Masque of Anarchy

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 1,14 MB
  • EAN: 9780259656593

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Mr. Shelley's countrymen know how anxious he was for the advancement of the common good, but they have yet to become acquainted with his anxiety in behalf of this particular means of it — Reform. The first time I heard from him, was upon the subject: it was before I knew him, and while he was a student at Oxford, in the year 1811. So early did he begin his career of philanthropy Mankind, and their interests, were scarcely ever out of his thoughts. It was a moot point when he entered your room, whether he would begin with some half-pleasant, half pensive joke, or quote something Greek, or ask some question about public affairs. I remember his coming upon me when I had not seen him for a long time; and after grappling my hands with both his, in his usual fervent manner, sitting down, and looking at me very earnestly, with a deep though not melan chely interest in his face. We were sitting in a cottage study with our knees to the fire, to which we had been getting nearer and nearer in the comfort of finding ourselves together; the plea sure of seeing him was my only feeling at the moment; and the air of domesticity about us was so complete, that I thought he was going to speak of some family matter — either his or my own; when he asked me, at the close of an intensity of pause, what was the amount of the National Debt. I used to rally him on the apparent inconsequentiality of his manner upon these occasions; and he was always ready to on the joke, because he said that my laughter did not hinder my being in earnest. With deepest love and admiration was my laughter mixed, or I should not have ventured upon paying him the compliment of it. I have now before me his corrected r'oof of an anonymous pamphlet which he wrote in the year 181 entitled A Proposal for Putting Reform to the Vote through the Country. I will make an extract or two from it, to show how zealous he was on the subject; how generous in the example which he offered to set in behalf of Reform; and how judicious as well as fervent this most calumniated and noble spirit could be in recommending the most avowed of his opinions. The title-page of the proof is scrawled over with sketches of trees and foliage, which was a habit of his in the intervals of thinking, whenever he had pen or pencil in hand. He would indulge in it while waiting for you at 4.
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