hat 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 to
icipated from change in your vote where respectfully suggested.
Very respect'y yr Obe Ser.t Henry W. Longfellow. Harvard College Papers, 2d ser. VII. 1. Boston, Jan. 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 yr 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.Harvard College Papers, 2d ser. VII. 10. 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 who