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‘ [254] forward one instance—with some of my late friend's sonnets, which seem to me to be some of the most beautiful and perfect we have in the language. His mind always moved straight towards its object, and was always permeated with the emotion that gave it frankness and sincerity, and at the same time the most ample expression. It seems that I should add a few words—in fact, I cannot refrain from adding a few words—with regard to the personal character of a man whom I knew for more than forty years, and whose friend I was honored to call myself for thirty years. Never was a private character more answerable to public performance than that of Longfellow. Never have I known a more beautiful character. I was familiar with it daily,—with the constant charity of his hand and of his mind. His nature was consecrated ground, into which no unclean spirit could ever enter. I feel entirely how inadequate anything that I can say is to the measure and proportion of an occasion like this. But I think I am authorized to accept, in the name of the people of America, this tribute to not the least distinguished of her sons, to a man who in every way, both in public and private, did honor to the country that gave him birth. I cannot add anything more to what was so well said in a few words by Lord Granville, for I do not ’

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1)
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