomis leading by the hand the youthful Hiawatha, and
taught him how to shoot the bow and arrow, while the warriors stood
around watching and applauding when he hit the mark.

The third scene was the journey of Hiawatha in his manhood after his
battle with Mudjekeewis, a picturesque figure striding through the woods
flecked with sunshine and shadow.

  "Only once his pace he slackened,
  Paused to purchase heads of arrows
  Of the ancient arrow-maker."

The wigwam of the ancient arrow-maker was placed far from the rest in
the shade of the trees, to give an idea of distance. The arrow-maker
himself, a very old man, sat by the entrance, cutting arrowheads; his
daughter, a modest Indian maiden, stood beside him with downcast eyes,
while the stranger paused to talk with her father.

This scene was followed by the return of Hiawatha to the land of the
Dakotahs. Again the old man sat in the doorway, and by him was
Minnehaha, "plaiting mats of flags and rushes."

  "Then uprose the Laughing Water,
  Laid aside her mat unfinished,
  Brought forth food, and set before them,
  Gave them drink in bowls of bass wood."

She stood modestly on one side while Hiawatha urged his suit, and then
putting her hand in his, she followed him home through the forest.

Then came the wedding dances, full of life and spirit, the figures
moving always round and round in a circle, with a swaying motion, the
feet scarcely lifted from the ground. Under the pine-tree, tall and
erect, with head and eyes uplifted, stood the musician, chanting his
songs with a strange rhythmical cadence, and accompanying them on the
flat Indian drum.

The old Nokomis in one corner guarded with a war-club a group of maidens
who were dancing all the while, and the braves circling round slyly
stole one maiden after another, until Nokomis was left alone. Then
followed the caribou dance, the dancers with arms uplifted like horns,
knocking and striking one another; the bear dance, with its clumsy,
heavy motion; and the snake dance, where the dancers wound and twisted
in and out, round and round; and always the singer continued his
rhythmic chant.

Last came the gambling dance, the favorite with the actors. A mat of
rushes was placed on the ground, and on each side kneeled the
contestants. At the back stood the old singer, drumming and chanting
advice to the players. On each side were grouped the women watching the
game, their bodies swaying in time to the music, while the players grew
more and more excited, arms, heads, bodies all moving in perfect rhythm,
calling out and shouting as one by one pouches, knives, belts, etc.,
were passed to the winning side. One side hid a small metal counter
under one of two moccasins, while the other side tried to find it.

This game was interrupted by a sudden shout, and across the water was
seen approaching a canoe, and seated in it the missionary, "the black
robe chief, the prophet." On the shore he was graciously received by
Hiawatha, and led to a wigwam for refreshment and repose. Then he
addressed the attentive tribes in Ojibway,--

  "Told his message to the people,
  Told the purport of his mission."

Thereupon Hiawatha arose, greeting the missionary, took farewell of all
his people, and--

  "On the clear and luminous water
  Launched his birch canoe for sailing."

With hands uplifted he glided slowly out upon the lake, floating
steadily onward across the rippling water toward the setting sun.

  "And the people from the margin
  Watched him floating, rising, sinking,
  Till the birch canoe seemed lifted
  High into that sea of splendor.
  And they said, 'Farewell, forever!'
  Said, 'Farewell, O Hiawatha.'"

A beautiful ending to a most unique and interesting drama of the forest,
with the broad stretch of the lake in front, and the forest trees
closing in the scene.

After this followed an evening of songs and dancing, addresses of
welcome in Ojibway to the paleface strangers, and then the return of the
guests to the little island, quietly sailing in the starlight, while the
Indians sang their favorite hymns in the strange Ojibway tongue. The
next day being Sunday, all the Indians gathered on the island, where a
church was improvised, and a simple service was held in their native
tongue by the English clergyman from Garden River, who had impersonated
the missionary in the play.

After the service an old man arose, welcoming the strangers, because
their father had written in poetry the legends of his people, and with
pride produced a large silver medal given to his ancestors by King
George III. as a pledge that their rights should be respected. "And," he
said, "he told us that as long as the sun shone the Indians should be
happy, but I see the sun still shining, and I do not think Indians
always happy. But the medal he told us always to wear when with persons
of distinction;" and with great dignity the old man slipped the medal
with its broad blue ribbon around his neck, looking proud and happy.

The party of strangers made a visit to Garden River, the home of the
Indians for many generations, where they were most hospitably received;
the old chief's house was opened for them, and all his treasures
displayed.

A few days before the end of the visit, the Indians were very busy
building a small platform on the island, and decorating it with green
boughs, doing everything with much secrecy. After sunset, when the fire
was lighted on the rocks near by, the Indians assembled together, and
Kabaoosa as the spokesman announced that they wished to have the
pleasure of taking some of the party into the tribe as members. First
came the ladies, as their father had turned the Ojibway legends into
verse. They were led in turn before Kabaoosa, who took one of their
hands in his, and made a spirited discourse in Ojibway. Then striking
them three times on the shoulder, he called aloud the Indian name of
adoption, and all the bystanders repeated it together. Then the new
member of the tribe was led around the circle, and each Indian came
forward, grasping the stranger by the hand, and calling aloud the new
name. The names, which were valued names in the tribe, were all chosen
with care, and given as proofs of high regard; the men of the party were
honored as well as the women.

Odenewasenoquay, The first flash of the lightning [Miss Longfellow];
Osahgahgushkodawaquay, The lady of the open plains [Mrs. J. G. Thorp];
Daguagonay, The man whom people like to camp near [J. G. Thorp, Esq.];
and the names of the old chiefs Shingwauk, or Sagagewayosay [Richard
Henry Dana], and Bukwujjinini [Henry W. L. Dana].

The ceremonies were followed by much singing and dancing, of which the
Indians never tire, and the following day came the farewells,--farewells
to the broad, beautiful lake, the islands, the sweet fragrance of the
forest, and the kind and devoted hosts. With many regrets the party
turned their faces eastward, while the Indians accompanied their
farewells with a parting dance.

