Recollections, Personal and Literary

Recollections, Personal and Literary

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Recollections, Personal and Literary

Recollections, Personal and Literary

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Excerpt

It was in the order of things, and hardly cause for blame, that New York, even after her provincial years, was compelled during so long a period to be, as De Quincey said of Oxford Street, a stony-hearted mother to her bookmen and poets. She had, in truth, few posts for them and little of a market. Her colleges had not the means, if they had the will, to utilise their talents and acquirements. We do owe to her newspapers and magazines, -- and now and then to the traditional liking of Uncle Sam for his bookish offspring, -- that more writers did not fall by the way, even in that arid time succeeding the Civil War, when we learned that letters were foregone, not only inter arma, but a long while afterward. Those were the days when English went untaught, and when publishers were more afraid of poetry than they now are of verse. Yet Mr. Stoddard was able to live through it all, and he lived to see a changed condition, to the evolution of which he contributed his full share.

For all this, he began long enough ago to have had his early poetry refused by Poe, because it was too good to be the work of an obscure stripling, and to have had Hawthorne for his sponsor and friend.

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