In a little town to which business called me: in the midst of a driving snowstorm: just toward dusk: and with everything cheerless about me I learn of the death of George. It is a great shock: for I did not even know he was ill: & I shall not, I fear, reach town to attend the funeral, but shall try.Hall's moving letter of condolence is in the Duyckinck family papers at NYPL. Quoted above from Hershel Parker's Herman Melville: A Biography, V2.534. Also transcribed at Parker's blog, Fragments from a Writing Desk.
You know Evert I have knocked around the edges of society of all sorts & have for a man of my years seen a great deal of the bad side of life without being in it or of it. I can therefore well admire & esteem such a meek and unaffectedly just man as was George. To me he stands out in very bold relief as such a man. He was guileless, charitable to the failings of others, detesting wrong & deceit. You see I dwell on the things which to me seem great virtues. Others will speak of his talents, & literary labors & of his mind & its acumen. But to me a good man & that my friend is praise above all praise....
|George Long Duyckinck (1823-1863)|
Image Credit: NYPL Digital Collections
Related melvilliana post: