Mb. Longfellow s Eoangelim was published in 1847, and the discussion which his use of hexameters aroused was renewed repeatedly hi the following years. His next important poetical work was Tin Golden Legend, published in 1851, and he was still brooding over the full conception of Christ when his reading of the Finnish epic Kah vala gave impulse to a desire he had long had to weave the Indian legends into a connected poem. The result was Hiawatha, at which he worked with great enthusiasm ;not only because the theme interested him, but because he felt the exhilaration of release from daily academic duties, his resignation of his professorship having taken place in 1854. Hiawatha appeared in 1855. and then his mind reverted to Christus, and he began to consider the subjects which afterward took form in The NwE ngland Tragedies. Possibly the sombre character of the material he was working in caused a reaction, and led bun to look about for a subject of a lighter cast, but in the same general vein. At any rate, he notes in his diary, under the date of December 2, 1856 :I nthe evening, wrote the first scene in The Courtship of Miles Stun dish There is no evidence that he ever completed this dramatic representation of the subject. He went back in a few days to his Puritans and Quakers, and during the next few weeks was reading books which bore on this subject. But in March he struck upon Charles Wyllis Elliott s Tfu X- w England History, then just issued, which he characterizes as done cleverly, with a light hand. but depth of research enough, and the next day the desire returned to him to produce some comedy drawn from early New England life. He seems to have continued, however, to work fitfully at 77. New England I J, and by the end of August had made a rough draft of Wenlock Christison, the title which lie gave to the first form of John Endicott.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)