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[227] might lie, as often happens in the outcome of an ordinary committee meeting, rather in the direction of caution than of vigor. Longfellow's own temperament was of the gracious and conciliatory type, by no means of the domineering quality; and it is certainly a noticeable outcome of all this joint effort at constructing a version of this great world-poem, that one of the two original delegates, Professor Norton, should ultimately have published a prose translation of his own. It is also to be observed that Professor Norton, in the original preface to his version, while praising several other translators, does not so much as mention the name of Longfellow; and in his list of ‘Aids to the Study of the “Divine Comedy” ’ speaks only of Longfellow's notes and illustrations, which he praises as ‘admirable.’ Even Lowell, the other original member of the conference, while in his ‘Dante’ essay he ranks Longfellow's as ‘the best’ of the complete translations, applies the word ‘admirable’ only to those fragmentary early versions, made for Longfellow's college classes twenty years before, —versions which the completed work was apparently intended to supersede.

Far be it from me to imply that any disloyalty was shown on the part of these gentlemen either towards their eminent associate or towards the work on which they had shared his labors; it is

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (5)
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