Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/252

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

who really dares to 'face the spectres of the mind.' He can lay them for the moment; but they are always in the background, and suggest, too often, rather a querulous protest against an ever-recurring annoyance than any such mental victory as issues in a coherent and settled conviction on either side. I merely wish to indicate an impression, and will not attempt to indicate the similar attitude in regard to the great social and political movements. I cannot, though my inability may be owing to my own spiritual blindness, place him among the 'great sage poets,' but I have wished to intimate that such as I am are not therefore disqualified from appreciating his poetry in another capacity: as a document indicating the effect of modern movements of thought upon a mind of extraordinary delicacy and a nature of admirable sweetness; but, far more, as a perfect utterance of emotions which are all equally beautiful in themselves whatever the 'philosophy' with which they are associated. The life, I believe, will help to strengthen that impression, though I have only attempted to notice some of the more obvious remarks which it may suggest.