INASMUCH as I have read books since I was four years old, it is natural enough that various authors have profoundly affected my mind and character. I have already expressed something of the debt I owe to Shakespeare, to John Stuart Mill, to Carlyle, to Tennyson Maud, to Goethe, to Schopenhauer; to the Authorized Version of the Bible it is impossible to express similar indebtedness. The individual authors just mentioned came at a time in my boyhood and adolescence when they supplied what was needed; but the Bible was from the start an integral part of myself; and it would be as absurd to attempt an estimate of what I owe to it as it would be to appraise what I owe to my lungs or to my heart.
I shall always be grateful to Mill and Carlyle and Schopenhauer, although I was never the disciple of any one of them. It was the influence of Browning's poetry that became paramount. His view of life irresistibly appealed to me. So far as a humble individual can share the philosophy of a mighty genius, Browning's philosophy is my own; his ways are my ways and his thoughts are my thoughts. He was and is for me what Bentham was for Mill. I am a Browningite.
I have mentioned that when I was ten years old I declaimed at school his poem 'Hervé Riel'; but the author's name meant nothing to me then or for the next ten years. In my Senior year at college, in a general course in English literature, we had three or four lessons in Browning, which