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LIFE, LETTERS, AND WRITINGS
EDITED, WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS,
BY PERCY FITZGERALD, M.A., F.S.A.
IN SIX VOLUMES.
EDINBURGH : PRINTED BY THOMAS AND ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE,
PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN, AND TO TIE UNIVERSITY.
CONTENTS OF VOL. III.
Your lines are not to be understood reading on one leg. They are sinuous, and to be won with wrestling. I do assure you in sincerity that nothing you have done has given me greater satisfaction. Your obscurity, where you are dark, which is seldom, is that of too much meaning, not the painful obscurity which no toil of the reader can dissipate ; not the dead vacuum and foundering place in which imagination finds no footing: it is not the dimness of positive darkness, but of distance; and he that reads and not discerns must get a better pair of spectacles. I admire every piece in the collection. I cannot say the first is best: when I do so, the last read rises up in judgment. To your Mother, to your sister, to Mary dead, they are all weighty with thought and tender with sentiment. Your poetry is like no other. Those cursed dryads and pagan trumperies of modern verse have put me out of conceit of the very name of poetry.
Your verses are as good and as wholesome as prose, and I have made a sad blunder if I do not leave you with an impression that your present is rarely valued.
CHARLES LAMB. VOL. III.