sympathising in song with a boatful of banished Englishmen in the remote Bermudas, and inditing ‘Thoughts in a Garden, ’ from which you might suppose that he had spent his life more with melons than with men, and was better acquainted with the motions of a bee-hive than with the contests of Parliament, and the distractions of a most distracted age. It was said (not without truth) of Milton, that he could cut out a Colossus from a rock, but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones [Johnson, in Boswell’s Life, 13 June 1784]—a task which his assistant may be said to have performed in his stead, in his small but delectable copies of verse.
Eminent alike as poet and critic, Matthew Arnold (1822-88) sent off a copy of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrical Poems to the noted French critic C. A. Sainte Beuve (see No. 69) inscribed as a ‘loving token of remembrance. ’ The following letter (in French) commending the ‘Horatian Ode’ was preserved in the covers of the book.
Reprinted by T. B. Smart in the Athenaeum, 3 September 1898, p. 325.
2, Chester Square, London
31 December, 1861
I pay my respects with a very modest gift: parvum sed bonum: it is a collection of the best English lyric poetry made by one of my friends. This small volume is an astonishing success; it has already