Studies of a Biographer

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Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future ...
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Studies of a biographer

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Overview

Unlike some other reproductions of classic texts (1) We have not used OCR(Optical Character Recognition), as this leads to bad quality books with introduced typos. (2) In books where there are images such as portraits, maps, sketches etc We have endeavoured to keep the quality of these images, so they represent accurately the original artefact. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we feel they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.
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John Byrom AX T HO was John Byrom? That is a question to which, if it were set in an examination for students of English literature, an answer might reasonably be expected, but which, if put to less omniscient persons, might not improbably receive a rather vague reply. And yet an answer might be given which would awake some familiar associations. John Byrom was the author of two or three epigrams which for some reason have retained their vitality well into a second century of existence. The unmusical are still happy to recall the comparison between Handel and Buononcini, and to wonder that there should be such a difference between "tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee," though they are apt to assign to Swift instead of Byrom the credit of being the first worm to turn against the contempt of more happily endowed natures. There is the still more familiar verse, ending: But who Pretender is, and who is King, God bless us all, that 's quite another thing. And there is a certain rhyme about "Bone and Skin, two millers thin," which though the real names of the millers and the circumstances which induced the declaration that flesh and blood could not bear them have long vanished out of all but antiquarian memories has somehow continued to go on jingling in men's ears ever since 17th December, 1728. I have said enough to suggest more than one problem. What is the salt which has kept these fragments of rhyme so long alive? Is it due to the sound or the sense? Survival for a century has been given as the test which entitles a man to be called a classic. Does the survival of these little impromptus entitle Byrom to be a classic? May we call them jewels five lines long, that are to sparkle for everon the stretched forefinger of all time? That seems to be too lofty a claim. The thought...
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Table of Contents

Shakespeare as a man; Southey's letters; New lights on Milton; Emerson; Anthony Trollope; Robert Louis Stevenson; The cosmopolitan spirit in literature.

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