the interference with other engagements and habits, which your attendance here must have subjected you to; and, when I look back and think that this has been so for sixteen successive weeks, my heart leaps up with pride that a subject so purely imaginative should have thus won your attention, and with gratitude for the kind, friendly, and indulgent feelings which the interest of that subject has been the means of extending to me personally. This course has been protracted longer than appears to me desirable; each lecture, too, has exceeded its due limits. Conscious of this, it has been the more gratifying to experience your consideration for me in restraining all symptoms of impatience. No one can be more sensible than I am of the deficiencies of the course, resulting from two very ample though widely-different causes-the superabundance of the materials and the inability to do the subject the justice which is its due. It is unavailing, however, now to dwell upon those deficiencies, and I would rather turn to the hope suggested by them—necessarily an indefinite hope-of entering with you, on some future occasion, into some of those regions of our literature of which thus far we have in not a few instances only touched upon the frontiers. In the mean time I can bear away the happy recollection of having witnessed the power which true poetry exerts over the best of our intellectual and moral sympathies, for I know that the hearts of young and old have kindled here with the sound of the noble strains uttered by our English imagination. All that has reached me respecting these lectures has been kindness—unqualified kindness,-inspiring this feeling above all others:—an anxiety to bring them far nearer than has been done to the ideal of what might merit such

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acknowledgments. It is, therefore, with entire sincerity that for the last words to pass between us I appropriate that simple stanza, the very voice of gratefulness, repeated once already this evening:

"I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning:

Alas! the gratitude of men

Hath oftener left me mourning."

Miscellaneous Essays



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