The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5


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Nomination of Fremont for the Presidency. Zeal and activity of Mr. Brooks s assault on Sumner. Doggerel on " Bully Brooks. Bryant s ill health. Sumncr in Paris. The pauper colonies of Holland. Changes in Geneva. Baths of the Pyrenees. A run into Spain. The panic of Calderon de la Barca. Horatio Perry. Spanish notabilities. Emilio Castelar. Bryant s increased illness. Robert Dale Owen. Miss Brewster. Bryant baptized. Roman friends. Hawthorne s notes. The Brownings. Walter Savage Landor.

Office declined. The right of search. English society. Retuni home. I2O Arrogance of the slavists. Black Republicans. John Brown s raid. Lincoln s lecture in New York : He becomes Mr. Bryant s candidate for the Presidency. Seward, and Weed. Som bre poems. Bryant s mood. Death of friends and of public men. Eulogy on Washington Irving. The projected French treaty. Translation of the poems into French. Familiar Letters. A visit to Boston.

A visit to Mount Savage, Maryland. Nomination of Lincoln. Bryant s congratulation.


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The campaign : A terrible struggle. Lincoln elected. Bryant s letters to him : His sanguine view of the result. The secession of South Carolina. Doubt and dismay. Bryant s firmness and decision. Letters to Lincoln on the formation of his Cabinet. Southern precipitation. Reaction in the North. Assault on Sumter. The up rising of a great nation. No compromises further. Poetical appeals. The position of England. The Trent affair. Bryant s constant and earnest interest in both. The Lovejoy meeting. He approves Fremont s proclamation of freedom.

His view of our financial resources. Opposition to legal tender notes. His appeals to the Secretary of the Treasury. Chase s own position. The evils of paper money pointed out. His appeals, private and public, to Mr.

Bryant William Cullen, Signed

The green back adopted, with its fatal consequences. Incessant excitements. Disasters at the outset. Dissatisfaction with the administration. The idle Army of the Potomac. Lincoln s indecision. Bryant goes to Washington to remonstrate. Battles in Virginia : A series of defeats. The " On to Richmond " cry ridiculed by Mr. The sympathies of England. Efforts of the French emperor. A literary side-glance : Latin, German, and French translations. How the poet escaped the depressions of the times.

New poems. Anti-conscription riots. The " Evening Post " threatened. Firmness of the press. The battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. The Democratic reaction arrested. Letters to Dr. Dewey and Dana. A peep into Homer. Cowper s translation. The Em peror of Brazil. No peace before surrender. Bryant opposes military interference in civil affairs. Child, Mr. Dana, Mrs. Kirkland, Miss Sedgwick. A peaceful retreat in time of war. Bryant s increasing popu larity and fortune. The seventieth birthday : Celebration of it by the Cen tury Club; Mr.

Bryant s remarks. Progress of events. Speech at the Academy of Design. Grant s battles of the Wilderness. Sherman s great march to the sea. Surrender of Lee. Close of the war. Public re joicings. A letter to Miss Sedgwick. Bryant solicited to write Lincoln s memoirs. The " Bryant" tree of California. The Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery : Remarks on it ; a poem on the djaih of slavery. Bryant s enlarged and liberal views ; letters on reconstruction. The old homestead purchased ; a gather ing of the Bryant family. Bryant s serious illness ; her death ; her beautiful character ; sorrow of the poet ; letters of condolence from Longfel low, Dana, Dr.

Bellows; Mr. Bryant s reply to Dana.

William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

He proposes to go abroad again. A literary project to beguile his depression. No interest in the old familiar places. Sojourn in the Pyrenees. Italy once more. Meets Garibaldi at Florence. Death of a grandchild. Return to England. North WaU-s. Home again. The Longfellow dinner. Letters to friends. Bryant ; his services to Free Trade. Is earnestly at work on Homer; his mode of composition.

A speech at Williams. PAGE the Presidency. Reads paper on Halleck. Letters to Professor Thayer. The poems of this period. Makes after-dinner and other speeches. Odyssey begun. Changes in original poems. Eulogy on Verplanck. Poets judging poets. The anthology revised. Scraps of literary judgments. Desultory readings. The Scott centenary. An incident at Cummington. Waterston s reminiscences. Private opinions of the Odyssey. Principles of translation. Matthew Ar nold s lectures. Bryant s selection of a metre ; the English hexameter. Adequacy of blank verse to render Homer. Roman names of gods ; Mr.

