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THE LIVES POETS A poet who flourished in the reign of Charles I. but of whose birth and life we can recover no particulars. He was highly esteemed by some wits in that reign, as appears from a Poem called Steps to Parnassus, which pays him the following well turned compliment. [2] Let Brewer take his artful pen in hand,Attending muses will obey command,Invoke the aid of Shakespear's sleeping... more...

JOHN FORSTER. A MAN OF LETTERS OF THE OLD SCHOOL. One of the most robust, striking, and many-sided characters of his time was John Forster, a rough, uncompromising personage, who, from small and obscure beginnings, shouldered his way to the front until he came to be looked on by all as guide, friend and arbiter. From a struggling newspaperman he emerged into handsome chambers in Lincoln's Inn... more...

THE LIVES OF THE POETS. * * * * * Sir JOHN DENHAM. An eminent poet of the 17th century, was the only son of Sir JohnDenham, knight, of Little Horsley in Essex, and sometime baron of theExchequer in Ireland, and one of the lords justices of that kingdom.He was born in Dublin, in the year 1615[1]; but was brought over fromthence very young, on his father's being made one of the barons of... more...

In which the author defineth his position. It having become the fashion of distinguished novelists to write their own lives—or, in other words, to blow their own trumpets,—the author of these pages is induced, at the solicitation of numerous friends, whose bumps of inquisitiveness are strongly developed, to present his auto-biography to the public—in so doing which, he but follows the example of... more...

My attention was first called to the works of the poet Jasmin by the eulogistic articles which appeared in the Revue des Deux Mondes, by De Mazade, Nodier, Villemain, and other well-known reviewers. I afterwards read the articles by Sainte-Beuve, perhaps the finest critic of French literature, on the life and history of Jasmin, in his 'Portraits Contemporains' as well as his admirable article... more...

LIFE TILL MARRIAGE Scott's own 'autobiographic fragment,' printed in Lockhart's first volume, has made other accounts of his youth mostly superfluous, even to a day which persists in knowing better about everything and everybody than it or they knew about themselves. No one ever recorded his genealogy more minutely, with greater pride, or with a more saving sense of humour than Sir... more...

EARLY YEARS AND SURROUNDINGS Irving's name stands as the first landmark in American letters. No other American writer has won the same sort of recognition abroad or esteem at home as became his early in life. And he has lost very little ground, so far as we can judge by the appeal to figures. The copyright on his works ran out long since, and a great many editions of Irving, cheap and costly,... more...

At the end of the eighties my father and mother, my brother and sisters and myself, all newly arrived from Dublin, were settled in Bedford Park in a red-brick house with several wood mantlepieces copied from marble mantlepieces by the brothers Adam, a balcony, and a little garden shadowed by a great horse-chestnut tree. Years before we had lived there, when the crooked, ostentatiously picturesque... more...

YOUTH IN AYRSHIRE. Great men, great events, great epochs, it has been said, grow as we recede from them; and the rate at which they grow in the estimation of men is in some sort a measure of their greatness. Tried by this standard, Burns must be great indeed, for during the eighty years that have passed since his death, men's interest in the man himself and their estimate of his genius have been... more...

Chapter 1.The Treatise on the Human Will. At Balzac's funeral, the glorious yet bitter seal upon his destiny, Victor Hugo delivered a magnificent address, and in his capacity as poet and seer proclaimed with assurance the judgment of posterity: "His life has been brief yet full, and richer in works than in days. "Alas! This powerful and indefatigable worker, this philosopher, this thinker,... more...