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Alfred Tennyson by Andrew Lang

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flooded by the moonlight. The description of the final scenes must
be read in the Biography by the poet's son. "His patience and quiet
strength had power upon those who were nearest and dearest to him; we
felt thankful for the love and the utter peace of it all." "The life
after death," Tennyson had said just before his fatal illness, "is
the cardinal point of Christianity. I believe that God reveals
Himself in every individual soul; and my idea of Heaven is the
perpetual ministry of one soul to another." He had lived the life of
heaven upon earth, being in all his work a minister of things
honourable, lovely, consoling, and ennobling to the souls of others,
with a ministry which cannot die. His body sleeps next to that of
his friend and fellow-poet, Robert Browning, in front of Chaucer's
monument in the Abbey.


"O, that Press will get hold of me now," Tennyson said when he knew
that his last hour was at hand. He had a horror of personal tattle,
as even his early poems declare -

"For now the Poet cannot die,
Nor leave his music as of old,
But round him ere he scarce be cold
Begins the scandal and the cry."

But no "carrion-vulture" has waited

"To tear his heart before the crowd."

About Tennyson, doubtless, there is much anecdotage: most of the
anecdotes turn on his shyness, his really exaggerated hatred of
personal notoriety, and the odd and brusque things which he would say
when alarmed by effusive strangers. It has not seemed worth while to
repeat more than one or two of these legends, nor have I sought
outside the Biography by his son for more than the biographer chose
to tell. The readers who are least interested in poetry are most
interested in tattle about the poet. It is the privilege of genius
to retain the freshness and simplicity, with some of the foibles, of
the child. When Tennyson read his poems aloud he was apt to be moved
by them, and to express frankly his approbation where he thought it
deserved. Only very rudimentary psychologists recognised conceit in
this freedom; and only the same set of persons mistook shyness for
arrogance. Effusiveness of praise or curiosity in a stranger is apt
to produce bluntness of reply in a Briton. "Don't talk d-d nonsense,
sir," said the Duke of Wellington to the gushing person who piloted
him, in his old age, across Piccadilly. Of Tennyson Mr Palgrave
says, "I have known him silenced, almost frozen, before the eager
unintentional eyes of a girl of fifteen. And under the stress of
this nervous impulse compelled to contradict his inner self
(especially when under the terror of leonisation . . . ), he was
doubtless at times betrayed into an abrupt phrase, a cold
unsympathetic exterior; a moment's 'defect of the rose.'" Had he not
been sensitive in all things, he would have been less of a poet. The
chief criticism directed against his mode of life is that he WAS
sensitive and reserved, but he could and did make himself pleasant in
the society of les pauvres d'esprit. Curiosity alarmed him, and
drove him into his shell: strangers who met him in that mood carried
away false impressions, which developed into myths. As the Master of
Balliol has recorded, despite his shyness "he was extremely
hospitable, often inviting not only his friends, but the friends of
his friends, and giving them a hearty welcome. For underneath a
sensitive exterior he was thoroughly genial if he was understood."
In these points he was unlike his great contemporary, Browning; for
instance, Tennyson never (I think) was the Master's guest at Balliol,
mingling, like Browning, with the undergraduates, to whom the
Master's hospitality was freely extended. Yet, where he was
familiar, Tennyson was a gay companion, not shunning jest or even
paradox. "As Dr Johnson says, every man may be judged of by his
laughter": but no Boswell has chronicled the laughters of Tennyson.
"He never, or hardly ever, made puns or witticisms" (though one pun,
at least, endures in tradition), "but always lived in an attitude of
humour." Mr Jowett writes (and no description of the poet is better
than his) -