  "And they said, 'Farewell forever!'
  Said, 'Farewell, O Hiawatha.'"

                                                    ALICE M. LONGFELLOW.

    CAMBRIDGE, April 6, 1901.



INDEX


"Advertiser, The Boston Daily," 41.

Agamenticus, 131.

Agassiz, Louis, 242, 285.

Alcott, A. Bronson, 271, 285.

Alden, Capt. John, 13, 146.

Alhambra, the, 50.

Allen, Capt., 46.

America, 50-52, 65, 71, 73, 90, 91, 95, 98, 101, 106, 112, 143, 161,
173, 215, 222, 248, 254-256, 259, 271, 272;
  series of Annuals in, 72;
  Longfellow addresses poets of, 77.

American Antiquarian Society, 118 note.

American Modern Language Association, 184.

American Monthly Magazine, the, 22.

Amherst College, 3.

Amsterdam, 108.

Andersen, Hans C., 193.

Andrews, William P., 234;
  his paper "On the Translation of Faust," quoted, 233.

Angler's Song, the, 79.

Antwerp, 161.

Appleton, Frances E. _See_ Longfellow, Frances A.

Appleton, Nathan, 121, 171.

Appleton, Thomas G., 103, 219, 273.

Arfwedson, Mr. and Mrs., 93, 95.

Arnold, Mr., 70.

Arnold, Matthew, 6.

Atchafalaya, Lake, 195.

Athenæum Library, 285.

"Atlantic Monthly," the, cited, 233 note;
  mentioned, 287.

Auersberg, Anton A., 161.

Austen, Mrs. Sarah, 269.

Austin, William, 64, 68 and note.

Auteuil, 46.


Bacon, Lord, 164.

Baireuth, 289.

Baltic Sea, 132.

Balzac, Honoré de, 177.

Bancroft, George, 71, 112;
  his "History of the United States," mentioned, 143.

Bandmann, 241, 242.

Barbauld, Mrs. Anna Letitia, 62, 63.

Barlow, Joel, 23.

Barnard, Mr., 91.

Bartlett, Elizabeth. _See_ Wadsworth, Elizabeth B.

Bartlett family, the, 13.

Beattie, James, 62.

Beaugency, 48.

Becker, Rudolph Z., 161.

Belgium, 158, 170.

Bennett, Dr., 250.

Bennoch, Mr., 250.

Bentham, Mr., 91.

Berlin, 98.

Bernadotte, King, 94.

Berryer, Antoine Pierre, 47.

Besse, 239.

Bierstadt, Mr., 221.

Bigelow, John, his Life of Bryant, cited, 146 note.

"Blackwood's Magazine," 194.

Blair, Robert, 62.

Booth, John W., 241.

Boppard, 158, 170, 193.

Boston, 1, 4, 19, 23, 45, 67, 69, 72, 81, 86, 92, 100, 129, 132, 146,
148, 167, 168, 215, 242, 278, 284, 286, 292;
  siege of, 116;
  fugitive slave cases in, 206.

"Boston Herald," the, quoted, 184, 185.

Boston Public Library, 139 note, 167 note.

"Boston Quarterly Review," the, 125, 126 note.

Bosworth, Dr., 111.

Bowdler, Miss Hannah, 62.

Bowdoin, Mrs., gives fund to Bowdoin College, 45.

Bowdoin College, 17, 18, 23, 60, 61, 73;
  Longfellow graduates from, 37;
  becomes professor of modern languages at, 56;
  Longfellow's salary at, 64.

Boxer (British brig), 14.

Bradbury, James W., 19;
  in debate with Longfellow, 21.

Bradley, Dean, 249.

Brattle Street, or Tory Row, Cambridge, 117, 289.

Brattleboro, Vt., 161.

Brewster, Elder, 13.

British Museum, 5.

Brittany, 158.

Brock, Thomas, 249.

Brookline, Mass., 146, 284.

Brown, Charles Brockden, 132, 143.

Brown, John, 271.

Browning, Robert, 3, 6, 216, 218, 267;
  compared with Longfellow, 270;
  Longfellow a student of, 272, 273.

Brownson, Orestes A., 125.

Bruges, 161.

Brunswick, Me., 18, 64, 69, 82, 100, 163.

Bryant, William C., 8, 23, 60, 62, 64, 80, 112, 142, 265, 294;
  his early poems compared with Longfellow's, 24-26;
  moralizing of, 133, 134;
  indifferent to Longfellow, 145;
  his "Selections from the American Poets," mentioned, 145.

Bull, Ole, 214, 215.

Burns, Robert, 7, 8, 62, 188.

Bushnell, Rev. Horace, his letter to Longfellow about the "Divine
Tragedy," 245, 246.

Byron, Lord, 7, 9, 80, 280.


Cadenabbia, 223.

Cadmus (ship), 46.

Cambridge, Mass., 38, 40-42, 57, 75, 82, 84, 116-118, 121, 139, 154,
160, 169, 172, 179, 181, 182, 187, 192, 203, 205, 214, 215, 244, 272,
283, 289;
  Longfellow's address to the children of, 55;
  establishes himself in, 133;
  Longfellow's speech at the anniversary of, 290, 291;
  schools of, celebrate Longfellow's seventy-fifth birthday, 291.

"Cambridge Tribune," the, 117 note.

Cambridge, Eng., 220, 288.

Campbell, Thomas, 7, 62.

Canova, Anthony, 34.

Carey & Lea, 51.

Carey and Hart, 166.

Caribbean Sea, 266.

Carlisle, Eng., 219.

Carlyle, Thomas, 87, 90, 92, 259.

Carlyle, Mrs. Thomas, 90, 92.

Carlyles, the, 91.

Carpenter, Prof. George R., 127;
  his "Longfellow," cited, 127 note, 166 note.

