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I. LINKS WITH THE PAST. Of the celebrated Mrs. Disraeli her husband is reported to have said, "She is an excellent creature, but she never can remember which came first, the Greeks or the Romans." In my walk through life I have constantly found myself among excellent creatures of this sort. The world is full of vague people, and in the average man, and still more in the average woman, the chronological sense seems to be entirely wanting. Thus,... more...

BEGINNINGS One look back—as we hurry o'er the plain, Man's years speeding us along— One look back! From the hollow past again, Youth, come flooding into song! Tell how once, in the breath of summer air, Winds blew fresher than they blow; Times long hid, with their triumph and their care, Yesterday—many years ago! E. E. Bowen. The wayfarer who crosses Lincoln's Inn Fields perceives in the midst of them a kind of... more...

I LORD PALMERSTON I remember ten Prime Ministers, and I know an eleventh. Some have passed beyond earshot of our criticism; but some remain, pale and ineffectual ghosts of former greatness, yet still touched by that human infirmity which prefers praise to blame. It will behove me to walk warily when I reach the present day; but, in dealing with figures which are already historical, one's judgments may be comparatively untrammelled. I trace my... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This book is intended to deal with substance rather than with form. But, in estimating the work of a teacher who taught exclusively with the pen, it would be perverse to disregard entirely the qualities of the writing which so penetrated and coloured the intellectual life of the Victorian age. Some cursory estimate of Arnold's powers in prose and verse must therefore be attempted, before we pass on to consider the... more...