be shut out from one of the most beautiful departments of letters.
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.”
Writing nearly a month later (December 3 ), he says to his father, “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 kind of certainty the kind of figure I could make in the literary world.”
A wise letter from his father urges that “there is not wealth enough in this country to afford encouragement and patronage to merely literary men,” but consents to his son's going to Cambridge
for a year at the curiously moderate expense of $I 84.