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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 3: first Flights in authorship (search)
ng 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. United States Literary Gazette, i. 237, 267, 286. 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 po
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 5: first visit to Europe (search)
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 lifeeady 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. Scudder's Men and Letters, 28, 29. 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
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 7: the corner stone laid (search)
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 ion 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
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 14: anti-slavery poems and second marriage (search)
one thousand more votes than for any other man. Life, II. 20. 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. Scudder's Lowell , i. 93. 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 Quaterly 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 arrangeme
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 21: the Loftier strain: Christus (search)
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
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 23: Longfellow as a poet (search)
r 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. Scudder's Men and Letters, p. 68. 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 sho
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Index (search)
. 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. Sevigne, 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; l