If I were to describe his outward appearance, I should say that he
was certainly unlike any one else whom I ever saw. A glance at some
of Watts' portraits of him will give, better than any description
which can be expressed in words, a conception of his noble mien and
look. He was a magnificent man, who stood before you in his native
refinement and strength. The unconventionality of his manners was in
keeping with the originality of his figure. He would sometimes say
nothing, or a word or two only, to the stranger who approached him,
out of shyness. He would sometimes come into the drawing-room
reading a book. At other times, especially to ladies, he was
singularly gracious and benevolent. He would talk about the
accidents of his own life with an extraordinary freedom, as at the
moment they appeared to present themselves to his mind, the days of
his boyhood that were passed at Somersby, and the old school of
manners which he came across in his own neighbourhood: the days of
the "apostles" at Cambridge: the years which he spent in London; the
evenings enjoyed at the Cock Tavern, and elsewhere, when he saw
another side of life, not without a kindly and humorous sense of the
ridiculous in his fellow-creatures. His repertory of stories was
perfectly inexhaustible; they were often about slight matters that
would scarcely bear repetition, but were told with such lifelike
reality, that they convulsed his hearers with laughter. Like most
story-tellers, he often repeated his favourites; but, like children,
his audience liked hearing them again and again, and he enjoyed
telling them. It might be said of him that he told more stories than
any one, but was by no means the regular story-teller. In the
commonest conversation he showed himself a man of genius.

To this description may be added another by Mr F. T. Palgrave:-

Every one will have seen men, distinguished in some line of work,
whose conversation (to take the old figure) either "smelt too
strongly of the lamp," or lay quite apart from their art or craft.
What, through all these years, struck me about Tennyson, was that
whilst he never deviated into poetical language as such, whether in
rhetoric or highly coloured phrase, yet throughout the substance of
his talk the same mode of thought, the same imaginative grasp of
nature, the same fineness and gentleness in his view of character,
the same forbearance and toleration, the aurea mediocritas despised
by fools and fanatics, which are stamped on his poetry, were
constantly perceptible: whilst in the easy and as it were unsought
choiceness, the conscientious and truth-loving precision of his
words, the same personal identity revealed itself. What a strange
charm lay here, how deeply illuminating the whole character, as in
prolonged intercourse it gradually revealed itself! Artist and man,
Tennyson was invariably true to himself, or rather, in Wordsworth's
phrase, he "moved altogether"; his nature and his poetry being
harmonious aspects of the same soul; as botanists tell us that flower
and fruit are but transformations of root and stem and leafage. We
read how, in mediaeval days, conduits were made to flow with claret.
But this was on great occasions only. Tennyson's fountain always ran

Once more: In Mme. Recamier's salon, I have read, at the time when
conversation was yet a fine art in Paris, guests famous for esprit
would sit in the twilight round the stove, whilst each in turn let
fly some sparkling anecdote or bon-mot, which rose and shone and died
out into silence, till the next of the elect pyrotechnists was ready.
Good things of this kind, as I have said, were plentiful in
Tennyson's repertory. But what, to pass from the materials to the
method of his conversation, eminently marked it was the continuity of
the electric current. He spoke, and was silent, and spoke again:
but the circuit was unbroken; there was no effort in taking up the
thread, no sense of disjunction. Often I thought, had he never
written a line of the poems so dear to us, his conversation alone
would have made him the most interesting companion known to me. From
this great and gracious student of humanity, what less, indeed, could
be expected? And if, as a converser, I were to compare him with
Socrates, as figured for us in the dialogues of his great disciple, I
think that I should have the assent of that eminently valued friend
of Tennyson's, whose long labour of love has conferred English
citizenship upon Plato.

We have called him shy and sensitive in daily intercourse with
strangers, and as to criticism, he freely confessed that a midge of
dispraise could sting, while applause gave him little pleasure. Yet
no poet altered his verses so much in obedience to censure unjustly
or irritatingly stated, yet in essence just. He readily rejected
some of his "Juvenilia" on Mr Palgrave's suggestion. The same friend
tells how well he took a rather fierce attack on an unpublished
piece, when Mr Palgrave "owned that he could not find one good line
in it." Very few poets, or even versifiers (fiercer they than poets
are), would have continued to show their virgin numbers to a friend
so candid, as Tennyson did. Perhaps most of the genus irritabile
will grant that spoken criticism, if unfavourable, somehow annoys and
stirs opposition in an author; probably because it confirms his own
suspicions about his work. Such criticism is almost invariably just.
But Campbell, when Rogers offered a correction, "bounced out of the
room, with a 'Hang it! I should like to see the man who would dare
to correct me.'"

