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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 23 1 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 17: resignation of Professorship—to death of Mrs. Longfellow (search)
of genius is in itself so picturesque and interesting and has been so well described by Miss Alice Longfellow, who was present, that I have obtained her consent to reprint it in the Appendix to this volume. Longfellow's next poem reverted to hexameters once more, inasmuch as Evangeline had thoroughly outlived the early criticisms inspired by this meter. The theme had crossed his mind in 185liking, and vindicated yet further that early instinct which guided him to American subjects. Longfellow was himself descended, it will be remembered, from the very marriage he described, thus guaranracter of the language. With German hexameters the analogy is closer. On July 10, 1861, Mrs. Longfellow died the tragic death which has been so often described, from injuries received by fire thewas true to Lowell's temperament to write frankly his sorrow in exquisite verse; but it became Longfellow's habit, more and more, to withhold his profoundest feelings from spoken or written utterance;
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 18: birds of passage (search)
Chapter 18: birds of passage Longfellow had always a ready faculty for grouping his shorter poems in volumes, and had a series continuing indefinitely under theian being Luigi Monti, who had been an instructor in Italian at Harvard under Longfellow. Several of this group had habitually spent their summers in the actual inn which Longfellow described and which is still visible at Sudbury. But none of the participants in the supposed group are now living except Signor Monti, who still reennyson, and Swinburne, to mention no others, have had to meet this fate, and Longfellow did not escape it. Whether it is that the fame of the earlier work goes on acibility must always be allowed for, but the fact remains that the title which Longfellow himself chose for so many of his poems, Birds of Passage, was almost painfullhan period, yet good poets have usually failed as dramatists in later days. Longfellow's efforts on this very ground were not less successful, on the whole, than th
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 19: last trip to Europe (search)
Chapter 19: last trip to Europe On May 27, 1868, Longfellow sailed from New York for Liverpool in the steamer Russia, with a large family party, including his son and his son's bride, his three young daughters, his brother and two sisters, with also a brotherin-law, the brilliant Thomas G. Appleton. On arrival they went at once to the English lakes, visiting Furness Abbey, Corby Castle, and Eden Hall, where he saw still unimpaired the traditional goblet which Uhland's ballad had vainly attempted to shatter. At Morton, near Carlisle, while staying with a friend he received a public address, to which he thus replied, in one of the few speeches of his life— Mr. President and Gentlemen,—Being more accustomed to speak with the pen than with the tongue, it is somewhat difficult for me to find appropriate words now to thank you for the honor you have done me, and the very kind expressions you have used. Coming here as a stranger, this welcome makes me feel that I am not a stranger