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The Eulogy of Richard Jefferies   By: (1836-1901)

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[Transcriber's Note: Words and phrases appearing in italics in the original publication have been delimited with underscore characters in this transcription. Additional notes appear at the end of this text.]

[Illustration]

THE EULOGY OF RICHARD JEFFERIES

BY

WALTER BESANT

'I hearing got, who had but ears, And sight, who has but eyes before; I moments live, who lived but years, And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.

THOREAU.

[Illustration]

WITH A PORTRAIT

London CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY 1888

[ All rights reserved ]

TO THE WIDOW AND THE TWO CHILDREN OF RICHARD JEFFERIES

I DEDICATE THIS MEMORIAL, IN THE EARNEST HOPE THAT IT MAY NOT BE FOUND WHOLLY UNWORTHY OF ITS SUBJECT.

PREFACE.

In the body of this work I have sufficiently explained the reasons why I was entrusted with the task of writing this memoir of Richard Jefferies. I have only here to express my thanks, first to the publishers, who have given permission to quote from books by Jefferies issued by them, namely: Messrs. Cassell and Co., Messrs. Chapman and Hall, Messrs. Longman and Co., Messrs. Sampson Low and Co., Messrs. Smith and Elder, and Messrs. Tinsley Brothers, and next, to all those who have entrusted me with letters written by Jefferies, and have given permission to use them. These are: Mrs. Harrild, of Sydenham, Mr. Charles Longman, Mr. J.W. North, and Mr. C.P. Scott. I have also been provided with the note books filled with Jefferies' notes made in the fields. These have enabled me to understand, and, I hope, to convey to others some understanding of, the writer's methods. I call this book the "Eulogy" of Richard Jefferies, because, in very truth, I can find nothing but admiration, pure and unalloyed, for that later work of his, on which will rest his fame and his abiding memory.

W.B. UNITED UNIVERSITY CLUB, September, 1888 .

CONTENTS.

PAGE CHAPTER I. COATE FARM 1

CHAPTER II. SIXTEEN TO TWENTY 49

CHAPTER III. LETTERS FROM 1866 TO 1872 66

CHAPTER IV. GLEAMS OF LIGHT 96

CHAPTER V. FIRST YEARS OF SUCCESS 108

CHAPTER VI. FICTION, EARLY AND LATE 145

CHAPTER VII. IN FULL CAREER 163

CHAPTER VIII. THE LONGMAN LETTERS 193

CHAPTER IX. THE COUNTRY LIFE 214

CHAPTER X. "THE STORY OF MY HEART" 269

CHAPTER XI. THE CHILD WANDERS IN THE WOOD 301

CHAPTER XII. CONCLUSION 327

APPENDIX I. LIST OF JEFFERIES' WORKS 366

APPENDIX II. LIST OF PAPERS STILL UNPUBLISHED 368

APPENDIX III. LETTER TO THE "TIMES," NOVEMBER, 1872 370

THE

EULOGY

OF

RICHARD JEFFERIES.

CHAPTER I.

COATE FARM.

"Go," said the Voice which dismisses the soul on its way to inhabit an earthly frame. "Go; thy lot shall be to speak of trees, from the cedar even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall; and of beasts also, and of fowls, and of fishes. All thy ways shall be ordered for thee, so that thou shalt learn to speak of these things as no man ever spoke before. Thou shalt rise into great honour among men. Many shall love to hear thy voice above all the voices of those who speak. This is a great gift. Thou shalt also enjoy the tender love of wife and children. Yet the things which men most desire riches, rank, independence, ease, health, and long life these are denied to thee... Continue reading book >>




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