(Toute l'amerique ne possede pas un humoriste
), one can place it to the credit of Longfellow
that he had already won for himself some sort of literary standing in the presence of one Frenchman.
At the time of this complaint, it may be noticed that Mr. S. L. Clemens
was a boy of fifteen.
The usual European
criticism at the present day is not that America
produces so few humorists, but that she brings forth so many.
The work which came next from Longfellow
's pen has that peculiar value to a biographer which comes from a distinct, unequivocal, low water mark in the intellectual product with which he has to deal.
This book, ‘Kavanagh
,’ had the curious fate of bringing great disappointment to most of his friends and admirers, and yet of being praised by the two among his contemporaries personally most successful in fiction, Hawthorne
Now that the New England
village life has proved such rich material in the hands of Mary Wilkins
, Sarah Jewett
, and Rowland Robinson
, it is difficult to revert to ‘Kavanagh
’ (1849) without feeling that it is from beginning to end a piece of purely academic literature without a type of character, or an incident—one might almost say without a single phrase—that gives quite the flavor of real life.
Neither the joys nor the griefs really reach the reader's heart for one