Bryant s defence. Reception in Mexico ; Mr. Romero ; speech at the Geographical Society. Return home. Domestic politics ; the Presidential election ; opposes the candidacy of Mr. Greeley ; a choice of evils. The Bryant brothers at Cummington. Another visit to the South ; reception at Charleston. Proceedings of the Russian Academy on the admission of Bryant and Longfellow. An address at Princeton College. Edits a " Popular History of the United States. The eightieth birthday ; a gathering of friends ; presentation of an address ; Jonathan Sturges s speech ; Mr. Bryant s reply ; general honors ; reasons for them given by Mr.

Bryant ; the real reasons. An edition of Shakespeare undertaken. Bryant s careful studies. Speech on the Louisiana out rages. Election of S. Tilclen as Governor of New York. Bryant in Albany ; reception by the legislative bodies ; addresses and replies. Let ters. Reciting Dante. A retentive memory. Beginning of a poem on New York. Macready s Life. Lord Houghton entertained at Roslyn ; an anecdote. Presentation of a commemorative vase ; address and reply. Lady Russell.

Emperor Dom Pedro. Political embarrassments ; degeneracy of parties. Tilden s nomination for the Presidency ; Mr. Bryant s letters on the subject. Re marks at the erection of a statue to Halleck. Reception by the Goethe Club. Death of Edmund Quincy. A visit to Lafayette College ; its presi dent. Whittier s birthday. Poetry in the December of life. Speeches made. Evils of notoriety. A breakfast of clergymen ; Mr. Dana s last letter. A letter to R. The last Sunday in Roslyn. Reminiscences of Dr. The Mazzini address.

A fatal fall ; concussion of the brain ; two weeks unconsciousness ; falling asleep in death. Funeral services. Burial at Roslyn. Waterston, Dr. Osgood, Mr. Bigelow, and George William Curtis. Field, in September, , Mr. Dry- ant, after recalling their pedestrian tours in many parts of the United States, exclaimed : " Would that I could have accom panied you in your visit to Stonehenge and other old places in your walking excursions!

But these are dreams : the prob ability is that I shall never visit England nor you come to New York. I shall go on a mere journalist until I am worn out; and you will remain an amiable old bachelor, leading an indus trious, rational, contented life, too well satisfied with your home to change it, and feeling too strongly that decline of enterprise which creeps over us with years, to cross again the Atlantic, when you have so beautiful a country as your own for pedestrian tours.

A young friend and fellow-member of the Sketch Club, of culture and entertaining manners, Mr. Charles M. Leupp, was about to make a tour of England and the Continent, and solicited his companionship. It was a temptation too strong to be resisted, and, on the 22d of April, , they found themselves on board a packet-ship, with all sails set, for the other side of the ocean. After a passage of about thirty days, they passed the Irish and Welsh coasts, and were landed in Liverpool that other New York, with cleaner streets and finer public buildings.

James Martineau a young Unitarian clergy man, who has since placed himself in the front rank of British essayists with whom he passed a delightful evening, full of talk about Unitarianism in England, and of the great Unita rians at home Dewey, Ware, Furnace, Parker, and Hedge. Of course, he ran down to Chester, the quaint old town, and looked into Eaton Hall, the spacious and costly seat of the Marquis of Westminster, with its parks and shrubberies, its dells and nooks, and its iron bridge over the Dee. Passing through the valley of Edale, in Derbyshire, along the peak of the Peverills, he stopped at Chatsworth, at Haddon Hall, at Rugby, a village in a luxuriant plain, where Dr.

Arnold had his school, and at Birkhampstead, where Cowper was born, arriving in London the first week in June. With these he filled up the days ; and in the evening, with Mr. Edwin For rest, the tragedian, and his wife old home acquaintances he went to Covent Garden or the Haymarket or the opera, where Mario, Grisi, and Castellan sang, or Cerito and Taglioni danced. He did not omit Dolly s Chop House, the Cider Cellars, and even the Judge and Jury, to which, however, he only gave a glance to get more than enough of it.

The main attractions for him were the picture-galleries, particularly those containing specimens of the older artists, of which there are many in the English collections, both public and private. For the paintings of the Royal Academy he expresses no admira tion. I looked at it with surprise and delight. I was dazzled with the soft fulness of the outlines, the grace of the attitude, and the exquisite perfection of the workman ship. I could not help acknowledging a certain literal truth in the expression of Byron concerning a beautiful statue that it " fills The air around with beauty.

It has fixed the reputation of Powers and made his fortune. Everett, the Minister of the United States, called upon him, and invited him to meet a few prominent literary men at breakfast. Monckton Mi! Kenyon, who occupies amiable a place in the memoirs of Landor and Dickens.

Babbage, the economist ; Mr. Poole, author of " Paul Pry " ; Mr. Spedding, author of Bacon s works, and others, and was shown the letters of Bacon, Mil ton s contract for the " Paradise Lost," and other literary treasures with which the house overflowed. In fact, Rogers s house seems to have been open to him at all times, as he speaks of breakfast after breakfast there, and of the many dis tinguished persons whose acquaintance he made through the kindness of its host.

