The copious letters written by Lowell to Charles F. Briggs, and printed in full by Professor Norton, recall to me the answer of the once noted New York author, Henry T. Tuckerman, when I asked him how it was that Lowell gained applause so easily, while so many had to wait for it. The explanation is very easy, said Tuckerman, “Lowell had an admirer.” This admirer was Briggs, whose preservation in the amber of the “Fable for critics” has not sufficed to keep his memory green, and who undoubtedly left no opportunity unused to celebrate Lowell's youthful genius. Lowell's personal popularity at this time,This, you observe, teaches children not to value themselves too highly, to respect crockery and varnish, and to cultivate self-reliance.
My mirrors smashed, my bedsteads racked,
My company tea-set chipped and cracked!
Save my child — my carpets and chairs,
And I'll give you leave to burn my heirs,
They are little six-legged, spotted things,
If they have any sense, they'll use their wings;
If they have any sense, they'll use their legs,
Or, at worst, it is easy to lay more eggs.
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