my commonplace book

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MY COMMONPLACE BOOK BY J. T. HACKETT Omne meum, nihil meum. MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTINS STREET, LONDON 1923 COPYRIGHT First publication in Great Britain, September I Second English Edition, September 1920. Third English Edition, January 1921. Fourth English Edition, 1923. PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN O Memories Past that is GEORGE ELTOT. DEDICATED TO MY DEAR FRIEND RICHARD HODGSON WHO HAS PASSED OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE Of wounds and sore defeat I made my battle-stay Winged sandals for my feet I wove of my delay Of weariness and fear I made my shouting spear Of loss, and doubt, and dread, And swift oncoming doom I made a helmet for my head And a floating plume. From the shutting mist of death, From the failure of the breath I made a battle-horn to blow Across the vales of overthrow. O hearken, love, the battle-horn The triumph clear, the silver scorn I O hearken where the echoes bring, Down the grey disastrous morn, Laughter and rallying WILLIAM VAUGHN MOODY. From Richard Hodgsons Christmas Card, 1904 the Christmas before his death. Vll cannot but remember such things were That were most precious to me. MACBETH, iv. 3. vui PREFACE TO THE FOURTH ENGLISH EDITION THIS edition is the first in which the book has been ade quately revised. I compiled the book in 1917 while the war was still raging, but through various long delays it was not published until September 1919. When I then saw it in print, I realized that I had made several errors of judgment. For example, the longest by far of the quotations was John Paynes Rime of Redemption. I thought Payne was remembered only as a translator and was forgotten as a minor poet. To my surprise I learnt that he was the object of a special cult, and that a John Payne Society had been actually formed in his lifetime In any case, although the poem has merit, it was an error of judgment to include it in this book. I also saw that fragments from narrative poems are unsatisfactory, as in the case of Buchanan, that there was too much of Swinburne in the book, and that some other quotations were too long to justify their inclusion. For these and other reasons I have cut out some poems, few in number but occupying a disproportionate amount of space. I could not do this when the second and third editions were issued. I was ill and away from my books and notes. Even if I had been well enough, I had not the material with me to replace the omitted pages, and, without this material, th book would have had to be set up again. However, I have now had it set up again, and this has given me the opportunity of revising and adding to it. Besides the poems now omitted, there were others which I also wished to replace. Copyright-owners were on the whole exceedingly good to me, but nevertheless I was refused permission to publish some of my best quotations. As permission was readily granted to publish everything of ix b x PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION inferior importance and interest, the general average of the book necessarily suffered. I was on the other side of the world and could do nothing to remedy this. However, everything that I have omitted or was not allowed to publish has been now replaced by a much larger number of quota tions that will probably be found interesting. As regards the comments, I have allowed myself much more latitude than in the original book. That was my first literary effort, and I did not know whether my comments would be found acceptable. I have now revised the original notes and added many others of a literary character. But besides those literary notes, I wrote others of a scientific, psychological, or philosophic nature. Here, how ever, Mr. George F. Hassell, who has continued to confer with me regarding the contents of this book, called my attention to the fact that I was entirely altering its character. This warning was very necessary, for with the scores of subjects referred to in a thousand quotations one is tempted to write on indefinitely... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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