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through the overflow of the power and the virtue of my country ;—and that now the great and certain works of genuine fame can only cease to act for mankind when men themselves cease to be men, or when the planet on which they exist shall have altered its relations, or have ceased to be.

(Ibid, v. 2, pp. 42—3).


[Born, 1774. Educated at Westminster School and Balliol College, Oxford. First volume of Poems published, 1794; “Joan of Arc,” 1795. Led a perfectly literary life, and published a large number of books, poems, histories, biographies, and essays. Created Poet Laureate, 1813. The University of Oxford conferred the degree of LL.D., 1821. Sir Robert Peel granted a pension of £300 a year, 1835. Died, 1843.]


Praise to that Power who from my earliest days,

Thus taught me what to seek and what to shun; Who turn'd my footsteps from the crowded ways,

Appointing me the better course to run

In solitude, with studious leisure blest,
The mind unfetter'd, and the heart at rest.

For therefore have my days been days of joy,

And all my paths are paths of pleasantness; And still my heart, as when I was a boy,

Doth never know an ebb of cheerfulness; Time, which matures the intellectual part, Hath tinged my hairs with grey, but left untouch'd

my heart.

Sometimes I soar where Fancy guides the rein,

Beyond the visible diurnal sphere;
But most with long and self-approving pain,
Patient pursue

the historian's task severe ; Thus in the ages which are past I live, And those which are to come my sure reward will give.

(The Lay of the Laureate.)


Sir Thomas More.--How peaceably they stand together-Papists and Protestants, side by side. Montesinos.-Their

reposes not more quietly in the cemetery. Ancient and Modern,

very dust

Jew and Gentile, Mahommedan and Crusader, French and English, Spaniards and Portuguese, Dutch and Brazilians, fighting their old battles, silently now upon the same shelf ; Fernam Lopez and Pedro de Ayala ; John de Laet and Barlæns, with the historians of Joam Fernandez Vieira ; Foxe's Martyrs and the Three Conversions of Father Persons; Cranmer and Stephen Gardiner; Dominican and Franciscan; Jesuit and Philosophe (equally misnamed); Churchmen and Sectarians ; Roundheads and Cavaliers ! Here are God's conduits, grave divines; and here Is nature's secretary, the philosopher : And wily statesmen, which teach how to tie The sinews of a city's mystic body; Here gathering chroniclers; and by them stand Giddy, fantastic poets of each land. Donne. Here I possess these gathered treasures of time, the harvest of so many generations, laid up in my garners.

(Colloquies, v. ii., pp. 342-3.)

THE DELIGHT OF BOOKS.- -The simile of the bees, Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes, has often been applied to men who have made literature their

profession; and they among them to whom worldly wealth and worldly honours are objects of ambition may have reason enough to acknowledge its applicability. But it will bear a happier application and with equal fitness : for whom is the purest honey hoarded that the bees of this world elaborate, if it be not for the man of letters ? The exploits of the kings and heroes of old, serve now to fill story-books for his amusement and instruction. It was to delight his leisure and call forth his admiration that Homer sung, and Alexander conquered. It is to gratify his curiosity that adventurers have traversed deserts and savage countries, and navigators have explored seas from pole to pole. The revolutions of the planet which he inhabits are but matters for his speculation ; and the deluges and conflagrations which it has undergone problems to exercise his philosophy or fancy. He is the inheritor of whatever has been discovered by persevering labour, or created by inventive genius. The wise of all heaped up a treasure for him, which rust doth not corrupt, and which thieves cannot break through and steal.

(Ibid, pp. 343–4).

ages have


[Born, 1775. Educated at Rugby and Oxford.

Gebir," 1798; “Imaginary Conversations,” 1824; The Pentameron and Pentalogia,” 1837; “ The Last Fruit off an Old Tree,” 1853; “ Dry Sticks Fagoted,” 1857. Died, 1864.]

POETRY THE CONFERRER OF FAME.—I have read in Plinius and Mela of a runlet near Dodona, which kindled by approximation an unlighted torch and extinguished a lighted one. Now, Cecil, I desire no such jetty to be celebrated as the decoration of my court: in simpler words, which your gravity may more easily understand, I would not from the fountain of Honour give lustre to the dull and ignorant, deadening and leaving in "cold obstruction " the lamp of literature and genius. I ardently wish my reign to be remembered : if my actions were different from what they are, I should as ardently wish it to be forgotten. Those are the worst of suicides who voluntarily and prepensely stab or suffocate their fame, when God has com


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