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osed that Longfellow was easily imposed upon made a great mistake. He had the reputation among his publishers of understanding business affairs better than any author in New England; but he was almost too kind-hearted. Somewhere about 1859 a photographer made an excellent picture of his daughters-indeed, it was a charming group — and the man begged Mr. Longfellow for permission to sell copies of it as it would be of great advantage to him. Longfellow complied and the consequence was that in 1860 one could hardly open a photograph album anywhere without finding Longfellow's daughters in it. Then a vulgar story originated that the youngest daughter had only one arm, because her left arm was hidden behind her sister. It is to be hoped that Longfellow never heard of this, for if he did it must have caused him a good deal of pain, in return for his kindness; but that is what one gets. Fortunately the photographs have long since faded out. Much in the same line was his interest in th
This evidently interested him, and he finally said with a laugh: If that is the case, we will give you and Charlie a commission to exterminate them. There was a story that when young Nicholas Longworth came to Harvard College in the autumn of 1862 and called on Mr. Longfellow, who had been entertained at his father's house in Cincinnati, the poet said to him: It is worth that makes the man; the want of it the fellow --a compliment that almost dumfounded his young acquaintance. It is certaiin him. I have met more such critics in Cambridge than in England, Germany, or Italy; and the reason was chiefly a political one. At a distance Longfellow's politics attracted little attention, but in Cambridge they could not help being felt. In 1862 a strong movement emanated from the Harvard Law-School to defeat Sumner and Andrew, and the lines became drawn pretty sharply. As it happened, the prominent conservatives with one or two exceptions all lived to the east and north of the college g
Lowell was what was then called a Seward man, and differed with Emerson in regard to John Brown, and with Longfellow in regard to Sumner. Holmes was still more conservative; and Agassiz was a McClellan Democrat. William Hunt, the painter, believed that the war was caused by the ambition of the leading politicians in the North and South. Longfellow had the advantage of more direct information than the others, and enjoyed the continued successes of the Republican party. In the spring of 1866 a number of Southerners came to Boston to borrow funds in order to rehabilitate their plantations, and were introduced at the Union League Club. Finding themselves there in a congenial element they made speeches strongly tinged with secession doctrines. Sumner, of course, could not let this pass without making some protest against it, and for this he was hissed. The incident was everywhere talked of, and came under discussion at the next meeting of the Saturday Club. Otto Dresel, a German
whom he seemed to think as much of as though they were distinguished. He recognized fine traits of character, perhaps real greatness of character, in out-of-the-way places,--men whose chief happiness was their acquaintance with Longfellow. It was something much better than charity; and Professor Child spoke of it on the day of Emerson's funeral as the finest flower in the poet's wreath. Longfellow was one of the kindest friends that the Hungarian exiles found when they came to Boston in 1852. Longfellow helped Kossuth, subscribed to Kalapka's riding-school, and entertained a number of them at his house. Afterwards, when one of the exiles set up a business in Hungarian wines, Longfellow made a large purchase of him, which he spoke of twenty years later with much satisfaction. He liked Tokay, and also the white wine of Capri, which he regretted could not be obtained in America. Those who supposed that Longfellow was easily imposed upon made a great mistake. He had the reputa
May, 1869 AD (search for this): chapter 5
s called on him, but he declined every invitation that might tend to give him publicity. His facility in the different languages was much marvelled at. While he was in Florence a delegation from the mountain towns of Tuscany waited upon him and he conversed with them in their own dialect, greatly to their surprise and satisfaction. From a number of incidents in this journey, related by Rev. Samuel Longfellow, the following has a permanent interest: When the party came to Verona in May, 1869, they found Ruskin elevated on a ladder, from which he was examining the sculpture on a monument. As soon as he heard that the Longfellow party was below, he came down and greeted them very cordially. He was glad that they had stopped at Verona, which was so interesting and so often overlooked; he wanted them to observe the sculptures on the monument,--the softly-flowing draperies which seemed more as if they had been moulded with hands than cut with a chisel. He then spoke in grievous
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