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[137] The late Mr. John S. Dwight, the leading musical critic of Boston, used to say that Longfellow's influence on the standard of music in that city had been pernicious, inasmuch as he was always ready to head an invitation addressed to any new performer, however mediocre, who was asked to favor the public with a concert. In a thousand ways these diaries give indirect evidence of kindness, and he once said of an unworthy hanger-on, when reproached with being wheedled, “Who will be kind to him if I am not?” There are few finer instances in literature of generosity to an assailant than when he wrote to Poe after the latter's trivial and scurrilous attacks, this answer to a propitiatory letter: “You are mistaken in supposing that you are ‘not favorably known to me.’ On the contrary, all that I have read from your pen has inspired me with a high idea; and I think you are destined to stand among the first romance writers of the country, if such be your aim.” 1 This was written May 19, 1841, when Poe's “Tales of the Grotesque ”

1 “Life of Longfellow” by his brother, I. p. 377.

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E. A. Poe (2)
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