Carter, Mr. (Longfellow's teacher), 15, 17.

Carter, James G., 23.

Cervantes, Miguel de, 188.

Chamberlain Collection of Autographs, 139 note.

Channing, W. Ellery, 271.

Channing, Rev. William E., 11, 164.

Chantrey, Sir Francis, 90.

Charles River, 116, 118.

Chasles, Prof. Philarète, 195;
  describes Longfellow, 196, 197.

Chaucer, Geoffrey, 249.

Chelsea, Eng., 90.

Chivers, Dr. Thomas H., 145;
  his "Eonchs of Ruby," mentioned, 143;
  quoted, 144.

"Christian Examiner," the, 112, 113 note.

Christiana, 103.

"Christus," Longfellow begins, 236;
  appeared, 242.

Civil War, the, 65.

Clark, Mr., 221.

Clemens, Samuel L., 198.

Cleveland, Henry R., 139, 284.

Cogswell, Joseph G., 71, 81, 82.

Coleridge, Samuel T., 262, 291;
  his "Ancient Mariner," mentioned, 149.

Coleridge, Sara, 141.

Colman, Samuel, Longfellow's letter to, 139, 140.

Cologne, 8.

"Columbian Muse," the, a collection of poems, 23.

Como, Lake of, 223.

Concord, Mass., 133, 271.

Condry, Capt., 102.

Congress, U. S., 11, 13.

Connecticut, 90.

Conolly, Rev. H. L., 194, 195.

Constantinople, 3.

Cooper, James F., 80, 133.

Copenhagen, 93, 98, 100, 103, 105, 106.

Corby Castle, 219.

Corneille, Pierre, 65.

Cowley, Abraham, 249.

Cowper, William, 9, 15.

Craigenputtock, 90.

Craigie, Mrs., 147;
  Longfellow's description of, 118-120.

Craigie, Andrew, 117, 118, 122.

Craigie House, 116-123, 272, 279, 281, 283, 291;
  resembles Mt. Vernon in situation, 116;
  various occupants of, 121;
  Longfellow's letter about elms for, 122, 123.

Crébillon, Prosper J., 121.

"Cross of Snow," the, 211, 212.

Crowninshield, Clara, 83, 92, 95, 106, 110.

Croydon, Eng., 88.

Cushing, Miss, 61.

Cushman, Bezaleel, 17, 60.

Cutler, Mr., 140.

Cuyp, Albert, 142.


Dana, Richard H., 80, 133.

Dannemora, iron mines of, 97.

Dante, 214, 230, 234;
  Longfellow translates, 207, 225.

Dartmouth College, 17.

Dawes, Rufus, 23.

Delphi, 31.

Dessau, "Spanish Student" performed in, 188.

Devereux Farm, Marblehead, 201.

Devonshire, 223.

"Dial," the, 125, 133, 145.

Dickens, Charles, 170, 284.

Diderot, Denis, 121.

Digby, Kenelm H., on Longfellow, 142.

Dobell, Sydney, 282.

Dryden, John, 9, 249.

Dublin, Ire., 167.

Duxbury, Mass., 12.

Dwight, John, 286.

Dwight, Rev. Timothy, 14, 23.


Eden Hall, 219.

Edgeworth, Miss Maria, 62.

Edinburgh, 8, 233.

"Edinburgh Review," the, 90.

Edrehi, Israel, 214.

Eichhorn, Prof., 46.

Eliot, Charles W., quoted, 184, 185.

Eliot, Samuel A., 182.

Elmwood, Cambridge, 168.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1, 6, 75, 164, 192, 196, 209, 259, 271, 285, 292,
294;
  on "Kavanagh," 199;
  his influence upon literature, 261, 262;
  lectures in Cambridge, 272.

England, 7, 12, 33, 71, 72, 101, 167, 170, 195, 214, 223, 248, 252, 255,
257, 259, 260, 263;
  Lake poets of, 9.

Enterprise (ship), 14.

Erskine, Mr., 95.

"Esther Wynne's Love Letters," mentioned, 122.

Europe, 1, 20, 45, 46, 52, 56, 60, 65, 71, 73, 78, 84, 86, 87, 101, 104,
120, 147, 160, 170, 190, 240, 241, 260, 271, 294.

Eustaphiève, Miss, 20.

"Evangeline," 194, 209, 210, 221, 258, 280, 285;
  criticism on, 197;
  publication of, 200.

Everett, Mrs. Alexander, 50.

Everett, Edward, 71, 118, 178.

"Every Other Saturday," 22 note, 36 note, 64 note.


Federalists, the, 11.

Fellows, Mrs., 17.

Felton, Prof. Cornelius C., 70, 112, 119, 139, 146, 156, 162, 168, 272,
284, 285;
  aids Longfellow in his work, 173, 191.

Ferguson, Mr., 224.

Fields, James T., 224, 240, 241.

Fields, Mrs. James T., 191.

Florence, Italy, 223.

Florian, John P. C. de, 121.

"Footsteps of Angels," 112.

"Foreign Quarterly Review," the, mentioned, 168.

Forster, John, 168, 241.

France, 48, 55, 98, 155, 158, 252, 259.

Franklin, Benjamin, 6.

Frazer, Mr., 89.

Freiligrath, Ferdinand, 161, 193, 271;
  on "Hiawatha," 209;
  Longfellow writes about Dante translations to, 225, 226.

Freneau, Philip, 23.

"Frugal Housewife," the, 121.

Fuller, Margaret. _See_ Ossoli.

Fulton, Robert, 6.

Furness, Rev. W. H., 192.

Furness Abbey, 219.


Garrison, William L., 285;
  his "Liberator," mentioned, 163, 166;
  his Memoirs, cited, 167 note.

"Gazette, United States Literary," the, 23-26, 29 note, 41;
  Longfellow contributes to, 27.

Georgia (State), 143.

Germany, 8, 50-52, 65, 71, 98, 125, 142, 156, 170, 199.

