to his real ability or fame.
The same was formerly true of Young
's Night Thoughts
, now rarely opened.
Many of the most potent thinkers, on the other hand, are in the position of that General Clive
, once famous for his wealth and gorgeous jewelry, whom Walpole
excused for alleged parsimony on the ground that he probably had about him “no small brilliants.”
In these various ways a man sometimes escapes, perhaps forever, from the personal renown that should seemingly be his. Even if he gains this, how limited it is, at the best!
Strictly speaking, there is no literary fame worth envying, save Shakespeare
's amounted to this, that Addison
wrote An Account of the Greatest English Poets
in which his name does not appear; and that, of the people one meets in the streets of any city, the majority will not even have heard of him.
How many thousand never heard the name
Of Sidney or of Spenser, and their books;
And yet brave fellows, and presume of fame,
And think to bear down all the world with looks.
Happy is that author, if such there be, who, although his renown be as small as that of