She came among the gathering
A maiden fair, without pretense,
And when they asked her humble name,
She whispered mildly, “Common Sense.”
Her modest garb drew
Her ample cloak, her shoes of leather;
And when they sneered, she simply said,
“I dress according to the weather.”
They argued long and
In dubious Hindoo phrase mysterious;
While she, poor child, could not divine
Why girls so young should be so serious.
They knew the length
of Plato’s beard,
And how the scholars wrote in Laturn;
She studied authors not so deep,
And took the Bible for her pattern.
And so she said, “Excuse
I feel all have their proper places,
And Common Sense should stay at home
With cheerful hearts and smiling faces.”
Mr. Fields has been a frequent contributor to his own periodicals, his latest effort being a paper devoted to personal recollections of Charles Dickens, which was published in the “Atlantic Monthly” soon after the death of the great master.
He has made several extended tours throughout Europe, where he has enjoyed social advantages rarely opened to travelers. One of his friends says that, in his first visit to the Old World, “he passed several months in England, Scotland, France, and Germany, visiting the principal places of interest, and forming most delightful and profitable intimacies with the most distinguished literateurs of the day. He was a frequent guest at the well-known breakfasts of the great banker-poet of ‘The Pleasures of Memory’ and of ‘Italy,’ and listened or added his own contributions to the exuberant riches of the hour, when such visitors as Talfourd, Dickens, Moore, and Landor were the talkers.” He also formed a warm friendship with Wordsworth, and, during his stay in Edinburgh, with Professor Wilson and De Quincey. The writings of the last-named author were published by Ticknor and Fields, in eighteen volumes, and were edited by Mr. Fields, at the author’s own request.
Mr. Fields is now in his fiftieth year, but shows no sign of age, save the whitening of his heavy, curling beard. He is still young and active in mind and body. He is of medium height, and well proportioned, with an erect carriage. Polished and courteous in manner, he is easily accessible to all. To young writers he is especially kind, and it is a matter of the truest pleasure to him to seek out and bring to notice genuine literary merit. He has a host of friends, and is widely popular with all classes.
JAMES GORDON BENNETT.