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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 8: appointment at Harvard and second visit to Europe (search)
nds. His first aim was Sweden, but he spent a few weeks in London, where he met, among others, Carlyle. So little has hitherto been recorded of this part of Longfellow's life or of his early married life in any way, that I am glad to be able to describe it from the original letters of the young wife, which are now in my possession, and are addressed mainly to Mrs. Longfellow, her mother-in-law. She seems to have enjoyed her travelling experiences very thoroughly, and writes in one case, We are generally taken for French . . . and I am always believed to be Henry's sister. They say to me, What a resemblance between your brother and self! Sunday a to Aunt Lucia & say to her I shall write her very soon. Be so kind as to give much love to all the family for me, & accept much love & respect for yourself & Mr Longfellow from Your ever affectionate Mary—— my dearest mother,—As a little blank space is left, I will fill it with a postscript.— We have just returned—that
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 9: illness and death of Mrs. Longfellow (search)
Paul Richter, who was for him, as for many other Americans of the same period, its high-water mark, even to the exclusion of Goethe. It will be remembered that Longfellow's friend, Professor Felton, translated not long after, and very likely with Longfellow's aid or counsel, Menzel's History of German Literature, in which Goethe Longfellow's aid or counsel, Menzel's History of German Literature, in which Goethe is made quite a secondary figure. It is also to be noticed that George Bancroft, one of the half dozen men in America who had studied at a German University, wrote about the same time a violent attack on Goethe in the Boston Christian Examiner, in which he pronounced him far inferior to Voltaire, not in genius and industry onlyd progress finds in his works little that attracts sympathy. Christian Examiner , July, 1839, XXVI. 363-367. It is to be remembered in the same connection that Longfellow, in 1837, wrote to his friend, George W. Greene, of Jean Paul Richter, the most magnificent of the German prose writers, Life, i. 259. and it was chiefly on Ri
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 10: Craigie House (search)
Chapter 10: Craigie House In entering on the duties of his Harvard professorship (December, 1836) Longfellow took rooms at the Craigie House in Cambridge. This house, so long his residence, has been claimed as having more historic interest than any house in New England, both from the fact of his ownership and of its having been the headquarters of General Washington during the siege of Boston. It has even been called from these two circumstances the best known residence in the United States, with the exception of Mt. Vernon, with which it has some analogy both in position and in aspect. It overlooks the Charles River as the other overlooks the Potomac, though the latter view is of course far more imposing, and the Craige House wants the picturesque semicircle of outbuildings so characteristic of Mt. Vernon, while it is far finer in respect to rooms, especially in the upper stories. It was built, in all probability, in 1759 by Colonel John Vassall, whose family owned the still
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 11: Hyperion and the reaction from it (search)
40, III. 128. This is the criticism of which Longfellow placidly wrote, I understand there is a spicdent eulogies ever written upon the works of Longfellow, bases his admiration largely upon the claim to home themes asserts itself explicitly in Longfellow's notice of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales at or to here. We must always remember that Longfellow came forward at a time when cultivated Amerid a great deal—in Concord. And while thus Longfellow found his desire for a national literature sg and as perfect in structure as anything of Longfellow's, up to the last verse, which some profaned superiority, even on the didactic side, in Longfellow's moralizing as compared with Bryant's. There is no light or joy in the Thanatopsis; but Longfellow, like Whittier, was always hopeful. It was l sorrows. It is also to be observed that Longfellow wrote in this same number of The North Ameri, a preface regarded by some good critics as Longfellow's best piece of prose work. It was, at any [3 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 12: voices of the night (search)
len and Cutler, Very truly yours in haste Longfellow. P. S. By the way; I was shocked yesteng like it in the language, and Poe wrote to Longfellow, May 3, 1841, I cannot refrain from availingem alone. Professor Wendell's criticisms on Longfellow, in many respects admirable, do not seem to Professor Wendell thinks, the foundation of Longfellow's fame was the fact that he introduced our italy. Yet a common ground of criticism on Longfellow's early poems lay in the very simplicity whiic, reminds me of some of the short poems of Longfellow, where things in themselves most prosaic areant seemed at first curiously indifferent to Longfellow. Voices of the Night was published in 1839,Pierpont, eight to himself, and only four to Longfellow. It is impossible to interpret this proportremained always cordial, but never intimate, Longfellow always recognizing his early obligations to ohn Alden and Priscilla Mullins, whose story Longfellow has told. Bigelow's Life of Bryant, p. 3.[5 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 13: third visit to Europe (search)
