Page images


ALTHOUGH this little volume contains the leading

facts of Mr. Bryant's life, it does not pretend to be a complete biography, such as his family will doubtless cause to be written by some one to whom his private papers will be intrusted for that purpose. Such an extended work, if it appears, will present him as his friends wish him to be known and thought of by his fellow-men. This sketch is based upon an independent, and, it is hoped, an impartial judgment, of the man and the writer as his life and works display him to the world. If the picture contains more of light than of shade, it is because fact has fixed the proportion, and fidelity to truth requires a faithful reproduction.

I am under obligation to several friends for important information concerning the details of the poet's life, and to his publishers-Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., G. P. Putnam's Sons, and Houghton & Osgood-for permission to make extracts from his works. These are, for the most part, of an autobiographical character; but some have been made to illustrate his prose style. Mr. Isaac Henderson, the publisher of "The New-York 204879


Evening Post," has also granted permission to make use of the articles published in that journal and in the memorial pamphlet reprinted from it.

The political and journalistic career of Mr. Bryant has received less attention than the literary phase of his life, as being less important to the purpose of the series to which this volume belongs. The general design of the sketch will also explain the omission of some particulars which some readers may wish had been admitted to these pages.


February, 1879.



« PreviousContinue »