best indicated in the later work of Mr. Howells
Happy is that author whose final admirers are, as heroes used to say, ‘the captives of his bow and spear,’ the men from whom he met his earlier criticism.
Happy is that man who has the patience to follow, like Cicero
, his own genius, and not to take the opinions of others for his guide.
And the earlier work of Mr. Howells
—that is, everything before ‘The Rise of Silas Lapham
,’ ‘Annie Kilburn
,’ and ‘The Hazard
of New Fortunes’—falls now into its right place; its alleged thinness becomes merely that of the painter's sketches and studies before his maturer work begins.
As the Emperor Alaric felt always an unseen power drawing him on to Rome
, so Howells
has evidently felt a magnet drawing him on to New York, and it was not until he set up his canvas there that it had due proportions.
My friend Mr. James Parton
used to say that students must live in New England
, where there were better libraries, but that ‘loafers and men of genius’ should live in New York.
To me personally it seems a high price to pay for the privileges either of genius or of loafing, but it is well that Howells
has at last