forty different schools in the Western States
, all writing him letters and requesting answers.
He sent to each school, his brother tells us, some stanza with signature and good wishes.
He was patient even with the gentleman who wrote to him to request that he would send his autograph in his ‘own handwriting.’
As a matter of fact, he had to leave many letters unanswered, even by a secretary, in his latest years.
It is a most tantalizing thing to know, through the revelations of Mr. William Winter
, that Longfellow
left certain poems unpublished.
says: ‘He said also that he sometimes wrote poems that were for himself alone, that he should not care ever to publish, because they were too delicate for publication.’1
Quite akin to this was another remark made by him to the same friend, that ‘the desire of the young poet is not for applause, but for recognition.’
The two remarks limit one another; the desire for recognition only begins when the longing for mere expression is satisfied.
Thoroughly practical and methodical and industrious, Longfellow
yet needed some self-expression first of all. It is impossible to imagine him as writing puffs of himself, like Poe
, or volunteering reports of receptions given to him, like Whitman
He said to Mr. Winter
, again and again, ‘What you ’