Among those of note with whom Mr. Bryant came into re lation in London were Dr. Bowring, " an intellectual-looking man ; " Miss Joanna Baillie ; Mr. Simmons, a poet of Blackwood. Edwin Field, the barrister, who had with him Mr. Bryant found very fascinating. They dined at Medenham Abbey, " whither the monks of Meden- ham, the Abbot Wilkes, and other profligates, used to resort," and returned over the fields. Of the parliamentary orators he seems not to have heard the best, if we may judge by this brief entry in his Diary : "JUNE 1 6th :.

In the afternoon went to the House of Com mons, and sent in my card to Mr. Milnes, who had promised to take me in; he was out. Sent card to Mr.

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Brotherton, of Manchester; not in. Went to the House of Lords. Lord Campbell was making a speech in favor of the Maynooth Grant feeble and affected. Bishop of Landaff spoke on the other side plain and pretty well. Lord Ellenborough spoke afterward in a sounding oratorical manner. Lord Shrewsbury, a Catholic, made a set speech in favor of the bill, which he sung like a Baptist preacher. The Duke of Newcastle spoke against the bill a deplorable stammerer. Wellington defended the bill; articulation imperfect, like that of a drunken man ; hesitation and stam mering; but he spoke pithily and to the point, and was listened to with the deepest attention.

Sir James Graham spoke in a persuasive, business-like manner. Lord John Russell said a few words ; manner not good. Lord Morne, a Catholic, spoke badly. Wise, a Catholic, passably well. John O Connell very badly. Milnes, Lord Cline, and Mr. Alcott " But there the entry stops. Cobden, Bright, and Fox spoke. Theatre crowded ; men and women respectable in appearance and orderly, though en thusiastic.

His address was argumenta tive, and yet there was a certain popular clearness about it, a fertility of familiar illustrations, and an earnest feeling which made it uncommonly impressive. Fox is one of the most fluent and ingenious speakers I ever heard in a popular assem bly. It gave him the opportunity of seeing many of the most eminent men of science in the world ; but we have only the brief account which his Diary gives of this most interesting occasion.

He presented me to Mr. Hallam, the historian. Went with him to Peter s College, and through King s College; heard service chanted in the noble old chapel, boys sing ing ; fine music. Went over Trinity College, the finest in Europe. Whewell, the master of this college, gave us a luncheon. Saw Mrs. Challis and Mrs. Airy, wife of the astronomer Royal, and an other lady who talked with me of my poetry. Yates was with us. Matlock, gave me a piece of Milton s mulberry, and a fac-simile of Milton s handwriting.

Strong, a poet, took us to the ordinary of the Red Lion. Buckland, Rev. Gaskell, and Mr. Morgan, the mathematician. Professor Sedgwick presided at the dinner, and proposed several toasts : among the rest, prosperity to the United States, and a health to Mr. I answered in a few words, and proposed a toast. Evening at the Senate House ; it was full of gen tlemen and ladies.

Conversed with Dr. Lyell and his lady, and her two sisters, and with Sir Henry Banbury and his lady. The Marquis of Northampton took me in his carriage to the observatory, where we looked at a double star ; different colors of their light. Challis, the astronomer, present. Whewell, of Trinity College. Hutton, the geologist, and his daughters, at the table ; also, Dr. Scoresby, and Sir Vernon Harcourt and his lady. Whe well before the breakfast, the servants being called in.

Went to a meeting of one of the sections. Professor Sedgwick presided ; Pro fessor Ansted read a paper on the ventilation of mines. Professor Michael Faraday discussed the subject, which he thought a difficult one. Buckland said a few words ; Dr. Roberts a few. In the even ing went to the general meeting of the Association in the Senate House. Sir John Herschel presided. Sir Vernon Harcourt, son of the Archbishop of York, made a speech sing-song. Graham, Master of Christ s College, made a set speech, and a good one ; Pro fessor Sedgwick followed, and made a better, but not a set speech ; Dr.

Buckland spoke in a measured manner; the Dean of Ely, Dr. Peacock, not so well; Mr. Airy more naturally. Bryant, having himself suffered from the im pertinence of visitors who saw him for a moment or two, and then wrote columns of gossip in regard to his appearance, character, and habits, felt always an inveterate repugnance to describing the individuals he encountered. Even in his pri vate correspondence he was chary of it, although sometimes in his talk he would introduce the most agreeable reminis cences of them, and, being an excellent mimic, bring them be fore his hearers in the most vivid light.

