is to confute him with the potent name of Aristotle, and show him his doom foreordained in the book of poetic Revelations. "The poet should speak as little as possible in his own person," we read, "for it is not this that makes him an imitator." [Footnote: _Poetics_, 1460 a.] One cannot too much admire Aristotle's canniness in thus nipping the poet's egotism in the bud, for he must have seen clearly that if the poet began to talk in his own person, he would soon lead the conversation around to himself, and that, once launched on that inexhaustible subject, he would never be ready to return to his original theme.
We may regret that we have not Aristotle's sanction for condemning also extra-poetical advertisements of the poet's personality, as a hindrance to our seeing the ideal world through his poetry. In certain moods one feels it a blessing that we possess no romantic traditions of Homer, to get in the way of our passing impartial judgment upon his works. Our intimate knowledge of nineteenth century