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HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
WITH PREFATORY NOTICE.
Eight Engravings on Steel
280. r 395.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW was born in the city of Portland, State of Maine, on the 27th February 1807. His parents, who were in easy circumstances, sent him at the age of fourteen to Bowdoin College in the neighbouring town of Brunswick, and in 1825, after the usual curriculum of four years, he graduated there with high honours. In that same year he entered the law-office of his father; but in a few months he was relieved from the uncongenial study of law by a proposal on the part of his alma mater, which, more than any possible diploma, attests the kind as well as the degree of merit he must have displayed, and the reputation he had acquired during his attendance at College. It was proposed to found a Professorship of Modern Languages in Bowdoin College; and this Professorship was offered to Longfellow, though yet in his teens, and not specially prepared for the work. The College authorities, however, were not mistaken in their estimate of Longfellow's fitness, intellectual and moral. Immediately on accepting their offer, he crossed the Atlantic to thoroughly prepare himself for his professional duties by a residence of three years and a half in England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Holland ; and from 1829 to 1835 he prelected with so great success, and even éclat in Bowdoin College, that, on the Professorship of Modern Languages and Belles Lettres in the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, becoming vacant in the latter of these two years, he was at once invited to fill the chair. casion of this advancement he took another year in Europe, spending most of it in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, for the purpose of gaining a farther insight into the literature of Northern Europe. In 1836, therefore, he commenced his
professional labours at Cambridge ; and ever since that time he has continued a distinguished ornament of this, the most famous as well as the oldest university in the United States. A short visit which he paid to Europe in 1842, was for the restoration of his health.
If to these particulars be subjoined a chronological list of Longfellow's publications, the reader will have before him all the information which can be derived from reviewers and booksellers regarding the personal and literary history of our author. The pieces entitled “Earlier Poems” must be regarded merely as a specimen of his youthful compositions; for, during his student life, he made many tentative contributions to The United States Literary Gazette, and probably to other periodicals besides; and it was the success of these which procured him admittance afterwards into the tried band of writers in The North American Review. Of his separate publications, the following is a complete list :1833. Coplas de Manrique, a poem translated from the
Spanish. 1835. Outre-mer, i.e., beyond seas, a prose work record
ing the impressions of a scholarly traveller in
Southern Europe. 1839. Hyperion, a romance in prose, an idealization of
the preceding. 1840. Voices of the Night. 1841. Ballads and other Poems, including The Children
of the Lord's Supper, a translation from the
Swedish. 1842. The Spanish Student, a drama. 1843. Poems on Slavery. 1844. The Belfry of Bruges, and other Poems. 1845. The Poets and Poetry of Europe. 1846. Two Editions of all his previously published Poems. 1847. Evangeline. 1851. The Golden Legend.
This scantiness of biographical detail is a matter of congratulation rather than regret. Happy the reign of which the history is short, was a just reflection, when the history of a people meant little more than the history of its government, i.e., of wars with enemies pad, and collisions with