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cessfully at Bowdoin for five or six years, and for eighteen years, 1836 to 1854, served as George Ticknor's successor at Harvard, ultimately surrendering the chair to Lowell. He early published two prose volumes, Hyperion and Outre-mer, Irvingesque romances of European travel. Then came, after ten years of teaching and the death of his young wife, the sudden impulse to write poetry, and he produced, softly excited, I know not why, The Reaper and the Flowers, a Psalm of death. From that December morning in 1838 until his death in 1882 he was Longfellow the Poet. His outward life, like Hawthorne's, was barren of dramatic incident, save the one tragic accident by which his second wife, the mother of his children, perished before his eyes in 1861. He bore the calamity with the quiet courage of his race and breeding. But otherwise his days ran softly and gently, enriched with books and friendships, sheltered from the storms of circumstance. He had leisure to grow ripe, to remembe
much resembled Cooper's LeatherStocking. Whittier knew that his friend Longfellow was a better artist than himself, and he also knew, by intimate experience as a maker of public opinion, how variable are its judgments. Whittier represents a stock different from that of the Longfellows, but equally American, equally thoroughbred: the Essex County Quaker farmer of Massachusetts. The homestead in which he was born in 1807, at East Haverhill, had been built by his great-great-grandfather in 1688. Mount Vernon in Virginia and the Craigie House in Cambridge are newer than this by two generations. The house has been restored to the precise aspect it had in Whittier's boyhood: and the garden, lawn, and brook, even the door-stone and bridlepost and the barn across the road are witnesses to the fidelity of the descriptions in Snow-bound. The neighborhood is still a lonely one. The youth grew up in seclusion, yet in contact with a few great ideas, chief among them Liberty. My father, he
in that section of the country where there were libraries, wealth, leisure for the pursuits of scholarship, a sense of intimate concern with the great issues of the past, and a diffusion of intellectual tastes throughout the community. It was no accident that Sparks and Ticknor, Bancroft and Prescott, Motley and Parkman, were Massachusetts men. Jared Sparks, it is true, inherited neither wealth nor leisure. He was a furious, unwearied toiler in the field of our national history. Born in 1789, by profession a Unitarian minister, he began collecting the papers of George Washington by 1825. John Marshall, the great jurist, had published his five-volume life of his fellow Virginian a score of years earlier. But Sparks proceeded to write another biography of Washington and to edit his writings. He also edited a Library of American biography, wrote lives of Franklin and Gouverneur Morris, was professor of history and President of Harvard, and lived to be seventy-seven. As editor of
e of a historical field which offered freshness and picturesqueness of theme. All were tireless workers in spite of every physical handicap; all enjoyed social security and the rich reward of full recognition by their contemporaries. They had their world as in their time, as Chaucer makes the Wife of Bath say of herself, and it was a pleasant world to live in. Grandson of Prescott the brave of Bunker Hill, and son of the rich Judge Prescott of Salem, William Hickling Prescott was born in 1796, and was graduated from Harvard in 1814. An accident in college destroyed the sight of one eye, and left him but a precarious use of the other. Nevertheless he resolved to emulate Gibbon, whose Autobiography had impressed him, and to make himself an historian in the best sense of the term. He studied arduously in Europe, with the help of secretaries, and by 1826, after a long hesitation, decided upon a History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. In ten years the three volumes were fi
biography of Washington and to edit his writings. He also edited a Library of American biography, wrote lives of Franklin and Gouverneur Morris, was professor of history and President of Harvard, and lived to be seventy-seven. As editor of the writings of Franklin and Washington, he took what we now consider unpardonable liberties in altering the text, and this error of judgment has somewhat clouded his just reputation as a pioneer in historical research. George Bancroft, who was born in 1800, and died, a horseback-riding sage, at ninety-one, inherited from his clergyman father a taste for history. He studied in Germany after leaving Harvard, turned schoolmaster, Democratic politician and office-holder, served as Secretary of the Navy, Minister to England and then to the German Empire, and won distinction in each of his avocations, though the real passion of his life was his History of the United States, which he succeeded in bringing down to the adoption of the Constitution. Th
