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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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The Enfant Terrible of Literature


I AM the enfant terrible of literature and science. If I
cannot, and I know I cannot, get the literary and scientific
big-wigs to give me a shilling, I can, and I know I can, heave
bricks into the middle of them.

Blake, Dante, Virgil and Tennyson

Talking it over, we agreed that Blake was no good because
he learnt Italian at 60 in order to study Dante, and we knew
Dante was no good because he was so fond of Virgil, and
Virgil was no good because Tennyson ran him, and as for
Tennysonówell, Tennyson goes without saying.

My Father and Shakespeare

My father is one of the few men I know who say they do
not like Shakespeare. I could forgive my father for not
liking Shakespeare if it was only because Shakespeare wrote
poetry; but this is not the reason. He dislikes Shakespeare
because he finds him so very coarse. He also says he likes
Tennyson and this seriously aggravates his offence.


We were saying what a delightful dispensation of providence
it was that prosperous people will write their memoirs. We
hoped Tennyson was writing his. [1890.]

P.S.óWe think his son has done nearly as well [1898.]