« PreviousContinue »
With suavity equal to his own
All this the Puritan governor heard,
Thus endeth the Rhyme of Sir Christopher,
Written February 27, 1873.
THESE are the tales those merry guests
These are the tales, or new or old,
And still, reluctant to retire,
But sleep at last the victory won ;
Uprose the sun ; and every guest,
u Farewell !” the portly Landlord cried;
But little thought that nevermore
Where are they now? What lands and skies
As ancient is this hostelry
in the land may [The inscription on the old tavern sign, D. H. 1686, indicated probably the name of D. Howe, first landlord of the Wayside Inn, and a further inscription on the sign gave E. H. (Ezekiel Howe), 1746, and A. Howe, 1796.] Page 17.
Writ near a century ago
Whom Hawthorne has immortal made. (The lines are as follows : –
What do you think?
Here is good drink,
If not in haste,
Do stop and taste !
You merry folk will show it. On another pane appears the Major's name, Wm. Molineux Jr. Esq., and the date, June 24, 1774. The allusion is to Hawthorne's tale, My Kinsman, Major Molineux. Hawthorne, writing to Mr. Longfellow after the publication of the Tales, says, “It gratifies my mind to find my own name shining in your verse, even as if I had been gazing up at the moon and detected my own features in its profile."]
Page 25. The midnight ride of Paul Revere.
[It is possible that Mr. Longfellow derived the story from Paul Revere's account of the incident in a letter to Dr. Jeremy Belknap, printed in Mass. His. Coll. v. Mr. Frothingham, in his Siege of Boston, pp. 57–59, gives the story mainly according to a memorandum of Richard Devens, Revere's friend and associate. The publication of Mr. Long
fellow's poem called out a protracted discussion both as to the church from which the signals were hung, and as to the friend who hung the lanterns. The subject is discussed and authorities cited in Memorial History of Boston, III. 101.]
Page 32 THE FALCON OF SER FEDERIGO.
[The story is found in the Decameron, Fifth day, ninth tale. As Boccaccio, however, was not the first to tell it, so Mr. Longfellow is not the only one after him to repeat it. So remote a source as Pantschatantra (Benfey, II. 247) contains it, and La Fontaine includes it in his Contes et Nouvelles under the title of Le Faucon. Tennyson has treated the subject dramatically in The Falcon. See also Delisle de la Drévetière, who turned Boccaccio's story into a comedy in three acts.]
Page 42. THE LEGEND OF RABBI BEN LEVI.
[Varnhagen refers to three several sources of this legend in the books Col Bo, Ben Sira, and Ketuboth, but it is most likely that Mr. Longfellow was indebted for the story to his friend Emmanuel Vitalis Scherb.]
Page 46. KING ROBERT OF SICILY.
[This story is one of very wide distribution. It is given in Gesta Romanorum as the story of Jovinian. Frere in his Old Deccan Days, or Hindoo Fairy Legends current in Southern India, recites it in the form of The Wanderings of Vicram Maharajah. Varnhagen pursues the legend through a great variety of forms. Leigh Hunt, among moderns, has told the story in A Jar of Honey from Mt. Hybla, from which source Mr. Longfellow seems to have drawn. Dante refers to the King in Paradiso, Canto VIII.]
Page 120. THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH.
[Killingworth in Connecticut was named from the English town Kenilworth in Warwickshire, and had the same orthography in the early records, but was afterwards corrupted into its present form. Sixty or seventy years ago, according to Mr. Henry Hull, writing from personal recollection, “the men of the northern part of the town did yearly in the spring choose two leaders, and then the two sides were formed : the side that got beaten should pay the bills. Their special game was the hawk, the owl, the crow, the blackbird, and any