Gervinus, George G., 112.

Gladstone, William E., 221.

Gloucester, Mass., 264.

Goddard, William, 97.

Goethe, John Wolfgang von, 64, 92, 112, 234, 289;
  his "Werther," mentioned, 120;
  quoted, 233.

Goldsmith, Oliver, 50, 62.

Gongora, Luis de, 68.

Goodrich, Samuel G., 72;
  his "Recollections of a Lifetime," mentioned, 74.

Gorges, Thomas, 131.

Gothenburg, 97, 101-103.

Göttingen, 52.

Gower, Sir Ronald, his "My Reminiscences" quoted, 279-281.

Graham, Mr., 158.

"Graham's Magazine," 164, 193.

Grant, General Ulysses S., 6.

Granville, Earl, 254;
  offers Longfellow bust to the Dean, 250, 251.

Gray, J. C., 86.

Gray, Thomas, 62, 252.

Great Britain, 8.

Greece, 31, 33.

Green, Priscilla, 210.

Green, Samuel S., 118 note.

Greene, George W., 72, 74, 113, 148;
  his "Life of Nathanael Greene," quoted, 53, 54;
  Longfellow writes to, 57, 59, 67, 244.

Greenleaf, Mrs. Mary (Longfellow), 92.

Griffin, J., 69.

Griswold, Rufus W., his "Correspondence," cited, 143 note, 145 note, 168
note, 192 note.

Grosvenor, Edwin A., 3.

Gustavus III., 95, 96.

Gustavus IV., 96.


Habersham, Henry N. 119.

Haga, 95, 96.

Hagalund, 96.

Hall of Fame, the, 6, 248.

Halleck, Fitz-Greene, on "Skeleton in Armor," 141.

Hamburg, 106, 108.

Hampshire County, Eng., 12.

Harper and Brothers, 166.

Hartford, Conn., 245.

Hartford Convention, the, 11.

Harvard College or University, 11, 12, 46, 57, 156, 159, 184, 215;
  library, 70;
  invites Longfellow to become professor, 84, 85;
  Longfellow elected to professorship of, 86;
  Longfellow as an organizer in, 176;
  early elective system in, 178, 179;
  Longfellow's letters to President and Fellows of, 179, 180, 203-205;
  their reply, 180-182;
  Longfellow on elective system of, 182, 183.

Harvard College Papers, quoted, 84-87, 122, 123, 151-160, 179-183,
203-206.

Harvard Graduates' Magazine, 71 note.

Havre, 46, 158.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 7, 18, 44, 53, 64, 68, 133, 134, 193, 198, 209,
272, 285, 294;
  his "Twice-Told Tales," mentioned, 72, 130;
  on "Voices of the Night," 141;
  married, 162;
  suggests "Evangeline" to Longfellow, 194, 195;
  on "Kavanagh," 199.

Healy, George P. A., 223.

Heard, Tom, 131.

Heath, Mr., "Book of Beauty," mentioned, 121.

Heidelberg, 111, 113, 128.

Herwegh, Georg, 161.

"Hiawatha," 187, 221, 258;
  commenced, 208;
  newspapers on, 209.

Hillard, George S., 168, 284.

Hilliard, Gray & Co., 69.

Hingham, Mass., 61.

Hiram, Me., 12.

Holm, Saxe, 122.

Holmes, Dr., Oliver Wendell, 1, 6, 57, 68, 146, 197, 273, 285, 294;
  on "Evangeline," 194;
  on Longfellow, 287.

"Home Circle," the, quoted, 279.

Homer, 5, 235.

Hook, Theodore, 10.

Horace, 19, 45.

Howe, Dr. Samuel G., 284.

Howe family, 214.

Howells, William D., 126, 198;
  on "Kavanagh," 200.

Hudson River, 132, 248.

Hughes, Mr., 96.

Hugo, Victor, 3, 5.

Humphreys, David, 23.

Hunt, Helen, 122.

Huron, Lake, 209.

"Hyperion," 55, 112, 113, 127, 134, 137-139, 171, 175, 260, 288;
  new literary style in, 70;
  development of, 124;
  criticism of, 125, 126;
  turgid rhetoric of, 128.


India, 215.

Indians, 18, 79, 129, 132;
  Longfellow's plea for, 21;
  Longfellow plans poem about, 207, 208.

Innsbruck, 223.

Interlaken, 8.

Irving, Washington, 7, 18, 46, 68, 80, 89, 132, 133, 249;
  Longfellow imitates, 26, 27;
  speaks of Longfellow, 50;
  his "Sketch Book" compared with Longfellow's "Outre-Mer," 69-71.

Italy, 33, 50, 55, 65, 96, 142, 223.


Jamaica Plain, Mass., 146.

James, G. P. R., 237.

Janin, Jules, 161.

Jefferson, Thomas, 6.

Jewett, Sarah O., 198.

Johnson, Eastman, 272.

Jones, J. A., 23.

Jones, Sir William, 43;
  his Letters, 42.

Joubert, J., his "Pensées," quoted, 235.


Keats, John, 280.

Kemble, Mrs., 200.

Kent, Duke of, 118.

Khayyám, Omar, 282.

Kiel, 108.

Kingsley, Rev. Charles, 237.

"Knickerbocker," the, 140.

Körner, Charles Theodore, 64.

Kossuth, Louis, 173.


Lafayette, Marquis de, 52.

Lamartine, Alphonse M. L. de, 161.

Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 207.

Lawton, William C., 234, 266;
  his "The New England Poets," cited, 234 note, 265 note.

Lenau, Nicholas, 161.

Leopold, King of the Belgiums, 195.

Lincoln, Abraham, 6.

Liston, Sir Robert, 93.

Liszt, Abbé, 223.

Liverpool, Eng., 219.

Locke, John, 55.

Loire, the river, 49.

London, 2, 8, 87, 88, 91, 92, 103, 105, 106, 170, 209, 210, 221, 223,
241, 245, 278.

