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Graduates, and of some who were of neither of these. Among these last were not a few of those resident Gentlewomen, who now form a new and not unpleasing element in some Oxford Lecture-rooms.
As my predecessor in the Poetry Chair said in the Preface to his published Lectures, I felt it to be my duty, having found a large number of persons willing to listen, to do what I could to retain them. This seemed most likely to be done by treating the several subjects under review in a broad way, and by presenting their larger outlines, rather than by dwelling on refined subtleties or minute details. On verbal criticism and scholastic erudition sufficient attention is bestowed in the various Lecturerooms of the Colleges and of the University. It would seem to be a desirable variety, if, in one Lecture-room filled by a general audience, a different treatment were adopted.
For the rest, the Lectures, both as to the views they advance, and the way in which these views are expressed, must speak for themselves. No formal canons of criticisms have been here laid down, but the principles which underlie and the sentiments which animate the Lectures are, I trust, sufficiently apparent.
When I have been aware that I have derived a thought from another writer, I have tried to acknowledge it in the text. But it is a pleasure to record here, in a more explicit way, many obligations to the kindness of personal friends.
For information on the difficult Ossianic question, which I have tried to condense into a few plain para
graphs, I have to thank Mr. W. F. Skene, D. C. L., author of Celtic Scotland, that work of difficult and original research, with which he has crowned the labor of his life. To Dr. Clerk of Kilmallie also, author of the new translation of Ossian, I am indebted for everready help on the same subject, as well as for kind aid afforded, when I was translating the Gaelic of Duncan MacIntyre's poems.
In the Lecture on Virgil I have to acknowledge the free use I have made of the scholarly and suggestive work on Virgil by Professor Sellar; to whom too I owe my introduction to M. Gaston Boissier's work entitled La Religion Romaine, from which I derived valuable assistance.
The Lecture on Cardinal Newman is, in my thoughts, specially associated with another college friend. Several of the passages I have cited in the course of this Lecture recall to me walks around Oxford, and evening talks in college rooms, during which I first heard them from the lips of the present Lord Coleridge. From him too I have quite recently received some suggestions, which I have gladly embodied in the text.
Lastly, the late Dean Stanley, with his never-failing friendliness, took lively interest in these Lectures, and frequently talked with me over the subjects of them, before they were composed.
One occasion, the last on which I enjoyed his delightful society, will long live in my remembrance. I had paid a two days' visit to him in his hospitable home in the Deanery, in the early days of last March. I was
then meditating the Lecture on Carlyle ; and on the second day of my visit we spoke a good deal about the subject, which interested him and me alike. He suggested several passages, in which Carlyle's poetic power seemed to him conspicuous. On the last day of my visit, Saturday the 5th of March, while I was engaged in a hurried breakfast, before starting for the Scotch Express, he opened a book, Mr. Justice Stephen's Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, and, in the dim light of the early morning, read aloud in his clear, impressive tones the passage I have quoted from Carlyle, which thus ends :
“through mystery to mystery, from God and to God.” These words were hardly uttered, when I had to rise It was our last parting.
J: C. SHAIRP. HOUSTOUN, September, 1881.