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‘ [142] them alone.’ Professor Wendell's criticisms on Longfellow, in many respects admirable, do not seem to me quite to recognize this truth, nor yet the companion fact that while Poe took captive the cultivated but morbid taste of the French public, it was Longfellow who called forth more translators in all nations than all other Americans put together. If, as Professor Wendell thinks, the foundation of Longfellow's fame was the fact that he introduced our innocent American public to ‘the splendors of European civilization,’1 how is it that his poems won and held such a popularity among those who already had these splendors at their door? It is also to be remembered that he was, if this were all, in some degree preceded by Bryant, who had opened the doors of Spanish romance to young Americans even before Longfellow led them to Germany and Italy.

Yet a common ground of criticism on Longfellow's early poems lay in the very simplicity which made them, then and ever since, so near to the popular heart. Digby, in one of his agreeable books, compares them in this respect to the paintings of Cuyp in these words: ‘The objects of Cuyp, for instance, are few in number and commonplace in their character—a bit of land and water, a few cattle and figures in ’

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Henry W. Longfellow (5)
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