Longfellow, Alexander W., 83, 129.

Longfellow, Alice M., 117 note, 209.

Longfellow, Fanny, 201.

Longfellow, Frances A., Longfellow's engagement to, 171, 172;
  appearance, 173;
  assists her husband, 173;
  her letter to Eliza Potter, 174, 175;
  death, 211.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, birth of, 11;
  youth, 14-18;
  first poem on American subject, 17;
  college life, 18-20;
  shows American feeling in his Commencement oration, 21;
  early writings, 22;
  offers poems anonymously, 23;
  selections appear in Miscellaneous Poems, 23;
  his early poems compared with Bryant's, 24-26;
  one of his poems attributed to Bryant, 27;
  involuntary imitation of Bryant, 27;
  contributes articles in Irving's style, 27;
  letter to, from Jared Sparks, declining article, 29, 30;
  his "Our Native Writers," 30-36;
  graduates from Bowdoin, 37;
  literature his definite purpose, 37;
  writes to his father about his profession, 38-40, 41, 43;
  father's reply, 40, 41;
  first visit to Europe to prepare for Bowdoin professorship, 45;
  writes to his mother, 46, 47;
  enjoyment of France, 48-50;
  begins his studies in Germany, 51, 52;
  beginning of "Outre-Mer," 55;
  "Hyperion," 55;
  returns home, 56;
  becomes professor of modern languages at Bowdoin College, 56;
  prepares his own text-books, 57;
  contributes to the "North American Review," 58;
  publishes translations, 60;
  marries Mary S. Potter, 60;
  salary at Bowdoin, 64;
  life at Brunswick, 65, 66;
  writes to G. W. Greene, 67;
  publishes sketches in New England Magazine, 67;
  early sketches, 68;
  comparison of the "Sketch Book" and "Outre-Mer," 69-71;
  a puzzle about his writings, 72-74;
  his "Defence of Poetry," 75-80;
  project of taking the Round Hill School, 81, 82;
  position in regard to temperance, 83;
  his wife's letter about "Outre-Mer," 83;
  letter inviting him to become a professor at Harvard, 84, 85;
  his reply, 85-87;
  his first book, 87;
  second visit to Europe, 87-106;
  letter to his mother, 97, 98;
  his wife's illness and death, 107-111;
  buries himself in studies, 112;
  returns home, 113;
  his letter about his wife, 113-115;
  settles in Craigie House, 116;
  description of Mrs. Craigie, 118-120;
  interest in Craigie estate, 122, 123;
  his "Hyperion," 124-134;
  his letter to his wife's sister, 129, 130;
  on "Twice-Told Tales," 130-132;
  his desire for a national literature, 133;
  his best piece of prose, 135, 136;
  literary projects, 137;
  letter about "Hyperion," 139, 140;
  criticisms of, 141-143;
  his relation with Bryant, 145, 146;
  social side, 146, 147;
  costume of, 147;
  suggestions for poems, 149, 150;
  college duties, 150-155;
  asks for leave of absence, 155, 156;
  sails for Europe, 157;
  asks for further leave of absence, 157, 158;
  the "Spanish Student," 162;
  returns home, 162;
  anti-slavery poems, 163-165;
  abolitionists on, 166;
  Irish abolitionist on, 167;
  intimacy with Lowell, 169;
  announces his engagement and marriage to Frances Appleton, 171, 172;
  aided in "Poets and Poetry of Europe," 173;
  in the class room, 176-179;
  letters about college work, 179-183;
  letter about elective system, 182, 183;
  finds college work monotonous, 186, 187;
  writes about his "Spanish Student," 188, 189;
  his "Poets and Poetry of Europe," 189-191;
  his fame, 192;
  "Evangeline," 194, 195;
  compared with Scandinavian poets, 196, 197;
  "Kavanagh," 198-200;
  resigns professorship, 202-207;
  begins "Hiawatha," 208;
  writes "The Courtship of Miles Standish," 210;
  death of his wife, 211;
  shorter poems, 213-218;
  sails for Europe, 219;
  speech by, 219, 220;
  receives honorary degree at Cambridge, Eng., 220, 221;
  English praise for, 221-223;
  receives honorary degree at Oxford, 223;
  arrives home, 223;
  works on Dante translation, 225;
  friendly criticism, 226, 227;
  comparison of early with late translations, 229-231;
  comparison with Norton's translation, 231, 232;
  "Christus," 236-238, 242, 243;
  "New England Tragedies," 239;
  requests for autographs, 240, 275, 276;
  "The Divine Tragedy," 244;
  criticisms of "The Divine Tragedy," 245, 246;
  commemorated in Westminster Abbey, 248-257;
  his works essentially American, 258-260;
  interested in local affairs, 260;
  dislikes English criticism of our literature, 263, 264;
  manner in which his poems came to him, 264, 265;
  his alterations, 266, 267;
  compared with Browning, 270;
  relations with Whittier and Emerson, 271, 272;
  on Browning, 272, 273;
  on Tennyson, 273;
  his table-talk, 273-275;
  unpublished poems, 276;
  descriptions of, 278, 279;
  his works popular, 280;
  Cardinal Wiseman on, 281;
  resembles Turgenieff, 282;
  home life, 282-285;
  member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Spanish Academy, 288;
  removal of "spreading chestnut-tree" and armchair made, 289, 290;
  his speech at Cambridge anniversary, 290, 291;
  his study, 291, 292;
  as a man, 292, 293;
  sickness, 293;
  death, 294.

Longfellow, Mary S. P., 172;
  schoolmate of Longfellow, 60;
  becomes Longfellow's wife, 60;
  description of, 61;
  her books, 62-64;
  begins housekeeping, 66;
  her letter about the Round Hill School, 81, 82;
  her letter about Longfellow's "Outre-Mer," 83;
  her letters about their European trip, 88-106;
  her illness and death, 107-111;
  H. W. Longfellow's letter about, 113-115;
  her journals destroyed, 170.

