Page:Essays in librarianship and bibliography.djvu/344

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324
ESSAYS IN LIBRARIANSHIP

very correct, though he was capable of being swayed by long intimacy or personal liking. He was on various occasions subjected to considerable obloquy, but as this always arose from his opposition to the interested views of individuals, it only redounded to his credit with those acquainted with the circumstances. His literary tastes were such as befitted the bibliographer, but he admired many poets and novelists, especially Shakespeare, Goethe, Ariosto, and Wieland. He possessed a peculiar vein of dry humour, which he occasionally manifested with great effect. Intellectually, he represented one of the most frequent types in the generation to which he belonged—the generation of Grote and Mill and Cornewall Lewis—the essentially utilitarian.

He was not the man to innovate or originate, but was admirably qualified for the work which actually fell to his lot—first to be the right hand of a great architect, then to consolidate the structure he had helped to erect, and prepare it for still vaster extension and more commanding proportions in the times to come.