IV

THE days of the years when youth is finding its way into manhood are not those which have the most flattering memories. It is better with the autobiographer both before and after that time, though both the earlier and later times have much to offer that should keep him modest. But that interval is a space of blind struggle, relieved by moments of rest and shot with gleams of light, when the youth, if he is fortunate, gathers some inspira­> tion for a worthier future. His experiences are vivid and so burnt into him that if he comes to speak of them it will require all his art to hide from himself that he has little to remember which he would not much rather forget. In his own behalf, or to his honor and glory, he cannot recall the whole of his past, but if he is honest enough to intimate some of its facts he may be able to serve a later generation. His reminiscences even in that case must be a tissue of egotism, and he will merit nothing from their altruistic effect.


I

Journalism was not my ideal, but it was my passion, and I was passionately a journalist well after I began author. I tried to make my newspaper work literary, to give it form and distinction, and it seems to me that I did not always try in vain, but I had also the instinct of actuality, of trying to make my poetry speak for its time and place. For the most part, I really made it speak for the times and places I had read of; but while Lowell was keeping my

-178-

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