Mr Jowett justly recognised in the life of Tennyson two circumstances
which made him other than, but for these, he would have been. He had
intended to do with the Arthurian subject what he never did, "in some
way or other to have represented in it the great religions of the
world. . . . It is a proof of Tennyson's genius that he should have
thus early grasped the great historical aspect of religion." His
intention was foiled, his early dream was broken, by the death of
Arthur Hallam, and by the coldness and contempt with which, at the
same period, his early poems were received.

Mr Jowett (who had a firm belief in the "great work") regretted the
change of plan as to the Arthurian topic, regretted it the more from
his own interest in the History of Religion. But we need not share
the regrets. The early plan for the Arthur (which Mr Jowett never
saw) has been published, and certainly the scheme could not have been
executed on these lines. {18} Moreover, as the Master observed, the
work would have been premature in Tennyson's youth, and, indeed, it
would still be premature. The comparative science of religious
evolution is even now very tentative, and does not yield materials of
sufficient stability for an epic, even if such an epic could be
forced into the mould of the Arthur legends, a feat perhaps
impossible, and certainly undesirable. A truly fantastic allegory
must have been the result, and it is fortunate that the poet
abandoned the idea in favour of more human themes. Moreover, he
recognised very early that his was not a Muse de longue haleine; that
he must be "short." We may therefore feel certain that his early
sorrow and discouragement were salutary to him as a poet, and as a
man. He became more sympathetic, more tender, and was obliged to put
forth that stoical self-control, and strenuous courage and endurance,
through which alone his poetic career was rendered possible. "He had
the susceptibility of a child or a woman," says his friend; "he had
also" (it was a strange combination) "the strength of a giant or of a
god." Without these qualities he must have broken down between 1833
and 1842 into a hypochondriac, or a morose, if majestic, failure.
Poor, obscure, and unhappy, he overcame the world, and passed from
darkness into light. The "poetic temperament" in another not gifted
with his endurance and persistent strength would have achieved ruin.

Most of us remember Taine's parallel between Tennyson and Alfred de
Musset. The French critic has no high approval of Tennyson's
"respectability" and long peaceful life, as compared with the wrecked
life and genius of Musset, l'enfant perdu of love, wine, and song.
This is a theory like another, and is perhaps attractive to the
young. The poet must have strong passions, or how can he sing of
them: he must be tossed and whirled in the stress of things, like
Shelley's autumn leaves; -

"Ghosts from an enchanter fleeing."

Looking at Burns, Byron, Musset, or even at Shelley's earlier years,
youth sees in them the true poets, "sacred things," but also "light,"
as Plato says, inspired to break their wings against the nature of
existence, and the flammantia maenia mundi. But this is almost a
boyish idea, this idea that the true poet is the slave of the
passions, and that the poet who dominates them has none, and is but a
staid domestic animal, an ass browsing the common, as somebody has
written about Wordsworth. Certainly Tennyson's was no "passionless
perfection." He, like others, was tempted to beat with ineffectual
wings against the inscrutable nature of life. He, too, had his dark
hour, and was as subject to temptation as they who yielded to the
stress and died, or became unhappy waifs, "young men with a splendid
past." He must have known, no less than Musset, the attractions of
many a paradis artificiel, with its bright visions, its houris, its
offers of oblivion of pain. "He had the look of one who had suffered
greatly," Mr Palgrave writes in his record of their first meeting in
1842. But he, like Goethe, Scott, and Victor Hugo, had strength as
well as passion and emotion; he came unscorched through the fire that
has burned away the wings of so many other great poets. This was no
less fortunate for the world than for himself. Of his prolonged dark
hour we know little in detail, but we have seen that from the first
he resisted the Tempter; Ulysses is his Retro Sathanas!

