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TENNYSON'S REPROOF             "           233
itself, but in the revolt in us against it." Not a trace of rebellion against her long illness was visible in her patient, smiling countenance.
At dinner the bard spoke with much enthusiasm of Homer, and made many quotations from the Iliad in Greek to illustrate the grand rolling sound of that language, and how fitted it was for poetry. He was merciless on all who made a wrong use of words; and pulled me up severely for speaking of some trivial thing as " awfully nice." " What is to become of writers if people will insist upon misusing and vulgarizing words of distinctive meaning?" My confusion at his just reproof was fortunately short-lived, for to my delight another guest, speaking soon after of something " awfully jolly," was scathed and withered on the spot I was much surprised to learn from Lord Tennyson that he had heard Owen Meredith's "Lucille" was more popular in America than any single poem of either Longfellow, Matthew Arnold, or himself. When I mentioned this afterwards to the late Lord Lytton, he was not as pleased as I had expected. It was before the copyright law, and he informed me that he had never received the slightest remuneration for the enormous sale of his poems in our country.