Men and Letters

Men and Letters

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1915 edition. Excerpt: ...could not have produced Byron's letters. He was an omnivorous reader. As a literary critic he stands below men whose intellectual capacity was vastly inferior to his own. While he greatly admired the verses of the late Mr. Gifford, he could see no merit in Wordsworth and very little in Keats. He put Crabbe above Coleridge, and Pope above Milton. All the same, his mind was full of those 'jewels five words long which on the stretched forefinger of all time sparkle for ever.' He must have known an appreciable proportion of Shakespeare by heart. Of Shakespeare he sometimes wrote disrespectfully, though I doubt whether he meant what he said. His letters are full of Shakespearean quotations, always most happily applied, and it would be an instructive exercise, as well as a delightful amusement, for a young man who could tear himself from Ibsen and Zola to disentangle them. He cannot describe a crush at the opera in Venice without remarking that in shouldering his way through it he almost beat a Venetian and traduced the State. He seems at times to have thought in Shakespeare, to have been unable, as Macaulay said of himself, to get away from him. It is rather the fashion to decry mere reading, and to insist that a uniform system of superficial education is worse than useless. There is truth in the weighty lines: He who reads Incessantly, and to his reading brings not A spirit and judgment equal or superior, Uncertain and unsettled still remains, Deep-versed in books and shallow in himself. The Letters of the Illiterate may be a discovery of the future. I do not myself believe in them. On the contrary, I feel sure that all the best letter-writers in the English tongue show, without the need of formal assurance, what books they have read most and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 108 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 6mm | 209g
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236532031
  • 9781236532039