About "the mechanism of genius" in Tennyson Mr Palgrave has told us a
little; more appears incidentally in his biography. "It was his way
that when we had entered on some scene of special beauty or grandeur,
after enjoying it together, he should always withdraw wholly from
sight, and study the view, as it were, in a little artificial

Tennyson's poems, Mr Palgrave says, often arose in a kind of point de
repere (like those forms and landscapes which seem to spring from a
floating point of light, beheld with closed eyes just before we
sleep). "More than once he said that his poems sprang often from a
'nucleus,' some one word, maybe, or brief melodious phrase, which had
floated through the brain, as it were, unbidden. And perhaps at once
while walking they were presently wrought into a little song. But if
he did not write it down at once the lyric fled from him
irrecoverably." He believed himself thus to have lost poems as good
as his best. It seems probable that this is a common genesis of
verses, good or bad, among all who write. Like Dickens, and like
most men of genius probably, he saw all the scenes of his poems "in
his mind's eye." Many authors do this, without the power of making
their readers share the vision; but probably few can impart the
vision who do not themselves "visualise" with distinctness. We have
seen, in the cases of The Holy Grail and other pieces, that Tennyson,
after long meditating a subject, often wrote very rapidly, and with
little need of correction. He was born with "style"; it was a gift
of his genius rather than the result of conscious elaboration. Yet
he did use "the file," of which much is now written, especially for
the purpose of polishing away the sibilants, so common in our
language. In the nine years of silence which followed the little
book of 1833 his poems matured, and henceforth it is probable that he
altered his verses little, if we except the modifications in The
Princess. Many slight verbal touches were made, or old readings were
restored, but important changes, in the way of omission or addition,
became rare.

Of nature Tennyson was scrupulously observant till his very latest
days, eagerly noting, not only "effects," as a painter does, but
their causes, botanical or geological. Had man been scientific from
the beginning he would probably have evolved no poetry at all;
material things would not have been endowed by him with life and
passion; he would have told himself no stories of the origins of
stars and flowers, clouds and fire, winds and rainbows. Modern poets
have resented, like Keats and Wordsworth, the destruction of the old
prehistoric dreams by the geologist and by other scientific
characters. But it was part of Tennyson's poetic originality to see
the beautiful things of nature at once with the vision of early
poetic men, and of moderns accustomed to the microscope, telescope,
spectrum analysis, and so forth. Thus Tennyson received a double
delight from the sensible universe, and it is a double delight that
he communicates to his readers. His intellect was thus always
active, even in apparent repose. His eyes rested not from observing,
or his mind from recording and comparing, the beautiful familiar
phenomena of earth and sky. In the matter of the study of books we
have seen how deeply versed he was in certain of the Greek, Roman,
and Italian classics. Mr Jowett writes: "He was what might be
called a good scholar in the university or public-school sense of the
term, . . . yet I seem to remember that he had his favourite
classics, such as Homer, and Pindar, and Theocritus. . . . He was
also a lover of Greek fragments. But I am not sure whether, in later
life, he ever sat down to read consecutively the greatest works of
AEschylus and Sophocles, although he used occasionally to dip into
them." The Greek dramatists, in fact, seem to have affected
Tennyson's work but slightly, while he constantly reminds us of
Virgil, Homer, Theocritus, and even Persius and Horace. Mediaeval
French, whether in poetry or prose, and the poetry of the "Pleiad"
seems to have occupied little of his attention. Into the oriental
literatures he dipped--pretty deeply for his Akbar; and even his
Locksley Hall owed something to Sir William Jones's version of "the
old Arabian Moallakat." The debt appears to be infinitesimal. He
seems to have been less closely familiar with Elizabethan poetry than
might have been expected: a number of his obiter dicta on all kinds
of literary points are recorded in the Life by Mr Palgrave. "Sir
Walter Scott's short tale, My Aunt Margaret's Mirror (how little
known!), he once spoke of as the finest of all ghost or magical
stories." Lord Tennyson adds, "The Tapestried Chamber also he
greatly admired." Both are lost from modern view among the short
pieces of the last volumes of the Waverley novels. Of the poet's
interest in and attitude towards the more obscure pyschological and
psychical problems--to popular science foolishness--enough has been
said, but the remarks of Professor Tyndall have not been cited:-

