This was a story by William Austin, whose Peter Rugg, the Missing Man, has just been mentioned as an early landmark of the period.
See Writings of William Austin, Boston, 1890. It is fair to say, however, that the critic of to-day can hardly see in these youthful pages any promise of the Longfellow of the future.
The opening chapter, describing the author as a country schoolmaster, who plays with his boys in the afternoon, is only a bit of Irving diluted,—the later papers, A Walk in Normandy, The Village of Auteuil, etc., carrying the thing somewhat farther, but always in the same rather thin vein.
Their quality of crudeness was altogether characteristic of the period, and although Holmes and Whittier tried their 'prentice hands with the best intentions in the same number of the New England Magazine, they could not raise its level.
We see in these compositions, as in the Annuals of that day, that although Hawthorne had begun with his style already formed, yet that of Longfell