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‘ [253] have never since seen any reason to modify or change that opinion. There are certain very marked analogies between them, I think. In the first place, there is the same love of a certain subdued splendor, not inconsistent with transparency of diction; there is the same power of absorbing and assimilating the beauties of other literature without loss of originality; and, above all, there is that genius, that sympathy with universal sentiments and the power of expressing them so that they come home to everybody, both high and low, which characterize both poets. There is something also in that simplicity,—simplicity in itself being a distinction. But in style, simplicity and distinction must be combined in order to their proper effect; and the only warrant perhaps of permanence in literature is this distinction in style. It is something quite indefinable; it is something like the distinction of good-breeding, characterized perhaps more by the absence of certain negative qualities than by the presence of certain positive ones. But it seems to me that distinction of style is eminently found in the poet whom we are met here in some sense to celebrate to-day. This is not the place, of course, for criticism; still less is it the place for eulogy, for eulogy is but too often disguised apology. But I have been struck particularly—if I may bring ’

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