THE connection which undoubtedly exists, in certain cases only, between imaginative gifts of a high order and peculiarities of physical conformation, has never been explained. It is not by mere accident that Chopin and Raphael and Shelley have a constitution and an appearance so unlike those of ordinary mortals, nor is it the rule that men of genius are, like Walter Scott and Robert Browning, healthy examples of the ordinary type. There is no rule or custom in the matter, and great talents blow where they list. Nevertheless there is a tendency to strangeness, an excess or violence of delicacy, which is proverbially associated with poetry, and with the bardic appearance of exclusively aesthetic persons. This, although not the rule, is more than the exception, and, where it occurs, is not to be neglected as an element in the general analysis of character. In the case of Swinburne the physical strangeness exceeded, perhaps, that of any other entirely sane man of imaginative genius whose characteristies'have been preserved for us. It must be defined with as much exactitude as is possible without falling into the error of caricature.
Algernon Swinburne was in height five feet