Longfellow, Rev. Samuel, 71, 91, 92, 106;
  his memoir of his brother, cited, 30 note, 85 note, 99 note, 189 note,
191 note, 199 note, 207 note, 224 note;
  quoted, 37, 38, 41-43, 48-52, 113, 124, 126, 141, 145, 147, 148, 165,
168, 191, 192, 202, 203, 219-222, 226, 242, 245, 246, 257, 263, 264,
266, 276.

Longfellow, Stephen, 11, 13, 14, 17, 97;
  spelling of name, 11;
  letters to, from H. W. L. about his profession, 38-43;
  his reply, 40, 41;
  Mary S. P. Longfellow's letter to, 98, 99.

Longfellow, Judge Stephen, appearance of, 13.

Longfellow, William, 12.

Longfellow, Zilpah (Wadsworth), 11, 87, 99;
  description of, 15;
  Longfellow writes to, 46, 47;
  Mary S. P. Longfellow's letter to, about European trip, 88-97;
  H. W. L.'s letter to, 97, 98.

Longfellow family, 60.

Longfellow Memorial Association, 121.

Louis the Sixteenth, 47.

"Lover's Seat," the, cited, 143 note.

Lowell, John A., 182.

Lowell, James R., 1, 6, 57, 59, 82, 146, 192, 197, 211, 223, 228, 248,
251, 271, 273, 285, 294;
  intimacy with Longfellow, 168, 169;
  on Longfellow's Dante translations, 227;
  expresses gratitude for honor done to Longfellow, 251-255;
  likes English ways, 260, 261;
  Poe's influence on, 268;
  his literary alterations, 269.

Lowell, Miss Sally, 121.

Lucerne, 8.

Lugano, 224.

Lundy, Benjamin, his "Genius of Universal Emancipation," mentioned, 163.

Lunt, George, 165.

Lyly, John, 55.


McHenry, Dr. James, praises Longfellow, 22.

McLane, Mr., 118.

Madrid, 50.

Maine, 11, 17, 208;
  Cumberland County, 220.

Mäler River, the, 93.

Malherbe, Francis de, 191.

Marienberg, 157, 161, 170.

Marseilles, 3, 94.

Marshall, Emily, 19.

Marshall, Chief Justice John, 6.

Massachusetts, 186;
  Legislature, 11.

Mather, Cotton, 138, 239;
  his "Magnalia," mentioned, 149.

Matsys, Quintin, 161.

Mayence, 162.

Mayflower (ship), 13.

Medici, Cosmo de, 164.

Mellen, Mr., 140.

Mellen, Judge, 17.

Mellen, Frederic, 17.

Mellen, Grenville, 23.

Menzel, Charles Adolphus, his "History of German Literature," mentioned,
112.

Mexico, 263.

Middleton, Thomas, 188.

Milton, John, 268.

Mittermaier, Karl J. A., 112.

Molière, Jean B. P. de, 121, 176.

Montalvan, John P. de, 188.

Monti, Prof. Luigi, 215.

Moore, Thomas, 8, 62.

More, Hannah, 15, 121.

Morris, William, 6.

Morton, Eng., 219.

Motley, John L., 287.

Mt. Vernon, position similar to Craigie House, 116.

Mullins, Priscilla, 146.

Mussey, Dr., 83.


Nahant, Mass., 187, 205, 244.

Naples, 53, 223.

New England, 14, 36, 47, 78, 116, 131, 199;
  Longfellow's plan of sketches about, 51;
  traditions of, 130;
  fugitive slave agitation in, 186.

"New England Magazine," 67 and note, 68, 69 note.

New York City, 23, 45, 69, 70, 140, 149, 164, 188, 219.

New York, 149.

New York University, 6.

"New York Independent," the, 5 note.

"New York Review," the, 140.

Newburyport, Mass., 102.

Ney, Marshal, 47.

Niagara, 264.

Niccolini, 54.

Nichols, Rev. Dr. Ichabod, 91.

Nimmo, William P., 8.

"North American Review," the, mentioned, 29, 87, 134, 137, 258;
  quoted, 70, 71, 130-132, 144, 145, 200;
  cited, 126 note;
  Longfellow contributes to, 58, 75-77;
  criticism of Longfellow in, 70.

Northampton, Mass., 81, 82.

Norton, Hon. Mrs., 195.

Norton, Prof. Andrews, 109, 192.

Norton, Prof. Charles E., 192;
  on Longfellow's Dante translation, 227;
  his translation compared with Longfellow's, 231, 232.

Nuremberg, 8.


Oehlenschlaeger, Adam G., compared with Longfellow, 196, 197.

Ohio, 275.

Ojibway chief, 208;
  Indians enact "Hiawatha," 209.

Orléans, 48.

Ossian, 15.

Ossoli, Margaret Fuller, 138, 260;
  criticises Longfellow, 52, 163.

"Our Native Writers," Longfellow's oration, 21, 22;
  quoted, 30-36.

"Outre-Mer," 55, 67, 71, 73, 119, 121, 124, 193;
  comparison of, with Irving's "Sketch Book," 69, 70;
  Mrs. Longfellow's letter about, 83.

Oxford, Eng., 223, 288.


Packard, Prof. Alpheus, 61.

Paris, 46-48, 63, 158, 161, 223.

Parker, Theodore, 285.

Parsons, Theophilus, 23, 27.

Parsons, Thomas W., 209, 214, 215.

Paul, Jean, 199, 289.

Payne, John, 131.

Peabody, Rev. O. W. B., 70.

Percival, James Gates, 19, 23, 27, 145.

Pfizer, Ludwig, his "Junggesell," mentioned, 149.

Philadelphia, Pa., 22, 51, 132, 164, 166, 192, 193, 264.

Phillips, Wendell, 285.

Pierce, Mrs. Anne (Longfellow), 91, 92, 100.

