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myrtle, and realised at last what was meant by the familiar expression of the genius loci.
But let us come back to Mr. Tennyson. Of his early home in Lincolnshire, with its vast dome of illimitable sky, he has not said much. Of the old parsonage he says
The other day I went to Clevedon, to which belongs the In Memoriam' scenery. Clevedon is now fashionable and very pretty little watering-place, on 'that broad water of the West, as Mr. Tennyson calls the Bristol Channel. I am glad that the modern watering-place has been built away from the old headland where the primitive village reposes, little changed by the lapse of time. Clevedon has an earlier literary association with Coleridge, who made his first home here with his
wife. He loved and praised and poetised that home, albeit it was humble enough. How touching are his farewell lines, beginning
'Low was our pretty cot. Our tallest rose.'
It is now divided into two labourers' cottages. That lake trio-Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey—have all their local associations. Close to Coleridge's cottage is Clevedon Court, Sir Arthur Hallam Elton's place. Clevedon is certainly rich in its associations of Coleridge, Tennyson, and the Hallams. In the church are those affecting series of monuments to the members of the Hallam family. First comes Arthur's monument, and the poet tells how the letters slowly glimmer in the moonlight, of its touching inscription; then another mural tablet to the memory of a beloved sister, then another to a second gifted brother, then one to the mother, and lastly a few lines to the elder Hallam. The historian's real epitaph is in St. Paul's Cathedral, evidently written either by Dean Milnan or Lord Macaulay. The epitaphs breathe one language of the parents' joy in the possession, though so brief, of such children, and a sure trust in a happy meeting again. The interments were intramural, and the actual spots are not indicated. The lines
'And from thy ashes shall be made
The violet of thy native land,' lose their force, and though the lines are true in sense and feeling
"The Danube to the Severn gave
The darkened heart that ceased to beat,' yet one is at a loss to see the exact force of the introduction of the Wye, miles away on the opposite shore; you can hardly observe the outlet beneath the woods. To Clevedon doubtless belongs the scenery of the poem
‘Break, break, break
On thy cold grey crags, O Sea.' There is the little bay retreating from the channel just below the church, where the fisherman's boy sits and sings in his boat; but 'the haven under the hill' is not so clear, and I imagine that the roadstead below Penarth is indicated, near Cardiff.
Specially interesting are the spots where great designs are commenced or finished. We recollect how Gibbon designed his great work amid the ruins of the Coliseum, and how he took his moonlight walk when he had finished it in his garden at Lausanne, I tried hard at the Hotel Gibbon to realise that famous scene, but an hotel does not easily recall a library. Poor Gibbon! I think of his melancholy sentence: 'Two causes, the failure of hope and the abbreviation of tears, always tinge with a browner shade the evening of life. It is not always, however, that picturesque scenes are attached to famous moments. I know of two great modern poets who were once taking a walk amid splendid scenery.
As they gained the brow of a hill, below which an interminable prospect stretched out, one of them exclaimed: 'It was here, my friend, that the idea of my great poem first' occurred to my mind. Where were you when the thought of your epic was first suggested to you ?' 'I was under a lamp-post waiting for my sweetheart,' was the somewhat prosaic reply. I imagine that many a great literary design has been developed among the lampposts in the London streets. That library of the British Museum is fertile in many memories. Macaulay had a room there to study. He came up one day in severe
weather, being a bronchial subject, and met an astonished friend, who packed him back in a cab. He said he had not come from Holly House in his carriage to spare the coachman and horses—a lamentable instance of the tyranny in which men are held by coachmen and horses. But London is truly haunted London for those who know the shadows.
The little Norman isle of Jersey has memoriesstrangely parallel memories—after the lapse of two centuries. Here came Edward Hyde, Lord Chancellor, Chancellor of England, Chancellor of Human Nature, in want, neglect, and, I am afraid, some natural bad temper, that perverted his political views, to write his History of the Great Rebellion. I have examined his manuscripts at the Bodleian, written in a beautiful Italian hand, and so closely, that one page of manuscript would include many of Mr. Combe's type. Two centuries later—and yet those days to me always seem so near—Victor Hugo came here, a literary exile, playing a narrower part in politics, and a larger one over the imagination. Victor Hugo has a natural affinity, of the widest kind, for human nature, especially Gallic nature. Clarendon affects only its loftier types. He is picturesque, he is even Dantesque. Stafford wears his imperial aspect, Falkland his melancholy smile. We see the frown on the corrugated brow of the Protector, and the laughter on the harsh lineaments of the younger Charles.
Then there are some spots of learned and religious retreat which have a peculiar charm, as in the ancient cloisters and embowered shades of our Universities. What Oxonian has not lingered in the long avenue that takes its name from Addison? In the Broad Walk one chiefly thinks of Locke, perhaps the greatest name that Oxford has produced, and for centuries accepted on the Continent as the only exponent of English philosophy. I suppose the Lime Avenue at Trinity College and the Broad Walk at Christ Church might be covered with the compositions dedicated to them. I am fond of that silent pictured solitude, the library of Christ Church ; and there, I believe, the present Dean used to go and work, at six o'clock in the morning, at the mighty Lexicon which he was basing upon Passow. I know of another great scholar who used to sit cheerily at his window working away at a great Dictionary which his University had engaged him to compile. Cambridge, on the whole, is much richer in literary memories than Oxford. I love especially to think of the Lady Margaret's ancient foundation of Christ's College, with the bowling green, the deep swimming-pool, and Milton's mulberry tree. There the grave English Platonists, such as Cudworth and More, used to walk and meditate. The old tree is propped and stayed, and an offshoot is prosperously flourishing Was it under this very tree that the Italian lady found Milton sleeping, and gave him the