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liness, are wisely kept in the background, and his noble and picturesque qualities brought to the front. The psychology is extremely simple. This Indian edda must be enjoyed for its atmosphere of the forest, its childlike spirit, and its humor. Hiawatha was a friend of animals (when he was not their enemy), and understood them even better than writers of modern nature-books. One does not need to be young again to enjoy the account of Hiawatha's fishing in company with his friend the squirrel. The sturgeon swallows them both, and the squirrel helps Hiawatha get the canoe crossways in the fish, a timely service in recognition of which (after both have been rescued) he receives the honorable name of Tail-inair. In fact, the poem abounds in observations of animal life which as yet await the sanction of John Burroughs.

Taking a series of poems on the half-real, halfmythical King Olaf, adding thereto a group of contrasting tales from Spanish, Italian, Jewish, and American sources, assigning each narrative to an appropriate character, binding the whole together with an Introduction, Interludes, and a Conclusion, Longfellow produced the genial Tales of a Wayside Inn. The device of the poem is old, but it can always be given a new turn. Adapted to prose as well as verse, it may be used ‘in little,' as Hardy has done in A Few Crusted Characters, or in larger form, as in A Group of Noble Dames.

No secret was made of the fact that the Way“side Inn’ was the ‘Red Horse Inn' of Sudbury, Massachusetts, or that the characters, the Sicilian, the Poet, the Student, the Spanish Jew, the Musician, and the Theologian, were real people, friends of Longfellow."

The reader who takes up Tales of a Wayside Inn knows by instinct that he may not look for the broad and leisurely treatment, the wealth of beauty and harmony, which characterize The Earthly Paradise of Morris. That need not, however, prevent him from enjoying the Tales on quite sufficient grounds. The poems are often too brief; some are mere anecdotes 'finished just as they are fairly begun.' We are prepared for a more generous treatment.

Though not written for that complex and formidable entity the child-mind,' two poems in the collection, Paul Revere's Ride' and 'King Robert

of Sicily,' are beloved of school children and dear to the amateur elocutionist. The most original of the tales is 'The Saga of King Olaf,' drawn from the Heimskringla, and appropriately put into the lips of the Musician. It is a poem redolent of the sea and the forest. The theme was congenial to Longfellow, who loved the misty world of the 'north, weird and wonderful.'

Prompted by the good fortune of Tales of a

i Luigi Monti, T. W. Parsons, H. W. Wales, Israel Edrehi, Ole Bull, Daniel Treadwell.

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Wayside Inn, the poet was led to make additions to it. A second part appeared in Three Books of Song, a third part in Aftermath. With these fifteen additional tales the three parts were then collected into a single volume.




As early as 1841 Longfellow had conceived the idea of an elaborate poem .. the theme of which would be the various aspects of Christen‘dom in the Apostolic, Middle, and Modern 'Ages. In 1851 The Golden Legend appeared, with no word to indicate that it was the second part of a trilogy. Seventeen years more elapsed and The New England Tragedies came from the press, to be followed three years later by The Divine Tragedy. The three parts were then arranged in chronological order and the completed work given the title of Christus, a Mystery.

One may guess why the first part of the trilogy was the last to be published. A bard the most indubitably inspired might question his power to meet the infinite requirements of so lofty a theme. Longfellow's Divine Tragedy has received less than due meed of praise. It has an austere beauty. If


a reader can be moved by the Scripture narrative, he can scarcely remain unmoved by this reverent handling of the story of the Christ. Through many lines the poet follows the Scriptural version almost to the letter, bending the text only enough to throw it into metrical form. Often the dialogue seems bald and the transitions abrupt because the poet allows himself the least degree of liberty. This severity and repression in the treatment are one source of that power which The Divine Tragedy certainly has.

Part two, The Golden Legend, is a retelling of the story of Prince Henry of Hoheneck. Here, Longfellow reproduces with skill the light and color of mediæval life, if not its darkness and diablerie. The street-preaching, the miracle-play in the church, the revel of the monks at Hirschau, and the lawless gayety of the pilgrims are all painted with a clear and certain touch, but in colors almost too pale, too delicate. Longfellow had not the courage or the taste to handle these themes with the touch of almost brutal realism they seem to require. The third

part of the trilogy, The New England Tragedies, consists of two plays, John Endicott and Giles Corey of the Salem Farms, one dealing with the persecution of the Quakers, the other with the witchcraft delusion. The first is the better. Edith Christison's arraignment of Norton in the church, her trial, punishment, her return to the colony at the risk of her life, and the release of the Quakers by the king's mandamus, followed by Endicott's death, are vigorously depicted. The character of the governor is finely drawn, and the last scene between Bellingham and Endicott is a strong and moving conception. As he bends over the dead man, Bellingham says:

How placid and how quiet is his face,
Now that the struggle and the strife are ended !
Only the acrid spirit of the times
Corroded this true steel. Oh, rest in peace,

Courageous heart! Forever rest in peace ! The companion play, Giles Corey, shows what has been already observed, how little adapted Longfellow's genius was for dealing with psychological mysteries. He could understand the mental conditions and sympathize with persecutors and victims, but he could not reproduce the uncanny atmosphere enveloping the witchcraft tragedies. Giles Corey is a finished study of a theme which might have been developed into a powerful play. It is profitable reading, yet if one would be carried back into the horrors of that time he must go to Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown' and not to Giles Corey. Poets are notorious for taking liberties with the facts of history. But according to the late John Fiske, the poetical conception of Cotton Mather as set forth in The New England Tr edies is much nearer truth than the popular conception of the great Puritan minister based on the teachings of historians.

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