Pierce, George W., 81, 91, 99, 112.

Pierpont, Rev. John, 145.

Platen, Count von, 191.

Pliny, 54.

Plymouth, Mass., 12.

Poe, Edgar A., 6, 10, 142-144, 168, 259, 267, 269, 276;
  admiration of Longfellow, 141;
  influence of, 268.

Pope, Alexander, 40.

Portland, Me., 11, 13, 14, 19, 57, 60, 61, 87, 98, 106, 172, 189.

Portland Academy, 15-17.

"Portland Gazette," the, 22.

Potomac River, 116.

Potter, Anne (Storer), 60.

Potter, Hon. Barrett, 60, 63;
  Longfellow's letter to, about his wife's death, 107-111.

Potter, Eliza A., 109-111;
  Longfellow's letter to, 113-115;
  Longfellow's letter to, announcing his engagement, 172;
  Frances Appleton's letter to, 174, 175.

Potter, Margaret. _See_ Thacher, Mrs. Peter.

Potter, Mary Storer. _See_ Longfellow, Mary S. P.

Pratt, Dexter, 289.

Prescott, William H., 146, 161;
  on Longfellow's poems, 149.

Prothero, Canon, presides at Longfellow commemoration in Westminster
Abbey, 249;
  accepts bust, 255.

Pulaski, Casimir, Count, 27.

Pulszky, Madame, her "White, Red, and Black," cited, 173 note.

Pushmataha, 79.


Quincy, Edmund, 285.

Quincy, Josiah, 122, 178;
  his letter to Longfellow offering professorship, 84, 85;
  Longfellow's letters to, 85-87, 155, 157, 158;
  his letter to Longfellow about absence, 159, 160.

Quincy, Mrs. Josiah, 133, 158.

Quincy, Miss, 158.


Racine, Jean, 65, 176.

Raleigh, Va., 82.

Raynes, Capt., 131.

Reboul, of Nîmes, 191.

Reed, E. J., 224.

Revolution, American, the, 12, 117.

Rhine River, 131, 170, 193.

Richter, Jean Paul, 64, 112, 113, 127.

Riddle, George, 290.

Riedesel, Baroness, 117.

Robert College, 3.

Robinson, Rowland, 198.

Rolfe, Prof. William J., 8;
  on Longfellow, 287, 288.

Rome, 132, 148, 215, 223.

Rosendale, 94.

Rossetti, Dante G., 190.

Rotterdam, 107, 111.

Round Hill School, 81.

Routledge, Mr., 245.

Rubens, Peter P., 161.

Ruskin, John, 238, 262, 286;
  his "Modern Painters," quoted, 237.

Russia, 43.

Russia, steamer, 219.


Sachs, Hans, 234.

Sacobezon, an Indian chief, 207.

Sailly, Madame de, 47.

St. Gothard Pass, 223.

Salem, Mass., 240.

Sannazaro, J., 54.

Savannah, Ga., 119.

Scherb, Emmanuel V., 239.

Schlosser, Friedrich Christoph, 112.

"Schoolmaster," the, 67, 68.

Scott, Sir Walter, 7, 265.

Scudder, Horace E., 24, 73, 243;
  his "Longfellow and his Art," mentioned, 53;
  his "Men and Letters," cited, 54 note;
  quoted, 261;
  his "Lowell," cited, 168 note;
  on Longfellow, 269.

Sebago Pond, 51.

Sévigné, Madame de, 121.

Shakespeare, William, 2, 5, 8, 32, 66.

Shelley, Percy B., 9, 262, 280.

Shepley, Rev. David, 19.

Sidney, Sir Philip, 77;
  his "Defence of Poesy," mentioned, 75.

Skinner, Mrs., 88.

Solis, Anthony de, 188.

Southey, Robert, 7, 46.

Spain, 50, 55, 66, 83.

Sparks, Jared, 118, 178;
  letter from, to Longfellow, 29, 30.

"Spectator," the London, 69.

Stackelberg, Baron, 95.

Staël, Madame de, 121.

Stephenson, Samuel, 14.

Stettin, 98.

Stockoe, Mr., 95.

Stockoe, Mrs., 95.

Stockholm, 90, 92, 96, 97, 102, 103, 108.

Storer, Robert, 101.

Story, Judge Joseph, 11, 86.

Strasburg, 8.

Strasburg Cathedral, 238.

Sudbury, Mass., 214, 215.

Sumner, Charles, 57, 80, 146, 147, 162, 164, 173, 206, 216, 271, 272,
284, 289, 292, 294;
  elected to U. S. Senate, 186;
  on "Evangeline," 195;
  struck down in Senate, 240.

Sweden, 87, 94, 101, 105, 135;
  Longfellow's opinion of, 97.

Swinburne, A. C., 6, 216, 218.

Switzerland, 8, 113, 171, 223, 263.

Symons, Capt., 92.


Talleyrand, Prince, 118.

Tasso, Torquato, 54.

Taylor, Bayard, 143, 209.

Taylor, Miss Emily, 62.

Taylor, Thomas, 131.

Tecumseh, 77.

Tegner, Esaias, 196;
  Longfellow's review of his "Frithiof's Saga," 134.

Tennyson, Alfred, 3, 6, 9, 139, 216-218, 270;
  his remark about short poems, 268;
  his "Life," quoted, 268;
  description of, 282.

Thacher, Mrs. Peter, 109, 111;
  Longfellow's letters to, 129, 130, 148, 169-171.

Thierry, Amédée S. D., 193.

Thomson, James, 8.

Thoreau, Henry D., 133, 271, 285;
  his definition of poetry, 277.

Thorp, John G., 215.

Ticknor, Prof. George, 57, 71, 75, 85, 86, 112, 153;
  Longfellow dines with, 45, 46;
  resigns from Harvard College, 84;
  attracted by Longfellow's translations, 87;
  elective system tried by, 178.

"Token," the, 72-74.

