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When hearts, whose truth was proven,
Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1849, in the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the Eastern District
A few words seem necessary to explain the circumstances, under which this volume is presented to the public.
The course of Mr. Graham's life, retired as it was, had been such, that a large circle of friends had become interested in the promise he gave of literary distinction. Classmates, pupils, associates in teaching, and personal friends had for years anticipated the time, when one who had produced so much that was beautiful and valuable in mere play, would come advantageously before the public in some mature and finished work. What he had thus far done had been entirely occasional—hastily written to meet the demands of the literary association, of the social circle, and of private affection—and had been valued chiefly for what it promised. But when his early and premature death occurred, his friends, in the disappointment of their higher hopes, turned back in thought to what he had already accomplished, and the desire grew upon them to possess, in a collected form, even those hasty and private productions, which, in fact, they had hitherto known only in part.
In the mind of no friend of Mr. Graham's could the desire of producing a memorial of his character and genius be felt so strongly, as in that of her, who was mourning his loss; and constituted as her mind was, there needed no more than the consciousness that such a desire was shared by others, to arouse her from her desolation to an earnest—a painfully earnest—effort to realize it. Appeal was made to me for advice. I had been associated with Mr. Graham during the whole of his connection with Delaware College as a teacher, and a still closer intimacy had afterwards grown up between us. While fully sharing, therefore, the desire of his other friends, I might, under different circumstances, have expressed myself decidedly against the proposed attempt, from the conviction that “Remains” are generally unsatisfactory to the public and unjust to the deceased. But in this case I felt confident, that while the memory of one friend would not suffer by the character of even his hastiest productions, the mind of the other could best be saved from preying on itself by an employment, which, without withdrawing her thoughts from their one object, would at the same time keep them in a healthier activity. I did not hesitate, therefore, to second the design of making a selection of Mr. Graham's various occasional productions, and of preparing a Memoir, that should contain specimens of his correspondence.
The purpose had been formed with entire forgetfulness of self; but, upon beginning to execute it, trying difficulties occurred. Those which grew out of distrust of ability and inexperience in authorship were overcome by the promise, on my part, of giving all the assistance that should be required, even to the extent (if necessary) of composing the Memoir myself out of the materials that might be furnished. But a more serious difficulty arose from the apprehension of being thought to violate a proper reserve, and from the still more grievous sacrifice of feeling, that was involved in submitting to the public eye letters and poems, that had been intended for one eye alone; and yet, without such sacrifice, what justice could be done to the heart or the genius of the deceased ? So habitual and constitutional had been his reserve, where the expression of feeling was concerned, that even his most intimate friends could have no conception of the absorbing fervor of devoted affection, with which his soul became possessed, without seeing these expressions of that affection. That grievous sacrifice, therefore, I could not hesitate to recommend as for these reasons absolutely necessary. That Mr. Graham's reputation, for intellectual ability and even for metaphysical acuteness, would gain, rather than lose, by the publication of letters of a class that are generally expected to contain more of sentiment than of intellect, I was well assured; for such was the peculiar constitution of his mind, and such the character of its activity at that period, that he was sure to bring to bear at once all that was in him, as a poet and a philosopher, in the attempt to express the fulness of the devotion, with which he made the offering of his whole being to another. And, at all events, if it should be