Sunday, August 21, 2016


Constant to the Same Sweet Mistress

William Maginn (1794-1842), "Pandemus Polyglott," in his Miscellanies: Prose and Verse, ed. R.W. Montagu, Vol. II (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1885), pp. 262-282 (at 263-264):
The Doctor, though a colossus of mind, has had the firmness through life to forego all those mundane advantages which his wondrous powers must have obtained for him had such been his pleasure; and as in early life he gave himself up to the allurements of classical literature, so with a constancy seldom rivalled did he in manhood and in age still does he adhere to the same sweet mistress. The fruits of this affection are manifold, as some forty MS. folios testify; but, while the Doctor lives, his intimates alone will have the benefit of their acquaintance; for he is far too chary of his own personal comfort, too sensible of his own dignity, to sacrifice the one, or diminish his own proud sense of the other, by trusting the smallest of his learned labours to the caprice or indifference of a world engaged for the most part in pursuits which he looks down upon with pity, and would regard, if he were less good than he is, with contempt.

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