Immortal Memories

Clement K. Shorter
Immortal Memories, by Clement

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Title: Immortal Memories
Author: Clement Shorter

Release Date: June 19, 2007 [eBook #21869]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)

Transcribed from the 1907 Hodder and Stoughton edition by David
Price, email [email protected]

Butler and Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.

The following addresses were delivered at the request of various
literary societies and commemorative committees. They amused me to
write, and they apparently interested the audiences for which they were
primarily intended. Perhaps they do not bear an appearance in print.
But they are not for my brother-journalists to read nor for the judicious
men of letters. I prefer to think that they are intended solely for those
whom Hazlitt styled "sensible people." Hazlitt said that "the most
sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the
world." I am hoping that these will buy my book and that some of them
will like it.
It is recorded by Sir Henry Taylor of Samuel Rogers that when he
wrote that very indifferent poem, Italy, he said, "I will make people buy.
Turner shall illustrate my verse." It is of no importance that the
biographer of Rogers tells us that the poet first made the artist known to
the world by these illustrations. Taylor's story is a good one, and the
moral worth taking to heart. The late Lord Acton, most learned and
most accomplished of men, wrote out a list of the hundred best books
as he considered them to be. They were printed in a popular magazine.
They naturally excited much interest. I have rescued them from the
pages of the Pall Mall Magazine. Those who will not buy my book for
its seven other essays may do so on account of Lord Acton's list of
books being here first preserved "between boards." I shall be equally
well pleased.


A toast proposed at the Johnson Birthday Celebration held at the Three
Crowns Inn, Lichfield, in September, 1906.
In rising to propose this toast I cannot ignore what must be in many of
your minds, the recollection that last year it was submitted by a very
dear friend of my own, who, alas! has now gone to his rest, I mean Dr.
Richard Garnett. {3} Many of you who heard him in this place will
recall, with kindly memories, that venerable scholar. I am one of those
who, in the interval have stood beside his open grave; and I know you
will permit me to testify here to the fact that rarely has such brilliant
scholarship been combined with so kindly a nature, and with so much
generosity to other workers in the literary field. One may sigh that it is
not possible to perpetuate for all time for the benefit of others the vast
mass of learning which such men as Dr. Garnett are able to accumulate.
One may lament even more that one is not able to present in some
concrete form, as an example to those who follow, his fine qualities of
heart and mind--his generous faculty for 'helping lame dogs over stiles.'
Dr. Garnett had not only a splendid erudition that specially qualified
him for proposing this toast, he had also what many of you may think
an equally exceptional qualification--he was a native of Lichfield; he
was born in this fine city. As a Londoner--like Boswell when charged
with the crime of being a Scotsman I may say that I cannot help it--I
suppose I should come to you with hesitating footsteps. Perhaps it was
rash of me to come at all, in spite of an invitation so kindly worded.
Yet how gladly does any lover, not only of Dr. Johnson, but of all good
literature, come to Lichfield. Four cathedral cities of our land stand
forth in my mind with a certain magnetic power to draw even the most
humble lover of books towards them--Oxford, Bath, Norwich,
Lichfield, these four and no others. Oxford we all love and revere as the

nourishing mother of so many famous men. Here we naturally recall Dr.
Johnson's love of it--his defence of it against all comers. The glamour
of Oxford and the memory of the great men who from age to age have
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