Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/67

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Landor
Landor
61

tion in literature. As a poet he was scarcely at his ease, though he has left many exquisite fragments, and he seems to be too much dominated by his classical models. But the peculiar merits of his prose are recognised as unsurpassable by all the best judges. 'I shall dine late,' he said, 'but the dining-room will be well lighted, the guests few and select; I neither am nor ever shall be popular' (Forster, p. 500). Whether even the greatest men can safely repudiate all sympathy with popular feeling may be doubted. Landor's defiance of the common sentiment perhaps led him into errors, even in the judgement of the select. But the aim of his ambition has been fairly won. After making all deductions, he has written a mass of English prose which in sustained precision and delicacy of expression, and in the full expression of certain veins of sentiment, has been rarely approached, and which will always entitle him to a unique position in English literature.

Robert Eyres Landor (1781–1869), Landor's youngest brother, was scholar and fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, was instituted to the rectory of Nafford with Birlingham, Worcestershire, in 1829, and was never absent from his parish for a Sunday until his death, 26 Jan. 1869. The church was restored with money left by him. He had always spent upon his parish more than he received, and was singularly independent and modest. One of the poems in 'Last Fruits off an Old Tree' is addressed to him. He was the author of 'Count Aruzii,' a tragedy, 1823, which, as he says (Forster, p. 400), had some success on being taken for Byron's. On discovering this he acknowledged the authorship, and the sale ceased. He also published in 1841 three tragiedies 'The Earl of Brecon,' 'Faith's Fraud,' and 'The Ferryman;' the 'Fawn of Sertorius,' 1846: and the 'Fountain of Arethusa,' 1848. The 'Fawn of Sertorius' was taken for his brother's until he published his own name. He gave much information used in Forster's life of his brother.

Some of Landor's works are now very rare, and several are not in the British Museum. Some of the rarer, marked F. in the following list are in the Forster collection at the South Kensington Museum. 1. 'Poems of Walter Savage Landor,' 1795, F.: 'The Birth of Poesy,' 'Abelard to Heloise,' and 'Short Poems in English;' 'Hendecasyllables' and a 'Latine Scribendi Defensio' in Latin. 2. 'Moral Epistle respectfully dedicated to Earl Stanhope,' 1796. F. (see Forster, pp. 42-4). 3. 'Gebir,' 1798 (anonymous). A second edition, with notes and a Latin version called 'Gebirus,' was published at Oxford in 1803. A fragment of another edition, printed at Warwick, including a postscript to 'Gebir,' is in the Forster collection. 4. 'Poetry by the Author of "Gebir"' (includes the 'Phoceans' and 'Chrysaor'). 1802, F. 5. 'Simonides,' English and Latin poems; the first including 'Gunlang and Helga,' 1806, F. (a unique copy). 6. 'Three Letters written in Spain to D. Francisco Riquelime,' 1809. F. 7. 'Count Julian, a Tragedy,' 1812 (anon.) 8. 'Observations on Trotter's "Life of Fox,"' 1813 (the only known copy belongs to Lord Houghton). 9. 'Idyllia 'Heroica,' 1814 (five Latin idyls). 10. 'Idyllia Heroica decem. Librum phaleuciorum unum partim jam primo, partim iterum atque tertio edit Savagius Landor. Accedit quaestiuncula cur poetae Latini recentiores minus legantur,' F., Pisa, 1820 (includes the preceding). 11 .'Poche osservazioni sullo stato attuale di que' popoli che vogliono governarsi per mezzo delle raporesentanze,' Naples, 1821, British Museum. 12. 'Imaginary Conversations,' vols. i, and ii. 1824; second edit., enlarged, 1826; vols. iii. and iv. 1828; vol. v. 1829. 13. 'Gebir, Count Julian, and other Poems,' F., 1831. 14. 'Citation and Examination of William Shakespeare … touching Deer-stealing, to which is added a Conference of Master Edmund Spenser with the Earl of Essex …,' 1834 (anon.) 15. 'Letters of a Conservative, in which are shown the only means of saving what is left of the English Church; addrest to Lord Melbourne,' 1836. 16. 'Terry Hogan … edited by Phelim Octavius Quarll (a course squib against Irish priests, attributed to Landor), 1836, F. 17. 'Pericles and Aspasia,' 1336 (anon.) 18. 'Satire upon Satirists and Admonition to Detractors,' 1836 (attack upon Wordsworlh for depreciating Southey). 19, 'The Pentameron [Conversations of Petrarca and Boccaccio, edited by "Pievano D. Grigi"] and Pentelogia [five conversations in verse, with dedication signed "W.S.L.,"' 1837. 20. 'Andrea of Hungary and Giovanna of Naples,'1839. 21. 'Fra Rupert, the last part of a Trilogy,' 1840. 22.'Collected Works,' in two vols. 8vo, 1846 (the first volume gives the old 'imaginary conversations,' the second new 'imaginary conversations,' 'Gebir,' 'Hellenics,' 'Shakespeare,' 'Pericles and Aspasia,'and the 'Pentameron,' the three preceding plays, the Siege of Ancona,' and miscellaneous pieces). 23. 'The Hellenics of Walter Savage Landor, enlarged and completed,' 1847 (see above, republished with alterations in 1859), 24. 'Poemata et Inscriptionea: notis auxit Savagius Landor,' 1847. Also the Latin 'questio' from the 'Idyllia Heroica' of 1820. 25, 'Imaginary Conversation of King Carlo Alberto