But his object in visiting England was not to see illustrious persons so much as beautiful things, the green lawns, the rich meadows, the soft hills, the silvery light and shade, the old baronial halls, the glorious cathedrals, that render her land scapes, if not the most beautiful, the most sweet and tender, of any in the world. These he was able to find in all their wealth and variety when he took up his residence with his friend Mr.

Alfred Field, living near Leamington, in the heart of Warwickshire, and. Thence, his feet or a pony car riage would carry him in a little while to the fine old town of Coventry ; to Gothic-turreted Oxford ; to the picturesque en virons of Guy s Cliff; to the lordly estates at Blenheim ; to Warwick and the ruins of Kenilworth ; to Hucknall Church, where Bvron lies buried ; to Newstead Abbcv, where he lived ; and, chiefest of all, to Stratford-upon-Avon, where he whilcd away day after day in the shadow of Shakespeare s imperial name.

Weeks, a poet, to see the venerable James Montgomery. A well-preserved old man, timid and gentle ; he talked of American literature, praising Longfellow, and of the railroad mania. He was a light-made man, in a huge black silk cravat that filled his neck beyond the chin, rather thin-faced, with a thin, long nose. His conversation agreeable, but not striking. Beautiful view of valley and hills from his door and windows.

Bryant could easily have fancied himself transported from his own Western Massachusetts the grand outlooks every where are so like. He desired greatly to see Wordsworth, the Father of the School of Nature, to which he also belonged ; but he would not have intruded on the solitude of the poet if he had not been urged to do so by Mr.

Crabb Robinson, who prepared the way for him by a letter. Of the interview we possess no written report but this mere dotting of the Diary : "JULY loth: Went by posting, as the English say, frem Kendal to Ambleside thirteen miles. Was soon among craggy mountains, half covered with heath, green dells, and rapid brooks. Fine glimpses of Windermere ; we reach the lake at Lowwood. Stop at Commercial Inn at Ambleside, commanding a grand view of the mountains. Drove in a carriage to Mr. Wordsworth s, and sent in our cards, with Mr. Robinson s. Wordsworth, Mrs.

Fenwick, Miss Fisher, and Miss Southey, daughter of the poet, at home. Wordsworth was in the garden, in a white broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat ; he received me very kindly ; showed me over his grounds, his study, etc. Beau tiful view of Windermere from his house, and of Rydal Water from part of his grounds. At six o clock took tea with him, after having first looked at Stock Ghyll Force. Left his house at ten o clock in the evening. She took us to see Fox How, late the cottage of Dr. Arnold, built of unhewn stone, faced with a green, grassy hillock behind, and Mount Fairfield, with its deep valleys, in front.

Returned over the meadows in sight of a pleasant spot, on which Miss M. Passed Helvellyn ; came to Keswick, a village on Derwent-water, which lies in the midst of a grand group of mountain-tops. Saw Mr. Southey s house, no longer occupied by his family, in the midst of trees, on a little eminence near the Greta run. Saddleback, Skiddaw, the vale of St. John, pleasant meadows between bare ridges of mountains. Came to Bassenthwaite, the last of the lakes we saw, through Cocker- mouth, and thence in the rain to Maryport, on the western shore, where we took the railroad to Carlisle.

Bryant often recurred in conversation to his pleasant visit to Wordsworth ; but one always suspected that, much as he reverenced the poet, he was not very strongly impressed by the man. Wordsworth had a way of talking- of himself and his poetry, which must have seemed strange, if not ludi crous, to one so habitually reticent, in the same respects, as our traveller.

Besides, they were not particularly sympathetic in their opinions. Bryant was a thorough Democrat, and Wordsworth a Tory, and their conversation, if it strayed at all beyond the precincts of nature and literature, could not have been in the highest degree congenial. After his return, Mr. Bryant sometimes amused his more intimate friends with imi tations of Wordsworth s reverent manner of repeating his own verses not, however, in a way that lessened respect for the venerable bard.

At Edinburgh, " the finest city he ever saw," he sought for John Wilson, who had, unfortunately, gone into Westmore land ; and thence he made the usual tour through the Scotch lakes by the Trossacks, stopping for a day in Burns s country, and, after a journey in Ireland, returning to London, whence he passed over to Paris. Many magnificent edifices were going up ; and Mr.

Bryant fancied that he saw a considerable improvement in the external morality of the in habitants. They were, however, the same gay people, craving amusement, and easily amused ; and crowding the theatres, the guinguettes, the dancing-places, with frantic eagerness. He was glad to meet there an old acquaintance in Vanderlyn, one of our earliest artists, who was finishing his picture of the " Landing of Columbus," now in the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washing ton. Field, dated London, November 3d : "We have made," he writes, " a rapid but most fortunate journey through Europe. We have had good health, good weather, and the opportunity to see almost everything we desired ; we have met with no misfortunes, no accidents, no disappointments, and scarcely any thing which could be called annoyances.

