was a little while a delight, and then became a burden.
Before him was a carved bookcase containing a priceless literary treasure,—the various editions of his works, and, which was far more valuable, the successive manuscripts of each, carefully preserved and bound under his direction, and often extending to three separate copies: the original manuscript, the manuscript as revised for the printer, and the corrected proofs.
More than once his friends urged him to build a fireproof building for these unique memorials, as Washington
did for his own papers elsewhere; but the calm and equable author used to reply, ‘If the house burns, let its contents go also.’
The wonder of Mr. Longfellow
's later years was not so much that he kept up his incessant literary activity as that he did it in the midst of the constant interruptions involved in great personal popularity and fame.
He had received beneath his roof every notable person who had visited Boston
for half a century; he had met them all with the same affability, and had consented, with equal graciousness, to be instructed by Emerson
, or to be kindly patronized—as the story goes—by Oscar Wilde
From that room had gone forth innumerable kind acts and good deeds, and never a word of harshness.
He retained to the last his sympathy