Chapter 13: third visit to EuropeThe year 1841 was on the whole a rather dazzling period for the young poet. His first volume had been received with enthusiasm. His second volume was under way. He had a circle of friends always ready to criticise any new poem or to propose themes for other works; chief among the latter being his friend Samuel Ward, in New York, who suggested the ‘Phantom Ship,’ on the basis of a legend in Mather's ‘Magnalia,’ and urged the translation of Uhland's ‘Das Gluck von Edenhall’ and Pfizer's ‘Junggesell.’ A scrap of newspaper, bearing the seal of the State of New York with the motto ‘Excelsior,’ suggested the poem of that name. ‘The Skeleton in Armor’ was included within the book and was originally to have given the title to it. Prescott, the historian, said that this poem and the ‘Hesperus’ were the best imaginative poems since Coleridge's ‘Ancient Mariner.’ Reading the tenth chapter of Mark in Greek, Longfellow thought of ‘Blind Bartimeus.’ He wrote to his father  that he liked the last two poems in the volume best, and thought them perhaps as good as anything he had written,—these being ‘Maidenhood’ and ‘Excelsior.’ It was also in this year that he conceived the plan of the ‘Spanish Student’ and of ‘a long and elaborate poem by the holy name of “Christ,” the theme of which would be the various aspects of Christendom in the Apostolic, Middle, and Modern Ages.’ It shows the quiet persistence of the poet's nature that this plan, thus conceived in 1841, was brought to a final conclusion, more than thirty years after, in 1873, and under the very name originally conceived, that of ‘Christus.’ Thus much for this year of poetic achievement. His journals, as published by his brother, show the activity of social life which the year also included; and, above all, his regular academic work was of itself continuous and exhausting. In the schedule of university lectures, announced in the college catalogue for 1841-2, one finds the following entry: ‘On the French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages and literature, by Professor Longfellow.’ In the list of officers there appear only three instructors as doing the detailed work of instruction under this professor, and the lecturing was done entirely by him, occupying three hours a week, on the afternoons of Monday, Wednesday, and  Friday. He was designated in the catalogue as ‘Smith Professor of the French and Spanish languages and literature and Professor of Belles Lettres,’ whatever this last phrase may have been construed as including. He had also the supervision of his subordinates, the examination of written exercises, and the attendance upon faculty meetings; and it certainly is no cause for wonder that the following letters should have passed between him and the college authorities.
 The committee to which was referred the memorial of Professor Longfellow reports:—
At a later period came the following:–
 He sailed on April 23, 1842, and although his health gained during the summer, was yet obliged to ask for an extension of time, as follows:—
It is interesting to note the manner in which this appeal was met by the economical college. 
 Longfellow spent his summer at the water-cure in Marienberg, with some diverging trips, as those to Paris, Antwerp, and Bruges. In Paris he took a letter to Jules Janin, now pretty well forgotten, but then the foremost critic in Paris, who disliked the society of literary men, saying that he never saw them and never wished to see them; and who had quarrelled personally with all the French authors, except Lamartine, whom he pronounced ‘as good as an angel.’ In Bruges the young traveller took delight in the belfry, and lived to transmit some of its charms to others. At Antwerp he had the glories of the cathedral, the memory of Quintin Matsys, and the paintings of Rubens. His home at Marienberg was in an ancient cloister for noble nuns, converted into a water-cure, then a novelty and much severer in its discipline than its later copies in America, to one of which, however, Longfellow himself went later as a patient,—that of Dr. Wesselhoeft at Brattleboro, Vermont. He met or read German poets also,—Becker, Herwegh, Lenau, Auersberg, Zedlitz, and Freiligrath, with the latter of whom he became intimate; indeed reading aloud to admiring nuns his charming poem about ‘The Flowers' Revenge’ (Der Blumen Rache ). He just missed seeing Uhland, the only German poet then more popular than Freiligrath; he visited camps of 50,000 troops  and another camp of naturalists at Mayence. Meantime, he heard from Prescott, Sumner, and Felton at home; the ‘Spanish Student’ went through the press, and his friend Hawthorne was married. He finally sailed for home on October 22, 1842, and occupied himself on the voyage in writing a small volume of poems on slavery.