We went from Paris, after a fortnight s stay, to Brussels, to Antwerp, to the Hague, to Amsterdam, to Utrecht, then up the Rhine, visiting its cities on our way, and the watering-places of Wiesbaden, etc. We then turned our course to the southeast, and, having seen Dresden, Prague, and Vienna, crossed the Styrian Alps, passing through Gratz, reached Trieste, and took a steamer for Venice. A steamer brought us from Naples to Leghorn, and then to Genoa, whence we crossed the mountainous country to Milan, and from Milan went by Lago Maggiore to the foot of the Alps.

We walked up the Simplon one bright moonlight night, which gave us, perhaps, a more striking view of its remarkable features than we could have had by day, and, as the morning broke, found ourselves on its summit. II where we passed several days, we fell in with my old friend, Professor Anderson. From Geneva we came in the diligence to Paris, where we were obliged to make but a brief stay, that we might give a couple of days to London.

Bryant was fortunate in meeting old and making new acquaintances. At Dusseldorf he fell in with the artists Hunt who has since achieved such distinction and Leutze, " a young man of promise, devoting himself with great energy and earnestness to his art. Fay, introduced him to whatever was rare or notable in the city of Berlin.

He saw Horatio Greenough again at Florence, engaged on his group of " The Indian and the Hunter," " an image of the abo riginal race of America overpowered by the civilized race," which now adorns the eastern front of the Capitol. Brown, just executing his statue of " Ruth Gleaning in the Field of Boaz. The artist has chosen the moment in which Ruth is addressed by Boaz, as she stands among the gleaners.

He quoted to me the lines of Keats, in The Song of the Nightingale " Perhaps the self-same song that found a path Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn. She is not in tears, but her aspect is that of one who listens in sad ness ; her eyes are cast down, and her thoughts are of the home of her youth, in the land of Moab. Over her left arm hangs a handful of ears of wheat, which she has gathered from the ground, and her right rests on the drapery about her bosom.

Nothing can be more graceful than her attitude, or more expressive of melancholy sweetness and modesty than her physiognomy. Dana, in Decem ber, " what an interest I feel in my house. It is almost as dear to me as one of my children. My heart yearned after it during the whole of my absence in Europe. I used to beguile the qualms of sea-sickness, as I lay in my berth, in thinking over my little plans for its improvement such as planting a fruit- tree here and a shade-tree there, and clearing away the growth of shrubs about some fine young pear-trees that had sprung up in a corner of my field.

It was, indeed, hotter than ever. Con gress, after a long and stormy debate, had ratified the annexa tion of Texas, and aroused the belligerent spirit of Mexico ; and a new subject of dispute, the boundary of Oregon, threat ened to involve us in a war with England. Happily, the latter calamity was averted by negotiation ; but not the former. Our troops on the southwestern frontier had been ordered to the Rio Grande, and took position on the left bank, in January of IN the midst of political disputes, on which the future fate of the republic depended, Mr.

Bryant found very little time for writing verses so little, indeed, that, when he was applied to some time before for an ode to be sung at the Berkshire Valley Celebration, he was obliged to decline after he had accepted the task. What he did write at this period such as "The Waning Moon," "The Stream of Life," and "The Un known Way" breathe of the depression and anxiety with which he contemplated passing events. But none the less he was able to revise his older poetry and to prepare it for a new edition, which Messrs. Writing to Mr.

Dana on the subject, he requested him to make a critical examination of the poems that he had written, and to indicate such as Mr. Dana might deem unworthy of a republication. If your former impressions were unfavorable in regard to any one of them, you will counsel me, of course, to omit it. I found among my pamphlets the other day a copy of an English cheap edi tion which has all my poems that have been published in a single vol ume, and, as it can be conveniently sent by mail, I have had it put in a wrapper and directed to you.

You will oblige me by letting me know your decision in regard to these poems as soon as you have looked them over. When I first thought of asking your opinion as to which of them should be left out of the new edition, it occurred to me that I would say to you that I would not bind myself to confirm all your nominations. But, on talking with you, it appeared to me that you were disposed to be very lenient with me, and that if you erred you would err on the side of mercy ; so I said nothing of what had before been in my mind.

Dana undertook the task, and in a week or two re turned a criticism, which, if it were not too long, I should like to copy, as an evidence of the minute care to which these elder poets subjected each other s writings. He takes each poem in its turn, points out the words or lines that he dislikes, or that do not impress him pleasantly, and, in some cases, he objects to entire poems as unworthy of the others.

