war which pervades the poet's verses may undoubtedly be charged to early association with his uncle's death.
The imaginative side of his temperament has commonly been attributed to his mother, who was fond of poetry and music, and a lover of nature in all its aspects; one who would sit by a window during a thunderstorm, as her youngest son has testified, ‘enjoying the excitement of its splendors.’
She loved the retirement of a country life, and found in it, in her own language, ‘a wonderful effect in tranquillizing the spirit and calming every unpleasant emotion.’
She played the spinet until her daughter's piano replaced it, and apparently read Cowper
, Hannah More, and Ossian with her children.
She sent them early to school, after the fashion of those days; this experience evidently beginning for Henry Longfellow
at three years of age, when he went with a brother of five to a private school where he learned his letters.
After several experiments, he was transferred, at the tolerably early age of six, to the Portland Academy
At this age, his teacher, Mr. Carter
, wrote of him, ‘Master Henry Longfellow
is one of the best boys we have in school.
He spells and reads very well.
He also can add and multiply numbers.
His conduct last quarter was very correct and amiable.’
He began early to