My special purpose in introducing this poem, however, was to call
your attention to a passage further on which greatly interested me.
The poem is, throughout, a discussion between a believer in
immortality and one who is unable to believe. The method pursued is
this. The Sage reads a portion of the scroll, which he has taken
from the hands of his follower, and then brings his own arguments to
bear upon that portion, with a view to neutralising the scepticism of
the younger man. Let me here remark that I read the whole series of
poems published under the title "Tiresias," full of admiration for
their freshness and vigour. Seven years after I had first read them
your father died, and you, his son, asked me to contribute a chapter
to the book which you contemplate publishing. I knew that I had some
small store of references to my interview with your father carefully
written in ancient journals. On the receipt of your request, I
looked up the account of my first visit to Farringford, and there, to
my profound astonishment, I found described that experience of your
father's which, in the mouth of the Ancient Sage, was made the ground
of an important argument against materialism and in favour of
personal immortality eight-and-twenty years afterwards. In no other
poem during all these years is, to my knowledge, this experience once
alluded to. I had completely forgotten it, but here it was recorded
in black and white. If you turn to your father's account of the
wonderful state of consciousness superinduced by thinking of his own
name, and compare it with the argument of the Ancient Sage, you will
see that they refer to one and the same phenomenon.

And more, my son! for more than once when I
Sat all alone, revolving in myself
The word that is the symbol of myself,
The mortal limit of the Self was loosed,
And past into the Nameless, as a cloud
Melts into heaven. I touch'd my limbs, the limbs
Were strange, not mine--and yet no shade of doubt,
But utter clearness, and thro' loss of Self
The gain of such large life as match'd with ours
Were Sun to spark--unshadowable in words,
Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world.

Any words about Tennyson as a politician are apt to excite the
sleepless prejudice which haunts the political field. He probably,
if forced to "put a name to it," would have called himself a Liberal.
But he was not a social agitator. He never set a rick on fire. "He
held aloof, in a somewhat detached position, from the great social
seethings of his age" (Mr Frederic Harrison). But in youth he helped
to extinguish some flaming ricks. He spoke of the "many-headed
beast" (the reading public) in terms borrowed from Plato. He had no
higher esteem for mobs than Shakespeare or John Knox professed, while
his theory of tyrants (in the case of Napoleon III. about 1852) was
that of Liberals like Mr Swinburne and Victor Hugo. Though to modern
enlightenment Tennyson may seem as great a Tory as Dr Johnson, yet he
had spoken his word in 1852 for the freedom of France, and for
securing England against the supposed designs of a usurper (now
fallen). He really believed, obsolete as the faith may be, in
guarding our own, both on land and sea. Perhaps no Continental or
American critic has ever yet dispraised a poetical fellow-countryman
merely for urging the duties of national union and national defence.
A critic, however, writes thus of Tennyson: "When our poet descends
into the arena of party polemics, in such things as Riflemen, Form!
Hands all Round, . . . The Fleet, and other topical pieces dear to
the Jingo soul, it is not poetry but journalism." I doubt whether
the desirableness of the existence of a volunteer force and of a
fleet really is within the arena of PARTY polemics. If any party
thinks that we ought to have no volunteers, and that it is our duty
to starve the fleet, what is that party's name? Who cries, "Down
with the Fleet! Down with National Defence! Hooray for the
Disintegration of the Empire!"?

