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A Longfellow Anecdote

A Longfellow Anecdote image
Parent Issue
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A writer describing a visit to Lonfgellow, says; " Among the paintings, the one I observod most keenly was the on e bjf that poet of the pen, pencil and chisel, Thomas Buohanan Kead, engravinga of which, a few years ago, were as profuse as falling leaves after the first autumnal frost, and even now are found on rnany walls. ïhis picture is the one known as ' Longfellow's Children,' a fault in the artist's drawing, it will be remembered, giving rise to the belief that one of the poet's children was bom without arms. As an instance of the tenacity with which a belief (I had almost said superstition) of this kind clings to people somewhat bigoted in adhering to already-formed opinions, Mr. Longfellow related an incident of comparativoly recent occurrence, quite as amusing as it was annoying. - Sis brother poet and most intímate friend, James Russell Lpwell, was in a Mount Auburn horse-car, and on the opposite seat sat a party of women, one of whom, a sort of chattering magpie, acting the 3art of a chapnron, said, as the car apjroached the old Craigie Mansion : " This s where Lougfellow lives - the poet, you cnow. Funny such nice people slioald ïave such queer notions about some ;hings. I should have thought he'd have wanted to build a new house. But I s'pose it's true that poets all have a crazy pot somewhere in their heads.' Then, after a pause, during which some imniaerial remark was mado by one of her auditors, she continued : ' What a pity that one of his children, a pretty girl otherwise they say, was born without arms!' VIr. Lowell thought there was a good oportunity to stop, in one circle at least, ;he current of so absurd a story, and said n his most geutlemanly ruanner: 'I jeg your pardon, madam, but I am an inimate friend of Mr. Longfellow's family, and I can assure you there is no truth in he story about his child.' ' I beg your ardon, sir, the lady retorted, all the clanïishness of her strata of development ransforming herintoa human porcupine, I beg your pardon, sir, but I have it 'rom a lady who had it from Mr. Long'ellow hiniself.' Then a self-satisfied arangement of drapery and a triumphant adjustinent of her bonnet warned Mr. jowell that the ground was dangerous, and he discreetly said no more."


Old News
Michigan Argus