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[30] occasional elegance. With more practice the author cannot fail to become a good writer; and perhaps my judgment in regard to this article would not agree with that of others whose opinion is to be respected; but, after all, you know, we editors have no other criterion than our own judgment.1

Nevertheless the young aspirant felt more and more strongly drawn to a literary life, and this found expression in his Commencement oration on ‘Our Native Writers.’ His brother and biographer, writing of this address in later years, says of it, ‘How interesting that [theme] could be made in seven minutes the reader may imagine,’ and he does not even reprint it; but it seems to me to be one of the most interesting landmarks in the author's early career, and to point directly towards all that followed.

Our native writers

To an American there is something endear— ing in the very sound,—Our Native Writers. Like the music of our native tongue, when heard in a foreign land, they have power to kindle up within him the tender memory of his home and fireside; and more than this, they foretell that whatever is noble and attractive in our national

1 Life, i. 60.

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