Tennyson was not a party man, but he certainly would have opposed any
such party. If to defend our homes and this England be "Jingoism,"
Tennyson, like Shakespeare, was a Jingo. But, alas! I do not know
the name of the party which opposes Tennyson, and which wishes the
invader to trample down England--any invader will do for so
philanthropic a purpose. Except when resisting this unnamed party,
the poet seldom or never entered "the arena of party polemics."
Tennyson could not have exclaimed, like Squire Western, "Hurrah for
old England! Twenty thousand honest Frenchmen have landed in Kent!"
He undeniably did write verses (whether poetry or journalism) tending
to make readers take an unfavourable view of honest invaders. If to
do that is to be a "Jingo," and if such conduct hurts the feelings of
any great English party, then Tennyson was a Jingo and a partisan,
and was, so far, a rhymester, like Mr Kipling. Indeed we know that
Tennyson applauded Mr Kipling's The English Flag. So the worst is
out, as we in England count the worst. In America and on the
continent of Europe, however, a poet may be proud of his country's
flag without incurring rebuke from his countrymen. Tennyson did not
reckon himself a party man; he believed more in political evolution
than in political revolution, with cataclysms. He was neither an
Anarchist nor a Home Ruler, nor a politician so generous as to wish
England to be laid defenceless at the feet of her foes.

If these sentiments deserve censure, in Tennyson, at least, they
claim our tolerance. He was not born in a generation late enough to
be truly Liberal. Old prejudices about "this England," old words
from Henry V. and King John, haunted his memory and darkened his
vision of the true proportions of things. We draw in prejudice with
our mother's milk. The mother of Tennyson had not been an Agnostic
or a Comtist; his father had not been a staunch true-blue anti-
Englander. Thus he inherited a certain bias in favour of faith and
fatherland, a bias from which he could never emancipate himself. But
tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner. Had Tennyson's birth been
later, we might find in him a more complete realisation of our poetic
ideal--might have detected less to blame or to forgive.

With that apology we must leave the fame of Tennyson as a politician
to the clement consideration of an enlightened posterity. I do not
defend his narrow insularities, his Jingoism, or the appreciable
percentage of faith which blushing analysis may detect in his honest
doubt: these things I may regret or condemn, but we ought not to let
them obscure our view of the Poet. He was led away by bad examples.
Of all Jingoes Shakespeare is the most unashamed, and next to him are
Drayton, Scott, and Wordsworth, with his

"Oh, for one hour of that Dundee!"

In the years which followed the untoward affair of Waterloo young
Tennyson fell much under the influence of Shakespeare, Wordsworth,
and the other offenders, and these are extenuating circumstances. By
a curious practical paradox, where the realms of poetry and politics
meet, the Tory critics seem milder of mood and more Liberal than the
Liberal critics. Thus Mr William Morris was certainly a very
advanced political theorist; and in theology Mr Swinburne has written
things not easily reconcilable with orthodoxy. Yet we find Divine-
Right Tories, who in literature are fervent admirers of these two
poets, and leave their heterodoxies out of account. But many Liberal
critics appear unable quite to forgive Tennyson because he did not
wish to starve the fleet, and because he held certain very ancient,
if obsolete, beliefs. Perhaps a general amnesty ought to be passed,
as far as poets are concerned, and their politics and creeds should
be left to silence, where "beyond these voices there is peace."

One remark, I hope, can excite no prejudice. The greatest of the
Gordons was a soldier, and lived in religion. But the point at which
Tennyson's memory is blended with that of Gordon is the point of
sympathy with the neglected poor. It is to his wise advice, and to
affection for Gordon, that we owe the Gordon training school for poor
boys,--a good school, and good boys come out of that academy.

