THE announcement of the death of Professor JOHN RICHARD DENNETT will not be a surprise to his friends, but even those who have watched the growth of the seeds of consumption must be shocked at the termination of such a life.
Those who knew him personally will mourn sincerely for him as a man, and all who have watched the progress of his short career will realize what a loss American literature has suffered.
Professor Dennett graduated at Harvard in 1862, and his life from thence to the time of his death has been devoted to the improvement of the literature of the country. When, in 1869, Professor Child was called upon to select for an assistant the man whom he considered best fitted for the place, he named John Richard Dennett. He filled the position of Assistant Professor of Rhetoric here for two years, and during that time he won the respect of the Faculty and the esteem of the students. It was to the great regret of all undergraduates that he resigned his position in 1872 to accept the management of the literary department of the Nation. Of what he has done there it is unnecessary to speak. Every reader of the Nation knows with what power and ability that department of the paper has been managed for the past two years.
When the talents and virtues of a man have not been properly recognized in his lifetime, it is well to dwell upon them in his obituary; but the talents of Professor Dennett were such that they could not be overlooked, and it is necessary only to point to the positions he held, before reaching the age of thirty-five, to indicate what a loss we have sustained.
His personal appearance was worthy of his strong mind. He was more than six feet high, with broad shoulders, an exceedingly well-built frame, and a handsome bearded face. In more ways than one he resembled Thackeray's "George Warrington." Now, at the termination of this brief career, we can only repress the sad thoughts of "what might have been" by remembering with gratitude that so much has been left us, - that the future aspirants for literary distinction in this country will have before them for an example the life of JOHN RICHARD DENNETT.