Dana concludes some twenty closely written pages thus : " Here I believe I must stop, for I do not know what more there is for me to find fault with. You may not agree with me in several of these particulars, and, what is more, many others might not, which is an additional reason for not keeping back any of them. But, as I have said, they amount to but little in bulk, and it might materially affect the sale of the work if it did not include all that you have before published in a collected form.

You must have published in various periodicals some pieces which I have never seen, for I read no magazines, and only one newspaper our dull daily. But these, I take it, you intend to include in the new work, or at least such of them as to whose qualities you feel no doubt. The truth of your language, the felici- MR.

I5 ties of phrase, the eye and feeling for nature, the tenderness and ex- ling beauty, were always present with me. But I am more than ever before impressed with the number of the pieces that ascend into grandeur of thought, into the higher order of powers; these higher qualities are not even mere instances of only occasional states of mind in which one comes, but show that they have their due propor tions in the structure of that mind, giving to it a massive grandeur. I hope you will not set me down for a hard-judging, hard hearted, fault-finding critic, as I was only endeavoring to comply with what I supposed to be your object in asking me to point out what I least liked.

I believe I did not say it in my letter, and, lest I did not, I say it now, that all along I spoke in the way of comparison with your other pieces, for there is always something in what you write, however inferior it may be to others of your poems, which breathes of your spirit and is characteristic of your turn of thought and expression. There was nothing in them to premonish one that they would not close with somewhat of a climax, if I may so speak. We expect something more; they affect us somewhat, therefore, as leaving off, dropping off, rather than ending " you understand?

But give yourself no concern about their ending, off- leaving, dropping, or stopping, be it which of these it may. Others may not be at all so affected by them. It is that beautifully tender thing, the Mary Magdalen, that has 1 the thing forlorn, In wonder and in scorn. The White-footed Doe am I right in its title?

I read on its first appearance in some newspaper, and thought it most pleasing in conception and execution. My impression is that I spoke of it to you about that time in a letter, and that I suggested, consid ering its approach in name to The White Doe of Wordsworth, and some resemblance in its mystical spirit, that it might be well, for the sake of taking off the effect of this likeness, to prepare the piece with a slight prose account of its origin, if, indeed, it is grounded on any ancient story.

You have treated them far more mercifully than they deserve. In revising them, I have, for the most part, been guided by what you have said, as you will see when the edition comes out. Nailed on men the yoke, etc. I do not understand nailing a yoke on to mean anything more than riveting it making it fast with nails clinching it with iron ; it does not necessarily mean nailing it to the creature that wears it.

On reflection, there is another : wisdom disappeared may not be quite right, but I see no way to alter it. J " You cannot think how much obliged to you I am for the trouble you have taken with my book. There is nobody else whom I would have asked to do the same thing. You have shown me faults which I was amazed should have escaped my notice ; for example, that pas sage in The Ages where I talk about vampires and their net.

I was much affected by the general good opinion you expressed of my poems, on reading them over with a view to note their faults. I am sure there is no man from whom I should receive the expression of such an opinion with more satisfaction. It is quite delightful to find fault with you, you take it so patiently, thou least sensitive, or, more definitely, least touchy, of poets. I could not help saying, when I ended reading your letters, There s no nonsense about Bryant. I see your reasons for nailing the yoke; and nailed, with an emphasis, I believe, must be allowed to stand.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

Pray, where in Gray is the line you quote in way of authority? The yoke of mischief by itself seems poor enough ; yet I can conceive of the context giving a character to the word mis- chief which would make the line one of force. Dana adds: " By the way, in reading over The Crowded Street, the last line struck me as a falling off. I remember that it did so the first time I saw the piece. That rolls to its predestined end. If not too late, I wish you would alter it, if you can do so, to your mind.

Such a piece of poetry is richly worthy a good leave off, but, as I have many times said, do nothing against your own convic tions. In The Return of Youth, pray change Thy tongue was prompt the generous thought to speak. It made me feel as if the Cumberlands and Haleys had come back to sear the fresh green of earth again. How came it there? It must have been a stray left be hind when you cleared your part of Parnassus of the sheep that got in there in your youth from Pope s Pastorals. No fun in criticising you, you take it all in so Christian a spirit.

What use in finding fault with a fellow-creature if he won t flare up at it? I trust that you made no changes without being first fully convinced in your own mind that they were for the best. Bryant spent his usual vacation in a visit to his mother and brothers in Illinois. He went there by way of Buffalo and the Lakes, stopping at Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago, which he described as young and thriving towns, destined to a great future.

