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the sides of the house are orchards, gardens, and shrubberies. It is snugness itself, this and its surroundings. There is a very dreamy look about it. One does not in the least marvel when told that here is the abode of another poet; the air of literary seclusion, of poetic taste for rural things, of the otium cum dignitate of prosperous letters, is all about the place. There is a certain carelessness about the trees and shrubs, a graceful neglect of trim neatness (which is not poetic). Then, when one knows that it is the home of a poet, the name of the estate, "Elmwood," strikes harmoniously upon the ear; a place, above all others, to move the fancy of an impressible soul, if there is leisure to abide and wait for it to move. The right man then lives in the right place James Russell Lowell. Fortunately, he being of an ancient and wealthy family, this drowsy, old, romantic place fell to the share of its quickest-witted and most appreciative member. The present proprietor's father, Rev. Dr. John Lowell, was an eminent man, a parson of rare merit to New England eyes; but " Biglow Papers" have got beyond the paternal sermons, have fairly eclipsed all the reverend propoundings. Those who have seen Lowell in his daily life, in the midst of his books, among his trees and flowers, surrounded by the little odds and ends of authorship, know how keenly he enjoys his unfashionable but poetically-luxurious patrimony, and how fully he is the loving genius of his habitation. He, more than any living, is to be called the peculiarly representative poet of America. As a caricaturist of the genuine Yankee countryman— rather, we should say, as the portrayer, for he hardly exaggerates -he is without parallel. The humour of Sam Slick and of Artemus Ward consists in carrying Yankeeism to the extremest travesty. Walking about in Yankeeland, you find few such. The humour of "Biglow Papers," to American minds, consists in its startling and amusing truthfulness. There are Hosea Biglows in every New Eng land village; you cannot walk a mile in the country without meeting one-twang, homely wit, rugged sense and all. Lowell is a Yankee dealing with Yankees, as the "Mr. Snob" of Thackeray was a snob dealing with snobs; Lowell, however, being no more like Hosea than Thackeray was like the ludicrous creatures of his brain. Living, as he does, among Yankees, and seeing much of the prevailing rustic type, alive keenly to their salient points of character, their manner of viewing things, their spicy rural wit, and quick to transfer the picture from mind to paper, imitating and readily versifying the exact language and pronunciation, he is beyond all competition the first portrayer of the Yankee
character in America. One is surprised, after reading "Biglow Papers," to find what manner of man Professor Lowell is; more still, when he hears his rich, sparkling conversation, clothed in the best of English, and bearing evidence of a rare scholastic culture. The versatility of the poet is remarkable; he turns as easily from a "Biglow" sketch to a philosophical dissertation on current politics, as Sheridan did from "The Rivals" to a harangue from the benches of the Opposition. Some of the most trenchant political essays which have lately appeared in America were his productions; several, in the "North American Review," commanding the attention of the whole country. In common with a large majority of Northern men of letters, Lowell is Radical, and may in politics, be ranked with Emerson, Phillips, Sumner; bitterly hostile to the President and Secretary Seward, and favourable to putting the negro on a full equality with the white citizen. Among the small coterie which has for years braved public opinion (before the question of abolition was ripe) in advocacy of negro freedom, Lowell was, perhaps next to Wendell Phillips, the ablest champion of the oppressed race. There is a little volume of lyrics and poetical stories, album scraps, acceptations of gifts in verse, and so on (which Ticknor and Fields have put out, blue-and-gold bound), which illustrates still further the rich variety of Lowell's mind, and which is to be found in almost every American parlour. Mr. Lowell succeeded his rival, neighbour, and friend, Longfellow, some six or seven years ago, as Professor of Modern Languages and Literature in Harvard University. Among his duties in this capacity is that of delivering a series of lectures, in the course of the winter, on Modern Literature, to the senior class. It is a rare treat to listen to them. They are the production of a cultivated and most facile mind, strongly prone to humour, and above all eminently capable of holding the attention of all his auditory. They are not the less instructive because they abound in apt anecdotes, and are rich in pertinent and well-timed illustration. Among other subjects, the lectures treat of Dante, Shakspeare, Milton-those who mark epochs in modern letters; and one of the lectures (the richest of all) is on 'English humour," in which the lecturer manages to blend a compendium of knowledge with a multitude of laughter-exciting stories.
