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[95] good-naturedly, ‘Ah! that is a different thing. I wish you to say what you think. I regard Tennyson as a great calf, but you are entitled to your own opinion.’ The oration met with much applause at certain passages, including this one; and the applause was just, for these passages were written by my elder sister, who had indeed suggested the subject of the whole address. But I fear that its only value to posterity will consist in the remark it elicited from the worthy professor; this comment affording certainly an excellent milestone for Tennyson's early reputation.

It is worth while to remember, also, that this theory of calfhood, like most of the early criticisms on Tennyson, had a certain foundation in the affectations and crudities of these first fruits, long since shed and ignored. That was in the period of the two thin volumes, with their poem on the author's room, now quotable from memory only:--

Oh, darling room, my heart's delight!
Dear room, the apple of my sight!
With thy two couches soft and white,
There is no room so exquisite,
No little room so warm and bright,
Wherein to read, wherein to write.

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Alfred Tennyson (3)
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