or New England as for idle California. There was wealth, leisure, books, a glow of harvest-time in the air, though the spirit of the writers is the spirit of youth. Nathaniel Hawthorne, our greatest writer of pure romance, was Puritan by inheritance and temperament, though not in doctrine or in sympathy. His literary affiliations were with the English and German Romanticists, and he possessed, for professional use, the ideas and vocabulary of his transcendental friends. Born in Salem in 1804, he was descended from Judge Haw. thorne of Salem Witchcraft fame, and from a long line of sea-faring ancestors. He inherited a morbid solitariness, redeemed in some measure by a physical endowment of rare strength and beauty. He read Spenser, Rousseau, and the Newgate Calendar, was graduated at Bowdoin, with Longfellow, in the class of 1825, and returned to Salem for thirteen brooding lonely years in which he tried to teach himself the art of story-writing. His earliest tales, like Irvi
hadow; the gleams of insight, the soft radiance of truth and beauty, are his own. A college classmate of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow summed up the Portland boy's character in one sentence: It appeared easy for him to avoid the unworthy. Born in 1807, of Mayflower stock that had distinguished itself for bravery and uprightness, the youth was graduated from Bowdoin at eighteen. Like his classmate Hawthorne, he had been a wide and secretly ambitious reader, and had followed the successive numbelic opinion, how variable are its judgments. Whittier represents a stock different from that of the Longfellows, but equally American, equally thoroughbred: the Essex County Quaker farmer of Massachusetts. The homestead in which he was born in 1807, at East Haverhill, had been built by his great-great-grandfather in 1688. Mount Vernon in Virginia and the Craigie House in Cambridge are newer than this by two generations. The house has been restored to the precise aspect it had in Whittier's
ve humanities of at least four or five generations. The Doctor came naturally by his preference for a man of family, being one himself. He was a descendant of Anne Bradstreet, the poetess. Dorothy Q., whom he had made the most picturesque of the Quincys, was his great-grandmother. Wendell Phillips was his cousin. His father, the Rev. Abiel Holmes, a Yale graduate, was the minister of the First Church in Cambridge, and it was in its gambrel-roofed parsonage that Oliver Wendell was born in 1809. Know old Cambridge? Hope you do.- Born there? Don't say so! I was,too. Nicest place that was ever seen- Colleges red and Common green. So he wrote, in scores of passages of filial devotion, concerning the village of his boyhood and the city of Boston. His best-known prose sentence is: Boston State House is the hub of the Solar system. It is easy to smile, as indeed he did himself, at such fond provinciality, but the fact remains that our literature as a whole sadly needs this rich
eshness and picturesqueness of theme. All were tireless workers in spite of every physical handicap; all enjoyed social security and the rich reward of full recognition by their contemporaries. They had their world as in their time, as Chaucer makes the Wife of Bath say of herself, and it was a pleasant world to live in. Grandson of Prescott the brave of Bunker Hill, and son of the rich Judge Prescott of Salem, William Hickling Prescott was born in 1796, and was graduated from Harvard in 1814. An accident in college destroyed the sight of one eye, and left him but a precarious use of the other. Nevertheless he resolved to emulate Gibbon, whose Autobiography had impressed him, and to make himself an historian in the best sense of the term. He studied arduously in Europe, with the help of secretaries, and by 1826, after a long hesitation, decided upon a History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. In ten years the three volumes were finished. Pursuing the work in this quiet
ult to put on paper. Horace Scudder wrote his biography with careful competence, and Ferris Greenslet has made him the subject of a brilliant critical study. Yet readers differ widely in their assessment of the value of his prose and verse, and in their understanding of his personality. The external facts of his career are easy to trace and must be set down here with brevity. A minister's son, and descended from a very old and distinguished family, he was born at Elmwood in Cambridge in 1819. After a somewhat turbulent course, he was graduated from Harvard in 1838, the year of Emerson's Divinity School address. He studied law, turned Abolitionist, wrote poetry, married the beautiful and transcendental Maria White, and did magazine work in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He was thought by his friends in the eighteen-fifties to be the most Shakespearian man in America. When he was ten years out of college, in 1848, he published The Biglow papers (First Series), A Fable for
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