Tolstoi, Count, 197.

Tours, 48.

Treadwell, Prof. Daniel, 214.

Tripoli, 14.

Trumbull, John, 23.

Turgenieff, Ivan S., resembled Longfellow in looks, 282.

Tyrol, the, 113.


Uhland, Johann L., 161, 219;
  his "Das Glück von Edenhall," mentioned, 149.

United States, 116, 240, 250, 251, 255;
  Sumner elected to Senate of, 186.

University Hall, Cambridge, 176.

Upsala, University of, 97.


Van Winkle, C. S., 69.

Vassall, Col. John, 118.

Venice, 223, 286.

Vere, Aubrey de, 141.

Vere, Schele de, 204.

Vevey, 241.

Victoria, Queen, 118, 221.

Virgil, 54, 194.

Virginia, 81, 271.

Vogelwied, Walter von der, 238, 287.

"Voices of the Night," 138, 177, 213, 228, 260;
  commenced, 137;
  success of, 141;
  publication of, 145.

Voltaire, Francis M. A. de, 112, 120, 121.


Wadsworth, Christopher, 12.

Wadsworth, Elizabeth B., 12.

Wadsworth, Henry, 14.

Wadsworth, Miss Lucia, 97, 99;
  Mary S. P. Longfellow's letter to, 100-106.

Wadsworth, Gen. Peleg, 12, 18;
  appearance of, 13.

Wadsworth, Zilpah. _See_ Longfellow, Zilpah W.

Wadsworth family, 13.

Wales, Prince of, 221.

Wales, Henry W., 215.

Walker, Rev. James, 178, 203;
  Longfellow's letters to, 204-206.

Ward, Samuel, 149, 164, 188.

Wardell, John, 131.

Washington, George, 6, 292;
  headquarters at Craigie House, 116, 117.

Washington, Martha, 117.

Washington, D. C., 79.

Webb, Richard D., criticises Longfellow's anti-slavery poems, 167.

Webster, Daniel, 6.

Weimar, 289.

Weld, Miss Emeline, describes Mrs. Longfellow, 64.

Wells, George W., Longfellow writes to, 37.

Wendell, Prof. Barrett, 142;
  his "Literary History of America," cited, 142 note.

Wesselhoeft, Dr. Robert, 161.

West Point, N. Y., 18.

Westminster Abbey, service of commemoration for Longfellow at, 248-257.

Weston, Miss Anne W., 167.

Weston MSS., cited, 167 note.

White Mountains, 51, 132.

Whitman, Walt, 6, 10, 276.

Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1, 6, 68, 134, 168, 258, 265, 267, 285, 294;
  thanks Longfellow for his anti-slavery poems, 167;
  his literary position, 259;
  relations with Longfellow, 271.

Wijk, Mr., 101-103.

Wijk, Mrs., 102, 103.

Wilcox, Carlos, 145.

Wilde, Oscar, 292.

Wilkins, Mary, 198.

Willis, Nathaniel P., 8, 19, 89, 90, 247.

Windsor Castle, 221.

Winter, William, on Longfellow's unpublished poems, 276.

Winthrop, R. C., 222.

Wiseman, Cardinal, on Longfellow, 281.

Worcester, Joseph E., 121.

Worcester, Noah, 63, 64.

Worcester, Mass., 118 note.

Wordsworth, William, 7-10, 80, 266.


York Cathedral, 224.

Yorkshire County, Eng., 11.


Zedlitz, Joseph C., 161.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

List of changes from the printed edition (in parentheses the original
text):

p. 47: "different" for "diferent" (so diferent from the town)

p. 68: "Gongora" for "Gorgora" (Luis de Gorgora)

p. 79: closing quote missing in the original (of the wood. More
attention)

p. 93: period missing in the original (Baron S---- She is)

p. 94: period missing in the original (ottomans, &c--The chandeliers)

p. 182: spurious period in the original (and Greek. I have)

p. 194: double quotes in the original (to select "Evangeline" as the)

p. 195: "de" for "Le" (Collège Le France)

p. 240: "Wenlock" for "Wenlook" (Wenlook Christison)

p. 266: opening quote missing in the original (The buried treasures)

p. 302: day "14" missing in the original (m. (1) Sept., 1831)

p. 304: comma missing in the original (North Am. Rev. 47)

p. 308: "Student" for "Studente" (Der Spanische Studente)

p. 311: "en" for "in" (J. J. L. ten Kate in A. Bechger's Longfellow)

p. 311: "T." for "J." (J. W. H.)

p. 312: "H." for "Sd." (ved Sd. C. Knutsen)

p. 314: "Traduzido" for "Traducido" (Traducido por Miguel Street)

p. 314: "Nueva" for "Neuva" (Neuva York)

p. 314: "Ewangelina" for "Evangelina", "Przełożona" for "Przelóżona",
and "Polski" for "Poliski" (Evangelina. Przelóżona na język Poliski
przez.)

p. 315: "Jezierski" for "Jerzierski" (F. Jerzierski)

p. 315: "Ewangelina" for "Evangelina"

p. 315: "Jezierski" for "Jerzierski" (Felix Jerzierski)

p. 315: "Felix Jezierski" for "Feliksa Jerzierskiego"

p. 333: end period missing in the original (Bosworth, Dr., 111)

p. 335: entry "Frazer, Mr." between "Forster, John" and "France" in the
original

p. 335: entry "Gongora, Luis de" between "Gorges, Thomas" and
"Gothenburg" in the original (p. 336)

p. 338: "local" for "loal" (interested in loal affairs)

p. 339: ";" for "," at end of sub-entry (260, 261,)


Other possible mistakes in the original text, not corrected in this
edition:

p. 138: "Der Armer Heinrich" instead of the correct "Der Arme Heinrich".
Possibly written incorrectly by Longfellow himself.

p. 195 (and index): "King of the Belgiums", instead of the correct title
"King of the Belgians". It could be intentional or a common mistake.





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