The question as to Tennyson's precise rank in the glorious roll of
the Poets of England can never be determined by us, if in any case or
at any time such determinations can be made. We do not, or should
not, ask whether Virgil or Lucretius, whether AEschylus or Sophocles,
is the greater poet. The consent of mankind seems to place Homer and
Shakespeare and Dante high above all. For the rest no prize-list can
be settled. If influence among aliens is the test, Byron probably
takes, among our poets, the next rank after Shakespeare. But
probably there is no possible test. In certain respects Shelley, in
many respects Milton, in some Coleridge, in some Burns, in the
opinion of a number of persons Browning, are greater poets than
Tennyson. But for exquisite variety and varied exquisiteness
Tennyson is not readily to be surpassed. At one moment he pleases
the uncritical mass of readers, in another mood he wins the verdict
of the raffine. It is a success which scarce any English poet but
Shakespeare has excelled. His faults have rarely, if ever, been
those of flat-footed, "thick-ankled" dulness; of rhetoric, of common-
place; rather have his defects been the excess of his qualities. A
kind of John Bullishness may also be noted, especially in derogatory
references to France, which, true or untrue, are out of taste and
keeping. But these errors could be removed by the excision of half-
a-dozen lines. His later work (as the Voyage of Maeldune) shows a
just appreciation of ancient Celtic literature. A great critic, F.
T. Palgrave, has expressed perhaps the soundest appreciation of

It is for "the days that remain" to bear witness to his real place in
the great hierarchy, amongst whom Dante boldly yet justly ranked
himself. But if we look at Tennyson's work in a twofold aspect,--
HERE, on the exquisite art in which, throughout, his verse is
clothed, the lucid beauty of the form, the melody almost audible as
music, the mysterious skill by which the words used constantly strike
as the INEVITABLE words (and hence, unforgettable), the subtle
allusive touches, by which a secondary image is suggested to enrich
the leading thought, as the harmonic "partials" give richness to the
note struck upon the string; THERE, when we think of the vast
fertility in subject and treatment, united with happy selection of
motive, the wide range of character, the dramatic force of
impersonation, the pathos in every variety, the mastery over the
comic and the tragic alike, above all, perhaps, those phrases of
luminous insight which spring direct from imaginative observation of
Humanity, true for all time, coming from the heart to the heart,--his
work will probably be found to lie somewhere between that of Virgil
and Shakespeare: having its portion, if I may venture on the phrase,
in the inspiration of both.

A professed enthusiast for Tennyson can add nothing to, and take
nothing from, these words of one who, though his friend, was too
truly a critic to entertain the admiration that goes beyond idolatry.


{1} Macmillan & Co.

{2} To the present writer, as to others, The Lover's Tale appeared
to be imitative of Shelley, but if Tennyson had never read Shelley,
cadit quaestio.

{3} F. W. H. Myers, Science and a Future Life, p. 133.

{4} The writer knew this edition before he knew Tennyson's poems.

{5} The author of the spiteful letters was an unpublished anonymous

{6} The Lennox MSS.

{7} Spencer and Gillen, Natives of Central Australia, pp. 388, 389.

{8} Tennyson, Ruskin, and Mill, pp. 11, 12.

{9} Life, p. 37, 1899.

{10} Poem omitted from In Memoriam. Life, p. 257, 1899.

{11} Mr Harrison, Tennyson, Ruskin, and Mill, p. 5.

{12} The English reader may consult Mr Rhys's The Arthurian Legend,
Oxford, 1891, and Mr Nutt's Studies of the Legend of the Holy Grail,
which will direct him to other authorities and sources.

{13} I have summarised, with omissions, Miss Jessie L. Watson's
sketch in King Arthur and his Knights. Nutt, 1899. The learning of
the subject is enormous; Dr Sommer's Le Mort d'Arthur, the second
volume may be consulted. Nutt, 1899.

{14} [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]. He is referred to in
inscriptions, e.g. Berlin, Corpus, iii. 4774, V. 732, 733, 1829,
2143-46; xii. 405. See also Ausonius (Leipsic, 1886, pp. 52, 59),
cited by Rhys, The Arthurian Legend p. 159, note 4.

{15} Brebeuf; Relations des Jesuites, 1636, pp. 100-102.

{16} Malory, xviii. 8 et seq.

{17} Notices et Extraits des MSS. de la Bibliotheque Imperiale, I.
xix. pp. 643-645.

{18} See the Life, 1899, p. 521.

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