The Letters of William Cullen Bryant - Vol. 1

By William Cullen Bryant II; Thomas G. Voss et al. | Go to book overview
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past and I expect to present her to you in the [spr]ing when you come hence in better case than you have seen her. --In the mean time I [ho]pe it is unnecessary to repeat my injunctions that you should get [we]ll as soon as possible. There is the book on America yet to be written and that is no light matter. --The Atlantic is to be crossed and an extensive country to be explored "many cities and many men" to be visited and a lively and witty and withal a full true and impartial account of America and the Americans [to] be given.

BRY.--

MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) ADDRESS: To Mrs. Renner/ Hotel de la [Ville?] Milan. ENDORSED (by Bryant): My Letter to / Mrs. Renner / Oct. 11, 1835--.

1.
The Bryants left Munich on October 2 and, passing through Ulm, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe, reached Heidelberg October 6. Here they stayed at the King of Portugal Hotel until November 1, and then began housekeeping at 266 Friedrichstrasse. Frances Bryant, "Autobiographical Sketch," NYPL-GR.
2.
Calignani's Messenger, published in English at Paris. See Letter 310.
3.
Nathaniel P. Willis, associate editor with George Pope Morris of the NYM, was then a roving reporter for the paper with headquarters in England, where he also wrote for several British publications. Bryant refers to an article, possibly by Willis, called "Literature of the Nineteenth Century. America," in The Athenaeum, No. 377 ( January 17, 1835), pp. 52-55, in which his poetry and that of James G. Percival were discussed at some length.
4.
An allusion to a comment in the Athenaeum article that Bryant was a poet who had found the law uncongenial, and, "with a large family growing on his hands," turned to political journalism.

310. To the EVENING POST

Heidelberg, December 9, 1835.

It is a source of constant vexation to Americans residing in Europe, to see in the publick prints, and hear reported in conversation, exaggerated stories of riots, Lynch trials, and violence of various kinds committed in the United States. The same story is often given in half a dozen shapes, and it is dressed up by the fancy of different journalists, accompinied with malignant comments, so that it passes for so many different outbreaks of popular government. The London journals have been quite diligent in this dirty business; the Tories had a political object; they wanted to show that liberal institutions are unfavourable to social order, and therefore seized with eagerness on every thing which gave a pretext for saying that violence has taken place of law in America; and latterly, the Whig journals, fearing that the radicals would attack the Peerage, have followed the example of the Tories, and have clubbed their wits to show that America is in a bad way, owing to the want of an aristocracy. It is droll enough sometimes to see what trash the Morning Herald, for example, rakes together for this purpose. "All is fish that comes to their net," from an assault and battery in the back-woods to a brawl amonost

-475-

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