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[184] school may show traces of that which prevailed when they were in their cradles, as Howells's volume of poems opens with the sentimental and even beautiful strains of ‘Forlorn.’ This, then, was the path through which he came to Silas Lapham and Lemuel Barker; and very likely, when Mr. Henry James's biography comes to be written, he may yet be found to have begun by taking tremulous footsteps in some such romantic path. After all, sentimentalism is a thing immortal, for it represents the slight overplus and excess of youthful emotion; it bears the same relation to the deeper feelings of later life that the college contests of the football ground bear to life's conflicts. Tennyson, who began by representing it, and then, with a hand far finer than that of Dickens, helped to guide us out of it, has unconsciously described the service done to the age by the epoch of sentimentalism when he paints in his ‘Gardener's Daughter,’ the mission fulfilled by Juliet, the earliest object of his flame:—

The summer pilot of an empty heart
Unto the shores of nothing. Know you not
Such touches are but embassies of love
To tamper with the feelings, ere he found
Empire for life?

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Alfred Tennyson (1)
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