The Letters of William Cullen Bryant - Vol. 1

By William Cullen Bryant II; Thomas G. Voss et al. | Go to book overview

104. To Charles Sedgwick

Great Barrington July 10 1824.

My dear Sir.

I send you the April No. of the N. A. Review which Mrs. S. & yourself expressed a desire to read. For Greenwood's article I must bespeak a favourable perusal beforehand; for I once heard it censured by one who was yet Wordsworthian enough as I found afterwards, to speak of the tie that associates natural and moral beauty, and of the voice of divinity issuing from the eloquent places of nature. 1

I did not want a writ of partition in the School District case--partition having already been made in due form of law by three disinterested and discreet freeholders, resident in the County of Berkshire. But the statute provides that the return of the partitioning Comte upon being accepted shall be recorded in the Clerk's office & also in the Office of Register of Deeds. If you ever do such a thing as to let such a paper go from your hands I should like to have it sent to me that I may get it recorded here-- 2

I believe your sister, Miss Sedgwick, sometimes interests herself in what is going on in the literary world. Will you tell her as [a] piece of literary news, that my latest advices from Cambridge inform me that a certain work entitled Redwood, the production of an anonymous writer, whose name was so well concealed that it did not come to the knowledge of the public much sooner than the name of the work itself, is in such high esteem there that it is absolutely dangerous and unsafe not to admire it--that the unfortunate critic who is sufficiently hardy & unreasonable to find fault with it suffers an immediate forfeiture of reputation in matters of taste; and what is better still that those who from some reason or other (probably religious prejudices) did not like the New England Tale3 have come out its decided and redoubtable champions. 4

In the midst of these acclamations of praise which I hear from all quarters, it is a matter of no small pride to me that the unexpected and flattering honour which the author has done me in dedicating the work to me has permitted me to "Pursue the triumph & partake the gale," as Pope says. 5

I have scribbled you a slovenly letter here; but we do not always dress to see our friends.--

Yrs. truly
W. C. BRYANT

MANUSCRIPT: Pierpont Morgan Library ADDRESS: Charles Sedgwick Esq. / Lenox ENDORSED: W. C. Bryant / July 1824 / In Re C. M. S "Redwood" PUBLISHED: Charles I. Glicksberg , "Bryant and the Sedgwick Family," Americana, 31 ( October 1937), 629.

1.
This notice by Francis W. P. Greenwood in NAR, 18 ( April 1824), 356-371 was entitled "Miscellaneous Poems of Wordsworth, London, 1820," but concerned itself

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