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Page 304

CHAPTER XIV
AMERICAN LITERATURE

way was arranged, however, and he had one year at an academy. This was almost his only schooling, but he was an eager student all the days of his life.
Through Garrison's influence an opportunity to do editorial work was offered him. He became deeply interested in public matters. The very air was tingling with the question, Slavery or no slavery? He threw the whole force of his thought and his pen against slavery. From the peace-loving Quaker came lyrics that were like the clashing of swords.
The years passed swiftly, and Whittier gained reputation as a poet slowly. He published several early volumes of poems, but it was not until 1866 that he really touched the heart of the country, for then he published Snow-Bound. There are poems by scores that portray passing moods, or tell interesting stories, or describe beautiful scenes ; but, save for The Cotter's Saturday Night, there is hardly another that gives so vivid a picture of home life. Snow-Bound is Whittier's masterpiece ; but The Eternal Goodness and some of his ballads, The Barefoot Boy, Maud Muller, Ski.~per Ireson's Ride, Telling the Bees, and a few others, come so close to the heart that they can never be forgotten.
Whittier was always fond of children. The story is told that he came from the pine woods one day with his pet, Phebe, and said merrily, " Phebe is seventy, I am seven, and we both act like sixty." He lived to see his eighty-fourth birthday in the midst of love and honours. One who was near him when the end came tells us that among his last whispered words were " Love to the world."
Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, the shy, gifted daughter of an old New England family, one of the most

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