Saturday, March 15, 2014


Born Again

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), letter to his sisters (September 1, 1828), in The Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Andrew Hillen, Vol. I (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 278-280 (at 280):
Are you studying French or Spanish now-a-days? If not, you should lose no time in commencing: for I have become so very devoted to the study of languages,—that I think a person is inexcusable who is deterred by those difficulties, which always impede the first steps we take in any science. Do not let my admonitions be vain:—for I assure you—that by every language you learn, a new world is opened before you. It is like being born again:—and new ideas break upon the mind with all the freshness and delight—with which we may suppose the first dawn of intellect to be accompanied.

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