William Cullen Bryant

Auteur: John Bigelow
Taal: Engels
William Cullen Bryant


WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT JOHN EIGELOW BOSTON ANB NEW YORK HOUGIITON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 1890 PREFACE. IF there Is any excuse for this publication, it must be found in the fact that I was associated with Mr. Bryant for many years in the manage ment of The Evening Post newspaper., my con nection with it commencing at about the same period of life as his in the fact that we there contracted personal relations which he was pleased late in life to crown by naming me one of the executors of his will and finally in the hope I entertain that a compendious and comparatively inexpensive sketch of his instructive career may reach a class, not inconsiderable in numbers, who have neither the leisure nor opportunities for pe rusing the elaborate and scholarly biography by Mr. Godwin. Whatever may be the imperfections of this work, and no one is likely to be more sensible of them than I am, I permit myself to indulge the hope that in quarters where the nature and importance of Bryants life-work are little known vi PREFACE. or imperfectly appreciated, it may assist to awaken a curiosity which will not be satisfied until the name of Bryant Las become a household word, and his example the very lowest standard of pub lic and private morals In any American family. THE SQUIRRELS, February 3, 1890. CONTENTS. CHAPTER PAGE I. ANCESTJRY - .1 II. SCHOOL-DAYS III. LAW STUDIES .23 IV. THE BAKBISTER 34 Y. THE ADVENTURER 54 VI. THE JOURNALIST 70 VII. THE POET . 117 VIII-THE TOURIST 176 IX. THE ORATOR 200 X. PUBLIC HONORS 215 XI. PERSONAL AND DOMESTIC HABITS .... 258 XII. LAST DAYS . ...... 297 APPENDIX A. REMINISCENCES OF THE EVENING POST, BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT 312 APPENDIX B. BRYANTS WILL ..... 348 WILLIAM CULLENBRYANT. CHAPTER L ANCESTRY EARLY in the summer of 1817, a package of manuscript poems was left at the office of the North American Review 1 without their authors name or any intimation of their real parentage. In clue time they found their way into the hands of Mr. William Phillips, one of the editors of the Review, to whom they were addressed. No sooner had he finished their perusal such is the tradition than he seized his hat and set out in hot haste for Cambridge, to submit them to his editorial colleagues, Richard H. Dana and Edward T. Channing, who with Mr. Phillips constituted the Editorial Trinity to whom the management of the Review was then confided. They listened while the manuscript was read, and what little was known of its history was reca pitulated to them. Ah, Phillips, said Dana at last, his face breaking the while into a skeptical 1 This lie view was pxiTblislxod In Boston, and. at this time was but two years old. 2 WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. smile, you have been imposed upon. No one on this side o the Atlantic is capable of writing such verse. Mr. Danas view seemed to have so many presumptions in its favor that he set out at once to Boston to investigate the subject, with the aid of such clues as the package itself afforded. The final result of his inquiries was that Phillips, though under an erroneous impression as to the author, had not been imposed upon as to its Amer ican genesis. The verses which had produced such a fluttering among the presiding justices of our highest literary tribunal in those days were not an imported article, still less the work of any American literary nota bility of the period, but of a country lad of only seventeen years, residing atCummington, in the western part of Massachusetts, who had never been out of his native county in his life. One of the poems was entitled Thanatopsis. It appeared in the September number of the u North American Review for 1817, and proved to be not only the finest poem which had yet been produced on this continent, but one of the most remarkable poems ever produced at such an early age, and a poem which would have added to the fame of almost any poet of any age, while it would have detracted from the fame of none...



januari 2018
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368 pagina's


John Bigelow



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