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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 1: Longfellow as a classic (search)
ss words, He is a classic, —in other words, his books had a steady and trustworthy sale. I always found his poems on the shelves, and this was true of no other American poet. Several editions of his works, single or collective, had recently appeared in London. Poems newly set to music had lately been published at the music stalls, and familiar citations from his poems were constantly heard in public speeches. Inquiries similar to mine were made a few years since in the book-stores of Switzerland and Germany by my friend, Professor W. J. Rolfe, who found without difficulty the German and English text of single or collected poems by Longfellow at Nuremberg, Cologne, Strasburg, Lucerne, Interlaken, and elsewhere. Another form of obtaining statistics bearing on the relative position of Longfellow among English-writing poets would be to inspect books of selections made in Great Britain out of this class. I find two such lying near at hand; the first is Pen and Pencil Pictures from
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 9: illness and death of Mrs. Longfellow (search)
. Twaddle will not pass long for wisdom. The active spirit of movement and 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 Richter that his prose style was formed. In June he left Heidelberg for the Tyrol and Switzerland, where the scene of Hyperion was laid. He called it quite a sad and lonely journey, but it afterwards led to results both in his personal and literary career. He sailed for home in October and established himself in Cambridge in December, 1836. The following letter to his wife's sister was written after his return. Cambridge, Sunday evening. my dear Eliza,—By tomorrow's steamboat I shall send you two trunks, containing the clothes which once belonged to your sister. What I have
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 14: anti-slavery poems and second marriage (search)
with such devotion, sincerity, and utter forgetfulness of self. Make her your model, and you will make your husband ever happy; and be to him as a household lamp irradiating his darkest hours. Give my best regards to him. I should like very much to visit you; but know not how I can bring it about. Kiss young Astyanax for me, and believe me ever affectionately your brother Henry W. Longfellow. Meanwhile a vast change in his life was approaching. He had met, seven years before in Switzerland, a maiden of nineteen, Frances Elizabeth Appleton, daughter of Nathan Appleton, a Boston merchant; and though his early sketch of her in Hyperion may have implied little on either side, it was fulfilled at any rate, after these years of acquaintance, by her consenting to become his wife, an event which took place on the 13th of July, 1843, and was thus announced by him in a letter to Miss Eliza A. Potter of Portland, his first wife's elder sister. Cambridge, May 25, 1843. my dear E
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 19: last trip to Europe (search)
ome. In the longest speech he could make, he could but say in many phrases what he now said in a few sincere words,—that he was deeply grateful for the kindness which had been shown him. Ib. 114, 115. After visiting the House of Lords with Mr. R. C. Winthrop, on one occasion, he was accosted by a laboring man in the street, who asked permission to speak with him, and recited a verse of Excelsior, before which the poet promptly retreated. Passing to the continent, the party visited Switzerland, crossed by the St. Gothard Pass to Italy, and reached Cadenabbia, on the Lake of Como. They returned to Paris in the autumn; then went to Italy again, staying at Florence and Rome, where they saw the Abbe Liszt and obtained that charming sketch of him by Healy, in which the great musician is seen opening the inner door and bearing a candle in his hand. In the spring they visited Naples, Venice, and Innsbruck, returning then to England, where Longfellow received the degree of D. C. L. a
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter 23: Longfellow as a poet (search)
he most fallacious assertions of the English critics. Upon this point I differ entirely from you in opinion. A national literature is the expression of national character and thought; and as our character and modes of thought do not differ essentially from those of England, our literature cannot. Vast forests, lakes, and prairies cannot make great poets. They are but the scenery of the play, and have much less to do with the poetic character than has been imagined. Neither Mexico nor Switzerland has produced any remarkable poet. I do not think a Poets' Convention would help the matter. In fact, the matter needs no helping. Life, II. 19, 20. In the same way he speaks with regret, three years later, November 5, 1847, of The prospectus of a new magazine in Philadelphia to build up a national literature worthy of the country of Niagara—of the land of forests and eagles. One feels an inexhaustible curiosity as to the precise manner in which each favorite poem by a favorit
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Index (search)
14. Stettin, 98. Stockoe, Mr., 95. Stockoe, Mrs., 95. Stockholm, 90, 92, 96, 97, 102, 103, 108. Storer, Robert, 101. Story, Judge, Joseph, 11, 86. Strasburg, 8. Strasburg Cathedral, 238. Sudbury, Mass., 214, 215. Sumner, Charles, 57, 80, 146, 147, 162, 164, 173, 206, 216, 271, 272, 284, 289, 292, 294; elected to U. S. Senate, 186; on Evangeline, 195; struck down in Senate, 240. Sweden, 87, 94, 101, 105,135; Longfellow's opinion of, 97. Swinburne, A. C., 6, 216, 218. Switzerland, 8, 113, 171, 223, 263. Symons, Capt., 92. Talleyrand, Prince, 118. Tasso, Torquato, 54. Taylor, Bayard, 143, 209. Taylor, Miss, Emily, 62. Taylor, Thomas, 131. Tecumseh, 77. Tegner, Esaias, 196; Longfellow's review of his Frithiof's Saga, 134. Tennyson, Alfred, 3, 6,9, 139, 216-218, 270; his remark about short poems, 268; his Life, quoted, 268; description of, 282. Thacher, Mrs., Peter, 109, 111; Longfellow's letters to, 129, 130,148, 169-171. Thierry, Amedee S. D.,