nce Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. Reading the tenth chapter of Mark in Greek, Longfellow thought of Blind Bartimeus. He wrote to his father that he liked the last tOn the French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages and literature, by Professor Longfellow. In the list of officers there appear only three instructors as doing t2d ser. IX. 318. The committee to which was referred the memorial of Professor Longfellow reports:— That in conformity with his wishes, one of two modificatitive of France as a principal teacher of the French language. 1. That Professor Longfellow's services should be limited to public lectures and oral instruction & ry.Harvard College Papers [Ms.], 2d ser. XI. 187. Cambridge. 30 Sep. 1842. Longfellow spent his summer at the water-cure in Marienberg, with some diverging trips, in its discipline than its later copies in America, to one of which, however, Longfellow himself went later as a patient,—that of Dr. Wesselhoeft at Brattleboro, Verm
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 14: anti-slavery poems and second marriage (search)
isions which criticised each other sharply. Longfellow's temperament was thoroughly gentle and shunescribed the volume as the thinnest of all Mr. Longfellow's thin books; spirited and polished like i the editors of Graham's Magazine wrote to Mr. Longfellow that the word slavery was never allowed toends. To George Lunt, a poet whose rhymes Longfellow admired, but who bitterly opposed the anti-shittier himself, though thus contrasted with Longfellow, had written thanking him for his Poems on Slaid the foundation for the intimacy between Longfellow and Lowell. Lowell had been invited, on the It is also evident that he did not regard Longfellow as the assured head of the American Parnassuiendship seems to have begun with a visit by Longfellow to Lowell's study on October 29, 1846, when ion turned chiefly on the slavery question. Longfellow called to see him again on the publication oyounger poet praised the elder so warmly. Longfellow's own state of mind at this period is well s[14 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 15: Academic life in Cambridge (search)
eemed most appropriate that an instructor of Longfellow's well-bred aspect and ever-courteous mannerdemand of their ringleader, Let us hear Professor Longfellow; he always treats us like gentlemen, thed a step forward in academical discipline. Longfellow did not cultivate us much personally, or ask standard of courtesy that prevailed in Professor Longfellow's recitation room. Yet the work of t small part of the function of a professor. Longfellow was, both by inclination and circumstances, ndency may be found in a letter addressed by Longfellow to the President and Fellows, placing him diee to whom was referred the Memorial of Professor Longfellow on the subject of the arrangement of th a time, even at the risk, apprehended by Prof. Longfellow, of its producing an injurious effect upo, and we find the following letter from Professor Longfellow:— Cambridge, Sept. 25, 1846. deary. It is always to be borne in mind that Longfellow's self-restrained and well-ordered temperare[3 more...]
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 16: literary life in Cambridge (search)
Chapter 16: literary life in Cambridge Let us now return from the history of Longfellow's academic life to his normal pursuit, literature. It seemed a curious transition from the real and genuine sympathy for human wrong, as shown in the Poems on Slavery, to the purely literary and historic quality of the Spanish Student (1en in part from the tale of Cervantes La Gitanilla, and handled before by Montalvan and by Solis in Spanish, and by Middleton in English, it yet was essentially Longfellow's own in treatment, though perhaps rather marred by taking inappropriately the motto from Robert Burns. He wrote of it to Samuel Ward in New York, December, 18ot intend to publish it until the glow of composition has passed away, and I can look upon it coolly and critically. I will tell you more of this by and by. Longfellow's work on The Poets and Poetry of Europe appeared in 1845, and was afterwards reprinted with a supplement in 1871. The original work included 776 pages, Mis
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 17: resignation of Professorship—to death of Mrs. Longfellow (search)
ly feel on leaving you, for it hardly seems to me that I am leaving you; and little of my grateful acknowledgments; for these I hope always to show, by remaining the faithful friend and ally of the College. I beg you to make my official farewells to the members of the Faculty at their next meeting, and to assure them all and each of my regard and friendship, and of my best wishes for them in all things. With sentiments of highest esteem, I remain Dear Sir, Yours faithfully Henry W. LONGFELLOWHarvard College Papers [Ms.], 2d ser. XXI. 249. His retirement was not a matter of ill health, for he was perfectly well, except that he could not use his eyes by candle-light. But friends and guests and children and college lectures had more and more filled up his time, so that he had no strength for poetry, and the last two years had been very unproductive. There was, moreover, all the excitement of his friend Sumner's career, and of the fugitive slave cases in Boston, and it i