with each other. I never yet met for the first time with a person whose name I had learned to revere, without feeling on the instant that the beautiful veil with which my imagination had robed him was partially rent away. If you cannot explain this matter, you are no philosopher.Whittier had at Hartford more of social life than ever before, and made the acquaintance of Mrs. Sigourney, then famous; also of F. A. P. Barnard, afterward president of Columbia College. Whittier's first thin volume, “Legend of New England” (Hartford, Hanmer and Phelps, 1831), was published with some difficulty at the age of twenty-four; and was suppressed in later life by the author himself, he buying it up, sometimes at the price of five dollars a copy, in order that he might burn it. It gave little promise, either in its prose or verse, and showed, like the early works of Hawthorne, the influence of Irving. The only things preserved from it, even in the appendix to his collected poems, are two entitled “Metacom” and “Mount Agioochook” 1; and he has wisely preserved nothing of the very rhetorical and melodramatic prose writing. Yet he showed in these the desire for home themes and the power to discover them. In “The Rattlesnake hunter” the theme is an old man who devotes his life, among the mountains of Vermont, to the extirpation of rattlesnakes, one of which has killed his wife. “The Unquiet sleeper” is based on the tradition of an old man in a New Hampshire village who died suddenly near his home, and whose cries were heard at night from the grave; the author claiming to have known people who had actually heard them. “The spectre ship” is from a tradition in Mather's “Magnalia.” “The Midnight ”
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1 Works, IV. 343-8.
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