Letter from CHARLES ELIOT NORTON to CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated May 14, 1882.
Dear Mrs. Marsh
Your kind note of the 24 April reached me this morning, and I have had the pleasure
of receiving safely this afternoon the two parcels of manuscript concerning which you have been
good enough to take so much pains. They arrive opportunely, for the Annual Meeting of our little
Dante Society takes place
this next week, and the manuscript will serve to remind the members not so much of a frustrated intention, as of Mr. Longfellow's zeal for the study of the Divine Comedy, of his desire to show honor to the memory of Dante, and of his always generous readiness to assist in any worthy cause.
You will have felt what his loss is to this community, here in Cambridge where he has lived
so long. The loss to New England of Emerson and Longfellow is immeasurable,--in diminishing her spiritual leadership, her power to affect the imagination of men. This is greatly to be deplored; for more than ever are the qualities characteristic of New England in need of re-enforcement, and her influence of importance to counteract the prevailing tendencies of our national life.
I hope to send to Mr.
Marsh in a few days a volume which, I believe, will afford him some interest, the Report of the Investigations of the last year at Assos. The results have been eminently satisfactory, and make an addition of considerable importance to our knowledge of Greek Art.
Let me thank you once more for all the trouble you have taken in this matter of the copy of Benvenuto's Comment. With kindest remembrances, & most respectful regards to yourself and Mr. Marsh
[The following appears vertically on the page beginning "Cambridge. May 14, 1882."]
I am, Most truly Yours
References in this letter:
Ralph Waldo Emerson died on April 27, 1882; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died on March 24, 1882.
Joseph Thacher Clarke's Preliminary Report of the Investigations at Assos During 1881 appeared in the Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1882.
Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola's commentary in Latin on the Divine Comedy was one of the earliest and most valuable discussions of Dante's great work.