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My qualification, my dear Head the literary standards which shall of the House, for reminiscing about abide with you through life. I find the old PUTNAM's is chiefly that, with satisfaction that Longfellow's when it began, in January, 1853, I “Lost Youth” was one of the many of was a boy of ten, “up country,” and

his notable lyrics, and perhaps the even “up State," and when it ceased notablest of all, that appeared first in and determined, submerged by the the old PUTNAM's.

Whether or no, panic of 1857, I was a boy of fourteen. its refrain

back with This qualification is not, perhaps, uncertain sound: to be disparaged. For it is true that

A boy's will is the wind's will, the intellectual curiosity of those

And the thoughts of youth are long, years is omnivorous and insatiable. That is the period when you hold,

long thoughts. with the learned Dr. Johnson, in his One of the publications on which "slashing" review of Mr. Jonas Han

my taste was formed and by which way's “Eight Days' Journey," that

my standards were fixed was a file, a whether or not literary productions fairly complete file, as I recall, of were “written to be printed,” they the old original Knickerbocker Nagawere at least “printed to be read,' zine, the witness and monument of and you

you proceed to read them Gavlord Clarke's benevolent intent accordingly. If you have then the in the forties, possibly even in the advantage, to quote the learned

thirties, to domesticate and naturalize lexicographer again, of “browsing in what

entitled to call itself a library”-in my case the Gerrit literature. A brave and well deservSmith Library of Oswego, N. Y., - ing attempt it undoubtedly was, and and the further and quite inestimable attracted “refined parties” from all blessing of having been brought there was of the America of its time, up in a reading family," then, after though not, unhappily, in such numhalf a century, your

bers as to put it on a permanently furthest childhood shall seem then

paying basis. It was the time, as you More clear than later times may be.

yourself have recalled in the memoir
of
your

father and the founder of your You are quite unconsciously forming house, when "literary quality” was

Copyright, 1906, by G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS.

was

the last thing sought for by the pro- must have thumbed to very tatters, jectors of new periodical publications. and which I identify with joy in the The projector of a new magazine in bound “set” as the number for April, those early fifties was viewed by the 1854. Small blame to me! For it “practical” publishers—which mainly contains the opening instalment of or largely meant the piratical repub- Herman Melville's “Enchanted Isles," lishers—in much the same way as the published in the magazine under the reviver and continuator of “the le- ridiculous pseudonym of "Sylvester gitimate drama" was regarded by the B. Tarnmoor”; it contains the first practical and piratical operators in his instalment of the "Fireside Travels," vocation, as the victim of an amiable which a few years later were repubdelusion that there was somewhere a lished as the acknowledged work of constituency, fit and not altogether Lowell. It contains also a sketch, too few, a constituency of “Followers Connecticut Georgics,” which a boy of the vision, still in motion towards who had spent his summer on a farm the distant gleam.” Godey's Lady's found more fascinating than either. Book did not seek to make the Being at that stage of pubescency wayfaring man revise or advance when “Ik Marvel's” “Reveries of a his standard. Not much more did Bachelor” and “Dream Life" take Peterson's:

strong hold of the "primrose fancies

of a boy," as they have done for boys The feathered tribes on pinions cleave the of every generation since, I inwardly air;

ascribed this sketch to my admired Not so the Mackerel, and, still less, the

Reverist, partly induced, no doubt, by Bear.

the localization of the title. It is Least of all the "giant of the month

only just now that I learn that, like lies," which, four years after PUTNAM'S

many another good thing in the pubof the first issue demitted and deter

lished volumes, my sketch was the mined, was described by Anthony

work of Frederick Beecher Perkins. Trollope, encountering a copy of it up

There is a verse quoted in it, relating the banks of the Mississippi, so much

to the march of the mowers in "the

fresh meadow," which I have carried more remote then than now, as "the

about with me ever since, without omnipresent Harper." The able "Major," then and long after directing being able to bring it home to the poet: the "periodical” policy of Franklin

