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 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