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[Born, 1737. Educated at private schools, Magdalen College, Oxford, and at Lausanne. The first volume of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," published 1776; the last, 1788. Elected a Member of Parliament for Liskeard, 1774. Died, 1794.]

LOVE OF READING A PRICELESS TREASURE.-To her kind lessons (that excellent woman, Mrs. Catherine Porten, the true mother of my mind as well as of my health], I ascribe my early and invincible love of reading, which I would not exchange for the treasures of India.

(Memoirs, p. 44.)


OF His LIFE.—To her instructions [Mrs. Porten's] I owe the first rudiments of knowledge, the first exercise of reason, and a taste for books, which is still the pleasure and glory of my life. .

(Letter to Lord Sheffield, p. 53.)

BOOKS THE BEST COMFORT OF HIS LIFE.— From this slender beginning I have gradually formed a numerous and select library, the foundation of my works, and the best comfort of my life, both at home and abroad.

(Memoirs, p. 134.)

BOOKS AN EXHAUSTLESS SOURCE OF PLEASURE. -The love of study, a passion which derives fresh vigour from enjoyment, supplies each day, each hour, with a perpetual source of independent and rational pleasure.

(Memoirs, p. 302.)



[Born, 1770. Entered St. John's College, Cambridge, 1787. Took his degree of B.A., 1791. Spent two years

in France. Published his first poems " The Evening Walk,” and “ Descriptive Sketches,” 1793; “ Lyrical Ballads," 1798; second volume of “ Lyrical Ballads," 1800 ; “ Memorials of a Tour in Scotland,” and other poems, in two volumes, 1807; “ The Excursion,” 1814; The White Doe of Ryl. stone,” 1815; “Peter Bell,” 1819; “Memorials of a Tour

on the Continent," 1822; “Ecclesiastical Sketches,” 1822. The honorary degree of D.C.L. conferred upon him by the University of Oxford,


1839. Created Poet Laureate, 1843, Died, 1850. “ The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind; an Autobiographical Poem," begun 1799, completed 1805; published after his death, in 1850.]


Wings have we,--and as far as we can go
We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood
Which with the lofty sanctifies the low.
Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, wo

Are a substantial world, both pure

and good : Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and

Our pastime and our happiness will grow,
There find I personal themes, a plenteous store;
Matter wherein right voluble I am :
To which I listen with a ready ear;
Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear-
The gentle lady married to the Moor;
And heavenly Una with her milk-white lamb.
Nor can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine ; for thus I live remote


From evil-speaking ; rancour, never sought,
Comes to me not ; malignant truth, or lie.
Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous

And thus from day to day my little boat
Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.
Blessings be with them—and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares-
The poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !
Oh ! might my name be numbered among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.

(Personal Talk.)


But to outweigh all harm, the sacred Book,
In dusty sequestration wrapt too long,
Assumes the accents of our native tongue ;
And he who guides the plough, or wields the

With understanding spirit now may look
Upon her records, listen to her song,

And sift her laws—much wondering that the

wrong, Which faith has suffered, Heaven could calmly

brook. Transcendant boon! noblest that earthly king Ever bestowed to equalise and bless Under the weight of mortal wretchedness ! But passions spread like plagues, and thousands

wild With bigotry shall tread the offering Beneath their feet-detested and defiled.

(Ecclesiastical Sketches.)


There are no colours in the fairest sky
So fair as these. The feather whence the pen
Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men
Dropped from an angel's wing. With moistened

We read of faith and purest charity
In statesman, priest, and humble citizen.
Oh, could we copy their mild virtues, then
What joy to live, what blessedness to die !

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