And forward, and forward, Square, with his inflexible and yet

Resistlessly they go; beneficent sway, knew perfectly well

For strong arms wave the long keen glaive what he wanted. But it was not, in

That vibrates down below. those years or for many years after, literary quality that he wanted. In Add that the poetry of the number truth, it may well have been the suc- comprises Longfellow's “Two Angels,” cès d'estime of the younger rival, “the Lowell's “Without and Within," laurels of Miltiades," which deter- erroneously ascribed by Mr. Putnam mined him to secure one of the chief in his private record of the authors factors in that success by engaging and the cost of the contributions to George William Curtis for his own, C. F. B., though it has long since as he did before Putnam's ceased to be been reprinted with the acknowledged published. This acquisition continued work of its actual author; and Wilto be one of the chief pillars of the liam Henry Hurlbert's “Sehnsucht, Harper periodicals until his lamented “Come, Beauteous Day," not atdeath.

tributed in the record, but afterwards A stray number or two of PUTNAM's reprinted in Mr. Dana's "Household lying about the house formed a part Book of Poetry” with the author's of the steady “browsings" of my name;-add these, and you have a early literary pasturage. There list of contributions and contributors one number in particular which I which a magazine of these current

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months would find it difficult, if not and that his versification was of a impossible, to match. It is interesting looser and more whimsical kind even to remark that the “Editorial Notes,' than Clough's—in fact, the most written, I suppose, by Mr. Briggs, easily written verse that came to hand. though the record does not show, One interjected lyric he preserved and contain a warm welcome for Mat republished, the “Aladdin": thew Arnold's first book of verse, quoting with enthusiasm the “Ode to

When I was a beggarly boy, Philomela.'

And lived in a cellar damp Vor was this, it appears, an excep

I had not a friend nor a toy, tional number. Contributions in those

But I had Aladdin's lamp. days were anonymous, as in all the The rest survives only in this other magazines, unless in some of “dusty crypt of darkened forms and them the serial of a British novelist

faces, this set of the bound files of whose name was an asset was osten

the old Putnam's. One may, and tatiously “conveyed. Hence, as to

perhaps even must, agree with the contributions which have remained

rhymer that his design was a mistake, unreprinted, the publisher's private

and that the subject ought to be record, with which you have been so

“continued”in prose, without on that kind as to equip the present remin

account being willing to let the verse iscent for the present occasion, contains all that is now to be learned.

altogether die.

It stands to reason

that young Lowell could not have Unfortunately, the record extends

written two thousand lines or so of only from the beginning of January,

verse without falling upon felicities 1853, to April, 1855. But this space

worthy of preservation, however misamply suffices to show that, though those were the days of small things as

taken the design may have been or, for to the prices of contributions, they obscuring the very beauties may have

that matter, however irrelevant and were by no means such as to their

been to the design. The thing is vaiue. What does the modern reader

worth rescue and reprint, and I comsay, for instance, to a poem by Lowell of some thousands of lines, at least as

mend it to you. As to the random

felicities, take this one for an example: long, one guesses, as the “Fable for Critics,” which has remained unre

The tide slips wimpling by, the same that printed to this day? Such, we learn

weeks ago, perhaps, from the record, is the fact; and of

Round coral reefs in Indian seas shimcourse we thereupon turn to the

mered with whispering lapse; verse itself with keen interest.

It

The same that, sweeping Northward still, occupies six pages in April, two in

to Arctic snows may bear May, and four in June of 1853; and

Great leaves, scarce disenchanted yet of aithough the last words of it are "To

drowsy tropic air, be continued,” it died, to be resumed

Such as may vex stout Franklin's dreams, in the magazine after many months,

where unrelenting lines in April, 1854, as has been noted above,

Of icepeaks, whitening endlessly, o'ertop in the frankly prosaic vesture of the

his useless pines. * Fireside Travels.” “Our Own" was the title of the versified version-ap

Or this, for another : parently “our own correspondent, for the proposal was evidently that of

There are some goodish things at sea ; for a loosely rhymed chronicle of travel,

instance, one can feel apparently in humorous imitation

A grandeur in the silent man forever at and rivalry of the shortly preceding the wheel, “ Amours de Voyage" of the author's

That bit of two-legged intellect, that friend and travelling companion, Ar

particle of drill, thur Clough, excepting that in Low

Who the huge foundering hulk inspires ell's chronicle there are no "amours," with reason, brain, and will,

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