In crossing the prairie from Chicago to Princeton he met with the mishap of an upset of the coach, which might have been serious, but was only annoying. A little before sunset, having travelled somewhat less than fifty miles, we were about to cross the channel of the Illinois canal for the second or third time. There had once been a bridge at the crossing-place, but the water had risen in the canal, and the timbers and planks had floated away, leaving only the stones which formed its foundation.

In attempting to ford the channel, the blundering driver came too near the bridge ; the coach-wheels on one side rose upon the stones, and on the other sank deep into the mud, and we were overturned in an instant. The outside passengers were pitched head foremost into the canal, and four of those within were lying under water. We extricated ourselves as well as we could ; the men waded out, the women were carried, and when we got out it was found that, although drenched with water and plashed with mud, nobody was either drowned or hurt. A farm-wagon, passing at the moment, forded the canal without the least difficulty, and, taking the female passengers, conveyed them to the next farm-house, about a mile distant.

We got out the baggage, which was completely soaked, set up the carriage on its wheels, doing which we had to stand waist- high in the mud, and reached the hospitable farm-house about half past nine o clock. His kind family made us free of their house, and we passed the night in drying ourselves and in getting our baggage ready to proceed the next day. Marie and Mackinaw, which he found wonderfully beautiful, and where he mingled with remnants of the Indian tribes that still lin gered on the outskirts of civilization.

His book was now going through the press, but it seems that he was anything but satisfied with the proposed illustra tions. In September 25th he wrote to Mr. Dana about them in this wise : " You ask at what time my poems will be out. The proofs have all been corrected, and I suppose the pages have been stereotyped and the pressman is at work by this time.

But the designer and en graver are, I fear, slow in their tasks. I grow fastidious in regard to illustrations ; there is scarcely one in a score, in the books of poetry that I take up, which does not displease me. I have seen eight of those intended for my book, and, with one or two exceptions, cannot say I take much delight in them.

I have now ceased to inquire what progress they are making in getting out the book. The booksellers have charge of everything but the text, and if they make an ugly thing of it, or if the book comes out late, their interest suffers quite as much as mine; and, as I can do nothing to prevent either of these results, I give myself no trouble about the matter, and think of some thing else. I think this will be the best thing in the book. I think very well of the talents of Leutze, who makes the designs ; but what can be expected of an artist who works to order in that way?

What sort of verses should I make if I were to sit down to put his pictures into verse? While everybody is saying that you are busy in writing the Life of Allston, how has it happened that no allusion has ever been made to that fact, either in your letters or mine, nor in our conversations when we have met?

Am I such an egotist, and are you so modest? I have thought a thousand times that I would inquire of you, in the very next letter I wrote you, what progress you were making with the work, and when we might expect to see it, but my letters have generally been written in a hurry, and the matter did not come into my mind at the time.

Do let us know as much about it, at least, as you allow the rest of the world to know. I thank you again for the pains you have taken with my poems. Your criticisms have been of great service to me. There are a thousand faults that escape a writer that escape me, at least in composition, which I yet recog nize to be faults the moment they are pointed out to me. There are few, however, who know what faults in poetic composition are. There is no other man whom I would have asked to do what you have done for me.

The greater is your merit in going through the job with so good a grace. If I have sometimes neglected to correct the faults you have pointed out, it has been, in most cases, because, though I admitted the objection, I could not satisfy myself with any alteration that occurred to me. Dana wrote to Mr. The younger Cheney is a fine fellow and a good artist, and I can very well see how, under the circumstances, he failed of catching what I miss. But why should I be putting you more out of conceit with what is done?

The poetry will stand it. The book is well printed ; and, I dare say, the style in which it is got up will be generally taking, and that the end intended will be attained. For my own comfortable reading, I never want anything more than a plain, well-printed book I want to have my attention drawn off as little as possible by the material medium through which the author s words and thoughts reach me and this feeling may have made me a little too hard upon the illustrations in your case ; so set me down for an old growler, as, in very deed,, I believe I am.

They seem to come out, one after an other, and to go on their shining, silent courses through my spiritual sphere, and to pass off into distant space again. No modern beats you in awakening many and beautiful associations by a single term. There is a perfectness in the meanings which your words give to things. Bryant extended to his poems at this time was doubtless owing to the fact that his republi- cation of them was to a certain degree a venture.

A new reading public had grown up since the appearance of his earlier editions, and the advent of new poets had introduced other standards of criticism than those by which he had been originally judged. When his first little volume was printed, in , it was like his own Yellow Violet the first flower of the spring that blossomed "Beside the snow-bank s edges cold," and, for many years thereafter, he had literally no competitors with whom he could be compared. He had, in fact, formed the tastes by which he was judged. As his pieces had gone into nearly all the school-books and compilations of the day, the younger generation of scholars had grown up with a filial reverence for him which was, perhaps, more indulgent than critical.

