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Arthur's notes in his own handwriting


(Notes in Arthur’s handwriting – No date).


p. 150 etc. (a few very fine lines)

255 (“ “ “ “)

p. 226 whole poem

176 “ " " "

222 (separation

223 (Two lines marked)

[Peter's comments:]

I have not got the actual copy in which A. marked the two lines on p.223, but it was evidently the standard Macmillan edition of Matthew Arnold’s poems.

p.150, etc., is the beginning of part two of Tristram and Iseult, in which the death of Tristram takes place:

“Now to sail the seas of death I leave thee –

One last kiss upon the living shore.”

p.255 is Self Dependence.

p.226 is Dover Beach.

p.176 may possibly be the sonnet Austerity of Poetry, which in fact is on p.177, page 176 being a blank in my copy. [AB: – mine also, see note below]

p.222, Separation is the poem beginning:

“Stop! – not to me, at this bitter departing,

Speak of the sure consolations of time!”

p.223 is On the Rhine. There are various lines which Arthur might well have marked, and I cannot guess which they were.

It has always been in my mind that Arnold was Arthur’s most loved poet; possibly on account of these notes made on his deathbed. And indeed I think Arnold did interpret, more than any other poet, the intellectual outlook of A. and his brothers. But he read many poets, and I have copies of Milton, Keats, Wordsworth, Blake, Herbert and others with his name or initials in them.

[AB: I have the same edition of Arnold’s poetry, presented to Michael Ll.D. at Eton in 1913 and given to me by Nico – one of the few treasures I didn’t give to GOSH. It was printed in 1910 so clearly not Arthur’s copy, but has a number poems marked up, presumably by Michael. Taking Peter at his word that Arnold was one of Arthur’s favourite poets, I included a scene in The Lost Boys of Crompton reading the last verse of Sohrab and Rustum to the dying Arthur, wonderfully played by Tim Piggott-Smith.]


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