The voice and manner of delivery add greatly to the charm of the lectures; neither, indeed, would be effective before a miscellaneous audience assembled to hear a political discussion. Professor Lowell is not fitted for "stump speechifying"; and, although a keen lover of
politics, it is seldom that he will appear in public to advocate his views. His voice is sweet and even rather than strong, his manner gentle and elegant rather than demonstrative; and to be a successful stump orator in America needs much gesticulation and lungs of iron— brains are, unfortunately, not an essential, and are not apt to be appreciated by the commune vulgus. With such audiences, however, as Lowell has, consisting not only of the most advanced University students, but often of the élite of the literary circles of the literary centre of America, only the highest culture, the most chaste finish will pass current. Those who have heard his lectures, and also those of his predecessor, are able to compare the delivery and prose style of the two most eminent of American poets. As a lecturer, Lowell must be confessed to bear off the palm. Longfellow's manner was plain and to a degree monotonous; his voice had not that melodious charm which belongs to Lowell's; he took much less pains to please in the mere manner of putting forth his ideas. His language was not so neatly fitting to the subject and the audience; on the other hand, he was less fastidious, less, so to speak, epicurean in his use of words. Lowell, in everything appertaining to him, possesses an inimitable grace and finish such as is not conspicuous in Longfellow. Both are ripe scholars, accomplished linguists especially; their pursuit, con amore, of the riches which lie deep down in the living languages, is equally zealous. Longfellow is the most profound in the classics, and his favourite studies appear to be Italian and Spanish letters; those of Lowell, of German and English letters. Lowell is far the more facile of the two, in versification especially his composition is almost marvellously rapid; that of Longfellow deliberate with much forethought, and the results of this difference are evident in a comparison of their respective productions. The friends of Professor Lowell who are privileged to see him in his house and to sit at his table, are often delighted by sparkling impromptus, the thought of a moment suggested by a passing incident; epigrams follow each other in quick succession, none of which fail of pith and humour. We have heard it said that the "Biglow Papers" were mostly composed thus, quickly, on the spur of the moment. The poet seldom re-writes, and his manuscript usually goes to the printer with hardly an erasure, as it was first jotted down. Occasionally one finds in the printed copy indications of haste, then again there is a freshness and point which more than make up for the delinquency, and which is far better in its effect than if it had been the subject of deliberate revision. This can never be said of the pro
ductions of Longfellow, which appear with their last finish. The mental and moral contrasts between Longfellow and Lowell are in harmony with the contrast in their personal appearance and social character. While Longfellow appears venerable, and looks to be much older than he is, Lowell is youthful in manner and appearance. Both are remarkably prepossessing; Longfellow inspires veneration, Lowell admiration. The latter who is verging on fifty seems not more than thirty-five; in his way, too, he looks the poet. His hair is of a rich glossy curling auburn, long, parted over the centre of the forehead, and without perceptible grey hair. The features have the regularity of an Apollo Belvidere, the forehead is beautiful-high, white, broad, and gently receding; the nose straight, thin, sensitive; the mouth covered by a thick auburn moustache a shade lighter than the hair, is full, and amiable in expression; the chin is round and even, wherefrom extends a long beard of auburn. But the poet's eye is his best feature, large dark blue, gentle, full of sentiment, sparkling, a true poet's eye. Lowell is rather below middle-height, is straight and well-built, has the small hands and feet which are supposed to come of aristocratic descent. In dress he is jaunty, studiously prim, every garment is exactly fitted and quite in the fashion. To see him at a little distance, your guess as to his age would wander downward by at least twenty years. His step is so brisk, so easy and buoyant, that his gait adds to the deception. He is one of the most social and genial of men; easy of access, always bland and courteous, quite devoid of any stiffness, fond of talking and always talking charmingly, he entertains a stranger as handsomely as if he were an old acquaintance. One never is tired of his conversation; once introduced into his society, and you can hear the constant flow of his witticisms and descriptions for hours without a thought of weariness. He always has something to say, is never at a loss for a thought, or a word, or an apt illustration; is well primed with quotations from all books and tongues, yet uses them without ostentatious pedantry, always with effect. Thoroughly human in his tastes and proclivities, not ethereally disdaining a pipe or a merry meeting now and then, but enjoying them to the fullest, like smaller men; fond of ease, yet practising the theory that all work that is worth doing, is worth doing well. He is, equally with Longfellow, free from all snobbish affectation of the oddities of genius, whether of the greater or the smaller sort. It is a rare privilege to visit Lowell in the congenial privacy of his study. It is a small room at the rear of the house, the
windows looking out upon the shrubberies and garden, and shaded with trees. The walls are covered with book-shelves laden with the treasures which the scholar-poet's taste has collected. Rare editions of the old poets and philosophers, English, Italian, and German, are not wanting. There are histories, books of sketches and travel, political, and literary pamphlets, evincing the variety of their possessor's interest. A large open old-fashioned fireplace, surmounted by a high mantelpiece, takes up nearly the whole of one side of the room; before this is a writing-table whereupon are scattered books, pamphlets, letters, scraps of manuscript, blank paper, pens, and inkstands, by no means primly arranged. On the mantelpiece is a miscellaneous collection of little ornaments, souvenirs, and utilities; and you will not fail to observe that pipes, cigars, and other convenient apparatus for smoking are distributed about here and there, hinting to you that Lowell is wedded to "the weed." It is here usually that he receives his friends, and indeed all who call upon him; and there are not a few who will recollect the hours passed there before a blazing fire as memorable. The ease of the host's manners, the utter absence of all snobbishness, the readiness with which he enters into conversation and brilliantly sustains it, the new ideas which keep coming to the surface, the veritable poetry which constantly characterizes his conversation, and the great extent of his æsthetical learning, make the hours pass so swiftly and agreeably, that one always deeply regrets the moment for bidding him adieu. A cozy old-fashioned room, plainly adorned, but with that most welcome adornment to lovers of letters-a multitude of bookseverywhere scattered indications of the presence of one deep in lore, and a cheerful air of comfort which takes possession of you the moment you enter. It is from hence that the "Biglow Papers," and the charming little lyrics have gone forth to be in the lips of men all over America and England. As an instructor at the University, Professor Lowell is well liked by those students who are sincerely desirous of learning, for he is thorough, and imparts knowledge with clearness and accuracy, which greatly assists in the progress in a language. We would gladly pursue our subject further and describe the persons and houses of others, equally well known, who live in Cambridge; but the space we have taken up has already gone beyond our anticipation, and warns us to defer other descriptions to some future day.