While other critics are engaged in appraising and placing the authors of "today" and of "yesterday" Mrs. Meynell in this little volume concerns herself with the authors of day before yesterday. Time has moved on; yet Tennyson, Dickens, Swinburne, and Charlotte Bronte, after the pendulum-swing of appreciation and depreciation, are not even yet in the places where they precisely belong.
pon experience of death has never been asked with more sincerity and attention than by him. If "In Memoriam" represents the mind of yesterday it represents no less the mind of to-morrow. It is true that pessimism and insurrection in their ignobler forms--nay, in the ignoblest form of a fashion--have, or had but yesterday, the control of the popular pen. Trivial pessimism or trivial optimism, it matters little which prevails. For those who follow the one habit to-day would have followed the other in a past generation. Fleeting as they are, it cannot be within their competence to neglect or reject the philosophy of "In Memoriam." To the dainty stanzas of that poem, it is true, no great struggle of reasoning was to be committed, nor would any such dispute be judiciously entrusted to the rhymes of a song of sorrow. Tennyson here proposes, rather than closes with, the ultimate question of our destiny. The conflict, for which he proves himself strong enough, is in that magnificent poem of a thinker, "Lucretius." Bu
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