It might be a question, therefore, whether his success was not due as much to the solitude of his position, or to the absence of those with whom he might be contrasted, as to real merit. More information about this seller Contact this seller 6. From: Charles Agvent, est. Thomas Nason illustrator. Selected and edited with a commentary by Louis Untermeyer. Illustrated with lovely wood engravings by Thomas Nason, perhaps best known for his illustrations of several of Robert Frost's books.

Typical mild offsetting of illustrations to text, internally Fine. Rubbing to the spine with loss of color and minor loss of leather. Good in a Very Good slipcase. More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Limited Editions Club illustrator. Limited to numbered copies, signed by illustrator Thomas W. Nason on colophon.

Selected and edited with commentary by Louis Untermeyer. Table of contents, list of illustrations. Frontispiece and wood engravings in text by Nason. Light wear to spine. Slipcase tanned, bumped, and worn at edges. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. A few rubbed spots to the spine with loss of color and slight loss as well as some white discoloration to the covers. Still Very Good in a Near Fine slipcase. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. Fine in near fine modestly rubbed dustwrapper. More information about this seller Contact this seller Published by Privately Printed, New York Condition: Good.

Bound in grey boards with silver titles and snowflakes. With rubbed edges and a little thinning to the covers. The contents are nice and clean. Limited to only 25 copies printed and bound by William Edwin Rudge 3rd. This copy with a brief pencilled inscription by Rudge. Inscribed by Author s.

Seller Inventory a6a8acfdd0fabaadf9fc. Green slipcase with black title plate on rear foredge, full black leather with gilt lettering on cover and spine, gree top edge, selectedand edited with a commentary by Louis Untermeyer, number of copies signed by the illustrator. Near fine, light discoloration to slipcase around edges, near fine overall. Limited to numbered copies and signed by Nason LEC Bookplate on front pastedown. Well-preserved copy in a lightly sunned slipcase. Nason, bound in full black leather, lettering in gilt, housed within a green paper covered slipcase, leather rubbed on spine otherwise a near fine copy.

By Artist. Seller Inventory br. Limited to numbered copies and signed by Nason LEC ; this copy is not numbered and has the initials "g. Well preserved copy. From: G. MacManus Co. The Poems of. Selected and edited with a Commentary by Louis Untermeyer.

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William Cullen Bryant () - efibatujaquz.gq

Small 4to. One of copies. Signed by the illustrator. A fine copy. Published by F. Baltes, Portland, Oregon About this Item: F. Baltes, Portland, Oregon, Soft Cover. Limited, Numbered, Signed First Edition. Signed by Publisher. Published by Appleton, New York About this Item: Appleton, New York, Decorative Cloth.

Dust Jacket Condition: No jacket as Issued. Large 8vo. Original gilt green cloth with top edge gilt. Two volumes are Poetry and the next two volumes are his Life missing vol 1 of life , together 3 volumes. Signed by Author s. Privately Printed. Number 74 of numbered copies, signed by Nason. Illustrated with engravings on wood by Thomas W. Full black morocco, gilt lettering on spine and upper cover, top edge stained green, bottom edge untrimmed.

Spine just a trifle rubbed, else very good in slightly sunned slipcase Illustrated with engravings on wood by Thomas W. Number of numbered copies, signed by Nason. Spine just a trifle rubbed, cover mildewed, else very good in slightly sunned slipcase Illustrated with engravings on wood by Thomas W. Published by Houghton, Mifflin, Boston About this Item: Houghton, Mifflin, Boston, VG, spine faded and slightly rubbed.

Bookplate on the front pastedown, typical mild offsetting of illustrations to text.

October - A Sonnet by William Cullen BRYANT read by Various - Full Audio Book

Some rubbing to the spine with some loss of color, as often the case with this title. Still, Very Good or better in a Near Fine slipcase. Published by James R. Osgood, Boston About this Item: James R. Osgood, Boston, Buyer beware. Historische Ortsansicht. Stahlstich, Von Robert Hinshelwood, nach Warren Sheppard. Mittig gestochener Titel und Verlegeradresse.

Sonst gut erhalten. Robert Hinshelwood Edinburgh - New York. Amerikanischer Kupferstecher. Warren Sheppard Greenwich - New York. Amerikanischer Marinemaler und Landschaftszeichner. Sprache: Deutsch Seller Inventory K Published by James Munroe and Co. Boston About this Item: James Munroe and Co. Boston , Presumed First Edition. Original full black leather, gilt decoration and lettering at spine and covers, gilt page edges.

Illustrated with eight steel engravings.

The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5
The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5 The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5

Related The letters of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 5



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